Rock, Paper, Shotgun Officially Rules Against Teaser Trailers

By John Walker on February 10th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

The Court Of Horace has ruled, and the decision is final – infinite even: teaser trailers can bugger off.

Trailers are adverts. Adverts are not precious jewels. Adverts are materials with a joint purpose – to convince people to buy your product, and to inform people about the product. The former is creepy and insidious and why we walk around like a race of sentient billboards with our Nike swooshes and names of jeans manufacturers on our t-shirts. The latter is vaguely useful, and the reason we post trailers on RPS – so you, the ASTONISHINGLY ATTRACTIVE reader, can learn more about a game you might care about. Teaser trailers fulfil none of these roles. As is adeptly proven by both Techland’s latest for Dying Light that we showed you earlier, and frankly the worst, dumbest teaser I can ever recall seeing, for Evolve, which is below.

That Techland teaser, as far as I can work out, is an advert for the 11th of February. I was considering existing in the 11th of February anyway, this year, so Techland could probably have saved a bit of time and money and JUST ANNOUNCED WHAT IT IS THEY HAVE TO SAY TODAY. Or waited until tomorrow. Either’s fine. And yes, YES!, this has meant we’ve mentioned it twice on the site so it’s bloody worked, but it’s got it mentioned in the same paragraph as a link to this.

Evolve takes things to the next level. This is an advert for the colour brown, and red cubes:

Evolve is the new game from Turtle Rock, the people who thought of Left 4 Dead. It’s supposed to be out later this year, and is apparently a multiplayer shooter of some sort. I used to know slightly more about it, but then I watched this teaser and my sum knowledge went down.

You may argue that we’re having our cake and eating it here, complaining about this teaser and then posting it anyway. And you’d be right. But then it’s only me and Craig today, and we’ve got fourteen posts to write, and I’m trying to get my Lego Film Videogame review finished, and then there’s the lawyer stuff to deal with, and shut up.

, , .

91 Comments »

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Top comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Alabaster Crippens says:

    Don't get your hopes up. I've been in the closed beta for the colour brown for a while now, and the controls are muddy, the graphics look like an FPS from the late 90s and the story is crap.

    It kind of feels like somebody had loads of different colours in mind, and when they tried to mix them together, it just didn't quite look as exciting as it sounded.

    It's compatible with a lot of different systems though, so that's something.
  1. MuscleHorse says:

    I approve in general of this ruling, though what would happen in special circumstances? Say, Valve were to release a video of a crowbar, some green blood and a date? (Though, granted, I know that’s not their style)

    • Koozer says:

      Well, that would actually be telling you something. That Evolve…thing tells you bugger all except a date.

      • iainl says:

        When we already know they’re working on a 4-regular-sized-people vs. 1-giant-monster asymmetric multiplayer game, it tells us that they will be doing a trailer for it tomorrow, I’d say.

        • Scumbag says:

          Wrong
          Its clearly a spiritual successor to Thomas Was Alone

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Am I bad for actually expecting this thread/post/article to be about that exact thing!?

        • Cloudiest Nights says:

          Well I knew nothing about the game earlier, and it did make me interested. Somewhat. And moody musics! And yeah, a multi-player deathmatch version of Thomas was alone would be amazing. 8/10

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Valve’s style is more to accidentally upload the number 3, then take it down and deny everything.

      • Xiyng says:

        You mean Valve has a style with all the releases they’ve been doing recently?

      • Premium User Badge

        bills6693 says:

        Its to release a trailer for another game but accidentally include some gameplay in which on the taskbar you can see a HL3 icon on the taskbar and then they remove the trailer and deny everything.

      • Slazer says:

        I expect Valve to either keep making new IPs and their only sequel just months later…..

        Or DayZ 2

    • Premium User Badge

      aleander says:

      There’s certainly a hardware review blog that might be interested in a trailer for a crowbar.

    • Premium User Badge

      PeopleLikeFrank says:

      Luckily RPS isn’t obliged to follow any of their own rules, so they can just go ahead and post whatever actually excites them. :)

    • The Random One says:

      I don’t get it. What do green blood and crowbars have to do with Ricochet?

    • Premium User Badge

      Kharn says:

      Yep, is not Valve style. They would *never* tease us that way.

      http://i.imgur.com/aX3VkGB.jpg

  2. Awesumo says:

    Great news! I was waiting for the colour brown to get an official release date.

