The lead-up to release and ongoing reception to No Man's Sky teaches us a fair bit about just how the industry, hype, and general attitudes towards anything we're looking forward to can pan out.
Hello Games' space-faring exploration sim has received mixed reviews at best, but it's not the first game to fall victim to the unrelentingly brutal hype machine, where the "YOU MUST CARE ABOUT THIS NOW" approach to marketing always takes hold.
In terms of video games, that results in hands-off CG trailers, the occasional insight into what you're actually getting, pre-order bonuses rolled out during the teaser footage - anything that factors into a speculative mindset not routed in reality.
And it's when that reality sets in, that it always goes sour. Always. Can you think of any game that actually lived up to the hype, and didn't have people whining and complaining?
On both the marketing and consumer side, we build games up to increasingly unprecedented heights every single time, but the fallout is always the same...
9. Grand Theft Auto IV
Few franchises have such a vice grip on the world as Rockstar's crime-concocting caper, yet following the release of GTA's III, Vice City and San Andreas, part four needed to be a perfect continuation to avoid drawing any ire whatsoever.
And that... wasn't what Rockstar had in mind. Instead, they wanted to be more Michael Mann than Michael Bay, changing the feel of GTA into a way more serious beast. Naturally, this would've worked if fans knew what they were getting themselves into, but with a solid year of hype, expectation, and Rockstar's proven track record, things weren't just blown out of proportion - they were thermo-nuclear detonated into oblivion.
The result is a GTA that everyone dog-piles on for 'bad car handling', a relatively boring protagonist, flat colour schemes and none of the 'wackiness' we'd come to expect. So that's why Rockstar don't show anything off in advance anymore...