Driveclub's Troubled Launch Hasn't Damaged Sony's Reputation, Exec Says
"People understand that mistakes do get made."
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PlayStation 4 racing game Driveclub's release in October did not go smoothly. However, the launch wasn't so terrible that it damaged Sony's reputation in the eyes of gamers, according to one Sony executive. PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan explained in a new interview that fans understand that mistakes do happen, especially "in a world that's becoming more and more technically complicated."
"We have to acknowledge that there have been problems and we're really sorry to anyone who has suffered from those issues," Ryan told MCV. "They shouldn't happen. But in a world that's becoming more and more technically complicated, it's getting harder to deliver stuff. That's not an excuse, because you shouldn't really launch a game before it's ready. And clearly we've made mistakes and we apologize for that."
"Has it dampened our momentum? No. Has it damaged our reputation? I don't think so" -- Jim Ryan
Ryan went on to say that he doesn't believe Driveclub's launch woes have slowed PS4's incredible momentum or diminished Sony's standing as it relates to how gamers perceive the PlayStation brand.
"Has it dampened our momentum? No. Has it damaged our reputation? I don't think so," Ryan said. "People understand that mistakes do get made so as long as you apologize and make them right. That's the main thing."
Driveclub launched in early October, and was immediately beset by various technical troubles. Developer Evolution Studios even had to limit some functionality, and the game's promised PlayStation Plus version--a free edition of the game for subscribers--is still without a release date.
"When you spend £50/£60 on a game you're entitled to expect that it works," Ryan added. "If we or anyone else in the industry makes mistakes you should fess up to it and then put it right as soon as possible."
Last month, PlayStation president Shawn Layden suggested that it was technically impossible to test for the kind of numbers that Driveclub saw on launch day. To make it up to fans, Sony offered some Driveclub DLC to all players.
Another high-profile game, Battlefield 4, suffered launch woes upon its initial release in October 2013. These troubles "absolutely" damaged player trust in EA and DICE, one of the game's producers said. However, EA management maintains that the Battlefield brand's commercial appeal was unaffected by Battlefield 4's rocky launch.
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