Friday, June 27, 2008

Solid Snake shows Sony some selling skills

Hey folks,

As many may know, Metal Gear Solid 4 hit the world 2 weeks ago. So far, over 3 million copies of the game have been shipped to retailers around the globe with over a million already sold. Now as impressive as those numbers may be for a game series that has always been more of dark horse game both here and in Japan, the fact that PS3 sells numbers went way up due to the game is what really has people talking.

Just a few days ago, PlayStation president Kaz Hirai announced during a Sony meeting that in the first week of launch of MGS4 in Japan, 8 times as many PS3 systems sold then in the previous week. There are no numbers yet on American sales, but that is still really impressive none the less. When I was at the MGS4 midnight launch, I remember they had about 50 PS3's in stock at the Best By on La Brea and all 50 sold out that night including none MGS related ones. So when they say a game is a system seller, this what they really mean.

Honestly, its really great to see MGS4 do so well. I have been a big fan of the MGS series since the first Playstation release, but always felt bad since it never was considered a huge "mainstream" game. The MGS series has always been known as more of a cerebral type series with more emphasis on sneaking around, light action, heavy story and cool adventures. Due to this, the series was always on the cusp of becoming mainstream and oddly enough the games always sold better in America then in Japan.

Finally though, the Metal Gear series is getting the real attention it deserves with pretty much anyone and everyone talking about MGS4 and even people who never played the other games wanting to check it out now. Its sort of ironic though that Solid Snakes last adventure is what finally gets people to check out this series.

One thing though that seems to have really helped MGS4 sell so well I think is that it had some great marketing behind it. As oppose to the previous three games, MGS4 was all over the place. Thanks to all the new game news sites popping up over the last few years, the growing awareness of the video game culture as well Kojima Productions getting involved in their own word of mouth and Sony actually really backing the game this time around, MGS4 is really doing well for itself.

I would get into how important internet and viral marketing has become for games now a days, but the proof is in the pudding. Despite MGS4 being the best looking PS3 game to date, I really think all the internet hype is what really helped sell this game and these new internet marketing ideas are the wave of the future. Hollywood has already caught on to this idea as evident with all the Dark Knight stuff that has appeared over the last few months. With developer blogs, videos made directly for internet sites and designers really making sure their face is out there, we are really seeing a new birth of marketing that is really helping the game industry I must say.

Anyway, I am glad MGS4 is doing so well and I hope that Mr. Kojima and crew are working on another great game for us to feast on. Till then though, I think I am gonna keep walking around doing my best Liquid Ocelot voice calling everyone "Brother!".

-P. Knight

No comments: