Sony Online Entertainment is out to make PlanetSide 2 their next big MMO, and the mindset for the way the company is marketing the free-to-play shooter is emblematic of the game itself. In the game, three empires battle it out for domination of a planet. That kind of undertaking needs bodies, lots of them. It’s why Sony Online is laser focused on nurturing its community. It wants to encourage players to share their experiences, build loyalties, and be vigilant about luring in new people.

“Our marketing strategy from day one, the tenet for the whole things was the player is the advocate,” says Laura Naviaux, Sony Online’s senior VP of sales and marketing.

An example of that thinking is the Ultimate Empire Showdown, Sony Online’s biggest post launch effort to-date. The company worked with Ayzenberg to enlist popular YouTube stars SeaNanners, TotalBiscuit and LevelCap to each represent an empire in the game. They then launched a campaign geared to both new and existing players, recruiting people to fight for their side through their YouTube channels and social communities.

In a series of exclusive interviews for [a]list daily, Naviaux talks about the marketing strategy behind PlanetSide 2. In part 1, she highlights the Ultimate Empire Showdown and how development and marketing teams came together to carry out the player-centric campaign.

The Ultimate Empire Showdown culminates with a live event bringing together the YouTube stars and their online mercenaries.  It takes place in Los Angeles tomorrow night, with a limited number of tickets available onsite. It will also be live-streamed on TwitchTV.