Tuesday 15 February 2011

The making of a picture ought surely to be a rather fascinating adventure.

From the ArenaNet blog:

To build incredible online worlds, ArenaNet starts by hiring incredible people. You’ve seen some of the breathtaking work our artists have produced, and you’ve undoubtedly heard the groundbreaking ideas our designers have incorporated into Guild Wars 2. Well, even though QA isn’t responsible for making art or designing game systems, ArenaNet ensures that our team members are the best in the industry.

Looks like ArenaNet’s marketing has moved from game promotion into shareholder fellating. It’s the second time in as many posts that their marketing has grated, so for me it’s time to switch off the feed until the game gets released.

Honestly, if you can read through that post without throwing up in your mouth a little, well done you, and do carry on. I’m sure there’s a drinking game in there somewhere though; perhaps, take a drink every time you read a sentence that screams ‘I’m only saying this because my boss wants me to, then I can hopefully get out of QA and become one of the “legendary designers and developers that make up the staff here”‘. Perhaps I shouldn’t picture it being written by some poor sweating sobbing dishevelled individual, as marketing drones in tight black uniforms stand behind spot lamps and bark orders at him. “ACHTUNG! MORE GUSHING! SCHNELL!”

I rather like ArenaNet as a company; Guild Wars is an excellent game, and I’m looking forward to the new iteration of it, but for me the marketing tone has shifted from promoting to pimping, and it’s more likely to drive me away than make me want to play the game.

Maybe this is the way marketing has to be in the industry. Perhaps this is the sort of glossy rose-tinted reality that the ‘true’ fans are after. People within the industry may say that the sort of frothing self-congratulatory adulation that paints a picture-perfect presentation of how remarkable this particular MMO will be – of the sort that helped Mythic to win through so convincingly with the release of Warhammer Online – is a perfectly acceptable part of participating in the carnival of pre-release hype for an MMO. They may be right. But I don’t have to like it — and I don’t.

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