This has been a topic of discussion for awhile, but the official failure of Sony's marketing team has hit a crescendo this week with the shift away and layoffs from Sony's two long time studios, Lightbox and Nihilistic. It's always sad to see people lose their jobs, but when the loss of their jobs come from someone not holding up their end of the bargain, makes the sting even more apparent to the outside world. The tales of Sony's marketing, or lack thereof, are long in tooth. Prior to this week, the latest debacle was the Vita, where despite having many pluses over their competition on paper, Sony decided to play the mute and not market the most powerful handheld until one month before release, the results speak for themselves. Yes the Vita has shortcomings as does every piece of hardware out there, but marketing and PR are supposed to make you look past this, or at least have you weighing the pros and cons prior to making a purchasing decision. Product awareness, creating the need, all things that are the responsibility of this division and all failures at the same time. It's head scratching for a company of this size to fail so consistently at something they know is important.
Moving to the game side, exclusive titles are the most abundant and critically strong on the PlayStation 3 platform of all the big three, yet at best achieve commercially luke warm receptions in relation to the other companies big titles and at worst, are abysmal failures. What is the theme with these failures? A lack of any sort of marketing or word of mouth. Yet despite the same result, Sony does nothing. Those failures are all the more confounding due to the relative "newness" of the trend. It may surprise you, but Sony's marketing team and campaigns were ingenious for the last two generations, so why now? At one time, a sure fire way to success was to have the most exclusives, but Sony is proving this statement false. Between frankly piss poor release schedules and the worst marketing in gaming today, Sony continually sends great games out there to die and the trend is not changing. The message it is telling developers is that we want you to make games for us, but we will literally do nothing to help you sell these games and subsequently cut ties with you when they fail. I refuse to believe having the best games and a lot of them is a bad thing despite what the numbers say, but something needs to be done or you are going to see less exclusives on Sony platforms.
My question to you is this. In today's gaming landscape, is it better to release less games with superior marketing behind them, or release more games like Sony with little support? You can tackle this from many different angles and the answer is different depending on how you look at it. As a gamer, more games are great, but looking at it from a business stand point it's difficult to argue with results and the results do not favor Sony's strategy. Let me know in the comments below.
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