Titanfall "Really Tough" to Market, Says Respawn

Titanfall "Really Tough" to Market, Says Respawn

Titanfall's lack of a scripted single player has made producing "movie like" trailers difficult.

While there have been some debatable bumps in the road, Titanfall has, by-and-large, been making good impressions among gamers and fans of first-person shooters. That good will set aside, its creators at Respawn Entertainment have recently expressed that the game's nature as a multiplayer only title has led to some conundrums when it comes to its marketing.

"It's actually been really tough trying to accurately market Titanfall," said producer Drew McCoy in a recent NeoGAF post. "If you look at what we've done, its a lot different than what most FPS games do. Without a bunch of highly scripted [single player] moments to recam from different angles, the usual 'movie like' trailer is just about right out." In turn the studio has taken to showing off "unedited gameplay segments that last 3-5 minutes" hoping to give players a feel for the "flow" of the game. Even so, McCoy claims that the sheer depth of Titanfall's gameplay can make it hard to accurately represent. "There's a huge amount of gameplay mechanics available at any one time, and encompassing them in a few minutes is actually quite hard to do."

Granted, showing off the breadth of a complex game in a small window can be difficult. That said, we're not quite convinced that Titanfall is such a unique game that it couldn't be portrayed in "the usual 'movie like' trailer." In fact, previous trailers have arguably done a fair job of utilizing in-game footage and seemingly more cinematic moments to construct movie-ish trailers. That being the case, we'll give some kudos to Respawn. Even if the game isn't giving them much material to edit together, they've done decently so far.

Source: NeoGAF

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Here's a thought: don't try to sell us what isn't in the game! If your game is all about multi-player action, then your trailer should reflect that. There is no need to make a cinematic narrative for a trailer if that isn't the focus of the game.

Exactly what Fappy said. Instead of making a "movie like" trailer, make a game like trailer. Oh wait, that would be a demo. And we can't use old models of selling games. Listening to the Roosterteeth guys talking about getting burnt out on demos and games being early accessed to death, shows that not everyone likes that experience.

Oh, how about a demo that is just the single player experience. You have no one to shoot at, but you could get used to the wall hopping bits, and learn levels... I really like my own idea, lol.

Fappy:
Here's a thought: don't try to sell us what isn't in the game! If your game is all about multi-player action, then your trailer should reflect that. There is no need to make a cinematic narrative for a trailer if that isn't the focus of the game.

Please don't try to make sense. You're going to confuse the marketing people. They might suddenly start showing the truth about the games.

I hate trailer that aren't showing anything about the real game. Cinematic trailer may be pretty, but in many cases they can give the wrong impression about a game (compare Blizzard cinematics with the final games for example - or can anyone remember the epic SWTOR trailers?).

Yeah I really don't see the fuss here. Most gamers know by now that trailers are pretty misleading so making a trailer that is entirely gameplay is probably a better move anyway.

Never saw Battlefield having these problems... they have tons of other problems but this wasnt one of them

IT'S GIANT FUCKING ROBOTS! HOW IS THIS SO HARD TO MARKET?

seriously try "Blow all of the shit up in giant Robots!"

Since when have AAA companies been worried about "accurate" marketing?

Just slap some googly eyes on the titans and put the ad on during Teletubbies to grab the toddler market.

Frankly, I think Call of Duty (gasp!) had the right idea regarding marketing for its multiplayer, which is undoubtedly its selling point.

Not that Titanfall should necessarily take the same direction, but it would be paramount to selling the game as a narrative.

Good, I'm sick of "movie like trailers" there is never anything in them, plus you miss most of it 'cos they are like 1 or 2 second flashes ... which means videos appear on youtube "dissecting" the trailer, which means you have videos about videos about games.

Just show me a typical length trailer but instead of the usual stuff, show me an awesome moment, like what you have been doing! Wall run, jump through a window, spray a guy and then snap a guys neck is a lot more interesting than the black ops 2 trailer.

The causal gamer might watch that and be blown away but (I am assuming) the more dedicated gamer will watch that and think "there is only about 12 seconds of gameplay, there wasn't much to that!". We've all seen these kinds of trailers, that initially make you think "wow" but after watching it you think "it was all scripted (probably pre-rendered) shit, that didn't actually let me see what the game would be like".

