At E3 we got to see a whole bunch of game trailers. From the seven minute epic trailer of Star Wars: The Old Republic “Hope,” to the two minute Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millenium first time game play trailer. Game Trailers are critical in catching their audience and play an essential part in whether or not gamers buy your game.
In my opinion the best game trailer ever was Warhammer Online’s trailer from Blur Studios. Not the first one, the second one with the huge battle. This was one of the best Warhammer pieces ever made. The same can be said for last year’s Old Republic Trailer with the Sith storming out of the ship inside the Jedi Temple, pure awesome.
The issue is, how much of these movie trailers actually portray game play? While Blur Studios is insanely talented, are these trailers an accurate portayal of how the game will play out? They are epic don’t get me wrong and they also create just enough hook to get you into the game, but then it is up to the game deisgners to keep you there.
Blizzard has a history of epic trailers as well, and while WoW originial trailer was very cool, the game play was quit different. The Wrath of the Lich King trailer was a huge disappointment for me as I expected more action, oddly enough, Northrend turned out to be much more fun than its trailer.
As a gamer, I want to see game play. I want to know what I will be looking at for 3-4 hours a night and generally months on end as I level up, play in the end game, and make decisions about my character. I want to know how the game works. For me, a trailer needs to give me that information and lately more and more game trailers have not.
This is one area where the movie industry has influenced the game industry. Someone, somewhere in some board room has decided that games need an epic trailer to pull the audience in. I like to think as gamers we are much smarter and look much more closely at games before we decide to buy them, than just being sold on a few minute movie. They don’t make bad movie trailers, but how many times have you seen a movie when all the best parts are in the trailer?
Overall I do feel there is an important place for game trailers in the world. However, I do feel strongly that the trailer should reflect the game, not some stirred up movie. You spend endless hours developing and designing the game, show us that instead of a movie which is costing a fortune.
Although I have to admit, the movie trailers do rock, they don’t give us the in depth look we deserve as players who will spend hours upon hours in the game.