An awesome game need not an awesome trailer. Well-made products don’t require a huge up-front marketing push in order to drive pre-orders. They’ll sell themselves. I get suspicious when a game has an amazing trailer. Does the game suck so bad they need players locked-in before the game releases because when it releases, no one will buy it because it sucks? Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 is a good example. Far Cry 2 is another. Great trailers, terrible games.
The cinematic trailer for Elder Scrolls Online is more than awesome (see it below). It is a work of art. A masterpiece of video-game trailer-making. It’s also 8 minutes long, most of it Hollywood-caliber action. The guys who did it, Blur Studios, got bank on this one.
The trailer is a huge battle. Three good guys battle monsters and the dark minions of the Daedric Prince Molag Bal in a seemingly unwinnable situation. There’s an elf who uses magic, and a ranger, and a warrior who each do their own thing. The star is the elf, who stares down opponents as if they are more nuisance than formidable warriors before unleashing her wrath on them. At the end everything blows up, collapses, gets killed and buried, and it looks as though the good guys win, but a twist makes us ask who the good guys really are… Nice. Awesome. But how good is the game? Why such a spectacle? Are they simply throwing money at a problem — and could this problem be the plague of subscription MMORPG? That is, does it look good but play like an FTP such as Rift?
The trailer ends with, “Pre-Order Now”. Marketing 101 call-to-action, or a desperate plea…? We shall see.
It’s out on PC and Mac in April and on PS4 and Xbox One in June.