Some of the worst video game marketing stunts
Posted by Whiteboard Animators at avril 21st, 2016
As a follower of a series it can be difficult to watch some of the cringe worthy marketing pulled off by witless publishers trying to grab eyeballs. Most recently the “eat hot wings for prizes” Dark Souls 3 promotion had me raising an eyebrow. But that’s far from the worst nonsense ever pulled off by marketing teams. Here are some of the least tasteful ones that come to mind.
God of War 3 Goat Sacrifice
The title says it all doesn’t it? During the God of War launch in Greece, Sony decided to go all “animal sacrifice” for their game and held a party, the centrepiece of which was a real decapitated goat. Animal rights activists, pitiful as they are, took notice and an ashamed Sony returned the carcass to the butcher. You’d honestly think they would run this through their heads before exposing it to the world, but nope, the goat’s head would have to do.
Watch_Dogs Bomb Threat
If your marketing stunt gets the cops called on you, that’s a pretty good sign you messed up. An Australian media office received a safe from an anonymous source which had a ticking sound coming from it. Understandably, they called the entire bomb squad for fear of being blown up. What a bunch of sillies! Not as silly as Ubisoft who could have just included a single note along with the safe and avoided making the national news.
Black Ops 3 Singapore War
You’d honestly think Activision was trying to court controversy when they pulled this Twitter stunt. The “real time coverage » of a terror attack in Singapore was eventually revealed to be a hoax, but was there not a single better way to promote what was one of the most highly anticipated shooters of the years? And for those saying “who took that seriously?”, just think of how much news is broken by Twitter first before anybody gets the fact checker out.
Your mom hates Dead Space 2
What we have here is a case of advertising so bad and gauche it effectively stalled its own sales. The main point was to impress 12 year old with how gory and “mature” Dead Space 2 was. By showing reactions of middle aged women watching the game’s most brutal bits. The exact same demographic expected to buy the 18+ rated game for their kids. Exactly how many copies you think they would have sold more had they not given all mothers 2 and a half minutes of reasons to keep their kids away from this game?
Sin to Win by Dante’s Inferno
While not as bad as say, Resident Evil 6’s human butcher shop or Burnout refunding speeding tickets, it takes a special kind of promotion to play both sides of the outrage spectrum and still lose. You see, committing “acts of lust” with the games booth babes would win you prizes at the games launch. Gauche as all hell, but nothing compared to their attempts to orchestrate a fake Christian protest at the games content. Insulting gamers intellect and religious people who couldn’t have cared less simultaneously, EA takes the crown for worst marketing stunt. For now.