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[Column] General: The Trailer

BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing EditorBerea, OHPosts: 2,359MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Trailers are an integral and important part of game development any more and often times help 'sell' the game to millions of players. In her latest column, Genese Davis takes a look at the importance of the trailer. Read on!

This year marks the 100 year anniversary since the first trailer debuted in a U.S. film theater in November 1913. In the past century movie trailers have become what we expect to see before deciding yea or nay on a seeing a film. But they have also become what we can look forward to seeing from other media platforms as well like video games and books. 

Read more of Genese Davis's The Trailer.





Comments

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,402Member Uncommon

    Trailers, IMO, are a complete waste of time and money (for MMOs)

    EXAMPLE: SWTOR's Hope Trailer - A small Republic force ambushes an unready Imperial force. Very heroic.

    REALITY: Ambush? Surprise? Is any of this in SWTOR? LOL. No. Instead, we get some sassy Huttball or Team Deathmatch Instanced PvP. It's garbage.

     

    I know that trailers are used to drive sales. But at what cost? SWTOR marketed the heck out of their game via trailers, yet now their entire company is the laughing stock of the genre.

     

    IF A MMO IS GOOD, PEOPLE WILL PLAY IT. It's that simple.

    TRAILERS are BS.

     
    A good read, though. I enjoyed it.
  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    The only thing that makes me angry about game trailers is when they do what DCUO did and not finish the story and not add to existing trailers when new content is released.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member
    I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the awesome Wotlk trailer blizzard aired on espn. That baby was just pure badassness
  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    I'm a sucker for a good trailer, but I'm also picky about them.  They have to appeal to what I want to know and convince me that the game itself will actually offer that experience.

    For MMOs, I find I am very sensitive about trailers that revolve around verbs that aren't actually implemented in the games.  When I look at a fight in a trailer and see it full of jumps, blocks, crazy stunts - that tends to distract me.  But when the trailers are more focused on anticipation, emotion and lore (especially lore that explains gameplay), that pulls me in. 

    On the other hand, I still have a soft spot for the old original opening of Ultima Online.  It may not be up to the same flair and action of a modern trailer (and it contradicts what I just said about verbs a little), but it drew from the lore of the franchise to explain the existence of the game and its many shards.  It felt like it was saying something that mattered.

  • LeiloniLeiloni None of your beeswax, ALPosts: 432Member Uncommon
    I personally am not a huge fan of trailers and most of them are a huge waste of money IMO. The occasional game footage trailer can be cool to give me an idea of what an upcoming game looks like, but at the end of the day I want to see real gameplay with the full UI and everything - basically I just want to see what I'd see if I were playing the game myself. Because at the end of the day a trailer doesn't tell you much about how a game will actually play upon release and that's the stuff I'm going to use to decide if I want to play or not.
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,453Member Uncommon

    I love trailers but I also put them in perspective.

    They are about "imagination" about "flavor". About imbuing a feeling.

    I never for one second expect a trailer to "be the game play". But that's not what they are "about".

    They are an encapsulation of an idea that the player, if he/she chooses, can sort of flavor their experience or at least help fuel their imagination.

    Anybody who expects the trailer to be game play or representative of the what they are going to experience was clearly born yesterday. At least trailers that aren't in game footage.

     
  • WraithoneWraithone Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 3,592Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dauzqul

    Trailers, IMO, are a complete waste of time and money (for MMOs)

    EXAMPLE: SWTOR's Hope Trailer - A small Republic force ambushes an unready Imperial force. Very heroic.

    REALITY: Ambush? Surprise? Is any of this in SWTOR? LOL. No. Instead, we get some sassy Huttball or Team Deathmatch Instanced PvP. It's garbage.

     

    I know that trailers are used to drive sales. But at what cost? SWTOR marketed the heck out of their game via trailers, yet now their entire company is the laughing stock of the genre.

     

    IF A MMO IS GOOD, PEOPLE WILL PLAY IT. It's that simple.

    TRAILERS are BS.

     
    A good read, though. I enjoyed it.

    Only to a limited extent. Its not really a case of "if you code it, they will come".  Especially these days, with all of the endless distractions, and time conflicts.  A good trailer can lead people to want to know more about a game (or a book, that was VERY well done ^^).   Managing peoples perceptions is just part of the over all effort. Its also why so many games fail, because they fail to address this.

  • mmoskimmoski plymouthPosts: 282Member

    Hmm.. You remember, I'm sure you do, you saw that advert, watched that film trailer, read the first few pages of a book...

