Five Blockbusters Sony Failed To Properly Advertise

by Ernice Gilbert on February 6th, 2010, under Editorials, Playstation 3, Sony

Ah PS3, the console with some of the most amazing titles ever forged. FPS, Action-Adventure, RPGs, JRPGs, Platformers, MAG, Heavy Rain, All bigs games no? Indeed, Sony has managed, over the years, to bring some of the best gaming experiences to owners of its flagship console – but there’s a problem:

They don’t sell as well as they could and should. They just don’t. Sony could have made tens of millions more if only it’d put more advertising effort in some of its biggest franchises. Mind you, the giant does that for almost all of its first party games, but these five are the most outstanding.

Uncharted 1 – One of the titles that really showcased the power of PS3 not in just one but many ways. The narrative was awesome, storyline was great and the game’s visuals were second to none in its day, and although it sold a decent amount of copies (almost 3 million) the advertising force from Sony was weak. The critics loved it, gamers adored it and to this day folks still make references to the stellar title. IGN gave Uncharted: Drakes Fortune a 9.1/10 which is not a bad score for what was then a fresh IP.

But Sony didn’t do much at all; if you saw ads you were very lucky because I and many others saw none. The firm failed hard with this title.

Killzone 2 – This is probably the title Sony failed the hardest at on the advertising side of things. The internet was ablaze with hype, so hot that all you heard at one point for weeks on end was about Killzone 2’s visuals, how it’d be the Halo killer and set a new standard for the FPS genre.

Well if it did, not many know about it because the thing just recently barely hit the 2 million copies sold mark. What? Sony could have definitely done a way better job! I’m serious, I was looking, looking long and hard for a sign, a glimpse of anything that said Killzone on my TV, but I saw nothing. None. Sad but true, and what’s even worst is that the hardware giant spent a whopping, wait for it…. $40 million to develop the game. Yep, you read that correctly.

No bigger fail for Sony than the Killzone 2 lack of advertising.

Uncharted 2 – Okay I must admit, Uncharted 2 did receive a decent portion of the firm’s advertising dollars, but justice still was not served. Uncharted 2 is arguably the best game on PS3 right now, or on any other console for that matter. It raised the bar in terms of narrative and gameplay – seamlessly taking players in and out of cutscenes without they even noticing, the immersion is the best I’ve ever experienced, in fact it’s one of the highest ranking titles of all time.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves gave some of Hollywood’s biggest motion pictures a run and even won the race in many cases. So tell me, if a title is so big, so great in countless ways, why didn’t Sony give it the treatment it deserved? The “It Only Does Uncharted 2″ ad was in circulation but that wasn’t enough.

MAG - A new experience that promised big things, including for the first time, 256 players online in battle simultaneously but did it deliver? We’ll all know in time, the reviews however haven’t been forgiving. Most publications gave the game between 7-7.5, not something Zipper likes to see but it is what it is.

Yet, there are millions of customers who’ll never see these reviews and so, they rely on ads to do the job. Did Sony advertise MAG? Of course it did, albeit a dull effort but it did. All we saw was this one video with Kevin Butler again, which was fun and all but didn’t do the game justice – I for one would not run out and buy the title because of that advert and I’m sure millions more feel the same.

White Knight Chronicles – The JRPG is out now, but did you even notice? Neither did I; the only reason I’m aware of it is because it’s my job to know about this things. Regular gamers probably don’t have a clue about this awesome title if they don’t surf the web. Does Sony think all gamers surf the internet? Silly question but one that must be asked.

There are so many ways to advertise your game aside from online. Most people watch sports games and other major entertainment events, and I know getting a spot may sometimes be expensive but one must spend to earn.
The logic of spending big to make the title great and hoping that will create enough hype that’d translate into sales in not one that’s functioning right.

My conclusion is but a simply one: If you want the masses to play what you’ve worked so hard to create, then advertise it. See how simple that was?

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  1. Sun, 7th Feb 2010 at 12:38 am

    Totally agree I didn’t see one Mag promo other than the Kevin Butler ad and that wasn’t even on tv in my market and for Mag being all online and needing 256 players a match it is so key to get as many people as possible to buy the game and Mag is too good to get basically no ad revenue. White Knight Chronicles got the shaft for such a good game I didn’t see one peep in my market another stellar title left on the fringes of the hardcore gamer. Uncharted 1 got a ps3 bundle pack but other than that I didn’t even recognize or hear about it until my friend said you ever play Uncharted and I said what the racing game he lol’ed and preceded to turn me on to one of ps3’s best new IP. Then Uncharted 2 releases and I didn’t even see one commercial then when the media and gamers blew up the airwaves and cyberspace recognizing a GOTY then Sony opens up the wallet and I saw a bunch of publicity for it pushing it into GOTY status. So Sony what’s going to happen with Heavy Rain are you going to wait and test the waters?

    • Sun, 7th Feb 2010 at 7:49 am

      I wonder if they’ll ever learn : (

  2. Sun, 7th Feb 2010 at 1:42 am

    With Sony losing money per PS3 sold, they need to sell games to help offset that loss.

    They shouldn’t expect people that don’t read gaming news to know about their games if they aren’t advertising them constantly.

    • Sun, 7th Feb 2010 at 7:50 am

      Exactly, people are not sidekicks; if you don’t advertise then they simply won’t know.


  3. Sun, 7th Feb 2010 at 1:28 pm

    All I can say is…SVER FTW!

  4. Sun, 7th Feb 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Also, maybe it is better that PS3 shooters, like MAG and KZ2 for example, don’t sell to the masses. That way only the (ugh,lack of a better term) “hardcore” people buy it, keeping the kiddies and dummies away that play the game lone wolf. MAG is doing just fine now, with only a handful of those idiots running around by themselves. In time they too will trade it in and say the game sucks cause they keep dying, which will benefit everybody. I think in this case MAG’s lack of advertising actually helped it, and the game is a lot better.

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