    • Premium User Badge

      Alabaster Crippens says:

      Don’t get your hopes up. I’ve been in the closed beta for the colour brown for a while now, and the controls are muddy, the graphics look like an FPS from the late 90s and the story is crap.

      It kind of feels like somebody had loads of different colours in mind, and when they tried to mix them together, it just didn’t quite look as exciting as it sounded.

      It’s compatible with a lot of different systems though, so that’s something.

      • John Walker says:

        *round of applause*

      • TheMick says:

        I just logged in to say very well done lol

      • frightlever says:

        “It kind of feels like somebody had loads of different colours in mind, and when they tried to mix them together, it just didn’t quite look as exciting as it sounded.”

        Nicely done.

    • Premium User Badge

      melnificent says:

      That’s the trailer for the red Day-zero DLC, it’s out tomorrow.

      Brown still hasn’t got a release date though as they’ve decided to do a Warner Bros and stop working on it to work on DLC first.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    “Lego Film Videogame”

    OK OK wait what.

    – or –

    I’m waiting for the novelisation of the soundtrack, Lego Film Videogame OST Book.

    • riverman says:

      I am eagerly anticipating lego starwars: the movie: the game

      • Premium User Badge

        Gap Gen says:

        Oh man yeah, I have the lunchbox of that. Well, the audiobook of the lunchbox.

    • Baf says:

      It’s not much different from any of the other Traveller’s Tales Lego games in that respect. The Lego Star Wars videogames are a game based on a toy based on a movie. This one just swaps the toy and the movie in that description.

  4. Danda says:

    Well done. Somebody had to do it.

  5. Jockie says:

    Teasers for products we already know about like the two examples above are kind of fair game – nobody will miss them. But I recall Cyberpunk being announced with a sorta cgi teaser and everyone was very excited, probably because before it we had no idea the game existed.

    I think what I’m trying to say is that there is a time and a place for teasing.

    • Felixader says:

      I would argue that the teaser for Cyberpunk tells you quite a lot, especially in comparison with the above mentioned examples.

  6. Werthead says:

    Trailers are okay. Teaser trailers are annoying, but at least make us aware of the existence of the product.

    What I object to are teaser trailers for the trailers which are not trailers for the product, but trailers for a further trailer that will be unveiled at some point in the future.

    Soon we will be getting trailers hinting at what sandwich Molyneux will eat whilst writing his next press release.

    • Nicodemus Rexx says:

      Oh great. You mentioned Molyneux’s name. Now someone’s going to have to make a concept game about making his sandwich teaser trailers. :p

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      “…And then we asked ourselves, what if the whole game was about the players eating a sandwich and writing a press release about 22cans’ next game? What would they create? How much of the sandwich would they eat? Would they procrastinate? Would they finish the sandwich first, or the press release? And what if the press release announcing the game doubled as the very first design document? And what if they were all writing the same press release and eating the same sandwich simultaneously? With Curiosity, we asked players a very simple question: how curious are you? The answer shocked and delighted us. Now we’re asking another question: how responsible are you? We can’t wait to find out!”

      –Peter Molyneux, announcing his new “experiment” Responsibility, available soon for iOS and maybe possibly PC or maybe not

  7. iainl says:

    Mike Bithell’s done a 4-player co-op version of Thomas Was Alone? Cool, but I’m not sure why they all hate Laura.

  8. staberas says:

    RLLY? the evolve “teaser” is even more useless than the dying light teaser…

  9. jonahcutter says:

    It’s true. I am astonishingly attractive.

  10. Alexander says:

    Love it. The teaser, that is.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Xantonze says:

    Are RPS actually going to stop showing those? That would be great.

    I’d also be glad if you stopped showing all those advert plan fake news aka “new screenshot for game X” or “game Y will have 1 more car”, that just pollute every other website…

    • The Random One says:

      I’d like that as well. That sounds like the kind of thing RPS does that makes me like reading RPS. You shouldn’t be doing the marketers’ jobs for them.

    • John Walker says:

      I think as a rule we tend to avoid such things anyway. Certainly we execute discretion when it comes to whether we’ll post new screens or info. There’s a good deal of interest in the new Alien game, hence our posting those new shots today. And if it’s the first images of a big name game, or they’re just bloody gorgeous, we’ll put them up. But no, we *don’t* post about 400 screenshot releases a day.

      Also, I like to hope that when content is a bit poor, we put in some extra effort to make the article worth reading despite it.

