Violence as the selling point?
There’s debate whether violence is a selling point for games. Many games use some sort of violence (such as kicking, pushing, shooting etc.) and I think in some games it works quite well. Crazy indie game Gibbage would miss everything without the use of cartoon violence.
In this context – it works. But does it work for Hitman? Or is it a selling point for Hitman?
I don’t think violence (alone) has generated the success of this Hitman game. I only played the first game and I believe the sneaking, hiding and silent killing was much more interesting than running through levels and shooting everything that moves. The sequels are said to have even more violence so I cannot comment much about them, but I believe Hitman is a success because it’s a great game (that has created it’s own great brand) that doesn’t use violence for the sake of violence. It’s simply a darn good game.
Violence sells anyway – brand or not?
I tried a game called Punisher that is ultra violent… and in my opinion, a very bad example about the violence in games. The whole point of the game (as it hit to me when I played the demo several times) was to teach players not only to kill everything that moves, but to revenge it… and let players think that if somebody messed with you, it’s your right to kick their heads. I think that’s far away about something that games could teach us. Punisher has been 7th and 10th (among other ratings) on UK charts which must make Marvel one very happy company. It’s hard to tell whether it’s the brand Punisher & Marvel that sells and whether a game such as Punisher would have make it to top selling list without the existance of solid brand. My guess it’s the brand.