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Cinematic video game trailers value concept over game mechanics

Cinematic trailers don't have a lot in common with the finished product, but that's ok if the trailer contributes to the overall world of the game.

“For me it’s not important that the game is done because I’m just using that as a starting point to kind of create a customized world that tells the story in the trailer.”

- Director Joseph Kosinski explains his process for creating game trailers. 

A recent Bloomberg article explains exactly why video game trailers differ so much from the product they’re trying to sell and how, in most cases, these trailers are created and released before the game they’re promoting is even finished.

For Joseph Kosinski, director of both the Gears of War Mad World trailer and the Assassin’s Creed Unity cinematic spot, the actual game has little effect on his creative process. Instead, he draws his inspiration from the concept art. 

“Typically, what I like to do is take the world of the game and interpret it a bit,” said Kosinski. “So you’re taking inspiration from the concept art for the game, and maybe some beta—you know, if they have a version of the game that partially works—and based on that, we’ll build our own version. For me, it’s not important that the game is done, because I’m just using that as a starting point."

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