FFXI ad push backed by big $$$

The Final Fantasy XI/hard drive combo comes in for a multimillion dollar marketing push across multiple media.

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Sony is getting behind the launch of the upcoming PS2 title Final Fantasy XI in a big way. The game, which is the latest release in the long-standing Final Fantasy franchise, will come preloaded on the PS2 40GB internal hard drive. The price for the bundle weighs in at $99.

This newest Final Fantasy iteration is a massively multiplayer online game, along the same lines as EverQuest, that requires a PS2 online connection to play.

The hardware/software bundle is due in stores on March 23.

The marketing push will spread across numerous print, television, and online media outlets. Television advertising will include the major networks (CBS, FOX, NBC, UPN, and WB) and 23 cable networks (including ESPN, Comedy Central, Fox Sports, MTV, USA, and SpikeTV, among others).

The print campaign will target magazines from the gaming, men's lifestyle, music, tech, and collectibles beats. Online advertising is aimed toward film and the bigger gaming Web sites (including GameSpot). The campaign has already broken and will continue through June 2004.

In addition to the big-budget ad spend, Sony is throwing a bit of a release-date party as well. Sony will sponsor a costume contest for those people who wait in line for the just-after-midnight sale of Final Fantasy XI at the flagship PlayStation store in San Francisco (101 Mission Street).

The game will go on sale at 12:01am on March 23, but starting at 8:00pm that evening, Sony will be giving consumers opportunities to play the game and will also be handing out prizes for the top two costumes (at the San Francisco PlayStation store).

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