reader discussion

What Do You Want From A Video Game Trailer?

by Jeff Marchiafava on Dec 05, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Publishers try a lot of things to get gamers excited for their upcoming offerings, but do they really know what their customers want? Join our reader discussion by sharing what you look for in a video game trailer.

For me, the best video game trailers try to inform viewers instead of entertain them; I like watching things explode as much as the next gamer, but if I'm going to watch what is effectively a commercial for your video game, I want to know what's special about it. Rockstar did an excellent job with its Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, and Max Payne 3 trailers, highlighting the unique mechanics and technology of each game.

Dev diaries are also informative, but they tend to be a bunch of talking heads, which brings up another important aspect: game trailers should show gameplay. Nothing tells me more about a game (or gets me excited for it) than seeing it in action.

Also, if you're going to put your trailer on television or before the start of a film, make it respectable. Nothing is worse than watching television with non-gamer friends and having a commercial come on that depicts us as obnoxious, boob-crazed losers. Even if your game has redeemable qualities, I'm not going to defend it against your own sucky advertising.

Last but not least, include a freaking release date. If I don't know when your game comes out, how am I supposed to buy it?

What do you want from a video game trailer? Share what you like and dislike in the comments section.