P.T – A Word of Mouth Success
The popularity of P.T has made me sit back and change my views on a few things. Demos have became a rarity in the modern market, hype sells and thus the big games have no need for a demo. Heck, even the smaller games tend to release without demos, they’ve became a thing of the past. In place of demos, we now have early access, alpha/beta tests and marketing…this is why P.T intrigues me.
P.T is part demo, part marketing…a playable piece of marketing…and that’s fantastic. Word mouth of works wonders, and P.T has been doing the rounds as soon as it hit PSN. Given P.T’s length, content and hidden puzzles, it’s perfect to recommend to someone, even if it’s purely to try scare the hell out of them. When people hear how terrifying a game is, they often want to test it out, see if it’s as scary as people say. P.T’s simplicity opens it up to the masses, anyone can play it regardless of skill level or knowledge on what the game is.
P.T goes beyond being a demo, the manner in which it popped out of no where, the way it captured peoples attention, it’s a similar impact to that of the original Flash game Slender. Sure it may have some major names behind it, sure it’s part of a major franchise, but it’s the perfect PR move for a franchise that’s been rather out of date for some years. Silent Hill has struggled for sometime now, while Downpour may not of been awful, Homcoming was just ‘okay’ and the Wii titles went under the radar, the franchise on the whole is stale.
Announcing a new Silent Hill title wouldn’t of made much of a impact, but with big names such as Kojima behind it…things go up a notch, and P.T took things even further. Given how many variables exist within P.T, and how many things can go unseen on initial playthroughs, people banded together and began to discuss various things they had figured out or differences during their playthroughs. This was yet another means in which P.T became almost viral, it created a active community for a game just announced, bringing a potential base of buyers already.
While Demos may of became a less popular option for bigger games and names, P.T proves there’s still a foundation to be built upon. While it’s unclear how much of a representation P.T is for the final product (one assumes it won’t truly mirror the final release in most ways), the buzz it’s already crated for the game is staggering. A true triumph in using a kinda demo, kinda marketing tool, to inflate hype for a franchise essentially dead in the water.