Horizon Forbiddden West: the free upgrade between a marketing move and passive users

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We have seen how Horizon Forbidden West was at the center of a truly aggressive marketing campaign by Sony, extended between conventional more or less advertising channels to diversified initiatives such as the appearance on the cover of generalist magazines for the female audience and statues around the world, but between these moves we can also put the famous free upgrade offered by the company to switch from PS4 to PS5 version. The fact is that this excellent proposal from Sony has above all had the effect of providing a good image return for the company in front of the most passionate and informed public, while the large numbers report that most users do not. it has exploited, perhaps ignoring its very existence.

As usual, all the distinctions that must be made in these cases must be made: the sales in question refer only to the United Kingdom and are for physical format only, which already represents a very partial view of the overall figure. As we have also said previously, continuing to talk about market data in these conditions is almost useless, but as long as it is the only data we have, we make it enough, being however significant of a general trend until proven otherwise.

Horizon Forbidden West, a scene from the game

These data tell us that most of the users preferred pay 10 euros more for the same game, essentially ignoring the free upgrade path from PS4 to PS5, but it was already smelling from the beginning, when Horizon Forbidden West remained quietly present on the PlayStation Store with two different prices despite the fact that they were basically two offers identical.

In light of this, it was easy to understand how it would go: among those who bought the digital version from PS5 obviously opting for the linked version (i.e. the one actually viewable from PS5), those who did not want to wait to upgrade (not being able to access the early download in this case), those who prefer to have the box with the wording PS5 and the many who probably did not even know that it was possible to upgrade, in the end the initiative served above all to appease the short wave of controversy that emerged on the payment of the next-gen offering in a “revolutionary” (as well as a one-off, as it will not be repeated) Pardesque concession. So on the one hand there was one smart move from Sony, which announced the free upgrade to keep the most seasoned users good, but still keeping the double price aware that most players would probably not have used it, but on the other hand there is also a certain general passivity of users, with all due respect to the potential class actions feared by some law firms.

As we have also seen in other situations, theprice increase of the next gen games that had been strongly opposed to the announcement were finally accepted in a rather calm way by most of the users. Just as in most cases the increase in the price of many accessory consumer goods such as smartphones and the like has been accepted, even for video games the public has shown that they willingly accept a price increase without major repercussions, which seems to have emerged. even on PC with the sales of Final Fantasy 7 Remake. The message seems quite clear: at least for the moment, there is still room for producers to pull the rope without running into negative consequences, so we will see how the situation can evolve further.

Parliamone is a daily opinion column that offers a starting point for discussion around the news of the day, a small editorial written by a member of the editorial team but which is not necessarily representative of the Multiplayer.it editorial line.

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