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Sony Gets It Right with Subway Promotion
So I took my lunch break at Subway the other day. I saw all these posters for Uncharted 3 all over the store. I was kind of confused, initially; was it a joke? Turns out, it wasn’t. See, Sony actually partnered with Subway to promote its next big PlayStation 3-exclusive title, Uncharted 3. What does this mean to consumers of Subway or fans of Uncharted? Well, aside from grubbing on some relatively healthy food, going to Subway can land you an Uncharted 3 code to download and play the game’s complete multiplayer mode before it officially launches (if you buy a large soda). I’ve always said that Sony needs to step up their marketing game — promote their exclusive titles to a bigger audience.
Some journalists dissed Sony for making this move, though. But, honestly, I think this is a good start for Sony, even if I don’t fully like this specific partnership. I see it as a smart move. By partnering with Subway for this promotion, not only is Sony pleasing the hardcore fans of Uncharted, but they’re reaching out to new fans who aren’t necessarily aware of this wonderful series. Marketing isn’t only about releasing a good game and buying ads on prime time TV. You need to think out of the box to increase sales. So the promotion makes some sense.
The reason Microsoft does pretty good every year is because of the company’s marketing skills. Let’s look at Halo 3, for example. I remember seeing that game everywhere. From Doritos bags, soft drinks and 7/11. Why didn’t I hear so much hate for that? Probably because they’re accustomed to seeing promotions like that from Microsoft. We saw the same thing for titles like Perfect Dark Zero and Kinect. Hell, remember those Burger King-themed games? And whether I personally like seeing a certain game associated with a particular brand is irrelevant; Sony needs to keep doing promotions like this. Why has Resistance 3 not sold as well as Gears of War 3? I’m sure a big part of the reason is marketing.
Today, Sony released a new TV commercial in Japan featuring Harrison Ford. I, for one, love it. We all know he isn’t a hardcore gamer, but the idea of him playing Uncharted 3 reminds me of Indiana Jones. It hits a nostalgic chord. That’s the type of stuff I love to see from Sony. Having a Subway tie-in isn’t going to kill the series. Millions will still buy the game next month. They’re just trying to get a few million more to notice it. And at the end of the day, whether some of us refuse to acknowledge it, this is a business. Promotions like this Uncharted/Subway one exist to make money. It’s something we just have to get used to.