Not actual gameplay footage

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sirpigmeat
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Not actual gameplay footage

Post by sirpigmeat » Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:30 am

This popped in my head for some reason today. About black marketing techniques in the game industry and such. I remember sort of around the original PS time when they'd play these glorious cutscenes from games or stuff that wasn't even in the game as if that's what the game looked like throughout. And now of course you get the Not actual in-game/gameplay footage disclaimer. I was wondering if this was forced on game companies by some kind of advertising regulator or was it self-regulation demanded by gamers or something?

It really popped in my head thinking about all those game boxes with the glorious artwork which barely matched the gameplay/graphics one bit. In the spectrum era I think i'd normally buy a game based on the cover art alone so it certainly must have worked well.

I also remember reading the interview in retro gamer with the sega boss talking about how they spread the "Nintendo kiddie console" thing which seems to have worked so well its still around. (reminds me of, I think it was Nixon, spreading the rumour that his opponent f**ked pigs and when told no-one would ever believe it saying "yeah but all we have to do is get him to deny it!" or somesuch) :lol:

Anyway, whats the worst examples people know of "Not actual gameplay footage", unrepresentative box art and black marketing techniques used in the game industry?

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Treguard
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by Treguard » Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:00 am

Not black marketing so much as complete censored up, but I remember buying Saracen for the Amstrad based on the screenshots on the back of the cassette... which I have since discovered come from He-Man on the C64! Saracens a good game, but looks nothing like the screenshots, it's not even a platformer.

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DPrinny
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by DPrinny » Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:46 am

This applys to almost everything EA slap those words on

Also all those GT demos of cars racing round tracks at show off angles


Think the most recent one was Watch Dogs, the videos compared to the final product

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paranoid marvin
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by paranoid marvin » Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:02 pm

Well there's always Sinclair User's review of Nemesis, which had completely different graphics to the version the rest of us got


Sinclair User's version

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Everyone else's version

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paranoid marvin
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by paranoid marvin » Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:12 pm

Then there's Codemaster's games. 'Awesome graphics!" "Amazing gameplay!" were a couple of the quotes on the front of the cassette inlay. Great until you realised that the quotes were made by the people who wrote the games!

Then there's the games that didn't have screenshots on the box ; usually for a reason! For example US Gold didn't want people to know that World Cup Carnival was actually Artic's World Cup Football until they'd got it home. And Breakthru (if I recall correctly) on the Speccy had arcade screenshots on the box; USG really were very naughty!
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DPrinny
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by DPrinny » Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:25 pm

^well its better than all those indie games spouting "8bit graphics" as a feature

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paranoid marvin
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by paranoid marvin » Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:27 pm

DPrinny wrote:^well its better than all those indie games spouting "8bit graphics" as a feature

Haha, yeah. To be fair Codemasters claims weren't too far off the mark , as they usually did feature decent graphics and gameplay (at budget level anyway).
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RodimusPrime
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by RodimusPrime » Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:23 am

I remember a big fuss made over one of the Killzone games.

I remember the Amstrad/spectrum/C64 games where the magazine ads and screenshots on the back of the box only showed the ST and amiga versions.

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r0jaws
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by r0jaws » Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:31 am

RodimusPrime wrote:...I remember the Amstrad/spectrum/C64 games where the magazine ads and screenshots on the back of the box only showed the ST and amiga versions.
That used to confuse me TBH. Why would they set themselves up to disappoint their customers? I know it's "marketing" but it wasn't savvy marketing. People expecting, obviously not the screens they saw on the back of the box, but as close an approximation as a speccy or c64 could manage, and then getting something considerably worse than what was pictured anyway is always going to put a negative spin on any product.
Not that it mattered much, I still bought the games anyway and my imagination filled in the gaps. As long as the game play was close enough to the original arcade, I'd forgive just about anything.

