Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The dangers of overhyping a game

We had an internal discussion at SCS Software recently about this blog and the amount of news and pictures that we are posting or not posting. Opposing opinions were voiced about what our strategy should be when it comes to the blog and in general to the information that we release.

Some people expressed their concern that we may be overhyping the game(s) from the point of view of the truck sim fans, that we will oversature you with information and visual material long before the game release. And when it comes to ETS2 release, we are still long way from the finish line - the final date is not yet set in stone, but it is definitely well over half a year from now!

The concern is that if we push too hard, the fans will be fed up by the time we are ready for release. And there is also the danger that so much hype will make an impression that the game is going to be so fabulous that when you see it eventually, you will be disappointed that this or that feature that you requested did not make it into the game. Euro Truck Simulator 2 may will be a huge step from our previous games, no doubt about it, but if we do not "manage expectations" of the fans properly, and the community ends up disappointed, it may hurt us a lot. Already the extra fan requests when compiled into a wish list would add another two years to the development schedule, and this is something that we just cannot afford, and we also think that you would not want to wait for so long. This is quite a lot of potential frustration that may be unleashed on us when Euro Truck 2 hits the market.

On the other hand, the blog is not traditional PR, it is not the typical big campaign marketing bombardment done for big games through big media. It is intended to satisfy the hunger for information of the most loyal fans, and it seems that the hunger is really there. And maybe it is actually bringing new fans into the community, new potential customers eagerly awaiting the release of our games.

So the big question is, should we step on the brakes a bit and post news, images and movies less frequently? Or on the other hand, should we push pedal to the metal and give you more? Well we think we know what kind of answer we will most likely hear from you, but still, we thought you should be aware that we are facing this dilemma, and wanted to hear what your opinion is in support of either side of the argument. Perhaps we can even be persuaded to start releasing information about the other truck sim game that we are still keeping in secret, even though it will be actually launched before ETS2.

One more image from Poland posted here as a way of saying thanks for reading such a long text and taking the time to think about it ;-).