I see people talking about how companies like Nintendo or Blizzard will conveniently have a new game announcement or news of some sort shortly following some negative development, like when a Melee tournament was shut down and then Sephiroth was announced to “Distract” people. I have a hard time believing a company will dedicate that many resources to just distract people from bad news, but is there any truth to that as a marketing technique?

Not to my knowledge, no. It takes months of planning, development, tuning, and testing in order to create a new character for a fighting game like that, let alone a whole new game announcement. The truth of the matter is that most publishers are constantly developing new content in development and have new announcements scheduled on a regular basis. The relentless march onward toward new content and new games necessitates new announcements regularly.

Think about the summer industry events for a moment. In June, you’ve got E3. July has Comic Con. August has GamesCom. September is Tokyo Game Show. Most game publishers will have some kind of hype announcement scheduled for each of these events. If any negative publicity occurs during any of these months, you’re really only a week or two away at most from a major announcement. There’s also GDC, the various PAX events, BlizzCon, DICE, the various eSports events, Evo, Final Fantasy Fan Fest, Capcom Cup, QuakeCon, South by Southwest, and so on and so forth. Because we cannot go for too long without announcing new things, any kind of negative publicity will, more likely than not, run into a new announcement of some kind before too long.

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