Everything about the run-up to the release of The prophesiedSquare Enix’s big new open-world action RPG, has been one Calm rubbish. But you wouldn’t know that from the launch trailer which remains upbeat about the modern magical adventure by taking a bunch of words out of context and turning them into deceptive accolades.
“This one The prophesied the launch trailer kind of tells us the game might not be that good and this is how i know,” said trailer editing supporter Derek Lieu in a TikTok video that exploded over the weekend. “The biggest red flag is these quotes that are one or two words long.”
He proceeded to go through each sentence that appeared on the screen during playback, finding the original source it came from and reading aloud the larger context. In almost every case, the meaning was very different from the way the words were presented in the trailer, and not intended as unequivocal praise.
In one example, Square Enix extracted the word “Beautiful” from a December preview published on To distract. In context, however, the quote didn’t say that The prophesied was beautiful, but that it had the “potential” to become a “beautiful story-driven game that will tug at your heartstrings with every new chapter”. It was, after all, a preview, not a review of the final game, though the site’s editor said she disagreed with how the word was used.
“Square Enix requested permission to use the quote, and we approved it,” To distract said game editor Sara Belcher my city in an email. “In our current review, I refer to the game as “beautiful” (that’s been my opinion of the game’s world since the preview, which is why I personally didn’t feel the quote felt out of context). We do not charge for the use of quotes in promotional material.”
In another example, the Final fantasy maker takes out the word “impressive”. Game informant. The only problem is that the word in question isn’t even from a hands-on preview, but from one writing news from a Sony State of Play gameplay trailer. Frey’s movement capabilities are impressive, allowing him to move quickly in and out of battle in both air and water situations.
To sum it up then, The prophesied‘s latest trailer featured a shortened quote from someone describing one of his older trailers. Game informants actual review gave the game a 7.5 out of 10. It did not contain the word impressive, but described protagonist Frey’s overall adventure as “[not] without the highlights.”
Game informant did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
told Lieu my city that the intent of the video was not to claim that he thinks the game is or will be bad, but rather that the misleading framing strongly implies that Square Enix didn’t have enough faith in the game to let it stand on its own without the false distinctions.
“They could be wrong with this approach and the game is actually good, or has merits they could focus on instead of looking for quotes,” he said. “So I think it says more about the people responsible for marketing the game than the game itself.”
Companies that rely on misleading critic quotes and reviews is nothing new. Sometimes they remove the original context. Sometimes they just look for any source, reliable or not, that says your game is great. Almost always, the awards themselves are in giant fonts, while the publications they’re taken from are too small to read unless you take the time to analyze them in a TikTok video like Lieu.
He also shared two for comparison The lawsuit trailers that make the game look attractive without resorting to lies. The first was one trailer for the demo released last month. The second was a recut of one existing social media trailer which was repeatedly roasted online for its Joss Whedon-esque fourth-wall-breaking dialogue.
“The real problem isn’t the narration at all, it’s that they don’t lean hard enough on the tone that the narration is supposed to sell and I know that because I just proved it to be safe,” wrote Twitter user spellbang which took the same ingredients but remixed them in a way that looked much cooler while keeping the sensibility of the original.
Aside from the artistry behind making a good video game trailer, lying is bad and companies shouldn’t do that. It’s bad enough when a trailer full of pre-made footage, for example, masks how poorly a game actually runs. However, it is even worse when companies go to great lengths to frame independent media outlets for their deception. Publishers are expected to get permission before using quotes from others in their marketing, and to be transparent about how they will be used.
Square Enix did not immediately respond to requests for comment.