Game development is a long and arduous process, so it makes sense that developers can come down with a kind of "tunnel vision" in regards to whatever they're making.
Obviously, nobody wants to make a bad game, but the process is so long and so self-contained that development can become an echo chamber. This isn't helped by the way games are shown or marketed, often years in advance, generating a barely achievable amount of hype over incredibly long periods of time.
Just about any AAA game follows a well-tread marketing strategy. First comes the announcement and a short teaser; then small looks at heavily curated segments of the game here and there - often for press, behind closed doors - which are then detailed for readers in the form of previews and impressions.
Eventually comes the full cinematic trailer, then a gameplay demo, and finally a launch trailer and, if we're lucky, a playable public demo or beta.
But despite the fact that such a marketing drip is largely a successful way to build sales and those oh-so-coveted pre-orders, it is not without its risks. Here are ten examples of when a demo backfired so badly, it made you avoid a game altogether.
Developed by Luminous Productions and published by Square Enix, footage from Forspoken was heavily leveraged by Sony in ads for the PlayStation 5. The rich envrionments, lightning fast parkour, and robust spell effects seemed perfect to show off the PS5's prowess. Despite taking a while to arrive, it remained one of the console's most hyped upcoming releases.
Until a cinematic trailer dropped showing off the game's story.
The writing was... well... bad. Soon the entire Internet was mocking the dialogue between protagonist Frey and her dry-witted talking cuff.
The playable demo alleviated some of those concerns. No, the writing didn't magically improve, but insufferable banter between the protagonist and her cuff wasn't nearly as prevalent as expected.
Unfortunately, hype for the game took two steps forward and one step back. While peoples' concerns over the dialogue were tempered, the game itself was just fine. Graphics weren't as advertised - it's the video game industry, what else is new? - and gameplay was just OK. There wasn't anything bad about it, but it fell far short of the hype that had been generated by Sony.
The damage done, you can already find new copies of the game discounted just weeks after release.