EuroRPG developer Piranha Bytes announced its new game, to be published by Nordic Games, in utterly unremarkable fashion: via press release, with no meaningful details or a trailer or even actual game art. Just the image above, posted on Facebook, and a parade of buzzwords that would make any E3 press conference presenter blush.
The game in question is ELEX, likely a codename as it’s an acronym for “eclectic, lavish, exhilarating and xenial,” is an open world RPG (of course) that is “set in a brand new post-apocalyptic science fantasy universe that puts players into a huge, seamless game world full of original characters, mutated creatures, deep moral choices and powerful action.” You don’t say!
The release also claims ELEX will be “edgy, dark, uncompromising, complex,” and a “handcrafted action role-playing experience.” The game director at Piranha Bytes says it’s “a completely new game experience.” That seems like a stretch, given the other descriptors being used here.
Joking aside, this press release is rather emblematic of the problems I have with video game marketing. We know that most games are pretty similar to other games, and the words that devs and publishers use to market their games are intended to evoke games they think the target audience likes. But at the same time they want to convince us their games are completely new things the likes of which we’ve never seen before, even though everything they just said makes it sound exactly like something we’ve seen before.
Of course, I know nothing at all about ELEX so I can’t pass judgment on the game itself. But I can scoff at all this marketingspeak. At least until Nordic and Piranha Bytes show off a vertical slice at Gamescom in a couple months.