When you speak about the anime world, Shonen Jump is easily the first thing that comes to mind. With Jump Force representing the 50th anniversary of the Shonen Jump franchise, the expectations for this game are sky high to say the least. Players are hoping for an absolute treat of an anime game - from a massive roster to superbly polished gameplay with a variety of game modes.
Well, we played the of this game, and as far as gameplay goes, we have to say that we genuinely love it. It plays very similar to other 3D anime fighters, like Dragon Ball Xenoverse and One Piece: Burning Blood. It also looks the part too. The visuals of the game are downright jawdropping with the art-style being just right to do the anime style justice.
But despite the game ticking the right boxes, is there still room for failure? Unfortunately, yes. If Bandai Namco keep giving the game such poor treatment as far as marketing goes, it may well fail to live up to the hype, just like its predecessor, J-STARS Victory VS+.
At Jump Festa 2019, fans from all over the world were waiting with baited breath to see some new characters introduced to the game and some brand new gameplay, featuring some never-before seen action. Sadly, the fans did not get what they were hoping for.
What Bandai Namco decided to show at this year's Jump Festa was the build of the same polished beta that we've already seen - featuring the same characters nonetheless. Avid anime fans are left feeling disappointed with what Bandai Namco had to show at this year's event, and if the biggest anime lovers are already slowly abandoning the hype train, what does that say for other, casual fans of the genre?
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Jump Festa was Bandai Namco's biggest shot at attracting audience to the game that's supposed to be the biggest anime crossover title of all time, and we cannot help but think that they failed to seize this opportunity.
The way Bandai Namco are handling the marketing of Jump Force, we cannot see a lot of non-anime fans being hyped for this game, or even getting it at all, simply because they may feel that the game is geared towards hardcore anime fans only. Not wanting to spend money on a game that you think is going to make you feel like a fish out of water is a perfectly valid reason not to buy it, and a bad marketing campaign has the power to do exactly that.
Now, don't get us wrong, we're not saying that Jump Force is going to be a bad game. Quite the contrary, we actually think it's going to be brilliant. We just fear that the way Bandai Namco are handling the game's marketing may end up keeping it in the dark. And what good is a brilliant game without a huge playerbase?
Bandai Namco Entertainment
It wouldn't be the first time Bandai Namco messed up with releasing one of their titles that ultimately failed due to poor decision making in terms of release dates and marketing. Just look at My Hero One's Justice - it was released on the same day as Red Dead Redemption 2. Surely they could have planned that out a bit better because October 26 was all about the Rockstar giant.
And what about Black Clover: Quartet Knights? Without Crunchyroll and its ads - most fans wouldn't even know this game existed. Bandai Namco definitely need to rethink their marketing strategies when it comes to their anime titles, because at this rate, games that are absolutely amazing in a number of different ways often get outshone by whatever else is being released on the same day.
We just hope that they decide to go all out with advertising this ultimate anime brawler because it is very much a title that deserves to be played by the entirety of the fighting games community, and not just anime fans.