In an effort to tie in more popularity with its brand – especially in its current troubled state as Sony continues to battle Microsoft over Activision Blizzard – the PlayStation brand just introduced a new promotion called Playmakers.
The goal of Playmakers, according to Senior Vice President and Head of Global Marketing at Sony Interactive Entertainment Eric Lempel, is to tie in “with genuine PlayStation fans who love to share their passion with their friends, community and fellow gamers.”
There’s just one problem with this – they don’t mean actual gamers. Instead, the program is meant to show partnerships with more popular athletes, celebrities and streamers that just happen to be fans of PlayStation.
So, instead of actually doing something with its community, Sony is reaching out to those with higher popularity and audience counts.
“Our approach has always focused on partnerships with genuine PlayStation fans who love to share their passion with their friends, community and fellow gamers,” said Lempel in a recent interview. “We also wanted to assemble a group of talent who resonate globally and on a regional level, while representing the diversity of our PlayStation community.”
But note that, again, it’s an exclusive club of sorts, and not necessarily those that went out of their way to buy all things PlayStation. These include the likes of “NBA icon
LeBron James, country music star Jimmie Allen, actor and comedian King Bach, professional BMX athlete Nigel Sylvester, WNBA All-Rookie NaLyssa Smith, NFL stars Ja’Marr Chase and CeeDee Lamb, French football freestyler Lisa Zimouche, Belgian football star Romelu Lukaku, Brazilian content creator Julio Cocielo, and a variety of other stars from the worlds of gaming, sports, esports, and entertainment.”
Which is great when it comes to promotion and what-not. But at a time when some people are wondering if Sony’s starting to lose its touch with its audience, is it a really good idea to form an exclusive club of elite stars and celebrities to celebrate PlayStation with, instead of the fans themselves?
It just seems like a move that’s divisive. I’m sure Sony sees it as an opportunity in which it can try to bring in other fans that love certain celebrities, like LeBron James’ fan club and some streamers that still haven’t picked up a PlayStation 5 just yet. But, by the same token, it’s shutting the door on the company doing anything with its fans in terms
of genuine interaction or celebrating actual people that go out of their way to enjoy all things PlayStation. Celebrities and streaming types, it seems, provide a much safer bet.
It just feels like a cold shoulder. It’s like “we would love to take part in a promotional program to celebrate our upcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 with something that shows just how devoted you Spidey fans are.” (This is especially true with the new Spiderverse movie coming our way this year.) But, instead, they decide to work with established
stars that happen to own a PlayStation? Without any sort of giveaways or anything involving the community?
It just feels like an empty showcase announcement. “Hey, these guys like PlayStation. You should like PlayStation too!” it feels as if that more could be done to celebrate the platform and the games, especially now, when Microsoft seems to be showing more love for its community, in spite of the whole Activision Blizzard situation.
More than likely, the program will run its course, and then likely shed off like others we’ve seen before it. I just hope that, with the effect that will come from it, Sony finally remembers the thing that put PlayStation on the map to begin with – the gamers that deserve celebration themselves. Because, otherwise, that community may dwindle, and who is going to buy the super expensive PlayStation VR2 units then?
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