    • Premium User Badge

      darkChozo says:

      Maybe they should do a useless teaser roundup, with screenshots stripped of all identifying information and presented without comment? I would appreciate the trailers for Words and Red Quadrilaterals a bit more in that format, I think.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Eh, that’d still generate hype around them as people play guessing-games. If RPS really want to take a stance on these, stop helping them generate attention by just ignoring them to death.

        This article made that video gain a bunch more hits and some people remember to see what it is tomorrow. (On the other hand, cake.)

  12. TheIronSky says:

    I’m awfully excited to see a return of the color brown. And red squares.

    I hope it will be the sequel to maroon that I’ve been anxiously awaiting.

    • Robmonster says:

      There have already been 4 sequels to maroon. I don’t care much for the latest one.

      • Hebrind says:

        Yeah, even with the new moves, it wasn’t what I’d hoped for.

        Might give it one last go tomorrow evening though.

  13. TheMightyEthan says:

    Dammit man, are you a monster?! You can’t just link Rebecca Black without warning! I’d only just managed to scrub the memory of it from my brain…

  14. LunyAlex says:

    I love Turtle Rock. I want to hug them for giving me Left 4 Dead, but a lot of devs, TR included, need to figure out how to do teaser trailers.

    Hint:
    Unless your game is a very anticipated title from a very famous franchise*halflifeIDon’tEvenFeelLikeCoughing*, tease something palpable.

    Show me something that really makes me want to come back and see what this was about in the first place.
    As it stands, this teaser (similarly to the Dying Light one) could’ve easily been replaced by a “be on the lookout tomorrow” tweet from the devs.

  15. Synesthesia says:

    Hm, I think I disagree. Adverts CAN be a beautiful thing, though admittedly, the games industry is not particulary good at them.

    http://vimeo.com/2856571
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ecpYfWFmLA

    The evolve one you just posted is just pure rubbish, that’s agreed.

    • Koozer says:

      …That Creature Comforts clip isn’t an advert, or am I missing something?

      • applecup says:

        Creature Comforts was a series of ads for British Gas.

        • Koozer says:

          By Jove, Wikipedia says you’re right. I only remember the series.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          It was an animated short first, and after being used for the ads there was a TV series, so it wasn’t just an advert.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Occasionally, just occasionally, the games industry makes a great trailer.

      But then it turns out to be completely unrepresentative of the game anyway.

  16. araczynski says:

    i think most of these trailers/teasers are there just to remind you/us that there’s a game coming out. cuz i suspect a lot of people (me included) like what they see/read from time to time in a trailer/release, and then just forget about the game completely a couple hours later.

    personally i have better things to store in my buffers than game release dates/announcements/etc, so it gets dumped with all the other useless info i accumulate every hour of the day.

    this stuff just serves as a refresh to get their name back into our buffers. as in, i hear about evolve every few months here and there, but really have no clue what the game is about at this point, could be some pixel junk, could be flappy birds 2, could be more worthless multiplayer only giant robot junk, who knows. but now, i’ll care for a few min…OOOH NEW SHINY!

  17. Abendlaender says:

    So, RPS is evolving?

  18. SenaCScott says:

    my co-worker’s step-mother makes $69 an hour on the computer . She has been laid off for nine months but last month her paycheck was $14630 just working on the computer for a few hours.
    have a peek at this website,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, http://www.Fizzjob.com

  19. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    Trailers are adverts. Adverts are not precious jewels. Adverts are materials with a joint purpose – to convince people to buy your product, and to inform people about the product. The former is creepy and insidious and why we walk around like a race of sentient billboards with our Nike swooshes and names of jeans manufacturers on our t-shirts. The latter is vaguely useful, and the reason we post trailers on RPS

    Creepy and insidious? Really? That’s just ridiculous. It’s true that a lot of advertising includes creepy and insidious methods of getting people to buy something they don’t actually want or need, but ‘normal’ advertising doesn’t automatically involve exploiting the human psyche. Convincing someone to buy a product is the only purpose of advertising. Informing people that the product is available to buy (at some point) is just the first step towards that goal, not any different from the goal itself. The reason you post trailers on RPS serves exactly the same goal: getting people to buy things, preferably the right things. I’m not implying all entertainment journalists are shills, of course; the relationship between producer and consumer is (supposed to be) mutually beneficial. But you can’t pretend that all advertising with the intent to persuade is somehow underhanded and sneaky.

