So, has everyone heard about this shitstorm-in-the-making
? Basically, EA games have come up with the perfect way to promote their new Dante’s Inferno game at ComiCon: Run a competition centred on the theme of
It’s simple – simply take a photo with one of their booth babes, submit it, and you could win a copy of the game and dinner with the babes! And by ‘one of their booth babes’ I mean ‘any booth babe.’ And by ‘booth babe’… well, if they’re not limiting it to their own employees, presumably any woman at the convention is potentially fair game. And by ‘take a photo’… well, their phrasing was ‘commit an act of lust’.
So, hey, how could that possibly go horribly horribly wrong?!
Seriously, forget the fact that someone decided good publicity for a game was to run a variant of the Open Source Boobs idea, how the hell did this even get past EA’s own legal department? Surely someone should have noticed that the phrasing (‘commit an act of lust’ seems to imply far more than just ‘take a photo next to the woman’) and the fact that they’re encouraging harassing women outside their own stall is just asking for trouble.
Alright, say EA games do actually have some sort of clue as to what they’re doing, and are deliberately courting controversy with no intention of actually holding the competition. Two problems: one, a controversial game tends to promote itself through in game content. Grand Theft Auto gets publicity through violent gameplay, not because Rockstar employees run people over in real life. Two – Dante’s Inferno doesn’t actually look like a very good game; it's not a major release, it's a cheap attempt to cash in on God of War. It’s counterproductive to try and get a small boost in publicity for such a minor game if it involves a promotional campaign so repulsive as to permanently turn off a large number of people from your company.
Well, hey, the people turned off by this sort of crap aren’t the sort of people likely to buy video games anyway, right? I mean, everyone knows girls don’t play computer games! Right?
EA Games’ biggest money-maker is The Sims series.
It’s like a fractal of stupidity.