One of the key differences between PlayStation and Xbox is how they operate on a worldwide level.
Whereas Xbox takes a more global approach to its marketing and content acquisition, PlayStation adopts a more local strategy. Sony develops marketing campaigns for each territory, and it’s not unusual for Europe to sign games that the US isn’t interested in.
That locality has helped establish PlayStation in every major territory, but it can also be a messy, complicated set-up to deal with.
Yet earlier this year, the company restructured into a more global-facing entity and Jim Ryan has been promoted from European boss to handling sales and marketing globally. Does that spell the end for PlayStation’s local focus?
No,” Ryan says after a pause. One of the reasons that we are so strong globally, and especially in Europe, is because of the very strong individual country presence. Whether that’s localised product, tailored distribution approaches, strength of retail partnerships… all of those things we must never lose. The trick, and it’s not easy, is to keep all of those things while at the same time achieving a level of global vision and consistency that any successful global business must have in this day and age.
There was a risk, and I think the new structure obviates this risk, of the three very strong regional pillars – Japan, Europe and North America, which have functioned with a surprising amount of autonomy – becoming sort of monolithic structures with massive inefficiencies in them. One of the intents [of this reogranisation] is to retain a strong regional focus, but kind-of knitted together with coordinated global management.”