Exclusive: Empowering Players in a Free-to-Play Game

By Meelad Sadat   Google+

Posted February 1, 2013

Sony Online calls PlanetSide 2 one of its biggest launches ever, and says pulling it off meant marketing and development had to come together like never before.  It also meant community relations on a much deeper scale, even for a seasoned MMO maker that’s been developing player communities for the past decade and a half. 

PlanetSide 2 is player-versus-player and free-to-play, and it’s a massive game where the hook is thousands of people fighting on a single server.  To support that kind of experience, Sony Online turned to programs that go beyond building and nurturing players to actually empower them.  As one example, for the first time the company is allowing players to create content in that they can monetize for their own benefit.

Another program, this one on the marketing side, is the post-launch “Declare Your Allegiance” video campaign.  Sony Online worked with Ayzenberg on a series of videos designed to further immerse players and get them invested deeper by sparking a sense of loyalty to the empires that fight each other in the game.

“People are religious about these empires.  That’s why the empire videos were such a perfect facet to the campaign,” says Laura Naviaux, Sony Online’s senior VP of sales and marketing.  “We didn’t feel like they were something that should lead the campaign, because we needed to set up the context for PlanetSide 2 and that massive scale.  But the empire videos were able to go a few steps deeper into what really drives that individual empire, what their matrix is, what they’re all about, and why they’re fighting.”

We already talked with Naviaux on how Sony Online's strategy is 'players first' in PlanetSide 2.  In this second part of our exclusive interviews, she delves deeper into how the company is strengthening the community to generate long-term player support.  


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