So, super well known fact about me: I love Kingdom Hearts, like to a stupid level. I dedicated my thesis to Kingdom Hearts III, back when it was still thought that it’d release this year rather than 2019. I’ve written many pieces about the series which all amount to, Hey these games are fun, and I love playing Kingdom Hearts II the most because the combat is amazing. I’ve loved the PR/ marketing push that Square Enix and Disney have made these last few months as we approach the release of Kingdom Hearts III, and really if we were to go without any trailers until the release I’d be fine with it (and no, it’s not for a, hey these trailers spoil too much reason. I don’t actually believe the trailers are showing too much, but that’s for another post).
Anyways, I’ve been following this series of KH3 promotion quite tightly, so of course I had heard that Amazon was doing a series of streams promoting their own Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and they were going to show off exclusive KH3 content. I was excited and couldn’t wait to watch even if I didn’t expect much. I thought maybe there’d be an announcement for the limited edition KH3 PS4 Pro, and just wanted to see how chat would freak out. On Friday for the Black Friday stream, I had missed it because I was busy hanging out with friends at Cape Cod (I’m a fancy boy). On Twitter I saw that the Black Friday stream had announced they’d be showing off a new, never seen before trailer on their Cyber Monday stream and their exclusive DLC, which the word DLC was a bit concerning given everyone’s hot takes on what counts as a complete game and if DLC ruins that notion etc. etc. another post, another day. So let’s fast forward to Monday.
All of the big KHTubers are awaiting the stream, they’re trying to predict what’s gonna be shown in the new trailer. Are we gonna get a reveal of another Disney world? Is it gonna be Aladdin or is it gonna be Princess and the Frog? How much are we going to be shown? Amazon has hyped us up and made a big commotion about this KH3 content and their stream, bringing up KH3 over everything else they were going to show. They made it seem like a big deal. My boss and I (both huge KH nerds) took time out of our work day to watch the stream, but half an hour before the stream started, Amazon Video Games tweeted out a confusing, slightly weird, not funny, but seemingly jokey tweet.
And tweeting this out half an hour before the stream doesn’t really help especially if not many people pay attention to the Amazon Video Games Twitter account. So we get to the stream, hosted by the Kinda Funny crew (which on most occasions I love them and I’ve followed Greg Miller since he was with IGN) and of course the stream chat is just raving about KH3 which makes sense, Amazon has hyped this stream up enough for that. They showed off their “new” trailer, but there was a problem with it. It was just a cutdown version of the Together trailer we received a week ago.
Another problem was that their exclusive, awesome and new DLC wasn’t awesome or new or really on a technical use, exclusive. It was essentially a re-skin of the Kingdom Key. Even better, it was essentially the Japanese 7-11 re-skin. So it was all just lame. Of course the chat for the stream exploded because of this. My boss and I were also quite disappointed. It was all around a just bad showing.
And the true problem isn’t what they revealed. Had the stream just shown an already shown trailer and revealed an already known weapon re-skin, fans wouldn’t be raging, KHTubers wouldn’t be raging, and I wouldn’t be super disappointed. It’s the fact that Amazon hyped this up for a week, pointed out that they were showing KH3 content to get a core base for their stream’s audience, and promised something that they ultimately did not end up giving. They reneged on a deal between them and viewers. And while the KH fanbase can sometimes seem toxic or seem entitled (as all fanbases are wont to do), this is a case where they were promised something and then not given it. It wasn’t predicting that there’d be a trailer when no trailer was promised, it was predicting what that promised new world premiere trailer would be, except we didn’t get a new world premiere trailer, we got something we had already seen. That’s like promising a kid a new puppy for Xmas and giving them the dog they’ve already owned for a year when Xmas day comes.
Really, just if Amazon didn’t hype it up, or market their stream in a way to make it seem like they really had something to show, this wouldn’t be an issue. And you might have noticed that I’m not blaming anyone else. It’s cause I’m not. This situation squarely falls on Amazon. I felt sorry for the Kinda Funny crew when watching the stream because they were dealt a god awful hand. Their job’s just to read the script and keep the stream going. I don’t blame Square Enix or Disney, they likely don’t have much control over how others promote their products, especially when it comes to distributors. I blame Amazon for how they handled the situation.
Maybe they did have an actual new video. Maybe something happened last minute and they had to pull it, but, tweeting it out thirty minutes before the stream and not addressing it on the actual stream is bad damage control. Making a weird, terrible reference to the game series in question to excuse yourself is also bad damage control. If anything it makes the company seem shady (as if it weren’t already. Amazon is just a convenient evil, y’all). And though, sure, some fans were raging a bit too hard, in this case it was deserved. From the outlook, since the situation hasn’t really been explained, it just seems like a company put out false promotion to bait thousands of people into watching a stream, just for views, and then didn’t give those viewers what they wanted. The stream had over 14k viewers, and the moment they showed that lame duck of a “new” trailer it dropped to about 6k. Over half the audience, until more is explained, were baited and Amazon isn’t an amateur company. They could have handled this better. But right now they just seem like they were riding the coattails of something a lot of people, myself included, are invested in and screwed that audience over. That’s it.
So to cool everything over, I’ll leave you with the song of my people. My one truth in life, posted by Scrubadub Dubs. Later days.