    Found out that the item you brought was utter trash..

    Left the cinema half way through, bad acting, story, filming..

    Found the book to be mindless ramblings of indescribable dialogue..

    <Insert clip of GW bush messing up the fool me once quote>

    While each of us likes different things, as gamers we learn not to trust a game cinematic, and while a good cinematic is nice to convey a message and maybe make a sale, I don't remember a great game fail because it had no amazing cinematic(define greatness), but I do remember many bad games with a great cinematic. (bad being my perception of the game)

    Simply put, never trust a game till you see the gameplay.

  • WraithoneWraithone Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 3,592Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by mmoski

    Hmm.. You remember, I'm sure you do, you saw that advert, watched that film trailer, read the first few pages of a book...

    Found out that the item you brought was utter trash..

    Left the cinema half way through, bad acting, story, filming..

    Found the book to be mindless ramblings of indescribable dialogue..

    While each of us likes different things, as gamers we learn not to trust a game cinematic, and while a good cinematic is nice to convey a message and maybe make a sale, I don't remember a great game fail because it had no amazing cinematic(define greatness), but I do remember many bad games with a great cinematic. (bad being my perception of the game)

    Simply put, never trust a game till you see the gameplay.

    Its all just part of marketing. Its as true for games as for anything else. I totally agree about the game play. Thats the only way to know if you will enjoy a game. But many games have not been nearly as successful as they might have been (or have actually failed) due to poor or no marketing.

  • larrypsylarrypsy Laguna Woods, CAPosts: 34Member

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I never saw a trailer I didn't like.....

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • WylfWylf Brentwood, CAPosts: 159Member
    Originally posted by Wraithone
    Originally posted by mmoski

    Hmm.. You remember, I'm sure you do, you saw that advert, watched that film trailer, read the first few pages of a book...

    Found out that the item you brought was utter trash..

    Left the cinema half way through, bad acting, story, filming..

    Found the book to be mindless ramblings of indescribable dialogue..

    While each of us likes different things, as gamers we learn not to trust a game cinematic, and while a good cinematic is nice to convey a message and maybe make a sale, I don't remember a great game fail because it had no amazing cinematic(define greatness), but I do remember many bad games with a great cinematic. (bad being my perception of the game)

    Simply put, never trust a game till you see the gameplay.

    Its all just part of marketing. Its as true for games as for anything else. I totally agree about the game play. Thats the only way to know if you will enjoy a game. But many games have not been nearly as successful as they might have been (or have actually failed) due to poor or no marketing.

    Absolutely correct it's marketing.  mmoski's comments proved how important marketing is to a product (a game) though it appears, that it was not his intent to do so. Without marketing most players won't even realize a game (or book) exists.  A good trailer gets word of mouth exposure as well. Here Ms. Davis was brilliant in writing an interesting article, with some great clips that also effectively marketed her book. Nice job!

  • WraithoneWraithone Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 3,592Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Wylf
    Originally posted by Wraithone
    Originally posted by mmoski

    Hmm.. You remember, I'm sure you do, you saw that advert, watched that film trailer, read the first few pages of a book...

    Found out that the item you brought was utter trash..

    Left the cinema half way through, bad acting, story, filming..

    Found the book to be mindless ramblings of indescribable dialogue..

    While each of us likes different things, as gamers we learn not to trust a game cinematic, and while a good cinematic is nice to convey a message and maybe make a sale, I don't remember a great game fail because it had no amazing cinematic(define greatness), but I do remember many bad games with a great cinematic. (bad being my perception of the game)

    Simply put, never trust a game till you see the gameplay.

    Its all just part of marketing. Its as true for games as for anything else. I totally agree about the game play. Thats the only way to know if you will enjoy a game. But many games have not been nearly as successful as they might have been (or have actually failed) due to poor or no marketing.

    Absolutely correct it's marketing.  Wraithone's comments proved how important marketing is to a product (a game) though it appears, that it was not his intent to do so. Without marketing most players won't even realize a game (or book) exists.  A good trailer gets word of mouth exposure as well. Here Ms. Davis was brilliant in writing an interesting article, with some great clips that also effectively marketed her book. Nice job!

    I'm very aware of the importance of marketing. This is what I said in my comment above.

    "Only to a limited extent. Its not really a case of "if you code it, they will come".  Especially these days, with all of the endless distractions, and time conflicts.  A good trailer can lead people to want to know more about a game (or a book, that was VERY well done ^^).   Managing peoples perceptions is just part of the over all effort. Its also why so many games fail, because they fail to address this."