Multiplayer only title? Well that -and the fact that it's co-opted by EA- means that it's a none purchase here. Games like Natural Selection II are multiplayer only, but they got marketed just fine to their perspective audience with nice trailers, content, and PRICING. See that caps locked item? Ya, it's that important. A multiplayer only game should only cost a fraction of full package games, and not cost the full $60 that companies like Respawn want to charge.

I realize that it isn't exactly the same situation, but my mind can't help but wonder to thinking about Team Fortress 2 when they complain about having no in game single player narrative to build marketing around. TF2 had the same position, but built a story outside of the game to advertise the game and the various augmentations to gameplay they've had over the years. Actual gameplay in the trailers and shorts for TF2 is practically non existent as well.

Now that I think about it, TF2's marketing has rather little to do with the gameplay in most instances and yet it practically prints money... I wonder if they use subliminal messaging...

Deathfish15:
A multiplayer only game should only cost a fraction of full package games, and not cost the full $60 that companies like Respawn want to charge.

But it's NOT just a multiplayer game...it's "a multi-player game with a STRONG single player narrative..." HA! Sorry! I can't finish that. Yeah, it'll be interesting to see if this game winds up like Brink. I'm most interested to see how they are going to balance the Titans:

- you want to make them behemoths worth investing in. If they're paper thin and easily destroyed, they're a novelty.
- you don't want to make them such unstoppable juggernauts that the best player on the map gets one, and then it's game over (like the J10 in battlefield 2 - in the hands of a skilled pilot, there was no bringing it down)

So you want them strong enough that they're worth using, and can swing the tide, but not so strong that they grind everyone else's experience to a halt.

I like the game section 8. I enjoy the sequel as well, but I feel it began chasing the COD audience to make it just enough of a departure from the original to be a little disappointing. However, you could earn money through in-game actions and request equipment. A tank cost a lot of money, and was a chore for the enemy to bring down, but the developers said "that's the point. A tank should not be something that a single solider can run up to with explosive and take out. We wanted the tank to be this force that required the other team to work together to take out. It had to have an "oh shit! The enemy's got a tank!" presence." They wanted teamwork to be paramount and in both Section 8, and the Sequel, the team working together kicked ass. No, you couldn't "one man army" all over the map, but that was the point of the design. You had to pick your battles/play to your strengths. Even a single guy in a tank was no match for a coordinated team effort to take him down, and that was the point. I'm wondering if they're gonna to the "enemy titan deployed! We have to work together," route, or the "enemy titan deploy, but it's no biggie. I'll wall-run, plant C4, and take him out" route.

I think that going the "we have to work together" route will alienate the "One Man Army" crowd. Which I suspect is the reason that they have low player cap, and several bots - to give everyone enough fodder to be able to purchase their own titans, so you're not at the mercy of the skilled players. Time will tell.

JPArbiter:
IT'S GIANT FUCKING ROBOTS! HOW IS THIS SO HARD TO MARKET?

seriously try "Blow all of the shit up in giant Robots!"

Seems like that would do the trick.

Anyone who read this article and then posts on the message boards probably already has a pretty good idea whether they're going to buy Titanfall on launch day, wait for the reviews or give it a pass. But, there are a whole lot of gamers who are, er, less passionate that need to be convinced, and that's the marketing guys' challenge.

A few short videos showing the various types of mechs blowing stuff up should be "cinematic" enough to get the point across. And if the resulting explosions aren't spectacular enough to sell Titanfall on their own merit, then the problem isn't the marketing... it's the game!

They are being idiots right? I mean, as its been said, a multiplayer game must be marketed as multiplayer, and tons of multiplayer games have badass trailers.... I mean come on!! Respawn entertainment and make a fucking Machinima!!! :)

Its call of duty with Mechs...
How the hell is that hard to market?

"It's actually been really tough trying to accurately market Titanfall."
I think this is just a clever ruse to make us think that accuracy was ever a goal these marketers were aiming for.

Fappy:
Here's a thought: don't try to sell us what isn't in the game! If your game is all about multi-player action, then your trailer should reflect that. There is no need to make a cinematic narrative for a trailer if that isn't the focus of the game.

I second this opinion, A game like this can be sold very easily by focusing on the main mechanic: mechs. Just show fast-paced, wall-running, pilot combat before having the titans drops and we get a giant robot fight.

