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Milo

General discussion of the Sonic 4 saga's PR, marketing, and sales.

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A discussion thread about the PR (Ken Balough, and any other SoA staff who took part) as well as the marketing (True Blue Initiative, ads/special offers/etc.) and the commercial reception of the Sonic 4 saga as a whole or the saga's inidividual episodes. Debates on ideas on how you think the games/saga as a whole should had been marketed or should be marketed in the future, in case any future Sonic 4 episodes are made are welcome.

Sega's recent method of trying to market/sell the Sonic 4 saga is offering Episode I as Starbucks's Pick Of The Week App - buy a cup of Starbucks Coffee, get Episode I as a free app. UK only.

I also brought up this in the TBI thread:

7777603708_92ca290004.jpg

Thoughts, ideas, rants, etc.? Fire away.

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Urm... I think I should point something out here.

This isn't exactly a major thing which Sega are not promoting themselves. It's not been mentioned by anyone at Sega at all, nor has it been put on any Sega media outlets, blogs, facebook, flickr etc.

The Starbucks thing seems more of a deal between Starbucks and Apple with Sega having barely any invocement at all. In fact Sega is only mentioned once on the card in very small plain text.

So yeah... Don't think this is really Sega pushing much with this one.

On my mobile so I'll post a more in-depth thing later on my stance regarding the promotion of this game.

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The coffee lasts longer than the game.

And both leave a bitter taste in your mouth...

Seriously though hasn't both episodes of Sonic 4 sold well? The goal for SEGA is to sell as many copies as possible so they must be doing something right. Which episode has had more advertising. I assume Episode 2?

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Sonic 4, both Episodes, were incredibly well marketed. They had the fans foaming at the mouth, begging for news and went so far as to borderline lie in order to build up hype. And it worked. Really bloody well. The games sucked, the fanbase in general would agree that S4 as a whole was lacklustre but after two episodes it still sold brilliantly at a high price.

If they pull the same crap a third time though, what with announcing the games title and not showing anything so much as a logo for months, I'm sure many more will be too pissed off to care.

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Sonic 4, both Episodes, were incredibly well marketed. They had the fans foaming at the mouth, begging for news and went so far as to borderline lie in order to build up hype. And it worked. Really bloody well. The games sucked, the fanbase in general would agree that S4 as a whole was lacklustre but after two episodes it still sold brilliantly at a high price.

If they pull the same crap a third time though, what with announcing the games title and not showing anything so much as a logo for months, I'm sure many more will be too pissed off to care.

Considering the much lower sales Episode II has in comparison to Episode I, this already happened regarding the second episode, especially when you take into account how absymnal Episode I for many classic fans; as well as Episode II's refocused demographic, which essentially rendered the remaining hopeful who were still interested in the saga out of focus if not entirely out of the picture. Hell, Ken Balough even told classic fans to play Generations or CD insted if they wanted a classic experience that was a boxed quality product (concerning the former) or had apples-to-apples physics (concerning the latter).

If Episode III did pull the same crap a third time, nobody would give a shit aside from fans of the previous episode(s), who would thus be the only people the game would be created for and marketed to in the process.

Edited by Miku Hatsune

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Considering the much lower sales Episode II has in comparison to Episode I, this already happened regarding the second episode, especially when you take into account how absymnal Episode I for the classic demographic and how Episode II's target demographic shifted away from them. Hell, Ken Balough even told classic fans to play Generations or CD insted if they wanted a classic experience that was a boxed quality product (concerning the former) or had apples-to-apples physics (concerning the latter).

"Much lower sales"?

I know TSSZ made that claim based on positions in the iTunes store charts, but I'm fairly certain Ken said that in actuality E2 had sold better than E1.

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"Much lower sales"?

I know TSSZ made that claim based on positions in the iTunes store charts, but I'm fairly certain Ken said that in actuality E2 had sold better than E1.

Source?

Edited by Miku Hatsune

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Not sure of the specific source, but there's this. I'll keep looking. Now, do you have a source that says the sales of E2 weren't good?

I'll have to admit that this was based on the TSSZ article(s) you mentioned (herp derp, there goes my credibility) regarding how E2 placed in the iOS/XBLA charts and how long it held it's position there. So I'll have to agree that it likely isn't performing as badly as I stated before, but I doubt it's doing as good or even better than E1, considering the mixed critical reception, how uncertain Sonic Team is on E3's status, and the fact that the game's PR had to fall back on their TBI campaign.

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The thing is, it's now been over four months since Ep2 was released. What we want to see, is some up to date figures. Who knows what effect Episode Metal (cough) had on the sales. Might have improved Ep1 sales by a little bit, especially those who had a Wii, and ended up having to buy both episodes on a different system.

Ep2 was released about 19 months after Ep1, correct? Ep2 would have been well under development six months prior to release, I would imagine. So it may be well into 2013 before SEGA even decide if there will be an Ep3. Could be a barron first half of the year in 2013, i.e. lack of new Sonic games.

Edited by NightwingFox

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They sold this duology on nostaligia alone. IMO, Sonic 4 Episode 2 was the first Sonic game to fall into the Sonic cycle for a long time.

..And how the hell did it fall into the Sonic Cycle again?

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Threadbump.

 

So someone @SegaForums recently checked the US total sales charts for XBLA, and produced a list for the sales rankings for all Sega-published titles. The list below contains sales for all re-released Sonic titles and some mics. Sega (re-)releases. Sales are as of Dec. 7th, 2012.

