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07 Apr 2009
By drexl

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Response to "Open Letter to SCEE"

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Hi everyone,

 

Some of you may know my name already - I'm Dan (aka Drexl), and the business and operational development of PlayStation Home for the SCEE region falls under my control.

 

TedTheDog, known to probably almost all of you, works in my team, and recently we've been chatting together about some of the feedback and opinion expressed within these forums about the status of Home in SCEE.

 

I’d like to directly respond to some of the comments and posts we have seen recently.

I want to make it clear that your views and opinions are VERY important to us, that we read them all, and I want to thank those of you who contribute positively, and who feed back constructively and intelligently, regardless of whether that feedback is positive or negative. As you rightly point out, community is integral to Home, its success, and its long-term future. We need you, rely on you, and appreciate you greatly.

 

However, some of the recent posts I have seen have been extremely negative, and on some occasions, inaccurate

 

I can understand some of your frustrations, and can assure you that myself and my team - not to mention the development studios who build Home, and my colleagues from other regions - are absolutely committed to the success of the platform. This evidently is not reflected in the current assessment of Home by the minority of you (and Home is still a beta service) and it is to those people specifically who I'd like to address my comments on this occasion.

 

 

Home content and deployment

 

Let me start by saying that the architecture behind Home is built for global implementation. There are four main regions that constitute the Home business – Europe, America, Japan and Asia (which covers Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan). We are all set up differently, and indeed we often all launch games at different times (and not at all, in some cases). To a degree, at present, Home mirrors the way our existing business is set up, but it’s a hugely complex platform, and we’re refining the way it operates.  At the moment, yes, some regions have received content and spaces before SCEE, and I realize how frustrating this must be for you. However, we are working to improve our processes at a global level, and to increase the efficiency of our localisation and QA systems. In the near future, you will see a marked difference in how Home is populated with new content, games, and activities, and where possible we will be aiming for simultaneous releases of new spaces, items, mini-games etc. What we’re trying to with Home is a very ambitious undertaking, and we’re learning as we go along – it’s challenging, but also exciting. We do take into account your feedback, and it continues to help us shape this service in the direction we all want it to move, and I can assure you now that in the coming months you are going to see some very positive changes.

 

Regional complexities

 

It’s also worth remembering that SCEE is a very complex region, consisting of many different countries and languages. These aren’t excuses, they are just facts. PS Home is the first time we’ve tried to do something on this scale, and I’ve said before in various interviews that there will be a period of learning as we go along. We’re all in this together, and we all take it very seriously  but we’re making improvements and refinements all the time. The needs of our customers are always paramount, and in a community-based service like Home, it can only benefit us to pull together with the community, not work against each other. My feeling – and it’s a feeling that I’m confident you’ll share once you see some of the changes I mention coming into effect – is that we are at an exciting turning point, and we’re in a position now where we can take all our learnings and channel them into delivering more of what you want, in a more timely and efficient fashion.

 

I can almost hear some of you now saying, “We’ve heard all this before”  I’ve always tried to been very honest and open, and have always been passionate about making changes for the better in terms of how we manage this potentially fantastic service in the future. So, I’m making a commitment to you now – and I’m doing this with the blessing of my management team here at SCEE – that things are going to improve, and you are going to see that some of the initiatives we’ve all been working on coming to fruition.

 

As a final point, I’d like to put all this into some sort of context. Home is a FREE service to download and use. None of our competitors is doing anything like this, on this scale, and with this ambition. Also, we’re in Open Beta still. We’re in Open Beta precisely for the reasons I mention above – to learn, to refine, to evolve, and to work with the PS3 community to build Home into a platform we can all be proud of, and that we’ll want to visit every day. We see this as a very long-term ambition. We’re doing it because we believe in it, and because we want it to become an integral part of the experience you have on your PS3.

 

I’ve been about as honest and frank as I can be here, without divulging company-confidential information, and we want to ensure clearer channels of communication, so we can get the chance to have a frank and open dialogue more often with you as we move the platform forward.


As I said earlier, we totally welcome all feedback – we need it, we read all of it, and we thrive on it – but often, comments are based on a lack of understanding of the facts of a situation, so please don’t just flame us without thinking through some of the things I’ve said.

 

Thanks for reading – and once again, your continued support is greatly appreciated by ALL of us.

 

Dan

 

Edit: Link to Open Letter to SCEE

Message Edited by TedTheDog on 09-04-2009 12:14 PM
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04
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trubadman

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Thanks for the response Dan.