    I’m not actually sure if teaser trailers fall into the ‘creepy and insidious’ category. They just seem to be a bit useless.

  20. MrNash says:

    Works for me. Seems a huge chunk of trailers are a compilation of cut scenes anyway without much in gameplay footage, not really telling me much that I may care about in the game. It’s just a bunch of PR-drenched talking points.

  21. Turkey says:

    Aw, but it’s fun to heckle them :(

  22. spamenigma says:

    I really liked that teaser though! I really can’t wait until 2nd November now!!

  23. CookPassBabtridge says:

    “The laywer stuff”? Sounds a bit ominous :( Wishes of good luck and large pointy anti-lawyer sticks being sent your way

  24. Stephen Roberts says:

    I think that communication by video will be one of the main ways to communicate in the future. Nowadays, people make Youtube videos for a three step process like “1) buy pickles 2) open jar by twisting off lid 3) eat pickles”, and it’s six minutes long with really sharp editing and a credits roll.

    So these marketers are fucking terrified that they will lose an audience if they don’t communicate by video.

    I think I might get ahead of the game by recording a suite of different canned reactions to different things so that I can just link to youtube for all my responses to things.

    • Stephen Roberts says:

      And then other people can do the same things and we can use a computer program to automate the responses so it will just be two computers talking to each other using our videos.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Depends on what you mean by the future. Eventually video will fall out of vogue as people realize that many tasks can be performed faster and safer without looking at a touchscreen (remember when it was possible to speed dial on a phone, or when Word’s functions weren’t nested?)

  25. waltC says:

    “Adverts are materials with a joint purpose – to convince people to buy your product, and to inform people about the product. The former is creepy and insidious and why we walk around like a race of sentient billboards with our Nike swooshes and names of jeans manufacturers on our t-shirts.”

    There’s nothing “creepy” about advertising. You don’t advertise, no one knows your product exists, and so no one buys it, and so you don’t eat and then must find a new career and x-squared games never get developed, etc. Advertising is *good.*

    I don’t wear Nikes, although I’m aware they exist and could certainly buy them if I chose. I don’t object to the swoosh; I don’t buy Nikes because I can buy something as good or better for less money. If I thought the best shoe for the $ had a swoosh, I’d still buy it and not blink. My decision.

    Oddly enough, some people actually by the swoosh and the labeled jeans and the t-shirts because of that! They *want* other people to see the labels. All this talk about “victims” somehow forced to display manufacturing logos is nonsense…;) There aren’t any such victims.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Yeah, no. If adverts were just designed to inform people of the existence of a product then then it wouldn’t be a billion dollar industry. Advertisers are paid so well because they convince people they need a product, and they do this largely by creating dissatisfaction and insecurity and then offering the product as a remedy. They engineer both need and the means by which to fulfil it, which I would say is pretty insidious.

      • Premium User Badge

        LTK says:

        Although people still have actual needs, which is not only food and shelter but also clothing, comfort, and relaxation. Without advertising we wouldn’t know about the games that fulfill our need for stress relief, for example. Marketers may be using dirty tricks to create a need where there is none but that doesn’t make advertising insidous of itself. RPS is practically all advertising, all the time! Just the kind that we choose to read.

      • Premium User Badge

        Bury The Hammer says:

        It’s a bit silly complaining about selling things people don’t need on a gaming website. I don’t *need* to play games. But I enjoy them. Should I therefore stop reading RPS, because it’s encouraging me to buy games by writing about them?

      • Josh W says:

        I don’t agree that RPS is just advertising. In some ways, reviews, criticism and all that are the opposite sort of thing.

        Advertising seeks to make a project exceptional, the one specific thing you have to buy, with it’s USP, it’s unmissable pure distinctiveness.

        Reviews and criticism draw analogies between things, and not the usual marketing “this is the return of that past thing we won’t be in competition with”, but building up a web of relationships between games, about being able to think about games as a whole. That’s a kind of creativity useful to people who make games, or think about games as something they could be making, and it’s also a way to understand your own preferences in the broader sweep of things, and go for what you want. This will often mean not buying things because they are so perfectly positioned by description that you know something else would suit you better, or buying things not because you think it’s what you always wanted, but because you know it’s different from what you’re used to and might be worth a go.

