Promotional marketing deals with this or that side have become rather prevalent in the past few years, especially with the new generation, in which the competition between PS4 and Xbox One has become fiercer, with both Sony and Microsoft scrambling to associate this or that prominent AAA third party game with their main consoles.
At times that kind of deal results in console bundles, in other cases we see exclusive platform-specific content, and most of the time it ends up having the marketing of a game plastered with blue or green.
Third party publishers often flip-flop between Microsoft and Sony with those promotional allegiances, hoisting the green flag with one game, only to pull it down with the next and proudly displaying the blue one (or the other way around).
Ubisoft is one of those publishers, and after clearly associating Watch_Dogs with the PS4, it turned around and slapped the Xbox One label on Assassin’s Creed Unity, resulting in the definitely convenient bundle that almost single-handedly helped Microsoft gain a very positive sales result during last year’s holidays.
While we’re just a few days from Assassin’s Creed Syndicate‘s reveal, there are already pretty clear signals that this time the flag hoisted is the PlayStation one.
One of the easiest way to see where the marketing deals stands, is to look at the boxes in promotional material. The one in the front, partly obscuring the other, represents the brand that the game will be associated with. For instance below you can see an example for Watch_Dogs, with the PS4 box clearly in the front row. It’s the same for all promotional images that show both versions.
Let’s move to something more recent, with Assassin’s Creed Unity. as expected, the SKU in the front row, partly obscuring the PS4 box, is the Xbox One version (you can see more examples in the gallery at the bottom of the post).
The same can be said for trailers. Below you can see a screen capture of the latest story trailer.
Finally, let’s look at the promotional materials for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. The PS4 version is back in front, with the Xbox One version behind it.
The same can be seen in the trailer. Here’s a screen capture.
It appears pretty evident that Ubisoft has switched its marketing allegiance again with Syndicate, moving to the PS4 camp. That’s not too surprising, considering that PS4 SKUs pretty much dominated Ubisoft’s sales during the latest fiscal year.
It’s still early to determine what practical effects this might have, but considering the precedents, we can possibly expect a PS4 bundle to bolster Sony’s line in the holidays.