You don't need to make a game look like a movie, you need to make it fun to play and the combat is what would make it fun

Fappy:
Here's a thought: don't try to sell us what isn't in the game! If your game is all about multi-player action, then your trailer should reflect that. There is no need to make a cinematic narrative for a trailer if that isn't the focus of the game.

That, OR add a fucking single-player campaign to a full-priced retail game

Just sayin'...

LOL.. looks like it's not that tough to market after all.. all you need to do is claim it's tough to market, and poof, free advertising!

I don't get it. The concept markets itself. It sounds like there is a disconnect between what will actually sell the game and what the marketing dept. *thinks* the audience wants to see in ads in order to sell the game. Seriously, just show gameplay. They don't need scripted trailer-moment, money-shots to promote this thing.

In fact, every time I see an ad for a game that refuses to show gameplay footage, I wonder, "why not?". It automatically makes me think the game is hiding something - a secret of actually being crap - behind the FMV curtain, and cut-scene trailer shot smoke screen.

They really seem to be over-thinking how to make this thing move.

Just put some people shooting running around shooting and watching the mechs and add a "Halo-CoD" at the top and you're set.

Seriously though, "movie-like" trailer? I would expect something more... "game-like" from a... you know, a game.

This is a good thing. It's incredibly misleading when companies show movie shots things that just aren't in a game. It's a better move to show the ingame. Or, if you are going to advertise in a way that is fun, I do remember some pretty funny ads for Battlefield Bad Company 2 that didn't have any of that cinematic BS.

Megacherv:

Fappy:
Here's a thought: don't try to sell us what isn't in the game! If your game is all about multi-player action, then your trailer should reflect that. There is no need to make a cinematic narrative for a trailer if that isn't the focus of the game.

That, OR add a fucking single-player campaign to a full-priced retail game

Just sayin'...

I'd rather not see another generally scripted FPS single player campaign that's so linear it makes FF XIII seem free roam.

That being said, I think Titalfall isn't going to perform too well on release. We've seen next to no gameplay since the usual scripted E3 showing and that 6v6 player limit announcement is hurting them specifically because of the Dev team's COD related history and the news of the maps being able to hold 50 combatants including AI. Not to say it needs 50 players on the map, but perhaps 12 would have worked better?

I know that people have argued that CounterStrike is best played 5v5/6v6, and it is. But CS has small tight maps where that works. If the Titanfall maps are going to be sprawling then perhaps 6v6 is a bit small. We won't know til we see the game though.

What I don't get is how lacking in being receptive Respawn has been with this game. They were surprised that Japanese gamers like the idea of Giant Robot Combat. Japan gave us Giant Robot Combat. How could they not figure that out?

Methinks EA would have been smarter just paying Respawn to make a proper spiritual successor to Battlefield 2142 or Mechwarrior.

Titanfall might actually be fun mutli-player action, but the story is probably a typical scifi cliche fest and that doesn't matter when you're rocket jumping into a mech cockpit. Halo's multiplayer didn't even make sense storywise; why are the super soldiers that are mankind's last hope killing each other over a flag? I don't got time to care. I gotta beat the red guy with this flagpole while I run from his base.

nodlimax:

Fappy:
Here's a thought: don't try to sell us what isn't in the game! If your game is all about multi-player action, then your trailer should reflect that. There is no need to make a cinematic narrative for a trailer if that isn't the focus of the game.

Please don't try to make sense. You're going to confuse the marketing people. They might suddenly start showing the truth about the games.

I hate trailer that aren't showing anything about the real game. Cinematic trailer may be pretty, but in many cases they can give the wrong impression about a game (compare Blizzard cinematics with the final games for example - or can anyone remember the epic SWTOR trailers?).

Oh, Yeah. The Lich King trailer looked like some awesome CGI fantasy movie I'd pay to see, then I saw the WoW logo and went into negative interest. Then, we all see those SWTOR trailers and forget they're advertising an MMORPG for a few minutes and just enjoy the Star Wars movies we deserved but never got.

If you're making a game you should advertise the game not just the story. Give a couple seconds of cinematics then explain why these robots are fighting while showing us actual gameplay. Otherwise if the game turns out to suck or at least dose not deliver on its hype, a few vocal people are going to spread the word not to play it based on how much disappointment they have in it.

