Bubbles galore

Looking at the sales numbers that Final Fantasy VII Remake is having seems to have split some people. While Famitsu has stated the game has sold rather well, like selling more than the original game all the while pushing the sales of PlayStation 4 (which has been lacklustre compared to the Big N juggernaut), some have argued that there is a lack of sales both in digital and physical. As usual, I’m a fence sitter who says we have to wait at least six months to see proper results, but I admit that if we start seeing articles about shipped units rather than sales, then the sales have been less than expected, and that rumour about Nomura being worried over sales numbers might have something to them. Not that it really matters any more, Sony and Naughty Dog have marred themselves in quite the pit with the whole debacle with The Last of Us 2, which I’ve honestly missed. After looking into it, I know I should care about it for the blog, but personally just couldn’t give a rat’s ass. Sony just doesn’t get a break, but they’re the one responsible for pushing internal censorship, releasing games the worst times and now not exactly having the closest relationships with their second and third parties. Sony can play the whole Final Fantasy belongs to a Sony platform charade as long as they want, but with all the timed exclusivities and such around. Sony likes to sell with an image, similar how Apple has sold itself as a lifestyle.

Sony has their bubble about FFVIIR much like Sony has. However, while I haven’t paid attention to the whole scene (or to the blog’s content quality), I’ve been listening to both people who love the Remake and who despite is. The rancour between the two is palpable at times, with two mindsets clashing with each other like pop rocks crackling in your mouth. It’s fun, harmless and ultimately pointless and makes you fat. Well, at least as a third party. It doesn’t really matter if the two sides find what things a pro or a con, sometimes they find the same thing to be objectionably opposite, but it does says something about how much there are bubbles people are in. On one hand it’s nice people find others like minded to spend time with and gush over the things they drool over, but it doesn’t do all that good to shut out the opposite view. If you’re only in a position where your views are enforces and never challenged, you’ll never really get a wholesome view on a topic. In this case, FFVIIR, as stupid as that is. It’d be useless anyway if you’re not willing to even consider what the other bubble is saying, or willing to put your own views under scrutiny. All this is really humbug stuff, really.

Where the bubbles come in is with marketing. The modern “influencers,” be it Youtubers, bloggers or whatnot with large following and who have strong preference for something make good platform to market to bubbles from within. Marketing on television is marketing from the outside, but when somebody you like to follow and agree to some extent tells this bread is the best bread, you consider getting that bread. Not right away, not necessarily. The seed’s planted there though, and with more interaction with your bubble peers who agree with the guy you follow and with you, the inclination to purchase something rises. This isn’t anything new in itself and you probably know all about how this happens. First step to sell your stuff is to get people being aware of it, and through that, I am also stepping into this whole trap myself by using FFVIIR as an example. Sometimes it’s worth to cultivate negative talk alongside all the positive talk, as that encourages some consumers to look deeper into the product and perhaps come around. This applies to both sides. However, if you’re inclined to buy a product, like a game, the more your personal view is enforced, the more likely you’re going to buy something. By having some negativity in there, the world is painted to seem more balanced. The reality is the opposite still. You can see this in numerous game and film reviews, where certain corporations have paid for reviews or have given instructions what sort of review they’d like to have with specific emphasizes given. While you can expect reviewers and such find the same spots to comment on, using the same phrasing and pointing out the exact same things kinda should raise worries.

Social bubbles are prime ground for marketing. While corporations may show how much they care for whatever matter you find the most important one, it’ll all end as soon as the revenues drop too low. The whole thing about a face of a corporation for you to get attached to becomes more important. After all, how could you find a faceless corporation a likeably entity if there wasn’t something to have a relationship with? It’s not just about markets and sales that benefit from bubble. The consumer, or normal citizen overall, doesn’t benefit in being in a bubble. You may consider those others needing to exit theirs and come to you, but it’s best to star from ourselves. This may be hard, as the bubble protects and enforces our own views. Doubly so, when we have to work against the current, and may get booted from the bubble. The Us vs Them that benefits corporations and other similar entities.

Taking chances with products, as well as becoming aware of our own biases also encourages companies to aim for quality with ageless components and less for one-hit wonders that are fast forgotten. Sadly, that might just be the Internet’s doing. Everything comes at us fast, and goes by even faster when then next attention grabbing thing slaps us.

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