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Split image of Mario and Luigi and main characters from GTA 6.
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Nintendo Direct Practices a Trend All Game Publishers Should Follow

Nintendo Direct had some big reveals but also shined a light on a big problem in gaming.

The most recent Nintendo Direct pulled no punches in its reveals, whether it be remasters or totally new games, and each reveal offered substantial content for us all. However, it also set a trend that other game publishers should follow, considering how much more advanced the industry has gotten.

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Nintendo Direct Revealed Many Huge Games on the Horizon

Nintendo Direct has always been a hub for all of us to see what’s coming and what’s in development. As a result, it’s always been a given that we could expect new additions from franchises like The Legend of Zelda and Mario. As expected, we got just that, with the debut of Mario & Luigi: Brothership, a new platformer implementing updated gameplay mechanics, and The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom, which looks to borrow the same aesthetic as the remake for Link’s Awakening.

That said, the biggest surprise was saved at the end of the presentation with the trailer revealing the long-awaited Metroid sequel, Metroid Prime 4: Beyond. The game was initially announced in 2017 and has been in development ever since. However, the new trailer announcement confirmed something that’s easy to notice compared to other AAA titles: these games are all released within the year with gameplay footage in their trailers.

Fans Love a Cinematic Trailer But Crave More

Each game publisher is different, and that’s what makes things important. In the case of Sony and their PlayStation State of Play, there’s a fair mixture of game genres and levels of development. In this case, we have seen games like Astro Bot, which announced a brand new trailer and Fall release date this year. However, other games like Dune: Awakening offered fans a flashy cinematic trailer with no gameplay or a release date, as it takes time to perfect an MMO. While this is all fine, there’s a thin line between building hype and promising things too far out so that fans get antsy.

In the case of Grand Theft Auto VI, this lesson is on full display. For over a decade, we have been waiting for a new chapter in the hit franchise, and when we finally get a trailer, it’s cinematic with no gameplay and a release date set for 2026. There’s no denying that the game looks impressive, but it’s hard not to ignore that the wait was abated by us being told to wait a bit longer. This was compounded when it was revealed that the game was hacked, and early phases of gameplay were released to the masses.

Games like this take time, yes, but the more anticipation is fostered without a consistent payoff, the more aggravated fans risk getting. In the case of the Xbox Games Showcase, we were shown a cinematic to Gears of War: E-Day, a prequel we never anticipated. While this in itself is amazing, it sadly pales in comparison to Nintendo revealing a trailer and gameplay in one go. As a result, it sets up an argument that, while difficult to explain, must be explored.

New Games are Great But Rushing Announcements is Risky

We all love gaming, and we all understand that as they get more advanced, we will have to temper expectations and anticipate long waits. Fans of Kingdom Hearts know this all too well. However, Kingdom Hearts III didn’t announce much until it was closer to the release date, something that Kingdom Hearts IV failed to do, as we now have a trailer for a game that has yet to perfect its gameplay. There’s nothing wrong with an epic cinematic, but as Nintendo showed, we are more willing to wait when there’s much more to be shown.

When we saw the release date for GTA VI, there was a collective sigh of annoyance and the quiet idea, “Why didn’t we just get a trailer closer to the release date?” Meanwhile, almost every game during the Nintendo Direct offered a release date alongside its trailer. The double whammy of surprise and excitement over a game we didn’t know was coming, nor that it was coming so soon, can’t be beat.

Gaming is great, but as the timeline to make amazing AAA games grows, it will be time to analyze marketing strategies. Being asked to wait three or more years for a sequel is a lot when, just a decade ago, Assassin’s Creed released sequels almost yearly. There has to be a middle ground because as much as we love a realistic game, sometimes games like Mario & Luigi: Brothership show that announcing them when it’s time is better than doing so too early.

For more on what these game publishers have to offer, check out our Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox hubs!

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Nicholas Brooks
Nick is a Freelance Writer at Gameskinny and brings with him over a decade of writing and editing experience from sites like CBR and Gameskinny. He also runs a small podcast called Popsubclub, where he interviews individuals in the entertainment industry as well as talks with peers. Nick's love of video games is only a small part of his passions as he's also an avid fan of movies, comics, music and theme parks. Make sure to follow his Instagram (@Comicsubclub) for more.