Well as usual Just Thats Gamers bias about Uncharted is getting to make me laugh once again.
Sony's mascot will be
|Mercedes SLS AMG||6||2.97%|
|Brand new character!||27||13.37%|
No way. Nathan Drake is way too generic and isn't from a popular enough franchise to be the mascot. You're so quick to assume Uncharted is the most popular using Vgchartz's numbers but if you had a clue you'd know it is Sony's most bundled franchise ever and wouldn't be half as big as it is without being given away for free with millions of PS3's.
A mascot has to be a easily distinguishable character from an acclaimed and popular series. That is why Kratos is Sony's mascot because none of the others come close.
God of War is a much bigger franchise than Uncharted, the sell on average 5 million and they DON'T need to be bundled at all to reach those numbers. Averaging across all the games God of War is also the most critically acclaimed franchise Sony had. Kratos is easily recognisable and he is by far the most popular and beloved character Sony has, he has also appeared in the most games outside of his franchise than any other Playstation character and has been parodied in many games and on TV on an episode of The Simpsons. All of Sony's characters combined haven't been tattooed on people's bodies as much as Kratos alone has, how many people have you seen have a Nathan Drake tattoo? I've seen not a single one and probably never will.
Proof that regardless of Uncharted's massively bundled sales according to Vgchartz God of War is a far more popular and beloved franchise and Kratos is A LOT more popular than Nathan Drake.
God of War (3,940,000 fans ) - https://www.facebook.com/godofwar.page?fref=ts
Uncharted (525,000 fans ) - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Uncharted-2/111738242177766?fref=ts
Kratos is undeniably Sony's mascot. Next generation will bring about new potential mascots but Nathan Drake will never qualify no matter how much you Uncharted fans hope he will or even think he already does, as long as the Uncharted games need to be massively bundled by Sony in an attempt to artificially make them popular and relevant as opposed to God of War where us the gamers have made it popular it will never be Sony's key franchise and Nathan Drake will never be even half as popular and beloved as Kratos.
Google trends is shaky data at best. What I find interesting is the regional data, according to that GOW is very popular in south america and south east asia, but Uncharted is massive in Europe and North America, the two biggest markets by far. GOW's top related term is also "PS2", so that's quite telling. But I can't deny that GOW is generally searched more, even today, and even if quite a bit of it seems to be from developing countries with a lot of PS2s. You make a good point here.
Then you compare social media numbers... well I can do that to:
GOW3 (latest main series game) FB: 364,003 likes
Uncharted 3 (same) FB: 476,209 likes
Maybe Uncharted 3 bundles included "likes"...
Naughty Dog Twitter: 177, 314 followers
Santa Monica Twitter: 10, 119 followers
And obviously you can just google all of these.
Your metrics are inconsistent.
Onto bundling... well first of all I think you're overestimating the Uncharted bundles.
By the end of October Uncharted 2 had sold 1,443,769
PS3 in the same time period sold: 818,079
So at the very least 600K were sold standing alone, and the real figure is probably over 1 million.
Uncharted 3 sold 1,359,289 on it's first week, with 343,974 PS3s sold in the same week. So at least 1 million without a bundle in its first week. This also shows the franchises growth.
Second of all, games sell bundles. There's a reason people bought the Uncharted bundle over the 2-5 other bundles on offer. If Uncharted wasn't so good at selling the console, it wouldn't be bundled as heavily. Sony aren't selling uncharted bundles to sell uncharted as much as to sell PS3s.
Thirdly, it's not like GOW is never bundled:
I'd like to point out the high meta scores for Unchated games too, which does a lot to help carry a game.
The mascot is Kratos, since PS2 era. It's the most well-known character and is the game that most associate with PS. Drake isn't as famous, for a lot of people he is the Uncharted guy. Sackboy is a good mascot, but Kratos already took his place.
A mascot don't have to be cute. It has to show what the brand means. Ninty is more "the cute way", so we have the simpatic Mario. MS is more the multiplayer side, shooters, so they have Master Chief. Sony always was about bringing games for adult people, so Kratos is the guy. Besides all that, hell yeah, he is badass!