Konami’s Lost Opportunity with P.T.

P.T.

If you spend time around video games news outlets, you’ve undoubtedly heard that the well received demo for the now canceled Silent Hills game, P.T. has been pulled from the PSN store. If you didn’t download it, you’ve missed your opportunity. I don’t play horror games, so I never downloaded it, but I can’t help feeling like I missed out. It was free for crying out loud.

People want this game so badly that PS4s with P.T. downloaded on it were selling for up to $1,000 on eBay. (Note: eBay has since halted these sales as they say that it violates their policies concerning sells of unauthorized copyright material) This outcry for P.T. brings up the important question: why did Konami pull the game?

The short answer to this question is that P.T. was never meant to be a stand alone game. It was meant to be a set up for Silent Hills. P.T. stands for playable trailer. Now that Silent Hills has been canceled, it makes sense to no longer advertise for it. Also, since it was a free download, Konami was just losing money on it. They get charged per download. You wouldn’t expect to see movie trailers continue to run for a canceled film. So, from the business perspective, it kind of makes sense to pull P.T. as an advertising tool. On the other hand, I think they’ve lost an opportunity to sell a much loved game.

As I mentioned before, Konami was being charged per download for P.T. Sony charges a per gigabyte fee to publishes along with a licensing fee. P.T. was free, so Konami lost money on it. The simple solution to this issue is to charge for P.T. With how well received the game was, GameSpot named it the Game of the Month for August 2014, and the fact that people were buying PS4s just to get a chance to play it, it seems likely that they could turn their loss into a profit. They don’t even need to change anything, it’s already proven itself to be a great game.

It’s a shame that a game this well received has been pulled, and that Konami didn’t decide to leave it and simply add a price tag. I had no intentions of soiling myself by playing it; but with all the fantastic reviews surrounding the game, I feel like it might just have been worth it.

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