Listen to me Square Enix (…heh).
I’m going to give you a tip in how I believe you should market Final Fantasy.
Most of us gamers crave as much information as possible. But whatever you do, NEVER GIVE IT TO US. Teases us. Tempt us. Thrill us. Excite us! Just please, for the love of the Creator…
DON’T GIVE US A TRAILER UNLESS IT’S IN THE GAME!!!
Let us explode with passion over something we only have to think about. We’ll obsess over it all the same, only we won’t have anything to analyse. We won’t make 30 minute videos picking apart two minute trailers about what we think we’re seeing. And best of all, you won’t disappoint us, because we won’t expect anything we can’t see.
This way, you won’t lose anything in the process. In fact, you’ll only gain more. The constant rumination and word of mouth will be advertisement enough. You’ll gain constant exposure from your fan base, without wasting time and resources trying to pull a trailer that might be poignant and interesting but not relevant to the narrative of your game…
You did well with the awesome Final Fantasy VII’s Remake announcement at E3. Now the game has to come out in a reasonable time. This should be obvious. We need just about enough trailer and exposure of the finished product. If not, we’ll obsess over with what we won’t get.
Remember this scene:
Where is it?
Instead we got something a little bit more subdued. Nothing bad, but underwhelming. Underwhelming is what you get when you don’t deliver on what you promise.
Trailers are a promise to say:
“This is what is going to be in the game”.
You over-promise and under-deliver, people will notice. The word will spread, and maybe people who were going to purchase your games…might not.
Your smartest decision was telling Tetsuya Nomura “NO!” when he wanted to show off gameplay for E3. It was smart for two reasons.
First, without showing us how the battle system will work, you won’t risk alienating us on how it works.
Second, merely telling us you could have had something ready is enough. We’ll have hope that something’s coming. If we don’t have anything to go off of, we won’t speculate dates.
The gameplay might have been amazing! But in the case you might not deliver, it’s best to leave it out.
It’s a “win-win”. But a massive win for Square Enix most of all.
Ever since we were kids, we told each other: don’t talk about something you don’t have. Stop giving away too much. Stop telling us you’re building these awesome castles in the sky, only to give us muddy sand.
TL;DR: SquareEnix, stop overselling your Final Fantasy games!
…I’m still waiting for a response from Square Enix.