  • WylfWylf Brentwood, CAPosts: 159Member
    Originally posted by Wraithone

    I'm very aware of the importance of marketing. This is what I said in my comment above. "Only to a limited extent. Its not really a case of "if you code it, they will come".  Especially these days, with all of the endless distractions, and time conflicts.  A good trailer can lead people to want to know more about a game (or a book, that was VERY well done ^^).   Managing peoples perceptions is just part of the over all effort. Its also why so many games fail, because they fail to address this."

    I agree with you.

  • mCalvertmCalvert Tallahassee, FLPosts: 1,283Member
    If SWTOR was actually like the DICE trailers it would be the best game of all time. Sadly, trailers are usually better than the game.
  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,717Member Uncommon

    Nice trailer list indeed (though from TSW I'd pick this instead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A4i12-yhAA it's way cooler :) )

     

    While I dislike all the advertising crap, a well-made trailer is maybe the best way to promote the game. And with well-made I mean the ones with a story, a feeling or some fun element like the jazzy Leviathan: Warships trailer which had a thread here earlier.

    The typical flashy-exploding-caffeinated trailers, packed with ingame action but nothing else, are usually lame. I think.

     

     

    Originally posted by lizardbones

    The only thing that makes me angry about game trailers is when they do what DCUO did and not finish the story and not add to existing trailers when new content is released.

    Most DCUO trailers are ingame ones around a dlc, or the events or players, those don't have stories...

    you mean the cinematic ones? (like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7Nf-m6WGl4). That story is continued in the game itself :)

    or if that's not enough, you can still read the DCUO: Legends, it was a decent serie, nicely drawn, the writing was a bit average but still enjoyable.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,659Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dauzqul

    Trailers, IMO, are a complete waste of time and money (for MMOs)

    EXAMPLE: SWTOR's Hope Trailer - A small Republic force ambushes an unready Imperial force. Very heroic.

    REALITY: Ambush? Surprise? Is any of this in SWTOR? LOL. No. Instead, we get some sassy Huttball or Team Deathmatch Instanced PvP. It's garbage.

     

    I know that trailers are used to drive sales. But at what cost? SWTOR marketed the heck out of their game via trailers, yet now their entire company is the laughing stock of the genre.

     

    IF A MMO IS GOOD, PEOPLE WILL PLAY IT. It's that simple.

    TRAILERS are BS.

     
     

    You are confusing cinemetic trailer with gameplay trailer. The example you used, the Hope trailer, was created to drive interest and get people excited about the title. I agree with you that anyone who knew anything about the game itself would find it ridiculous, but that's not the audience they are targeting.

    "IF A MMO IS GOOD, PEOPLE WILL PLAY IT. It's that simple."

    The trailer is one of the ways to let people know about the game or its features. It doesn't make a difference how good a game is if people don't know it exists. SWTOR pitched to a wider audience than just the jaded bittervets, and gameplay footage is exponentially more pointless the wider the net you are casting because you are moving fruther away from the group that would even understand what they are looking at.

    Cinematic trailers convey the mood, theme or gameplay value in a way that gameplay footage simply cannot.

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • DignaDigna City, CTPosts: 2,014Member Uncommon

    Trailers are created to incite excitement for a game. They are carefully (or not so in some cases) created to make people want to play the game.

     

    For me trailers are fun 'shorts' to watch and then move on. They do not influence my liking/wanting (or the opposite) a game.

  • WylfWylf Brentwood, CAPosts: 159Member
    Originally posted by Dauzqul

    Trailers, IMO, are a complete waste of time and money (for MMOs)... 

    IF A MMO IS GOOD, PEOPLE WILL PLAY IT. It's that simple.

    TRAILERS are BS.

    Simply put , No matter how good an MMO might be, if players don't know it exists they will not play it.  Trailers are a valuable means of advertising a product.

  • Pest138Pest138 MPLS, MNPosts: 112Member Common

    I really enjoy some of the trailers but the recent CGI trailers  are very misleading.  TOR's trailers leading up to launch were fantastic to watch but the game itself was OK at best.

     

    Sometimes they are the best part of the game.

  • TheodwulfTheodwulf Brockton, MAPosts: 231Member Uncommon
    Warhammer had some great trailers, so did SWTOR....  nuff said
  • i love a good trailer, and will play it a bunch of times, it's nice to get excited about a game, however, i've never played a morg that lived up to its trailer
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