Tears of the Kingdom vs The Hype

by Ben Kirby
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The final trailer for Tears of the Kingdom came out last week, and I, like almost everyone else, was buzzing from it. Giving us an insight into a game that had largely remained a mystery until then. Only a month away from release, and we were all scratching at the same images and videos we had been for a while (barring the gameplay demo a couple of weeks prior).

Suddenly Tears of the Kingdom feels like it’s come to life. Scant showings of Hyrule being re-used (to the initial dismay of many), have been cast aside and those concerns are largely gone. Tears of the Kingdom has somehow rid itself of all the doubt of “just more breath of the Wild” and “re-using the map is boring” commentary, and replaced it with major buzz.

That buzz, though, comes with massive amounts of speculation. And I’ll be honest, I’ve been watching a lot of “trailer breakdown” videos. I’ve noticed that the content creators out there are potentially becoming quite damaging before the game is even released.

Tears of the Kingdom - Skydive

No such thing as bad press

Let’s be clear, all the hype, the buzz, the content being created. This is all great news for Nintendo in terms of marketing Tears of the Kingdom. But once the game launches, it runs the risk of being yet another situation where fans have been “let down”, based on what people unrelated to the development of the game have been speculating.

Speculation is one thing, but what I’ve noticed in the discourse for Tears of the Kingdom is people are all taking some liberties with “facts”.

Several times, I’ve had to pause for a moment as different creators are telling me that certain things are definite. Not just the usual “this could be this” or “these are interesting, perhaps it’s this, or that”. No, the dialogue has been “this is this” and “that is this”, stating things as fact.

I’m more than happy to take experienced and knowledgeable content creators’ opinions and reasoning. But it’s really worrying to see things being stated as fact. Particularly when some of these creators contradict each other.

Imagine you’re excited about Tears of the Kingdom and only follow one content creator. Hearing things as “facts” in isolation is setting people up for potential upset. And let’s be honest gamers aren’t exactly known for managing their personal expectations.

We don’t want to see fallout because things aren’t exactly as someone said they would be based only on screenshots and trailer videos. This will change the buzz into negativity, a cycle we’ve all seen so often as of late.

Sure, this may be the exception to the rule. But a series as significant as The Legend of Zelda is likely to be under more scrutiny than most. I just wish that things were presented purely as speculation, not fact.

Tears of the Kingdom - Link and Zelda

The wider issue

It’s hard, because some of these YouTube outlets are trusted resources, and have presumably built a following based on solid reporting and content.

Being a trusted, followed resource means that you can essentially start to say anything and people will believe you. This is hardly a new issue in the context of people building followings and influencing them. Crikey, this has been going on as long as humanity has existed.

I just rarely see things touted as facts in gaming speculation. Perhaps I’ve not paid enough attention (I’m largely more interested in finding things out myself), or perhaps I’m making too much of an issue out of it.

Tears of the Kingdom is a massive release in the wider gaming sphere, and the world is watching. There’s a burden on content creators to deliver legitimate information as they likely have thousands of new viewers on their channels.

The world won’t change, and perhaps I just hold Zelda in higher esteem than other series, so I’m concerned for its well-being.

All in all, though, I’m just really disappointed that people are stating things as facts, but inconsistently between the creators. Meaning, surely, these are massive leaps at worst and semi-educated guesses at best.

Tears of the Kingdom - Zonai Ruins?

Tears of the Kingdom

Launching in May, we’ll see what’s fact and what isn’t, soon enough! But until then, just be wary of what’s being said, and maybe see if you can verify with other sources.

Or, ignore that bulk of it, and dive-in blind.

It’s been a long long time since I’ve been so hyped up for a game. Breath of the Wild is my favourite game of all time, so of course, Tears of the Kingdom is high on my list of things to get pumped for!

No doubt this kind of content creation is rife, and I’ve likely just not witnessed it to this degree because I don’t generally engage with games pre-release like this. I’d highly recommend taking things with a grain of salt pre-release of any game.

Nobody can know everything unless they’re in the team developing the game. Bear that in mind, enjoy the fun of the speculation. But keep your expectations reasonable.

To quote Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson….. “Enjoy your gaming”. Let’s hope Tears of the Kingdom takes all the amazing things about Breath of the Wild and enhances things we would have liked to see.

Ganondorf is coming. Let’s get ready.

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