Scottish Courage, the pub owner and brewer, is understood to be on the verge of signing a deal with Sony PlayStation to set up computer game themed pubs across the UK before the end of the year.
Both companies are keeping tight-lipped about the arrangement, but it is believed the aim is to create a complete “PlayStation experience” for pub-goers, with a chill-out bar and other gamer-related tie-ins at more than 1,000 outlets (MW January 8 1998).
A Scottish Courage spokeswoman says: “It is too early for us to make any comment. We are excited about the project, but we don’t have enough finalised to say anything in detail.”
PlayStation is extending its out-of-home gaming links to encourage brand loyalty in a notoriously fickle industry. Until now, the manufacturer of the UK’s best-selling console has placed PlayStation in dance clubs to appeal to its core youth market.
The agreement with Scottish Courage is much more mainstream, and could be extended to other pub owners. Sony Computer Entertainment UK (SEC) has said this kind of “PlayStation pub” could overtake some of the more tired theme pubs.
It is understood that theme-nights based on PlayStation titles, including tie-ins with sporting events, are also being considered.
The link-up is part of SEC’s push to combat the September launch of Sega’s Dreamcast console.