Games

Opinion: EA did not announce Apex Legends in advance because it was afraid

The company’s reputation and project format would play a cruel joke with him.

The release of Apex Legends took place very quickly . In early February, when the first rumors appeared , no one could even think about its readiness – however, the game already now has more than a million unique players. And this is after a brief half-hour presentation and without any advertising campaign before the release.

Christopher Dring , gamesindusty.biz, speculated why EA decided to do this. If the game had been announced earlier, it would not have been accepted so well – all because of the free-to-play format and the spoiled reputation of the publisher.

After a successful launch, Respawn producer Drew McCoy gave interviews to several publications. The material from Eurogamer slipped an important thought to understand the situation.

We are making a free game with lootboxes, this is not Titanfall 3 – and even after buying our studio EA. The perfect recipe for how a marketing plan can go to hell. So why all this – let’s just release the project and let the players play.

Drew McCoyproducer respawn

In the rumors it was known that the publisher was going to release the game almost the next day – and this introduced many into a stupor. The project had neither a pre-release rush nor an advertising campaign, nothing – and this despite the fact that Apex is in fact the first big IP from EA since 2014 (since the release of the first part of Titanfall). The release of the game “sneaked” right before another loud release of the new IP, Anthem. At first glance it might seem that the publisher is absolutely confident in the success of the new project.

However, in fact, it turns out that the EA simply had no choice.

It was not some bold experimental marketing initiative – rather an inevitable reaction to a losing PR situation.

Christopher Dringby gamesindustry.biz

Obviously, the publisher is not the best reputation. The players are very fond of Titanfall, but Luthboxes and free-to-play “hate” – therefore, it is quite expected, what thoughts about the company would arise during an early announcement.

Conspiracy theories would write themselves. “After EA sent Titanfall 2 to die in an extremely competitive month, the company bought out the business, made Titanfall 3 shut down and make a free game instead.”

Christopher Dringby gamesindustry.biz

And these theories would fit perfectly in the image of the publisher in the gaming community. You can imagine what the reaction of the players would be if Apex announced in the middle of E3: “Tricky comments on Twitter. Endless questions in an interview about the business model of the game. ” And this is against the background of news about how more and more employees leave Respawn in order to return to the “native” Infinity Ward.

Even if this is not the case, it would still definitely sound like the truth.

It doesn’t matter that Respawn boss Vince Zampella has never done bad games. It does not matter that the “royal battle” from world-renowned developers of shooters is an interesting thing. There is a lot of potential for negativity and anger.

So why risk it? Just release the game to avoid months of advertising hell, which only distracts and oppresses the developers.

Christopher Dringby gamesindustry.biz

EA has already come across this lately – when announced on E3 2018 a mobile Command & Conquer: Rivals. The players were very much waiting for the return of one of their favorite strategies, but clearly not in this form – they scoffed at the announcement, and the publisher did not want anything good. And this could be expected from the community, which has long wanted a full-fledged new game for the PC.

And in the end, Rivals has 4.5 stars out of 5 in the App Store, mobile players really like it, but nobody cares about that. “It was an EA. It was free-to-play. It was for phones. It was wrong. ”

Therefore, it is not surprising that Apex Legends did not have a pre-release PR campaign.

Christopher Dringby gamesindustry.biz

The problem of the gaming industry, according to Dring, is that negative stories generate a lot of noise in it – more than anywhere else in the media, including movies.

It is right that the media pay attention to the problems associated with Luthboxes or poor working practices. The point is not that these stories outweigh the others – it’s just the most discussions around them.

Christopher Dringby gamesindustry.biz

Because of this, publishers and developers are now simply afraid to show what they are working on. David U. Soliana, creative director of Ubisoft Milan, told his team to prepare for the worst before displaying Mario + Rabbids at E3. Sony and Microsoft have practically stopped showing something besides the main lines of the games, because the audience does not want to see “games for children or things like Move or Kinect”.

From here it becomes clear why Blizzard got so much negativity when they announced Diablo: Immortal. The game is not designed for the audience that it was shown. And that, as expected, was in anger.

How do you cope with negativity and skepticism in relation to everything that does not meet the expectations of buyers? Well, maybe Respawn has a solution: don’t give anyone a single chance to get angry, file a petition, or write violent tweets. Just release the game, and let a million people take a gamepad and play.

They liked it? Happy days. Not? Well, then Anthem comes out in a few weeks, and [Respawn], perhaps, will later do Titanfall 3.

Christopher Dringby gamesindustry.biz


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