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The Daily Grind: Should trailers use only in-game footage?


The purpose of a game trailer is undoubtedly to showcase the game and generate some excitement for it. Many companies opt to release trailers using in-game footage, making a big selling point of their game's graphics. This strategy has been used to successfully promote games from World of Warcraft to TERA. With a trailer containing actual game footage, players can get a good impression of what the game will look like before giving it a try. On the other end of the spectrum, some companies choose to create vivid cinematics to showcase the game's story and get fans excited. These tend to show some key point in the game's lore, which fans of that IP are likely to respond well to. We've seen some pretty epic cinematics for World of Warcraft's Cataclysm expansion, DC Universe Online's in-depth story, Lego Universe's unique gameplay ideas and Star Wars: The Old Republic's epic backstory.

With the latest few EVE Online trailers, there has been a strange merging of those two ideas. EVE's trailers were once filmed using only in-game footage, but over the past several expansions, CCP has begun moving into a more cinematic style. The trailers still depict the in-game environment but are rendered in an external scene-composition suite using higher resolution versions of all the models and textures in-game. The latest trailer for EVE's upcoming Incursion expansion certainly looks good and tells the story of what's to come, but is it missing something fundamental by using out-of-game graphics?

Where do you stand on this issue? Should game trailers use only in-game footage or do you find well-done cinematics more enticing? And is there a middle ground where the two can meet?
Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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