Make the gap between reveals and launches as small as possible, urges Bethesda

VP of PR and marketing Pete Hines highlights short release cycles as key to maintaining player interest ahead of a game hitting shelves
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Developers and publishers should aim to release games as soon as they can after first announcing new titles.

That’s the advice from Bethesda VP of PR and marketing Pete Hines, who told the Metro that the studio’s experience launching Fallout 4 just six months after first announcing the long-awaited sequel should become an industry-wide trend.

“It’s more about getting the amount of time between you know something actually exists and you can play it, and compressing that down as much as possible so that you’re not dealing with these drops of ‘Okay, well you’ve announced it, but now there’s this long period of time, of weeks or months, where you don’t have anything new to tell me’,” he explained.

“Then there’s another beat some months later, and so you get this up and down in terms of excitement and conversation.”

He said the benefits weren’t just for players, as devs working with publishing partners would also see the effect from streamlining the path to release.

“[Try] to smooth that out [and] reduce the amount of tasks and the number of times you’re going back to a developer and saying: ‘Oh, we need some new screenshots or we need some new footage, or we need to put down another trailer,’” Hines suggested.

Although Fallout 4 serves as a more recent example of a surprise reveal and launch, Hines recalled that Bethesda’s other headline RPG franchise – The Elder Scrolls – employed a similar tactic all the way back in 2011.

“If you go back five years to Skyrim, we announced that game existed exactly a year before it came out,” he said. “Then the next month we showed the first details on it, but then we didn’t really do much of anything until E3.

“So in a lot of ways it looked a lot like the Fallout campaign, except that we had to do both the very first look and then do it again at E3. And so it was like: ‘Well, let’s shorten that.’”

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