 

60. Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (10/10/2011)
64. Sonic the Hedgehog (7/11/2007)
65. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (9/12/2007)
92. Crazy Taxi (11/24/2010)
95. Sonic Adventure (9/15/2010)
127. Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm (6/25/2008 )
160. Sonic & Knuckles (9/9/2009)
161. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 (6/10/2009)
178. After Burner Climax (4/21/2010)
247. Sega Rally Online Arcade
254. Sonic CD (12/14/2011)
182. Daytona USA (10/26/2011)
183. Sega Bass Fishing (10/5/2011)
186. Sonic 4 Episode II (5/16/2012)
189. Altered Beast (6/10/2009)

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Sorry for the slight bump here, but talking about PR...

 

SEGA announced that a Windows Phone version of 4.2 would be following the main releases of Steam, console, iOS etc etc. That was...well, god knows how long ago, and it still hasn't turned up, yet Sonic CD came out for it a month or two back, and they didn't even promote that one!

 

Pretty funny really, when you consider they'd developed cross-platform play into the XBLA version. Reckon they're waiting on Windows Phone 8 to catch on before they launch it?

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There's an interesting new case study for the Xbox 360 version and its advertising campaign etc over at Microsoft Advertising. Download the PDF for the full story and stats.

http://advertising.microsoft.com/uk/sega-xbox-live-case-study

Huh, who knew...

 

The game was better received than I thought. So the possibility of another episode is bigger than I also thought.

Well we can't say they don't promote sonic games...the other ones...eh right. 

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Huh, who knew...

 

The game was better received than I thought.

 

I wouldn't really say that, unless this success in "Sonic 4/Sonic/Sega" terms-aka how Episode I cleared a million downloads-across all (at the time) five platforms it was released on a year after it's release.

 

For both polls, it seems that the lowest percentages of people whose data was collected for the poll actually bought /downloaded the game-for those "engaged with the advertisement", only about 21% of the people who were "engaged in the ad" actually bought the game, and 36% downloaded the demo-people in the poll spent more time interacting in the BDE than anything else. For post-ad results, most people voted that they told a friend or looked up more info on the game-but again, only about 26% bought the game-and only half of that 26% actually bought the game on the Xbox system.

 

As I see it, it's the equivalent of putting up an ad, and having only about seven out of forty people who look at it try the product, with only five of them actually buying it-with about half of them not even buying it on the platform it's advertised on (that or having one out of the five people buying the game both on Xbox and non-Xbox devices, since you can't really make a half out of  "five" people)..

 

Also worth mentioning that the research methodology says that was done on this case study:

 

 

Xbox LIVE worked with Paradoxes Inc., to recruit 419 male

and female Xbox LIVE members aged 18–49. Both test

and control groups were fielded simultaneously while the

campaign was live. Group assignment was determined by

recall, those that recalled the ad on a self-reported basis

were placed into the test group, and those who did not

recall the ad were placed in control group. Recall was

tested by showing respondents a screenshot of the exact

creative running on Xbox Live. Each group answered

an online questionnaire that measured their awareness,

opinions, and engagement with the brand. Analysis and

ad effectiveness evaluation was conducted by comparing

Xbox LIVE members who recalled seeing the ads to those

who were in control group. In addition, engagement and

post ad activities were measured by using only those that

recalled the ad.

 

 

Although if there is something I'm missing here, I'd like to know. Not really a genius with these statistics and such.

Edited by Hatsune Miku

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I wouldn't really say that, unless this success in "Sonic 4/Sonic/Sega" terms-aka how Episode I cleared a million downloads-across all (at the time) five platforms it was released on a year after it's release.

 

Eh I say that because I never thought the Sonic 4 saga was well received.tongue.png 

 

But yeah I see your point. 

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Without a Wii version of Episode II, I think the sales may have suffered a bit. I wonder why it didn't help out the other systems though since I'm sure people own more than one console.

 

Oh, the poor iOS port of Sonic 4 hurt reception there. It was plagued by very bad reviews from the start and the whole "Works on iOS 4" mishap lost them a ton of sales. Honestly, the poor customer service I had (Constant trouble shooting, work arounds, LIES, etc) pissed me off to no end.

 

Oh, you're going to release a patch since you know about this issue now? Oh wait, we're not going to fix it. Just ask for a refund. !!!!!!!

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Without a Wii version of Episode II, I think the sales may have suffered a bit. I wonder why it didn't help out the other systems though since I'm sure people own more than one console.

 

Oh, the poor iOS port of Sonic 4 hurt reception there. It was plagued by very bad reviews from the start and the whole "Works on iOS 4" mishap lost them a ton of sales. Honestly, the poor customer service I had (Constant trouble shooting, work arounds, LIES, etc) pissed me off to no end.

 

Oh, you're going to release a patch since you know about this issue now? Oh wait, we're not going to fix it. Just ask for a refund. !!!!!!!

 

Actually, the (console) platform Epi. I sold the most copies on was the PS3, with the 360 in second and the Wii in last. Rather unique condisering that Sonic platforms usually perform better on Nintendo platforms than on Sony/Microsoft platforms. Nevertheless, I do agree that the absence of the game on WiiWare did hurt it's sales. Not to mention that neither episodes are available on the WiiU eShop as of the moment.

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