Nov 12, 2018 - 09:55 AM
Contributed by Reddit user: D_Flavio and re-posted with their permission
If it's a well known brand that doesn't need much hype, and is playing it relatively safe with new features and functionality that don't need much explanation - sure, you can have a "short burst" marketing blitz before the release (think COD series).
If it's a new type of game that will take some time to explain why people should be hyped about it - such as ground-breaking new features, or a new kind of control scheme, or gameplay mechanics never seen before, then the cycle is typically longer (RDR 2 / FO76).
You want to tease out new features slowly, so people have time to fully digest them before you tease the next thing - it also helps with publicity when you tease things out instead of revealing everything at once - publications will address new features as they are teased out so there is a steady stream of publicity for the game.
Slower cycles also allow a company time to address criticism over new features, whereas if they just blitzed and there was one feature people really hated they may not have enough time to react and lose sales due to something that might not even be a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
Of course, at the end of the day it all comes down to communication and knowing your audience. There have been some truly amazing games that didn't get the hype they deserve due to a lack of excitement about what makes them unique and cool before release (Gladius).
There is no one right answer, when it comes to marketing a game, but there are definitely wrong answers (NMS).
Contributed by Reddit user gunxblast and re-posted with their permission
There's something else to take into account : People like to read reviews before buying.
There has been countless episodes where a producer would not give a review version of the game to media publishers up until one week before the release. This is to me proof of no confidence in their own games.
They want journalists to rush the review of the game and miss the bad things or not have the time to write a thorough review before launch/not be able to warn the people that are buying day one that the game is shit.
Like you said, the first trailer is always crazy good. But we learned that a trailer does not make a game (Looking at you The Crew), therefore they have to give away more to the press (Gameplay reveal, etc.) in order to make players trust the producer more.
Truth is, most of the games that gets advertised a long time before they get released are huge titles that have enough marketing material to have an ongoing promotional campaign up to the release. Smaller games/producers are marketing closer to release than let's say a CoD or a Red Dead Redemption 2 is being advertised.
I'm pretty sure Activision did some market research regarding this considering the amount of money they spend on marketing. And I guess the bigger the budget, the more sense it makes to spend as much time promoting the title than developing it.