“We really feel like this is the best time to launch this type of show, in terms of having the healthiest player base, PlayStation 5 obviously is a huge success and we really wanted to do something that can honor and celebrate PlayStation history. , and now is the best time to do it,” said Grace Chen, vice president of network advertising, loyalty and licensed merchandise in an interview with The Washington Post. “We wanted to create a show that honors that journey and the role that PlayStation could have had in someone’s life. We wanted to do that in a way that only PlayStation can.”
The show is named after stars because Sony liked its connotation of being boundless and unbounded, which aligns with the PlayStation tagline that “there are no limits to gaming.” Later this year, it will roll out to regions around the world, including Asia, the Americas, Europe, and more.
Chen said that PlayStation Stars will not be a competitor to Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s video game subscription service, and that the program is meant to appeal to both new and veteran gamers.
“It’s beneficial to all players. Obviously, for players who have been with PlayStation for a long time and have been on this gaming journey with us, we want to be able to recognize and reward them in a variety of ways, but there will be many aspects of this program that will be new ones. Customers will also enjoy it,” Chen said.
All players will earn loyalty points that can be redeemed for PlayStation Network wallet funds (and thus exchanged for items worth real money). Players who are also subscribed to Sony PlayStation Plus online service you’ll earn extra points to spend on the PlayStation Store, a benefit non-subscribers will miss out on.
Players can redeem points for indie games, add-on content, and special-themed collectibles in the rewards catalog. Sony plans to add new rewards, campaigns, and collectibles over time.
While Sony didn’t elaborate on the program, it did say there would be a monthly registration campaign that rewards users for playing at least one game, as well as other campaigns for winning tournaments and earning specific trophies. Other campaigns may ask players to play a certain game online.
PlayStation’s announcement echoes a larger shift in the entertainment sphere towards subscription models and more consumer-oriented initiatives.
“As a wide range of entertainment services move to subscriptions, loyalty is emerging as a critical metric,” said Joost van Dreunen, professor of the business of games at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “By incentivizing gamers to check in regularly and making their membership more visible, Sony will likely improve retention and brand loyalty. It will be key during a period when inflation and economic depression will weigh on consumer spending on games.”
As part of PlayStation Stars, the first player to go Platinum (complete all in-game achievements) in a blockbuster title in a local time zone will also receive a reward, preventing others from earning it. Chen said the company would work to minimize fraudulent activities in case people cheat or buy and sell accounts with certain rewards attached.
Another type of reward Sony offers is digital collectibles, which are 3D-rendered representations of things like video game character figurines and older Sony devices. Some will be ultra rare and hard to obtain. They are not non-fungible tokens, even though they are also digital and collectible.
“They’re definitely not NFTs. They’re definitely not. You can’t trade them or sell them. It’s not leveraging any blockchain technology and definitely not NFTs,” Chen said.
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