Yesterday’s reveal trailer of Star Wars: Battlefront proved beyond reasonable doubt that Sony has a pretty solid marketing deal with Electronic Arts to promote the game as PS4 title first and foremost.
The trailer had PS4 splash screens at the beginning and at the end, it was indicated as “representative” of PS4 gameplay, and an ultra-limited edition PS4 box was the protagonist of a contest on stage at the game’s panel.
Sony even publicized the availability of the game’s pre-order among the “important notifications” on PS4, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a PS4 bundle for the title pop up at some point
Yet, if you don’t care to see the new trailer decorated by PS4 marketing, there’s another version on the Xbox official YouTube channel.
Did you miss this one? That’s not surprising, because it’s fairly well hidden.
As a matter of fact, Microsoft had to set it as “unlisted” on YouTube, causing it not to show up in search. You have to either know the URL or to reach it through an embed to find it, making it effectively invisible to YouTube users.
The official Xbox twitter account talks about the trailer, and links to a post on Xbox Wire.
— Xbox (@Xbox) April 18, 2015
Checking the post itself, there’s an element that immediately jumps to the eye: there’s no trailer at all. Normally when Microsoft reveals a game that will be on Xbox One, they always embed the trailer on Xbox Wire, but not this time.
Prominent Xbox executives like Aaron Greenberg and Larry Hryb showcased the Xbox One trailer on social media and on personal blogs, and it also appears on the game’s official page on Xbox.com, but having the trailer set as unlisted and not appearing on the official Xbox news outlet, possibly means that the marketing deal with Sony might have restricted Microsoft in what kind of promotion they can do for the Xbox One version.
On top of it all, Xbox One digital pre-orders still haven’t been made available as well, giving Sony a degree of competitive edge on that front.
This isn’t the first time something like this happens. Activision put Microsoft under severe restrictions on what kind of marketing could be done of the Xbox One version of Destiny, and that gave birth to the now legendary (despite the fact that it was retracted) Destiny Fragrance marketing stunt.
That one was definitely a little stroke of genius, and an example on how smart advertising can try to waltz around some of the most restrictive promotional deals.
It’ll definitely be interesting to see if Microsoft will come up with any other interesting initiatives to balance out Sony’s marketing deal for Star Wars: Battlefront. Are we going to see an Eau de l’Empire?