Alright, don’t hate me just yet. I love Sony, and I absolutely love the PlayStation game consoles. (own every console)
However, I seriously regret my digital purchase of Grand Theft Auto: V on the PlayStation Store. I thought that there would be the option to preload the game onto my console before the release date. I figured it would be far more convenient to be able to play the instant that the game releases, rather than waiting in line at my local GameStop for a retail copy. I also wanted to be able to avoid the inevitable day-1 download rush that is likely to slow the Network to a crawl.
Unfortunately, I was dead wrong with my assumptions.
Even though Rockstar themselves said that preloading would be a possibility, North American gamers were never given that option. What really irked me wasn’t that the option was never actually provided, but rather the horrible unprofessionalism demonstrated by both Rockstar Games and Sony Computer Entertainment. Neither party could provide a solid and precise answer regarding the ability to preload the game, and outright ignored all of those (myself included) that took the time and effort to formulate the question; are we getting a preload?
In addition to their horrible public relations presentation, they also failed to provide us with accurate download information. Some sources indicated a 3:00 AM release, while others said 12:00AM.
Fortunately, the download was made available at around 12:30 AM Tuesday morning, 30 minutes after the scheduled release.
Of course, I really don’t care when the game was actually released. I was just furious that Rockstar Games was unable to provide adequate public relations. Honestly, there was no clear clarification or even an attempt to remedy their false information with an updated tweet that displayed updated and accurate information. Instead, they went silent.
That is pretty much why I write this article. I’m angry at Rockstar for making a mistake, and being unable to properly own up to it. Public Relations departments are intended to have relations with the public. From press statements to the more modern tweet, you expect a certain level of PR quality from large corporations.
What pisses me off even more, is how this will all likely be hidden under the metaphorical rug, never to be spoken of again. “We got our game, why are we still complaining” is likely to be a common response from my friends if I were to ever bring this up again in the future.
So, I’ll answer that question right here, right now.
We may have received our game, and everything may appear to be fine. However, if nothing is said about the failure of Rockstar’s PR department to properly notify the public of accurate and updated news or events, there is nothing stopping them from making a similar mistake again for a future video game. Same can be said for any organization. Public Relation departments are in place for one reason, and that is to notify the public of news and events. When they fail to do this, they are not doing their job. Rockstar, unfortunately, failed.
This isn’t a gripe or a rant at Rockstar in particular, but rather organizations that fail to properly notify their customers of the most up to date information, and then do nothing at all to remedy any mistakes they happen to make.
That isn’t what PR is about, and if the PR department fails, they should be disbanded. It’s a fairly simple concept, and a key part of business economics. If a department fails to do their job, someone has to be fired.