The game's popularity among Bethesda employees was among the reasons for its shadow drop release as the marketing team believed word-of-mouth would drive buzz as it did internally at Bethesda.
Hi-Fi Rush, the rhythmic action game developed by Tango Gameworks, made a splash with its shadow drop release last week after being featured in the Xbox Developer_Direct. The game's bright anime-inspired cel-shaded look, fast-paced rhythm-based gameplay, and catchy soundtrack quickly gained attention on social media.
It turns out that the public was not the first to fall in love with Hi-Fi Rush. The game was already creating a buzz internally at Bethesda, which played a role in Tango's decision to surprise-release the game.
In an interview with IGN, Hi-Fi Rush director John Johanas shared some details about the game's shadow drop release. According to him, prior to its launch, the game was already popular internally, among Bethesda employees. He explained that Hi-Fi Rush was passed from one employee to another and gained popularity through word-of-mouth, creating a "viral positivity".
Johanas believes that releasing the game on Game Pass was an opportunity to let the game reach a wider audience and build momentum without the need for a big marketing campaign, as people would naturally talk about the game after playing it.
He also noted that the decision to shadow-drop the game was, in part, due to the marketing team's concerns over how a lengthy marketing campaign would play out. So, they decided on a sudden release on Game Pass without a big marketing push as they believed that it would generate organic buzz through word-of-mouth, similar to how the game gained popularity internally at Bethesda during development.
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