A bad habit that videogame trailers should stop doing

What´s a trailer?

The traditional definition of a trailer (film) is as follows (from wikipedia):
Trailers consist of a series selected shots from the film being advertised. Since the purpose of the trailer is to attract an audience to the film, these excerpts are usually drawn from the most exciting, funny, or otherwise noteworthy parts of the film but in abbreviated form and usually without producing spoilers. For this purpose the scenes are not necessarily in the order in which they appear in the film.

What´s a videogame trailer? Definition provided by wikipedia:
The content and production process is similar to that for movies, complicated by the need to convey the way the game plays.

With that out of the way let´s begin this thread topic.

Over the years I have been noticing a trend (of varying degrees) of making trailers that show little/zero gameplay, that needs to stop.

Let´s take a look back at the definition of videogame trailer:

The content and production process is similar to that for movies, complicated by the need to convey the way the game plays.

Videogames are not movies/cinematographic experiences, they are interactive experiences. Gameplay is the way this products convey their interactivite and it´s really starting to bug me how this element is being replaced by non-gameplay stuff like cutscenes/CGI/Animation/vague words on black screens/whatever.

Showing gameplay for at least 50% of its run should be considered the minimum requierement for a trailer to be consider at the very least “good” (7/10, the remaining 3 point would be filled by the standard trailer stuff like editing, music and interest/hype).

Ideally, a playable demo would be the best kind of “trailer” to promote games as there are parts of immediate interaction that an individual cannot gauge from simply watching a video – control comfort, mental stress from interaction, possibilities of (self-) discovery, to name some – or the heavily scripted gameplay sections but, it´s understandable why publisher and developers don´t do many demos nowadays as their resources and time are better be used for polishing their games. However, if they´re going to promote their games via video at least they should make sure that most of the content is gameplay and nothing else.

To conclude, this is how a videogame trailer should be:

This is how a trailer should not be:


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