Gears of What?

We’re not really into conspiracy theories, but a reader emailed in over the weekend with what seemed like initially a ridiculous attempt at proving the whole LittleBigPlanet delay is the work of a marketing genius and that the recall was ‘staged’.  We’re of the opinion that this is pure hocum, but here’s the context for discussion:

Basically, right from the minute the Beta invites go out, the hype around LittleBigPlanet has been astronomical, and all for basically zero cost. Eurogamer distribute the codes, presumably for free because of the massive amount of new users and hits they got; everyone that got a code goes crazy, everyone that doesn’t desperately wants in.

This goes on for a week or so, with other sites drip-feeding the codes out, building a massive amount of hype but only really in the specialist press, forums, word of mouth. Regardless, the game then goes gold and hype rises again – people know the game is finished and can’t wait to get their hands on it.

Review copies go out, and high scoring reviews roll in, again building hype just as the beta finishes. The game rises through the ranks of the likes of Metacritic making the wait all the more tough. Then some enterprising people manage to get hold of a copy from a retailer, or via a number of promo copies that suddenly appear on eBay, amongst others. These are the die-hard LBP fans, and of course any feedback from them on forums is overwhelmingly positive. Hype builds further.

Then one week before launch the game is delayed over something in one of the songs on the soundtrack. The game is recalled, Sony look good in the eyes of the general public for responding so quickly, the game just breaks the whole supply/demand chart and everyone is talking about it. Meanwhile, those early reviews keep the game sat on top of the meta rankings, and everyone in a videogame shop is talking about Sackboy rather than some bald space marine with a chainsaw.

We’re sure this isn’t the case, of course, and that it was a genuine mistake, but whatever the outcome everyone’s eyes are on Sony and LittleBigPlanet, and out of what was initially a PR disaster has come something of a beacon of hope; Gears of What now?

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