In June 2021, the announcement trailer for the upcoming Xbox game “The Outer Worlds 2” was released at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase Event. The trailer was produced and created by Goodbye Kansas Studios together with agency Buddha Jones, and has since won several awards, including two Lovie Awards and silver at Epica Awards.
The trailer can be described as a tongue-in-cheek parody that mocks the tropes we see within game trailers, including classic game elements like a monster, soldiers, exotic alien landscapes and a hero. And a very serious narrator, dramatically explaining every step of the trailer.
“We didn’t take any shortcuts. We wanted to provide familiarity and produce a classic trailer with over-the-top visuals. It had to look as impressive as all the other games trying to impress audiences”, says Jörgen Lilja, Executive Producer at Goodbye Kansas Studios.
Entrusted with a high level of creative freedom from the agency Buddha Jones and encouraged to challenge their creative abilities, Goodbye Kansas Studios Cinematic team took this creative project very seriously, despite the humorous overtones of the script.
“Even though we understood the humorous narrative, we had to take the visuals very seriously for the trailer to make sense. For us, the narration gave us a challenge, to make the most amazing monster and the most detailed one-take through the canyons. We had to take each aspect very seriously. The visuals and the narrative were fit for the Outer Worlds universe. It’s part of the IP for Outer Worlds, the ‘over the top-ness’. But the joke isn’t in the visuals, it’s more in the storytelling”, says Kristian Zarins, VFX Supervisor at Goodbye Kansas.
Looking at this work as disruptive and subversive for the gaming industry, Goodbye Kansas felt proud to lend their abilities to create the visual effects for the Outer Worlds 2 trailer. The success of the unique trailer was made evident by YouTube creators who have since used the voiceover for their videos or gameplay.
“Creating a trailer like this is not an offer you get often,” says Kristian, “you get the opportunity to break new ground, but the next time you do, you are no longer the first. We love to be trail blazers here at Goodbye Kansas. I guess it’s in our DNA.”