As for game announcements, they are usually made when substantial work has already been completed and rumors are already circulating. It’s part of the reason Riot Games MMO runs Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street caught on Twitter to answer questions about why Riot announced it was working on an mmo and when more “real” information will arrive.
Street says the early announcement of their plans was made for strategic reasons by the CEO. They wanted “a low-key announcement to help with recruiting (we need a lot of MMO veterans), to get players excited, and because we thought it would probably leak anyway.” Even though there were already people who already wanted a Riot MMO and saw the developments and investments in storytelling and other shared stories coming and wondered if it would happen, announcing each other gave the impetus and focus on Riot. Hype was born.
Still, you have to be careful with the first ads. As Street continues, noting that “the other big risk of announcing early is maintaining momentum. It’s hard to keep players engaged and excited for years.” This decision by Riot to announce without the usual work done, teasers ready, promo in motion from the start does several things. This might get boring, sure, but it also helps control expectations, especially if the team finds they need to make major pivots from all the plans they had in place.
To say that they haven’t even solidified 100% of their direction yet with confidence is something we don’t normally see. Important too for a game that, with almost nothing known, expectations are already high, and Street knows you want to know more and understands the sentiment. The team wants to talk more about it, but it’s not the time yet.
So even if a feature doesn’t quite work, you’ll at least understand our purpose and can direct your feedback accordingly. We’re also not afraid to make big changes even after the game goes live. That’s how good MMOs survive.
— Rue Greg (@Ghostcrawler) August 1, 2022
He ends with gratitude and empathy for those who want to know more, putting a sense of trust in the community to know how to provide effective feedback when the time comes. Moreover, he tease the possible announcement of the team too.
“I couldn’t do it without this amazing team we’ve put together. Some of the names you know and some you don’t know yet and more will join all the time.