 

One thing, i think a PlayStation blog for Europe would be good for communication

 

On a smaller note, somewhere to meet 'foreginers' (i.e. non-europeans) in Home would be useful and much appreciated by many

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/16

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I wonder what will happen with the Godfather area and content this week. It had very good reviews and has Home content ready for this weeks release and it's to appear in the US Home, on the 9th. This is now becoming a main concern due new titles having Home content ready to go and the very uneasy feeling that there will be significant delays for these areas and content to appear in EU Home.
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Re: Dan's Response to Uncle James' Letter

Committed gamer or gamer that needs to be committed.

04
/16

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it's great to get a reply, thank you for taking the time to speak, or write at least, to us.

now we just have to be patient and see how things turn out.

if you do what you say this could be a new beginning for home in europe.

 

our paitence will not be infinite though.

if things do not change then this will all begin again sooner or later.

and you will not get the benefit of the doubt a second time.

 

but let's be positive.

i look forward to seeing how you make things better for every european home user. 

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Re: Dan's Response to Uncle James' Letter

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HazelAM
"communication without borders"

Hubert H. Humphrey
“Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.

”tear down the home wall"
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/16

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By the way hazel dan is only the home business manager, he only deals with playstation home in europe and not anything else, if you want discuss things like the playstation store then your need to speak to the european playstation store manager whoever that is
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04
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HazelAM

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DANTE234 wrote:
By the way hazel dan is only the home business manager, he only deals with playstation home in europe and not anything else, if you want discuss things like the playstation store then your need to speak to the european playstation store manager whoever that is
i am aware of that, i did specifically mention home twice.
 
i'll wait and see with this one.
 
but there is one other thing i think dan should look into though, the gender bias.
the watchmen costumes that were only available for men, the diesel store that had 4 items for women and the resistance 2 outfits where the women's one apparently "didn't work" 

 

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Re: Dan's Response to Uncle James' Letter

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"communication without borders"

Hubert H. Humphrey
“Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.

”tear down the home wall"
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/16

forkless

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Don't get me wrong It's good that SCEE is starting to communicating more but like Ted said there has to be a balance between when to bring us news and when not, obviously no news is not the way but over communicating either. I could image Ted's official twitter looked something like this;

 

Clocked in
14 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

Talked with the new cutie at the reception (Raaaaawrrrr!)
14 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

Finished a team meeting discussing the new highly anticipated See Saw interactive object
14 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

Drank some coffee with Dan
13 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

Just beat milnerant's Red Bull Airplane Race time
12 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

@Dan Coffee tomorrow same time, same place?
12 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

Finished my Rosetta Stone' online Spanish course (I will be translating soon)
11 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

Had some sarnies with the guys from the legal department. Why the *&#$! did I have to pay again?
11 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

Called home, still no news on the refurb 360
9 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

Jess called, she keeps randomly zoning between areas. Sending in a tech team 2 to recover her.
7 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

Preparing patch notes for the upcoming release
5 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

@Jess We lost you again! No worries... we WILL retry tomorrow!
4 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

Magic 8 ball is it pizza or kebab at the office tonight?
3 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

Management team left early again, time to get the foosball table out!
2 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

Kebab arrived, tipped Kevin.
2 hours ago from TedTheDog

 

Staging new stores to the deployment servers
1 hour ago from TedTheDog

 

Time to hop on the tube and get home
1 hour ago from TedTheDog

 

Yay, Home! Time to get cracking on the... blog.
49 minutes ago from TedTheDog

 

 

Not really waiting for that kind of micro information ;)

Re: Dan's Response to Uncle James' Letter



You're at the zoo, you have a popsicle. How can you be unhappy?

- Dewey


Nothing shows man's character more than by what they find ridiculous.
- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

04
/16

HazelAM

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the us blog seems to post useful and interesting info every day without needing to go into every detail.

and there are many times when they have uk devs posting there.

surely those devs would love a place to talk to their uk fans. 

Re: Dan's Response to Uncle James' Letter

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"communication without borders"

Hubert H. Humphrey
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”tear down the home wall"
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HazelAM schreef:

the us blog seems to post useful and interesting info every day without needing to go into every detail.

and there are many times when they have uk devs posting there.

surely those devs would love a place to talk to their uk fans. 


 

Agreed, I don't see no reasons why you couldn't there, the whole issue here is a gap certain information not all information.

 

However setting up a complete regional blog for that reason is a waste of money, I'd rather have SCEI took their responsibility and govern the regional branches and force them to collaborate/share more.

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Re: Dan's Response to Uncle James' Letter



You're at the zoo, you have a popsicle. How can you be unhappy?

- Dewey


Nothing shows man's character more than by what they find ridiculous.
- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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Probably belongs better in the general thread but seeing it's on topic for here;

 

http://threespeech.com/blog/2009/04/hello-to-the-eu-blog/

 

 

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You're at the zoo, you have a popsicle. How can you be unhappy?

- Dewey


Nothing shows man's character more than by what they find ridiculous.
- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

07
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Yeah that was posted in PS3 GD, thanks for direct link forkless!

