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SCEA: LBP 1st week t-shirt was over-priced “holds a few truths”

Submitted by on Wednesday, 3 December 20084 Comments

Mark Valledor, SCEA Marketing Manager, has commented over on the official PlayStation blog and shared many insights and updates about everyone’s favourite platformer, LittleBigPlanet.

The most interesting comment however has to be Mark’s take on the recent furore surrounding the high asking price for the rare “Week 1” Sackboy t-shirt. Of course, if you’re in the U.S., this trinket was never even made available to you. How does Mark respond to the claim that its NA distribution was pulled because Sony knew too well it would have caused rioting in the non-virtual streets?

Find out, and a lot more, after the jump.

The recent post is a veritable minefield of LittleBigPlanet information. So much that it almost demands bulletpoints. We’ll try and keep the narrative flowing however.

We feel for marketers sometimes. Their sole purpose is to make others part with their money for a product that they may or may not have any faith in and it’s not like the virtues of technology is making it any easier. When gaming industry marketers are not trying to push a game whilst coming across like a crackpot evangelist, they’re fending off acerbic comments, especially in this digital age, from every disgruntled “voice” on the Internet.

First up, and everybody’s favourite topic: censorship. Despite assurances that the LBP moderators would be more transparent about why content was being pulled, the process is still far from perfect. Mark confirms that they never moderate levels unless it’s already been flagged with the “Good Grief” tool first. So, the conspiracy theories that admins were trawling through levels and ban-hammering willy-nilly can be confirmed as bunk.  Either way, the system is still in its nascent form and there are further promises made that it will evolve and “continually improve”.

What else do we like? Oh yes, servers. And lots of them. Mark confirms that the hardware has received a significant beefing with improvements been seen in areas such as “updated scoreboards to […] connection speeds.” As the resident stat-junkie around these parts I was frothing at the mouth when Mark also revealed the following numbers:

  • # of user generated (UG) levels = 177,657
  • # of comments = 1,093,491
  • # of times Story levels have been played online = 36,661,881
  • # of times UG levels have been played online = 22,463,892
  • # of levels played online = 59,125,403

In other positive news, the Play, Create, Share stats & Search Functionality has been reactivated though numerous comments follow to state that it’s still somewhat wonky. Let us know if this gripe still holds water in the comments below.

Now we get to the contentious stuff.  Mark comments:

“Finally, some of you are wondering what happened to the Day 1 T-Shirt mentioned in the past. This was available in other countries for (equivalent of) $4.99, but we decided to hold back its availability in North America as we evaluate if such a unique item (RARE + $4.99 + time-based) is appropriate for our PS Store. There may be other RARE items like this in the future, so check back on future DLC announcements.”

In the 145 comments that follow, Mark dodges numerous snide remarks and almost full-on attacks about this move with one commentator, “hife”, suggesting that a decision was obviously decided to charge for the virtual garment. At this point, either SCEA or MediaMolecule knew there would be outcry in North America (though not in Europe? Trust us, we were burning our baguettes in the streets) and a decision was made to neglect the NA users altogether. Mark responds to this theory with:

Your curiosity holds a few truths, but there is soooo much more to it than your assumption. Sorry I can’t go more into detail, but hopefully things will work out.

So, will NA still be getting the Week One shirt now that it’s week, eh, six? We’ll have to wait and see.

In other random LBP news Mark responds to other (some congenial, some not) comments with such information that includes:

  • “Don’t lose faith. DLC other than costumes is coming.”
  • More information about the previously mentioned Art School Challenge will be available “next week”.
  • Regarding the lacklustre advertisement of the game: “I can tell you I sleep very well at night knowing the work our marketing/advertising teams did (and is still doing) is top notch.”

There you have it. Do you still want the shirt? And, if so, at what price?  Let is know in the … of you know where by now.