Up For Debate - Do Games Reveal Too Much Before Launch?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sun, Mar 3, 2019 4:25 PM

Picture the scene. It’s E3 2018. The lights dim. Nintendo’s E3 Direct begins. Fans are hyped to see all of the potential announcements as the air fizzes with possibility.

What did we get? A frankly ridiculous 45 minutes on Super Smash Bros Ultimate, a game that was already announced. Nintendo then proceeding to detail practically every change in minute, yawn-inducing detail.

Just to top it all off, we got a run-down of around 65 playable characters coming to Smash Bros Ultimate. One by one. A handful were kept behind to tease for future directs, but by and large we got a blowout of every excruciating detail of the new Smash Bros. Any sense of mystery evaporated in an instant, and so too did my purchasing decision.

I found it bizarre, I really did. If they’d told me there were 72 fighters and then only revealed eight of them, the launch would’ve been incredibly exciting. Filled with the unknown as players worked away at unlocking the rest of the line-up. But there were no surprises because, in this age of social media and the clamour for news, we knew every teeny tiny detail before we could even play the damned thing.

And this isn’t exclusive to Smash either. It’s rare that a game can come along and genuinely surprise us because publishers are too keen to line-up marketing blitzkriegs. I’m getting Division 2 trailers sent to my inbox on a daily basis right now. It’s just not fun to know everything about something. Publishers usually have the sense to keep quiet about story spoilers but the narrative is usually the least interesting thing about a game anyhow. Anything mechanical or systems-based is broken down in excruciating detail long before launch, such that from a gameplay perspective it’s now extremely difficult to be surprised.

And yes, I know I’m coming at this from a specific angle where I’m writing about or reading about games on a pretty consistent basis, but I can’t be the only one longing for that sense of mystery to return. It’s what it used to always be about. When I picked up Zelda: Ocarina of Time on launch day, all I had were a couple of grainy screenshots in a magazine. Everything felt possible. These days there are about 500 GIFs of all the biggest and best things from any game on launch day.

What do you reckon then, is it about time publishers wind it in a bit and learn how to keep a surprise? Or do you love to find out everything to build your hype for a new release? Get voting and let us know why below!

Are Games Shown Too Much Before Launch?

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21:04 Mar-04-2019

For me, it depends, I am fine with them giving us some details. Because this can also help anyone making informed decision, if they are interested. But I definitely don't think they should spoil too much. There hast to be some surprise in game we didn't see in trailers. But it really depends on the game...

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21:06 Mar-04-2019

..., not everyone goes overboard with it.And sometimes it is unavoidable, like in case of World of Warcraft, where they have to have PTR and we rarely see surprises. But it is nice if you are given something to explore. Even if guides/playthroughs nowdays spoil everything in matter of days anyway.

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13:47 Mar-04-2019

Probably because of this I was hyped for skylanders ring of heroes. They revealed less gameplay and some news about their game and I was hyped about it.

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11:36 Mar-04-2019

I still remember the first trailers of Borderlands and I didn't see anything after it.


When I finally got to play the game it was totally different than what I expected and I liked it all the more for it.

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09:16 Mar-04-2019

depends to be honest a looter shooter like Anthem destiny or Division need to have their game mechanix and features explained but please keep the story under wraps, dont give us hints of what things we should focus first on the upgrade tree

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06:14 Mar-04-2019

I can't get enough of watching the same gameplay vid of Cyberpunk 2077 so I guess the only valid option for me is gimme more! :)

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19:23 Mar-03-2019

I´d rather have more information about the product they are selling then less. But you should always wait for reviews before buying.

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19:17 Mar-03-2019

To me it depends, if it is story spoilers I hate it but if it is gameplay purely to show you the mechanics and how the games work I am all for it, I love those 30min videos of actual gameplay footage with the devs explaining how it works...

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19:18 Mar-03-2019

... so that way I can easily decide if I am interested or not, games that only give you teasers are the ones that can end up being disapointing because we end up expecting too much, I know what I said is controvertial but it is how I feel

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19:11 Mar-03-2019

I find that the less I know about a game before playing, the more I am able to enjoy it. Showing me too much is very likely to only kill any interest I had in a game.

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19:14 Mar-03-2019

So sometimes I will intentionally avoid stuff about a certain game.


In the case of pokemon Sword and Shield, I feel like I have seen just enough from the Pokemon Direct. So I will be avoiding any more info on the games.

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18:04 Mar-03-2019

I preffer cinematic instead of gameplay ones, I don't mind spoilers that way as it doesn't show the actual game, and I am just noticing now that for a year or two we got much more gameplay trailers for games instead of cinematics, could be that devs re just lazy to make cin

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17:41 Mar-03-2019

Not if you don't watch much XD
Otherwise yes, yes they do.

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17:26 Mar-03-2019

Games definitely show too much before they launch. You have trailers, gameplay videos, closed and open betas, that by the game actually launches it feels like you have been playing it for months, and get tired of it rather quickly.

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16:36 Mar-03-2019

It's a hard balance. The less detail you give makes more of a mystery, that gets fans excited. But the less you show off then non-fans will not be interested.

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16:31 Mar-03-2019

I remember when the Dark Souls III DLC trailers spoiled all the bosses, did indeed ruined part of the fun.

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