The EU Blog, about time.

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Re: Dan's Response to Uncle James' Letter


Games I own: Afrika, Assassin's Creed, Eye, of Judgement, FIFA '08, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue: Spec. III, Heavenly Sword, MotorStorm, Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest For Booty, SEGA Mega Drive Collection, Shaun White Snowboarding, Silent Hill: Homecoming, SOCOM: Confrontation, Street Fighter IV, WipeOut HD....and more!

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i too would like to thank Drexl for taking time to respond to the open letter. its so nice that sony are really getting together with the gamers to make home a better place

 

if i may add my suggestion though: the new personal home spaces, is it possible that they could have driveways and garages? and we could have cars on there to show off. for example. if we buy a car in GT5 there could be an option to display yr shiny new purchase on yr driveway in home

 

also any news on the picture frames, TV's and stereos. i would love to display pictures of my freinds and missus in the personal home lol

 

 

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Thanks dan for taking the time to give us answers

 

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I guess the two main words that stand out for me are "BETA" & "FREE"

so i will put one in ............."PATIENCE"

 

 

2 bobs worth 

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yeah those same words BETA and FREE apply to all the regions who have a ps3 but its just a pitty we get treated worse then them when it comes to home
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Thanks drexl, as must be apparent from all the kudos and replies, your post has been most welcome. That's what we need, more communication from you guys and less of the whiney negative posts that have been happening. I think Home is coming on with leaps and bounds but there are a few promised functions that have not yet appeared although perhaps the 1.2 patch will bring some of those into play. Could you or Ted post a sticky outlining what kind of changes we can expect from the 1.2 update? Thanks again.
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Dan,

 

Your reasons are still excuses. In case of promising to get the pace up, you should actually GET the pace up to a professional level. I know copyrights are a huge problem, but if SHEE and other parts of Sony can release products almost worldwide, then howcome SCEE is the only one lagging behind?

Complexity is a problem, but it can be sorted out by doing your work. You have a nice army of lawyers ( we saw that when you rammed Play-Asia), so use them to get the copyright and other legal issues through. You have nice set of coders, so pour some battery down their throat and watch their productivity improve. You have a bad set of QA testing, it's a fact. Threaten them a bit and see how they will suddenly actually start to work.

 

Your response is a start, it's not a good one, but it shows that you are slowly awakening to the fact that that you are losing money in the long run if you keep this kind of service up.

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Hi All

 

 

Seems were getting some new t-shirts when the good ole USA is getting much more..........

 

 

.........Quote from PS3 Joystick

 

More new content is bound for Home in America on April 9, including a Godfather II room from EA and an update to the Resident Evil 5 space. The Godfather II room will feature a sneak peek at the poker tables from the upcoming EA Sports Home space. It will be used to host a Celebrity Poker tournament which you can attend on the night of Thursday April 9. Just turn up at around 8pm EST dressed as your favorite celebrity and join in.

The newly updated Resident Evil 5 space will also play host to an event on Thursday April 16, where players will be able to play with the game's developers and the Home community team in co-op mode. The event will take place between 6pm and 10pm EST and developers will jump in with anyone who has set up a game-launching session and they will stick around for an entire chapter, or 20 minutes. Whichever comes first.

The updated Resident Evil 5 space will feature a new minigame and a souvenir shop where you can buy Chris and Sheva costumes. Home continues to upgrade and expand at a decent pace now so if you haven't checked it out in a while, now might be a good time.

 

 

NOT a good time to be SCEE......

 

Just a thought

 

 

Tazman

Any chance of explaining why the EU is so far behind?

 

Would like an answer after spending £1000's on your brand.

 

Thank you

 

Tazman

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For those of you who where disappointed in the recent update and wished Sony would have taken note of everyone's efforts to let them know you wanted X Game Chat, there is a currently an idea about getting Skype on the PS3 if you feel this is a good idea and think its possible then join this thread and add as much positive information to it as you possibly can.

I watched the official video on how to use the current 2.70 update and at the end the guy said that Sony welcome our feedback so please lets see if we can get them to think about Skype for the PS3.

Let me just say that Skype is currently on the PSP and that alone is a good sign...

 

Skype for PS3

If we can keep all our ideas in one place then it makes it easier to get the message across...

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TAZMAN50748 wrote:



Hi All

 

 

Seems were getting some new t-shirts when the good ole USA is getting much more..........

 

 

.........Quote from PS3 Joystick

 

More new content is bound for Home in America on April 9, including a Godfather II room from EA and an update to the Resident Evil 5 space. The Godfather II room will feature a sneak peek at the poker tables from the upcoming EA Sports Home space. It will be used to host a Celebrity Poker tournament which you can attend on the night of Thursday April 9. Just turn up at around 8pm EST dressed as your favorite celebrity and join in.

