The Impacts of Hype

I waited for this one for a LONG time.

The hype machine was at an all time high way before the reviews for Bioshock: Infinite started coming in.  The said reviews, cleverly released the day before the game was available, only served to push the whole thing through the roof.  Though, if you read enough of them you could definitely see some of the cracks forming.  A jump and a skip to the forums and you begin to see other disenchanted users popping up here and there.  Now that it’s been a couple weeks since the release and all the dust has settled, I started to wonder if Irrational, or perhaps 2K, may have overdone it a bit. 

The last 6 months brought almost a overload of information about the game.  It seemed like a regular stream of biweekly trailers was being released.  If not direct gameplay samples, they were fictional documentaries about the city of Columbia.  There were many interviews with Kevin Levine.  He was popping up everywhere.  There were whole features created just talking about the creation of the various characters within the game.  At some point in time, you would think a marketing person would wonder, is this too much?   Where is the fine line where over-marketing will begin to cause negative feelings towards your product?  I am not a marketing major but I would assume there is some sort of science behind this.  Does it feel like Irrational and 2K did a bit too much?  While I didn’t think so a week before the release, I am not so sure now.

I do understand that the main factor in all of this is me, or more specifically my choice to consume all of this marketing.  Heck, I was waiting for all of this information; craving to see more and more of what this world was going to offer.  So if I feel like I had too much, I probably only have myself to blame.  Still, I wonder if there isn’t a better middle ground that can be achieved or at least a focus on a specific approach.  While there is no question in my mind the Bioshock: Infinite is a fantastic game that was in every ounce worth the wait, I feel like its hype has doomed it from ever reaching the classic level that the original Bioshock achieved.

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