Is the Lack of Hype for Thief 4 Good or Bad?
There’s been a distinct lack of hype for the upcoming release of Thief 4 thus far, even more so given its release on both Xbox One and PS4. Sure, there are launch trailers popping up all over the internet, interviews with big sites and walkthroughs and so forth, yet there still seems to be a distinct lack of excitement or anticipation building up around the game. But is this advantageous or something to be concerned about?
Perhaps the strong roots the franchise has with the PC audience, and the gap between releases, has allowed Thief 4 to go under the radar, almost. Given the franchise’s consistent quality, it feels like Thief 4 deserves more of the spotlight, especially since it’s one of the most anticipated, ostensibly ‘big’ games to hit both new consoles in early 2014. But the game simply does not seem to have much of a presence in print media or online–at least in terms of adverts and other forms of marketing.
Worryingly, the lack of presence could hurt the game’s commercial success, and given how one poorly selling game can end a studio, this is a pretty big risk to run. It’s worrying that a new entry in an established franchise is (no pun intended) sneaking out onto store shelves as opposed to making its presence well known. It’s not even that the genre is niche–the success of Dishonoured disproves that theory–or that the market is over-saturated. Early adopters of the PS4 & Xbox One are crying out for games to play on their new machines, yet a decent number of people seem unaware of Thief 4‘s impending release.
Alternatively, one could argue that the lack of hype surrounding the game could be an overwhelming positive; after all, if a game has no hype it’s hard to be disappointed. Going into a game with little-to-no knowledge of its content often results in unearthing a new favorite. With little expectation there is rarely room to be disappointed, and this could allow Thief 4 to achieve the status of cult hit–and even earn success via word of mouth.
Also, Thief 4‘s mission structure is very open-ended, meaning the world of let’s play videos, video streamers, and just general chatter about experiences within the game could be enough to cover the lack of marketing. It seems highly possible, much in the same way Skyrim was/is, that each person will have their own approach and experiences to discuss.
Thief 4 marks the start of a year packed full of big games, as well as the return of a much-loved franchise. While the walkthroughs, gameplay videos, and trailers hint towards at least a solid game, the proof will be in the finished product, as always. The lack of marketing and buzz could be a blessing in disguise, but nevertheless, it still carries a significant element of risk. Hopefully Thief 4 proves to be a fantastic experience and is met with the appropriate success, proving that consumers are interested in more than just run-of-the-mill corridor shooters.