        Games websites that are about game culture not just about the latest products are about bridging the fact that we pay for different games and play them in different ways; sharing experiences. If all games were free, there would still be a reason for RPS, because people would still have awesome stories about things that happen in games, how this game compares to that one, about what it’s like to make them.

        In contrast, the ideal trailer is all feeling and no content, as little content as possible for maximum rollercoaster-rip-off. That’s because they are selling you that content, and they want you to want it without really knowing what you are wanting, because like horror, anticipation is a matter of the imagination.

        There are advertisers who are not so mercenary, (often people who are advertising their own indie games) who see their adverts as a contribution in themselves to that kind of game culture, a form of generosity that shows their personality and that of their game in an accessible way. That isn’t a blurring of the distinction, but something to be commended.

        Free contribution to gaming culture is an awesome thing, and having people buy out of gratitude is also awesome, because the mindset is not about getting your fix of X, but about supporting artists and cultural producer people that you like.

        Obviously anticipation and hype is not inherently bad, it’s just that it’s easy to manipulate. We get suspicious of that just as we do intermittent reward gambling, because you can only really give in to it when dealing with people who are not going to take advantage of it. Someone wants to play poker with you not for real money? Cool, no need to think about it. Someone really wants to play poker with you for large stakes? Maybe he just wants to take things from you.

        I’ve always found the phrase “shut up and take my money” amusing, because on one level it’s surreal and rude, on another level, it’s “stop trying to draw out that gap between desire and fulfilment, I give in”.

        Places like RPS can do both anticipation and broad consideration, because everyone writing is in the same boat as those commenting, just as likely to feel disapointment if it doesn’t live up to it’s hype. But part of that means taking the same attitude to posting a trailer as you would to watching it. Is this just here to hype me up without any substance, meh. Is it a cool thing regardless of whether it represents the game? Maybe, but not all the time. Trying to fill the feed with content when the content is crap is a fools game, it just means people skip through RPS and miss actually good things. It’s probably better to just go off and look at something from the past!

  26. Allenomura says:

    I don’t know what the promoting group who’ve been tasked with managing Evolve has been smoking, but I already have a very negative impression of the new game from the guys wot made left 4 dead HOW MANY YEARS AGO, now! As a result of its awful media campaign I’ve less interest in it than when I knew nothing about it.

  27. Ernesto says:

    While you are at it, could you please rule against things like “teasers for an announcement of a trailer for the release date of a website about that new innovative game (i.e. manshoot 5) everybody must play in order to have a fulfilled life ™”?

    Thank you :)

  28. PopeRatzo says:

    They use an article saying they will not post teaser trailers to present…a teaser trailer.

    God, they’re clever, those RPS guys. They almost had me suspend my cynicism for a second there.

  29. Cloneintle says:

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  30. Cloneintle says:

    my best friend’s step-sister makes $70 /hr on the internet . She has been without work for 6 months but last month her payment was $15808 just working on the internet for a few hours. website link,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, http://www.Bay95.com
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    • sinister agent says:

      What in the twelve cocks of christ

      RPS, would you consider blanket banning any comment that uses a dollar symbol? It’s clumsy and dirty but I think the small collateral would be acceptable in the short term if it got rid of these arseholes for a few weeks while something better is developed.

      • Premium User Badge

        strangeloup says:

        I approve of this regexp-ban, but even moreso of the initial expression of incredulity, which caused me to snort Fanta through my nose.

        Think I might pinch that :)

  31. Nathan_G says:

    Is that a tiny wee snippet of Mother by Danzig?

  32. Muzman says:

    This is just more controversy click bait all about not posting click bait, you bunch of web site -running trolls.

    • CpnHowdy says:

      I agree, admitting that you are having your cake and eating it too doesn’t make it less annoying to read. I don’t understand drawing so much attention to something as mundane and harmless as teaser trailers. Pick better fights RPS.

  33. Dozer says:

    11/Feb was released eleven hours early in Australia and I’ve been playing it non-stop since release. I liked the plot twist when – spoiler alert – the online car electronics shop offered to gift-wrap my order and include a very nice customised valentine’s card for no extra cost!

  34. DThor says:

    I would like to congratulate you for doing the logical thing. If there is one thing that causes my left eyebrow to arch in a most illogical fashion it is a teaser that is designed to appeal strictly to the baser part of the mind by illiciting an emotional response. It is most heartening to see your site banning such base panderings to darker corners of the web.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, there is some half-breed kid that I must forbid to join starfleet… the whelp!