Respawn Struggling With Titanfall Marketing
Titanfall, the first game from Respawn, formed of refugees from Call of Duty creator Infinity Ward, has a huge profile, and yet apparently Respawn has had trouble merketing it. Apparently, a multiplayer game with mechs from the creators of Call of Duty is difficult to explain to people, or so producer Drew McCoy claims on NeoGAF.
“Its actually been really tough trying to accurately market Titanfall. If you look at what we’ve done, its a lot different than what most FPS games do. Without a bunch of highly scripted SP moments to recam from different angles, the usual “movie like” trailer is just about right out. Instead, we’ve decided to show unedited gameplay segments that last 3-5 minutes (so far – more footage coming, of course!) to show the “flow” of the game. Starting as a Pilot, taking on AI and other player Pilots, wall running around a Titan, earning your Titan, climbing in, battling other Titans while stomping on humans, ejecting, etc. There’s a huge amount of gameplay mechanics available at any one time, and encompassing them in a few minutes is actually quite hard to do.
Its also why we took an extremely early pre-alpha build of the game to events like Gamescom, PAX, etc. to let normal dudes hands-on time with the game. There’s no amount of polished marketing that can replace playing the actual game.”
Ah, yes, it doesn’t have a solo campaign full of scripted sequences and so “usual” trailers aren’t an option, and they instead have to make gameplay vids and trailers, which are completely unprecedented. I’m rolling my eyes right now.
This is the trailer for Titanfal from Microsoft’s press conference at E3 last summer.
I do think that gets the point across. Explaining the ins and outs of the experience is what gameplay videos are for, which is why every AAA game has many of those. In truth, McCoy’s comment is very Levine-esque, in that it gives the impression Respawn is probably bunkered and not paying much attention to the rest of the industry. That’s not an insult, or it’s not intended as one; this comment doesn’t indicate anything about the quality of the game, so it doesn’t really matter that much. And it’s a common thing for creators, honing in so closely on what you’re doing that you forget to look outside occasionally.