It happened two years ago at The Game Awards 2014. We first laid eyes on the first No Man’s Sky trailer and our jaws dropped. “Just what the heck are we looking at and when can we play it?” we all thought, starting a hype train that often got too big for its britches.
Fast forward to today, and I think we all know what happened. The reveal trailer wasn’t fully representative of the final product, and a lot of No Man’s Sky’s appeal had to be cut over the two years of development. No Man’s Sky is still one of the biggest disappointments of the year, and The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley feels a bit responsible for that, as he explains to Polygon.
I have thought about the story of No Man’s Sky a lot. Did we create this black hole of hype that the developers couldn’t pull themselves out of? Some of that was authored by me.
When The Game Awards airs on Dec. 1, Keighley says that the trailers will feature honest gameplay and transparency from their publishers, so as not to let this happened again.
There is a good moral of that story and it’s part of what I’m trying to address this year; to have developers be more transparent about the state of their game.
No Man’s Sky wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last
This idea of showing too much CG in gaming trailers doesn’t just come from this year. The same goes for falsely representing in-engine graphics too. We’ve been dealing with the problem ever since the mid-90s back in the original PlayStation games, and the attention this issue gets comes and goes with the tide.
Anyone remember Dark Souls 2? Yeesh…
I expect No Man’s Sky is going to throw gaming trailers back into focus for a while, and publishers will learn from the mistakes it made, for a few years at least. After that, CG will be back in trailers until the next bomb that looks nothing like its trailer makes us all grumpy again.
It’s a never-ending cycle that won’t stop unless gamers remain diligent in calling the practice out.