Despite being a mostly dormant series up until the latest release, Deus Ex has always been a standout series to gamers. Last generation’s Human Revolution managed to completely revitalise the series by having a mix of old and new systems not before seen in the series. This made the game very popular with critics and fans alike, making it none too surprising when the sequel, Mankind Divided, was announced early last year. So, with all of this positive reinforcement behind Deus Ex, where the heck is all of the hype for the new entry?
When it was first announced, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided garnered a lot of press due to how desired the sequel actually was. Despite not really being much of a surprise and the initial trailers not really giving away the hype was initially there and many gamers were showing interest in returning to Adam Jensen’s world. However, for the past few months and even one whole week before release, there has been no media attention or hype towards the game despite it truly deserving it. If it were a sequel to a lesser known franchise or if Human Revolution had been poor quality, it would be understandable. Mankind Divided simply isn’t getting the media attention that it truly deserves and there are several potential reasons for this.
Despite summer usually being the time for a gaming drought, this August has already been home to one of the biggest game releases in recent memory; No Man’s Sky. The famous space simulation/exploration game has received almost all games media’s attention, drawing away from an arguably more deserving game. Even after No Man’s Sky was released, most people were then commenting on whether or not it lived up to the hype and giving their own experiences and tips. It didn’t help that their is also currently the multiplayer debacle going on with No Man’s Sky causing some controversy and attention. The recent delay of Final Fantasy XV, one of the most hyped Final Fantasy titles in years, and the upcoming Gamescom also doesn’t help Deus Ex stand out. Square Enix probably thought that releasing Deus Ex in August would give it plenty of room to stand out but the timing has actually ended up working against the game.
Another possible reason for the lack of hype surrounding Deus Ex is its own controversies. The numerous delays that the game has suffered have certainly ended up having a negative effect on how excited people are for it- despite it being used for polish. Delays are often done for the best reasons but this doesn’t stop people from getting angry and becoming less excited for a game; it’s almost inevitable that people will be disappointed. Mankind Divided also suffered from quite a significant delay as well, from February to August, meaning that those who were excited for it have had to wait quite a while. Another controversy surrounding the game was the “Augment your pre-order” system that Square Enix used. This shockingly blind incentive for pre-ordering basically made it impossible for people to get everything in the game and forced people to pre-order to get better bonuses. Considering the level of trust that pre-ordering requires nowadays, this seemed like a big slap in the face and eventually caused Square Enix to drop pre-order bonuses entirely for Deus Ex, instead opting for the much safer “Day One” way of marketing. These few experiences may have led those who were initially excited for the game to temper their expectations and become much less hyped.
Even with these potential causes affecting the release, the lack of hype for Mankind Divided doesn’t at all up. So many games in the past have suffered much worse delays or had much worse controversies but have still managed to be more out there. A sufficient amount of marketing has also been put into Deus Ex but even then not enough people are really talking about it. It will inevitably pick up when the game releases next week but fans of the series (including myself) are nervous for the effect it might have on the game’s sales.
Does it even really matter whether or not there is a huge amount of hype for Deus Ex? Although having that sort of attention definitely helps when it comes to sales, hype can also be a bad thing. Look at games like Duke Nukem Forever and No Man’s Sky for example. Both of these games had so much anticipation surrounding them that whatever the final product ended up looking like, someone was always disappointed. It’s not even like there isn’t any hype for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided anyway; it’s just not getting the true attention that it deserves more than most games this year. Those who are excited for it are certainly getting ready for a treat next week and I hope that gaming media and fans of games will check out Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, hopefully the best game this summer.