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outdated_gamer
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by outdated_gamer » Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:46 pm

I was once reading an article in a game mag about how the publishers tend to show unrealistic/photoshopped pics from games, claiming that they are "in-game footage". It's nothing new really. For example Lands of Lore III had only pre-rendered pics published to the mags but the actual game looked nothing like it. There are also examples where the pics on the backside of game boxes didn't look anything like the game itself. This practice dates back to the 8-bit times, when some publishers decided it was a good idea to put the pics of the, visually superior, Arcade or 16-bit computer instead of the actual footage. :wink:

Of course this happens in moden times too, especially for console games, which have unusually large resolution pics or game renders. Although with advancing technology the need for such practice has been a bit reduced.

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killbot
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by killbot » Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:24 pm

I remember spending ages trying to talk to the dog in the Scumm Bar on the Amiga version of Monkey Island because the back of the box had a screenshot of a player doing just that. I later found out that the feature had been removed but left on the box for some reason. Not sure if it was left in the PC version.

One of the most notorious examples is Rise of the Robots. The game was heavily trailed on TV on shows like GamesMaster and Bad Influence, but I'm fairly sure that what we saw was running on high-end workstations. When the game had been squashed down to fit on an Amiga, SNES or (worse still) a Game Gear it didn't look like that no more!

There are examples where it works the other way, though. The Zelda tech demo that was shown at SpaceWorld in '95 didn't look anywhere near as pretty as OoT did when it finally landed on shop shelves two years later.
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outdated_gamer
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by outdated_gamer » Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:22 pm

killbot wrote: One of the most notorious examples is Rise of the Robots. The game was heavily trailed on TV on shows like GamesMaster and Bad Influence, but I'm fairly sure that what we saw was running on high-end workstations. When the game had been squashed down to fit on an Amiga, SNES or (worse still) a Game Gear it didn't look like that no more!
True, however the DOS and Amiga versions still managed to look pretty good with their high-resolution (SVGA/AGA) pre-rendered backgrounds. Problem was just the game felt so sterile and "dead", with barely any animation going on besides the standard robot punches and kicks :wink:

The gameplay was also very poor, even in comparison with some "2nd rate" fighters of the time.

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Megamixer
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by Megamixer » Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:00 am

RodimusPrime wrote:I remember the Amstrad/spectrum/C64 games where the magazine ads and screenshots on the back of the box only showed the ST and amiga versions.
Yeah, I remember being shocked when I picked up the Spectrum version of Power Drift and the screenshot on the box was from the Amiga version. I didn't buy home computer stuff the first time around so I was amazed that publishers were allowed to get away with stuff like this. Don't suppose Trade Descriptions would have had anything to say?
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psj3809
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by psj3809 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:17 am

Yeah its frustrating. I'm sure back in the 80's you often saw the screenshots, the second a game or advert just advertised say Amstrad or Amiga to me that sent alarm bells ringing that the Speccy version was dire so i would stay away

Before that in the early 80's you had no screenshots on tapes, you had just great covers (Eg Dungeon Master/Halls of the Things) but the actual game looked quite different to how you imagined.

Wasnt it Firebird who used screenshots on the covers ? Think that was a great idea as it must have been cheaper anyway than paying someone to do the artwork plus you knew what you were getting.

The Ultimate games were always exciting as the boxes and adverts never showed screenshots but overall you knew you would get a good game.

I used to wait for reviews in Crash just to see screenshots as i was let down too many times with crap such as Power Drift or Road Runner which my mate bought - a dire effort.

I often cant be bothered with some 'stunning' looking intro to a modern game specially when the actual gameplay footage is very poor in comparison. I see lots of intro videos/trailers for iOS games and so often its a flashy intro and the actual game is crap (thats why you dont see it in the preview video). Frustrating

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PanzerGeneral
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Re: Not actual gameplay footage

Post by PanzerGeneral » Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:45 pm

Biggest con that I ever got caught by was thanks to Elite software and their "conversion"-cough,cough-of Airwolf for the Atari 8 bit systems.

I loaded the thing up expecting it to look broadly similar to the c64 version and instead got this crappy unplayable load of bottom fudge.

Upon looking at the instructions, it did actually state that the game had been previously released for the Atari-under the name "Blue Thunder".

Not that easy to check when you buy a cellophane wrapped cassette.

So-thanks Elite for not even bothering to work on a conversion and simply shoving an old game into new packaging.

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