When a game drops off the radar so completely, only making its return not long before its release date, the average consumer is likely to be curious. But it’s a different kind of curious, one that’s already filled with doubt and uncertainty. Why did it drop off the radar like that?
While Remember Me never had that big of a marketing push and was overshadowed at last year’s E3 by Watch Dogs, it was a different premise that showed potential and for that people were definitely interested in it. Well, I sure was. But after a while it simply vanished. Nobody heard a word about it online and because of that any buzz surrounding the game seemed to vanish as well. I completely forgot it existed until it popped up to preorder on Steam a few months ago for the relatively low (in Australia) price of $50. A few people commented on it, and then it vanished again. Then last week, someone mentioned that it was being release in early June, two days from today, in fact!
Only now are people remembering Remember Me, and with that comes a lot of questions. Doubt sinks in – did they stop marketing because they thought it wouldn’t do so well? Is it a bad game?
They’re not the kinds of questions anyone would really want us asking the week said game launches and reviews start popping up.
Information and doubt are inextricably linked, and that’s a real shame. I can’t speak for the quality of Remember Me, but it’s sad that the lack of any big marketing push means a lot of people will undoubtedly ignore it. That’s always going to happen, but it’s sad that it does.
There doesn’t seem to be any balance when it comes to video game marketing. On one side of the scale you have games like Remember Me, which drop off the radar and reappear at the last minute, leaving people in doubt and almost morbidly waiting for reviews as if to confirm that doubt (at the time of writing, Remember Me has reviews across the ratings spectrum, which is interesting in itself, but a lot of that buzz is negative).
On the other side, you have the big AAA titles that are thrown at your face without tact, where sometimes it seems completely impossible to avoid it. Ad banners on every website, teaser trailers, teaser trailers for teaser trailers, feature after endless feature, until you know practically everything about a game before its release. Sometimes, knowing too much is just as bad as not knowing enough.
In the latter scenario it takes self-restraint to regulate the amount of media you’re willing to consume for each game. You’re interested in that game but only to a point – you don’t want to know everything and you don’t want to feel burned out by it. It’s up to you to control how much you know, but that shouldn’t be how it goes.
Neither of these scenarios are good. My Twitter feed is largely more interested in seeing why Remember Me had so little marketing over any genuine interest in the game itself. And we don’t like being beaten over the head by the same thing over and over again. Too much marketing can appear self indulgent – I’m looking at you, teaser trailer of Australian celebrities watching a Call of Duty: Ghosts trailer. You either don’t know enough about the game, or don’t care anymore because it’s been overshadowed by its own marketing.
At either end of the spectrum it’s awful that we won’t be judging a game based on quality but on its marketing (or lack thereof). But in cases like Remember Me, where the game hasn’t even had a moment to shine, and people are already relegating it to being a bargain bin purchase before too long, it’s even more awful.
It doesn’t matter if Remember Me is a great game or a terrible one. What matters is that it doesn’t feel like it ever really had a chance.