The Daily Grind: How early should an MMORPG’s hype cycle begin?

GIbiz put out an interesting piece this week looking 10 years into the past to see where the buzz was in the game industry back in 2008. It’s worth a read overall (that was the year some rando company called “Riot Games” snagged $7M in funding for something called “League of Legends” – pff, that’ll never go anywhere, amirite), but the segment I want to highlight this morning is the one about the industry hype cycle.

The long-ago author wonders just when the hype cycle for video games should begin, at least in terms of maximizing profits (and presumably not annoying consumers). He compares the Assassin’s Creed franchise to Prince of Persia, noting that the former’s hype cycle was twice as long as the latter’s – and performed significantly better. After all, we’re still talking about AC here in 2018!

It seems a fair topic for MMORPGs as well; for example, World of Warcraft expansion announcements and hype lulls, the difference in buzz lead-up between Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire, and the seemingly interminable Kickstarter MMO dev/hype/funding cycles are perennial subjects here.

How early should an MMORPG’s hype cycle begin? How long before the planned launch of a game or an expansion – or even a Kickstarter – do you actually want to hear about it?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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29 Comments on "The Daily Grind: How early should an MMORPG’s hype cycle begin?"

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Adri

Hype like massive ad campaigns maybe a few months (2-3) before launch. Talking about the upcoming game maybe a year or so in advance. For “normal” MMOs with no Kickstarter campaign that should be sufficient to not drain the future players.

ernost
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ernost

IMO it should start when the devs actually have at least a working Alpha build. It always irritates me when game devs try to hype up a game with just artwork (that may or may not even look like what the final game will)

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Sleepy

For an MMO, 3 months.

For Star Citizen, 3 decades.

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sizer99

Maybe a year… otherwise I’ll be tired of hearing about it by the time it comes out.

It’s much worse for WoW expansions because they announce them SO FAR in advance, and you know they’re not changing anything fundamental about the game mechanics (though they may shuffle the chairs quite a lot), so it’s hard to get excited. And then especially when everything you hear about an upcoming expansion (Battle for Azeroth) really makes you not want it that’s actually an incentive to quit now and go play something else.

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Jadefox

1 year for MMO’s. All I want is enough information to know if I should put the game on my radar.

Expansions 2-4 weeks. I want enough time to prep for any changes that may be in the expansion.

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Jeremy Barnes

The day before it’s launched.

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Dug From The Earth

Much much later than the trend has been, thats for sure.

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Pandalulz

For MMOs I could very generously give them a year for a full launch, and maybe more like three months for an expansion. I prefer less even than that myself as I get burnt out and move on before I can ever play the thing. Single player games shouldn’t really pass that three month mark either, I’m giving you heavy side-eye Bethesda and your ES6 announcement.

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Castagere Shaikura

Launch date is soon enough. I remember the No man’s sky hype was a year before launch.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

The day the developers decide they can announce a launch date. Not soft launch, cold launch, early access, or any of these other buzz word meaningless titles they have given over to labeling “still in development”. Actual, bleeding launch day.