A powerful demon
Look. Let me explain something to you: Marketing is the act of telling people what your product is, and why you should buy the game. DmC's original trailer told us nothing. Capcom just went into TGS10, dropped the trailer, and waited. There was no backstory for this particular version of Dante. Nobody understood why Dante is looking like this beat up, bruised teenage has-been. A lot of people called him the drug addict, punk Dante because he looks emo. Something from the 2000's, there was a time when being emo was popular, but by the time DmC was revealed, this boat has sailed, it was a fad. It's a fad. Not just because of his hair, but the fact that his character model looks like he hurt himself many times.The marketing did what marketing does, inform the consumer about the product. Yet, people literally ignored the developers making the game in favor of doomsaying and spreading baseless rumors. People bitched how Dane looked like a drug addict, despite the concise explanation of him being a guy who loves to fight, and therefore gets into fights a lot, which owed to the mugshot of him being all bruised up, but no, people saw that picture, and I guess...assumed he'd just always look that way? Even though injuries heal, and Dante's injuries doubly so. But nooooo, he looks like a drug addict because he happens to be all bruised up!
People also bitched how he didn't have white hair, despite him having a splotch of white from the get-go, and Jones telling people that this was an origin story, and the hair color would make sense in the end. People listened to rumors of dial-a-combo and overheating guns, and not when the devs said that it would play and feel just like a DMC game, that it had the "DNA" the over-the-top slashy-shooty-stylin' franchise is known for.
People brought up concerns, and some were addressed, yet many demanded things as if they knew exactly how the game should be made, which is just flat-out insulting. Heavns no~ Angel Lift can be spammed and it keeps the weakest enemy in the game aloft, it's aaaaall wrong, it must be fixed! Telling the devs that "this should work like this" is bullshit, when it works the way the devs already intended it to. There's nothing the marketing could have done to appease the people who were just angry it wasn't DMC5, and was meant to appeal to a wider audience.
It's fine to not be interested in a game, to each their own, but people were damn-near militant against the game, refusing to listen to what the devs said if it ran counter to their opinion. The games "issues" were made up from it not being DMC5, but it was a damn fine game in and of itself, only made better by the definitive edition.
The first image shows him in jail, with a sort of "I just logged into jail, man." People started asking questions, "What is this?" Then the trailer dropped, people got mad, ****ed off because the trailer show nothing but Dante doing what he does best: Kicking ass. There's a problem, though: Other scenes show a background (a sort of a jail cell, looks like a bathroom in a jail) full of splattered blood, and his mug being in jail. No story, no compelling reason why this character got this drastic change from the grey-haired sarcastic mofo with a sword... None. Okay? That's not how you present a new version of a beloved character. That's not how you "reboot" a character like Dante, especially when Dante didn't need to be "rebooted."
If the original trailer had a story behind it, then I think people would react a bit receptive than they did. But the trailer did nothing. Didn't tell us anything. Whoever did this trailer was stupid. Didn't even understand what made Dante popular in the first place. Dante had a cool story from the minute it (DMC1) was revealed. People had no idea who Dante was, but he was cool enough to be careless, against hordes of enemies tougher than him. So, he got the reputation of a "badass."
DMC4's change was a change of character, like MGS2. The difference, though is that with MGS2, we didn't learn about Raiden until we played the game. In my perspective, I didn't even know Raiden was the final lead character. I think that's how people rioted against MGS2.