The newly updated Resident Evil 5 space will also play host to an event on Thursday April 16, where players will be able to play with the game's developers and the Home community team in co-op mode. The event will take place between 6pm and 10pm EST and developers will jump in with anyone who has set up a game-launching session and they will stick around for an entire chapter, or 20 minutes. Whichever comes first.

The updated Resident Evil 5 space will feature a new minigame and a souvenir shop where you can buy Chris and Sheva costumes. Home continues to upgrade and expand at a decent pace now so if you haven't checked it out in a while, now might be a good time.

 

 

NOT a good time to be SCEE......

 

Just a thought

 

 

Tazman

Any chance of explaining why the EU is so far behind?

 

Would like an answer after spending £1000's on your brand.

 

Thank you

 

Tazman


yeah, not a good start to the new and improved eu home.

 

Re: Response to "Open Letter to SCEE"

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HazelAM
"communication without borders"

Hubert H. Humphrey
“Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.

”tear down the home wall"
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so getting scea to do your work for you is what you didn't tell us.

still, at least that means the process will be speeded up a thousandfold.

do you even have a localisation department there?

 

i honestly thought the benefit of the doubt would last longer than this.

you're so committed that you have to rely on scea to do your jobs? 

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"communication without borders"

Hubert H. Humphrey
“Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.

”tear down the home wall"
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Dan and I had a chat last night and we wanted to respond to some comments. Dans on holiday today so I'll run through them myself.

 

 

[EssexJames]
I look forward to seeing the impact of the revised processes and the new launches.  It might help to contain expectations if you could provide indicative timescales for when you think we might see some of the changes to which you alluded.  I'm not after specific dates, and I doubt you could provide them.  But can you let us know the timescales in which these changes are measured: weeks, months, quarters, years?

 

A Space takes 3 to 6 months (sometimes more) to design, license and contract, build, localise, test and publish. We have started dialogue with the other regions about localising Spaces they are currently working on with a simple ideal goal in mind. Simultaneous publication of localised Spaces globally.

 

Some Spaces will not be suitable for other regions. The IREM spaces in Japan are probably a good example of that. Also, sometimes it will be logical to publish content for a global brand in one region first and sometimes a brand owner may simply want to focus on a region.The Godfather II space in America today was too far down this process for us to get it shipped in SCEE at the same time as SCEA.

 

We are asking a lot of all regions and publishers to start globally localising all suitable content in advance from now and there will be a transition period with some working out fine and some going with a single region approach.

 

You can all probably see the connection between the regional approach to Home content and how the games industry has published games, especially in the past. It tends to ship in one region first, usually the home region of the dev team/publisher and then the others. Changing this has been something you've all been asking for for years now and its starting to happen more and more. Thats what we're aiming to do with Home too. It will not be immediate, it will take months, we'll have success and failures in that time.

 

Incidentally, "localising" does not just mean translation. Its also licensing and contractual arrangements in each region seperately,  country legal compliance, business policy compliance, language context testing and functional testing in each language.

 

 

[LonERecoN]
Thanks Dan for the reply, but, the proof is in the pudding. We will see if SCEE can really pull this off or not.

 

Agreed. Committing to do this is not the same as having done this. Talk is cheap, the only thing you can possibly be satisfied with in the end is change for the better. I think we've all agreed what "better" means. 

 

 

[FascistBullyBoy]
.....
I remind you that we are PAYING customers of Sony and you have no right undermining that status.

 

Dan and I read this and looked at each other and nodded (we sit next to each other). I think the issue here is we look at it from a business perspective and you look at it from a straight forward "I'm a PlayStation customer, PlayStation is not free" perspective.

In our defence, from the business side we look at each title and service on PlayStation and we dont charge you to download and use Home . However, your point is well made and valid. Being a PlayStation customer is an ongoing relationship in which money changes hands on a regular basis and Home sits astride this and attempts to embody, empower and enrich the relationship and overall experience.

 

 

 

What's next

 

The next content publication window is the 23rd of April and I hope to find out whats coming then quite soon. However, I'm on Holiday next week so there will be a short interlude in communications. MB and the mods will be around and keeping an eye on things and noting down stuff I ought to be looking at when I return. Whilst theres some downtime, as usual, next thursday the 16th theres no content coming (for anyone before you start speculating!)

 

Q&A's

 

To continue this dialogue we'd like to try regular community led Q&A's. I'll bring you more information on the first one on the 22nd of April, the Q&A itself will take place on the 24th and the results will be published, by the community member concerned (its already setup but I'd rather wait to give more details until we're ready), on or about the 27th. We'll be taking the Q&A's to the other language communities in SCEE as well in an effort to start a useful dialogue with everyone.

Re: Response to "Open Letter to SCEE"

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