PlayStation Store sales jump on new firmware release
Sony's increased marketing efforts help Doublesix's Burn Zombie Burn sales climb 40% following release of 3.00 upgrade
Doublesix has told GamesIndustry.biz that sales of its PSN title Burn Zombie Burn have jumped 40 per cent following the release of the 3.00 firmware upgrade for the PlayStation 3.
The update adds the What's New panel to the system, highlighting the latest additions to the PlayStation Store without users having to go online, and offering direct links to content.
"We're ecstatic at the 3.00 upgrade because not only have our sales gone up 40 per cent since the update but for me personally it's what I've been calling for and looking forward to for a long time," said James Brooksby, studio head at Doublesix.
"I've always been saying that effectively when you boot up the PlayStation 3 there's a 40 inch advertising space waiting to be used. Now instead of saying to the user 'what would you like to play today' - which is the basic console offering - it's saying 'this is what we think you should play today' and that's a major step forward for the entire industry and the digital distribution sector."
Brooksby said the latest update is proof that Sony is endorsing digital distribution, and it's important to continue educating consumers to new ways of accessing and buying content.
"We assume that consumers are all tech-savvy but they still buy discs and assume that's how they get games. It's so good that we're going to be encouraging new people into this new world of buying games online on their console.
"It's endorsing digital distribution as a massive part of the future. This isn't a store where you go and buy t-shirts, this is a store where games exist. Consumers make that mental leap, to not just know they are online but to go shopping for games and content. We've definitely seen a change," he added.
"Even though we weren't featured on the frontpage of the store it's just incredibly encouraging that when we do our next game we'll know that people will turn on their consoles and be told our game is available."
Home console manufacturers need to continue to increase their marketing for downloadable content and highlight ease of use, said Brooksby, in the same way that Apple's advertising for the iPhone and iPod Touch has educated consumers to the App Store.
"There's obviously a lot of general marketing to the masses that this space exists. In the same way that Apple is advertising games for the iPhone and pointing out how users can easily download them.
"I still think there's a long way to go in mass market advertising to people who still assume that the disc is the only way to get games."
And developers need to offer quality titles for sale, said Brooksby, so as to not disappoint first-time consumers of digital content.
"It's up to us and other developers to make sure there are quality games in that space. I am nervous about the space being undermined by bad experiences.
"We don't want users to buy a few titles and be disappointed if it's confusing and quite a lot of games are low quality. If consumers gets their fingers burnt, it won't take much for users to not come back after an experience like that."