If you have paid attention to any of our editorials here at Blend Games since late 2006, you would have noticed a consistent disdain for a particular section of Sony’s business model: their video game marketing section.
Sadly, these guys and gals have done very little to properly promote many of their own first-party games, and in result have managed to create a very sub-par community outside the initial fan-boy hype.
Like everyone else out on the net who have seen viral marketing videos for some of Sony’s exclusives, you sort of wonder why they stop there. In comparison, Microsoft has all sorts of ridiculous marketing ploys surrounding many of their first-party titles, leading up to the game’s release.
In some cases MS will even continue to schedule events, make announcements and continue the viral marketing just past the game’s release, like what they did with Gears of War and Halo 3.
Even now, compare the likes of Gears of Wars 2 energy drinks, announcements for limited and collector's editions, as well as a vibrant promotional campaigns, to the simple techniques employed by Sony for Resistance 2. It is almost as if they expect the game to do well and that they should leave it alone, completely.
It appears especially odd considering that gamers seem to be more enthusiastic for Resistance 2 than Sony does. Even sub-par games from Microsoft's first-party division seem to receive more attention and promotional efforts from MS than Sony's own triple-A game.
Last year there was an http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2007/10/18/does-nintendos-last-minute-hype-really-sell-games-a-tale-from-the-sf-summit/ by Stephen Tolilo that exemplifies an extreme case of lacking marketing support for an exclusive title. In this case, it was the lack of hype for Nintendo's own Battalion Wars 2. The company purposefully excluded the game from the press circles and the sale results outside of Japan, according http://www.videogamer.com/news/19-02-2008-7554.html, weren't even meager.
In fact, Battalion Wars 2 failed to debut within the Top 40 for the month in which it was released. Now I am definitely not saying that Resistance 2 will debut in a 20th position among PS3-only titles, but what I am saying is that Sony could be missing out on a potentially ample opportunity for one of their exclusives. Resistance 2 could could be promoted to be a system seller like MGS4, yet it is not.
Now it is possible that Sony could be saving their marketing prowess for the likes of KillZone 2; a true triple-A title in the eyes of many gamers. The problem, however, is that KillZone 2 is not remotely close to being released. And at present, the PS3 is not only lacking mascot star-power, but it is also in dire need of exclusive titles to follow up the success of Metal Gear Solid 4.
So while Resistance 2 will definitely move enough units to be considered a success by Insomniac and the general public, the lack of over-hype is doing a disservice to Sony's own PlayStation 3. As this is one of the few games that could be promoted to the point of which it compels gamers to buy a PS3 for the game. Sort of how MGS4 was over-hyped and promoted by Konami to purposefully shift PS3 units.
Sony's tactic instead - despite gamers seriously rallying behind Resistance 2 and its obvious rivalry with Gears of War 2 - is about doing the standard-fair job of getting Resistance 2 out there and leaving it. There's still close to two months before the game is officially going to hit store shelves. But in all honesty, if Sony has not given the game any sort of promotional campaigns to look like a system-seller, they aren't going to. More PlayStation 3 News...