My heart goes out to all the poor marketing people having such a hard time getting online military shooters featuring giant fucking robots to sell. Truly, you guys are doing the hardest of work. Atlas would shudder. Sisyphus would give up. But in this dreadful hour, you rose to the call.

Godspeed, you magnificent bastards.

JPArbiter:
IT'S GIANT FUCKING ROBOTS! HOW IS THIS SO HARD TO MARKET?

seriously try "Blow all of the shit up in giant Robots!"

Yeah, I know, that is what I was thinking. You have giant robots falling out of the sky to assist/kill soldiers parkouring around an arena and you are having trouble marketing it? It has some of the most visually impressive gameplay you could hope to be given and your complaint is that it doesn't have scripted scenes you can make a movie out of?

Megacherv:

Fappy:
Here's a thought: don't try to sell us what isn't in the game! If your game is all about multi-player action, then your trailer should reflect that. There is no need to make a cinematic narrative for a trailer if that isn't the focus of the game.

That, OR add a fucking single-player campaign to a full-priced retail game

Just sayin'...

Yes, because shoehorning multi-player into single-player games has worked so well in the past, we should definitely start doing the reverse!

Since it's an Xbox One/PC exclusive, just give a free week to those with Gold subscriptions. As long as the game is truly entertaining, plenty of people will purchase the full game, especially since everyone is going to be looking for something to play on their fancy new consoles.

Hell, just capture 30 seconds of fun looking gameplay with a good voice-over and you have a winning advertisement. The various videos I've seen of Titanfall had me hooked right away until I learned it was multiplayer only. I'm not interested in MP only anymore. Did that with MAG, which I admit I got my money's worth out of, but I'm not looking to do that again. Sad thing is MAG had up to 128 v 128 which I played numerous times with no lag, no crash, etc. and Titanfall is maxing out at 6 v 6? Seriously?? Sure, graphically it is the far superior game, but they should still be able to do better than 6 v 6.

Movie-like trailers? How about game-like trailers. Because games.

Also Titanfall can't be tough to market at all. "We're making a futuristic online first person shooter with giant walking robots in it."

And then everybody buys the game.

Good fucking grief, is this what we have come to?
Is AAA so complacent, so reliant on one-note shit tropes that they're complaining about how it is hard to market GAMEPLAY for a VIDEO GAME?

Drew McCoy:
"It's actually been really tough trying to accurately market Titanfall...If you look at what we've done, its a lot different than what most FPS games do. Without a bunch of highly scripted [single player] moments to recam from different angles, the usual 'movie like' trailer is just about right out."

I fail to see the problem here, because those highly scripted moments? THEY FUCKING SUCK.
They rip control out of the player's hands, occasionally barf up a shitty quick-time-event, and worst of all, none of the awesome stuff is happening because of anything the player did except enter the trigger zone for the script.

That "movie like" experience is not something you should be aiming for in the first place as far as I'm concerned, because when I play a video game, I expect the GAMEPLAY to be the focus.
I expect a "game like experience".

So pardon me for not feeling terribly sympathetic here.

McCoy claims that the sheer depth of Titanfall's gameplay can make it hard to accurately represent. "There's a huge amount of gameplay mechanics available at any one time, and encompassing them in a few minutes is actually quite hard to do."

HOLY FUCK! HOW DO WE SHOW THE MASSES HOW CLIMBING INTO A MECH WORKS?!
OR WALL RUNNING?! OR SHOOTING!?

How about with a short demo? Like a pre-game demo even.
What's that? You don't know what those are?

Well, back in the day, most games had these things called "Demos" (or Splash Demos, pre-game demos) that would play if you let the Starting/Splash screen idle for too long. It stemmed from an old practice used in arcade cabinets to prevent screen burn-in and advertise the game in proximity.

The practice continued on consoles until old CRT TVs were effectively phased out of production.

In either case, the demo also served a neat, albeit limited purpose: showing the player what could happen in the game they were about to play. The cuts weren't all that long, usually no more than a minute or two and sometimes employed edits to other parts of the game.

But the core thing here was THEY SHOWED STRAIGHT UP GAMEPLAY FOOTAGE. Not just doctored action scenes ripped from a James Bond film.

I think you guys could learn a thing of two from that. Just sayin'.

 

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