Why God of War 3 Doesn't Need Aggressive Marketing

By Adam Ma on March 9, 2010, 2:10PM EDT

As we get closer to the release of God of War III, fans are eating up every bit of information they can get. The men and women at Sony are keeping a tight lid on this one however, with only the occasional trailer here, a screenshot there, and the unveiling of the box set for fans to chew on. That's exactly the way it should be. As a culture we tend to get a little obsessed with how much information we can learn before something even happens, and it's created a lot of false hopes and empty promises. God of War III is better off without it.

It's hard to imagine a game without a massively aggressive marketing campaign these days, where console superiority is seemingly defined by the quality of the games released. Bayonetta plowed on with live model comparisons, art contests, 'sexy' screenshots and developer diaries about the character design and combat system for months. Dante's Inferno is another great contender for King of Ads with details regarding the circles of hell spanning months on end. All games now have obligatory screenshot comparisons and fanboy compare/contrast discussions. This is particularly bad in the case of sequels, games that already have an established fanbase developers feel the need to feed.

God of War III has done none of this, and that's what makes it a great game already. With only a single demo and a few select screenshots I'm already confident that this game will meet every single expectation I have for it. It's the third game in its series, most likely a closing to the saga, and unlike developers that make grand promises (Halo: ODST) or titles that assure us that their title will change the way games are played (MAG), God of War III has simply promised more of the same. What else could a gamer ask for?

What most marketing teams get so worked up about is the opposite of what most gamers really care about. New items, weapons, attacks, and downloadable content are thrown in our faces like a barrage of confetti, demanding our attention instead of politely asking. We don't care about how many new things are in the next Zelda, or how many different guns the next Medal of Honor will have. What we do care about is how the core mechanics of the game that we fell in love with will be left intact or improved upon. That's what God of War III's demo was all about showcasing, and that's why we haven't heard anything else about it. With luck we'll see a classier, more propaganda free 2010.

blog comments powered by Disqus