Sony Computer Entertainment Europe released the first SingStar title on PS2 in 2004, changing the way people interacted with the PlayStation brand. Audiences who hadn’t been traditionally interested in gaming could use PlayStation as a source of entertainment. Since its launch, SingStar has turned singing into a competitive game and has amassed fans of all ages across the world.
December 2007 saw the franchise move onto the next-generation PS3 platform, breaking into a new business model of downloadable extra content in which players have the option of purchasing individual tracks by downloading from SingStore. SingStar PS3 is also supported by several online features within the game, notably My SingStar Online™, an arena where fans can share their recorded performances with the worldwide SingStar community.
The SingStar community has embraced the new online elements within the brand. In SingStore’s first four months of trading, one million tracks were downloaded across the PAL region. My SingStar Online has also proved to be a popular place for SingStar fans, attracting 140,000 registered users who, combined with visitors to www.singstargame.com, have shared over 20,000 videos of their SingStar performances that have been watched a total of 2.5 million times.
Mark Hardy, Director of Product Marketing of SCEE said: “The term ‘social gaming’ is widely recognized in 2008 – however, it was relatively new when we launched the first SingStar title in 2004. That game entered the charts at number one in many countries, allowing us to pioneer the social gaming category and a new market of consumers who might not have bought games before. We really are teaching the world to sing with SingStar – and business for 2008 is looking excellent.”
Paulina Bozek, executive producer of SingStar said: “SingStar’s success is built upon simple and entertaining game play. Historically we have added new music tracks to keep the experience fresh but the arrival of PS3 has allowed us to think differently. We can now take advantage of the next-generation features to take the next step forward in the SingStar experience. The launch of SingStore and My SingStar Online is the realization of this and the experience is now more user-focused, personalized and interactive.”
SingStar was the catalyst for a new area of the gaming industry that’s now attracting mainstream audiences and taking the social phenomena to new and exciting experiences. Over the past four years the titles added to the SingStar catalogue have included a mixture of genre and themes including: musical decades (SingStar ‘80s SingStar ‘90s), musical genres (SingStar Rocks, SingStar R&B, SingStar Pop, SingStar Pop Hits) and musical themes (SingStar Legends, SingStar Party SingStar Summer Party). All of these titles have continued to deliver sales as SingStar collectors seek out the entire back catalogue.
As well as the international titles above, country-specific titles have also been big sellers, with titles such as SingStar Deutsch Rock Pop (Available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and SingStar Latino (Available in Spain and Portugal) delivering strong sales locally. SingStar’s commitment to localization has been the key to its success – titles are available with localized track lists for French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Polish and Croatian Speaking Countries.
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