ThreeSpeech, for those of you uninformed, is the “semi-official” sister site to the US PlayStation.Blog and is presumed to be SCEE’s answer to the service SCEA provides. On the PlayStation.Blog (still hate that full stop) game producers provide all kinds of interesting tidbits about their next project and Sony developers list what we can expect from the next firmware updates even provide us with video walkthroughs, all direct from inside the company itself.
However, in Europe we can expect nothing of the sort. We can’t expect David Reeves writing about Sony’s future plans in Europe, nor can we have the England-based Evolution Studios (developers of MotorStorm and its sequel) delivering up-to-the-minute info on what we can expect from their next game. (The irony is, Evolution have been on the PlayStation.Blog to tell us all about MotorStorm DLC, among other things.) Nope, when it came to Europe’s answer to the official Sony blog, the PR hacks over at SCEE decided to hire a marketing company called Ramp Industry, previously experienced in working with TV station Channel 4, cellphone network Orange and Balance Board-complementing furniture company Ikea.
With the work of reporting on European PlayStation goings-on was diverted to an independent company, anonymous writers contribute to ThreeSpeech with the occasional piece of genuinely useful information (admirably, their E3 coverage has been good until you realise it’s got as much going on as the UK PlayStation Store) and Sony avoid having to make a connection with their European customers. Quite why they figured this would be an ideal marketing strategy, I don’t know.
Frankly, the use of an ‘independent’ blog (as once claimed by ThreeSpeech, but this has changed to ’semi-official’) means that the PR hacks working away on the site can promise that visitors will be able to submit questions to Sony and they’ll all be answered; they promote themselves as the bridge between fan and company, the middleman in making a connection with a fanbase. Of course, even after being promised answers to my various questions posed to Sony by one of ThreeSpeech’s writers (on the subject of Europe, actually) I’ve received nothing back. And it’s been four months.
Why are Sony so afraid of making a direct connection with their European fanbase? In America, they’re all too happy to provide their customers with up-to-the-minute insider information on whatever’s coming next in the PlayStation family, but then again they’ll be doing so because they know they wont come under fire in the same way they would if they were to make direct contact with the European customers they’ve treated with much less respect. A European PlayStation.Blog would be a momentous failure unless Sony cleaned up their act in European downloadable content and generally treated us lot the way we deserve to be treated.
Suppose it’s time for a wrap-up. Still, there’s time to rip into Sony again and you can relish all of that next.