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Creative Strategy

Role: Concept / Copywriting / Strategy

Partner: Digitas

Countdown to Launch

PlayStation Store wanted to get gamers to shift their habit of buying physical copies of games into buying digital copies (to increase purchase frequency). The answer was VIP, first-in access: only PlayStation Store lets you pre-order and pre-load so you can start playing at the stroke of midnight. FOMO is a powerful drug. 

The week before launch, PlayStation Store released new content on social, driving fans to the online hub. There, for the 24 hours before launch, they hosted new content, contests, and developer interviews for a sort of red carpet event. It created a place for fans to share their excitement – like the old days of standing in line at GameStop at midnight – but better, because they were playing instead of waiting.

The Countdown to Launch campaign worked so well for Horizon Zero Dawn, they used the same playbook for subsequent game releases.

Horizon Zero Dawn - Countdown to Launch at PS Store
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The days before launch, was flooded with exclusive content, promoting pre-orders.

Social contests, behind the scenes videos, and giveaways drove people to the hub.


Finally, at the stroke of midnight, the game went live.


Everyone who pre-loaded through PlayStation Store hit play…


And anyone who didn't...learned their lesson for next time: PlayStation Store gets you in first.


It worked so well, they used the same strategy to launch the biggest game of the following year – God of War.

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