FOSTER CITY, CA: Sony Computer Entertainment America has issued an RFP for its PlayStation business that totals seven figures annually.
Patrick Seybold, senior director of corporate communications and social media at PlayStation, told PRWeek the review includes the company's corporate, hardware, software, and PlayStation Network PR business.
Currently, Porter Novelli works on about “80-90%” of this business and SparkPR handles hardware PR responsibilities for PlayStation Portable, Seybold said. The company's social media business, handled by Voce Communications, is not being reviewed.
Last week, PlayStation issued the RFP to eight agencies, including PN, Voce, and SparkPR.
“We're open to hiring multiple agencies or just one,” Seybold said. “We're looking for the best people.”
The RFP is expected to be decided by March, before the company begins its new fiscal year on April 1.
“This doesn't reflect any dissatisfaction we have with Porter Novelli or Spark,” Seybold said. “Every few years we review our agency partners.”
But the review does come at a pivotal time for PlayStation. Last holiday season, the Sony console lagged behind competitors Wii and Xbox in sales, but an August decision to drop its price sent sales surging for a record 2009 holiday.
“Things were hard for [us] because of the price point, but we've hit a turning point,” Seybold said. “In 2010 we plan to have a very aggressive approach to PR.”
PN and Spark deferred comment to Seybold.