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Sony: Don't send self-published titles out "to die lonely and unloved"

Eden reveals marketing avenues and statistics for PSN titles

Sony has said that the first batch of self-published titles for the PlayStation Network suffered from a lack of marketing, and that developers should not fall into the trap of pushing a title out "to die lonely and unloved."

Speaking at GDC last week, Chris Eden, development relations manager for Sony, said that developers who self-publish must be aware of marketing opportunities long before the game is finished.

"One thing we've learnt with the first batch of self-published titles is that marketing has often been overlooked," offered Eden.

"Too many developers have got into the mentality of 'we'll finish the game, and then we'll start the marketing.' That is way too late. You really need to start your marketing efforts at the minimum of two months out from release."

"As developers we've all had times when we've put our games out and watched a publisher's marketing department send it out to die lonely and unloved. As a self publisher, you are your marketing department," he stated.

Eden took the opportunity to reveal figures for Sony's internal marketing machine, which the company encourages all partners to take advantage of.

The official PlayStation Blog is "wildly popular" said Eden, racking up over 1.3 million page views per week, and has over 40,000 users subscribing to updates via RSS feeds. Developers are given access to the site to post their own content, and he said that on average 150 websites link to each update. "Consumers love being able to interact with developers," added Eden.

PlayStation.com is also an essential route for promotion, with over two million visits per week from PlayStation 3 browsers alone. The PSN email newsletter goes to over two million users in the US, said Eden, with a open rate of 25 per cent.

Sony has embarked on a renewed push for self-publishing on the PlayStation Network, and last week revealed plans to match development budgets in return for exclusivity.

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