5 Strange Video Game Publicity Stunts - Part I

Uploaded by GamerSpawn on 13.08.2011

They say there’s no such thing as bad press,
as negative attention is still attention,
and is perhaps even more powerful than the positive kind.
…how is this any different as many would say
then kids playing cops and robbers...
Still, it’s hard to imagine what went through the minds of some of the
following public relations’ spokesmen when they thought of these ideas…
On July 9th, 2009, a group of 13 protesters gathered by one
of the entrances to the Los Angeles Convention Center. They were apparently there to
protest Dante’s Inferno,
the 2010 game based off the literary classic of the same name.
The protesters declared EA the anti-Christ amongst other religious
oriented protests.
I'd like to say that Electronic Arts is the anti-christ for making this game Dante's Inferno.
I don't know - I don't know if that's uh...
Well Dante's Inferno, particularly… we heard that they are promoting it inside
And we wanna say that this game… you know, we hope that
it never comes on the market, let's be honest with that. We hope that it never comes out.
They got the attention of various journalists and reporters,
who then of course spread the word.
Wiser people suspected a publicity stunt immediately,
as the brochures they handed out pointed to wearesavedgroup.org, which
promoted and bashed the game, as well as contained trailers and footage. A few days later
EA admitted the stunt, and not long after real protesters started
bashing EA for the protest, claiming it was “anti-Christian.”
In a move that is either ridiculous, brilliant or both, social-gaming behemoth Zynga hired on
Snoop Dogg to help promote their game Mafia Wars
Las Vegas in early August 2010.
They rather cleverly stated that when the game reached 10 million users,
they would celebrate by detonating an armored truck in the Las Vegas-area desert,
and live stream the entire thing.
But they didn’t mention that Snoop Dogg was doing it.
… to understand the mafia culture, and for trying destroying evidence, I know how to make it happen.
Kind of makes you wish you were awesome enough to get paid to drive out to a desert and blow up a car, doesn't it?
By defeating Ares,
Kratos, the once mortal warrior, became the new God of War
Back in 2007, Sony threw a big ol’ launch party in Athens.
They did it right.
Well, almost.
They had togas, scantily clad women,
drinks, food you could eat that came from the inside of a decapitated goat…
Yeah, not really sure what they were thinking about the last one either.
Apparently because God of War is a violent franchise, Sony thought it’d be
best to keep that in line with the series. So they bought a
- presumably previously -
dead goat, decapitated and stuffed it with offal,
then proceeded to offer guests to reach inside and eat some of that intestinal goodness.
So apparently this somehow didn’t go over well with just about anyone,
and they had to recall almost 80,000 magazines to try and hide the scandal
But pictures did make it to the internet,
and well…
just take a look here.
Also back in 2009,
Capcom Europe decided to try their hand at shocking people into buying their then latest game,
Resident Evil 5.
So reasonably, they organized a competition in London
and asked participants to find bloody body parts
around the city
for a trip to Africa.
Once they found said body parts,
Capcom told the participants to gather on the bridge,
holding the artificial body parts over their heads and shouting 'Kijuju!”, as part of the competition. That couldn’t have looked weird, right?
Apparently some non-participants were tempted to take the body parts and did so,
causing quite a few of the limbs to go missing.
The body parts were also smeared in chicken livers and blood,
which surprisingly are a large contamination risk
due to disease.
So to avert panic,
Capcom decided to issue a statement,
asking people to either return the body parts to the publisher,
or to dispose them in a responsible and careful manner.
They also added that chicken livers were used for added gore,
which uncooked,
can be dangerous.
Though they probably did not get back all the limbs, luckily for Capcom, no
charges were made
although some residents did complain.
THQ decided to get their word across in a big way.
In March of 2011, THQ first decided to release 10,000
red balloons with advertisements about the game in San Francisco, California.
These balloons made it over the San Francisco bay which apparently has a
very delicate ecosystem.
The city itself is very conscientious about adding more pollution, so this did
not go over well.
Activists tweeted and protested and shouted at GameStop who they believed to be the
Later GameStop posted a response on their Facebook, telling the balloon drop
stunt was created by THQ,
and that they had no prior knowledge of it. They added that THQ has since informed
them that they released soy-based, biodegradable balloons.
A few weeks later THQ kept with their Homefront advertising campaign
and decided to once again get people’s attention in a big way.
For a short period of time when you visited YouTube,
a banner took over the whole front page stating that North Korea had attacked
the U.S.
Even we remember being confused as we looked at the banner to try and determine
what we were seeing
and what this meant.
We then followed through with the link and then realized it was just an advert for Homefront.
… the Cheonan, and took the lives
of 46 South Korean sailers,
was fired by a North Korean submarine.
Needless to say,
we were not the only one a bit annoyed by the banner.
Unfortunately most people did not even check to see if it was real and rushed on
social networks to declare the news
— even though it was labeled as an advertisement, and when you clicked on it, it took you
to a Homefront trailer.
Although many people were upset, it definitely did work in getting
attention to the game, negative or otherwise.
However in a time where war is ever likely,
it wasn’t the most tasteful way to market their game.
And that concludes our small list of strange video game publicity stunts,
and in case we forgot one, please post it in the comment section below.
Make sure to check out DeltaGamer for more lists.