Thursday, October 22, 2020


10 Games That Show Us the Truth behind Video Game Marketing.

August 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Gaming, News

(AfroGamers.com) Video game marketing has always been about the communication between the company and the consumers. Asking fans to roam around the world to catch rare Pokemon is fun, but when you bring violence on roads, it’s not fun, it’s horrifying. When you keep changing your promises about the in-game features and make your marketing message too complex to understand, it’s not nice, it’s nasty. Such was the case for these 10 video games.

  1. No Man’s Sky

The hatred towards No Man’s Sky was driven by two reasons: expectations fans had, and the promises the developers made about the gameplay. If you’ve followed the development of No Man’s Sky, game developers failed to communicate well despite being interviewed by dozens of media outlets.

Fans didn’t realize that they are expecting too much from a studio that has developed a few mobile games before No Man’s Sky. Unfortunately, many fans believed everything they were told by Sony’s marketing team and developer Hello Games’ small team.. When No Man’s Sky landed, it was lacking the features that were promised by Hello Games. For some players on PS4, the game was buggy and didn’t run well.

  1. Dante’s Inferno

Electronic Arts did everything the company could do to sell Dante’s Inferno. From setting up fake protests to labeling itself as an “anti-christ” brand and sending $200 to video game critics, EA launched some of the most controversial video game marketing campaigns. The company even set up a website and a small game called Hawk Panther and encouraged players to visit the website to be able to steal their best friend’s girlfriend. Many such campaigns from EA were eventually taken down after criticism.

  1. Burnout 2

Rather than promoting their game in a normal way, publisher Acclaim Entertainment thought of doing something different and the company announced that it will pay the fine for any driver in the U.K. who received a ticket for speeding on the day of the game’s release. This is another case of a video game marketing idea that just wasn’t thought through well enough.

Eventually, the campaign was taken down after an instant backlash. Rather than apologizing for the mistake, Acclaim said that they weren’t promoting the game, they were just wanted to “ease the financial pain.” Fortunately, nobody was hurt, but anything could happen that might have ended much worse.

  1. God of War 2

Sony is the market leader in the console space, but the company is also known for its series of controversial marketing campaigns. To celebrate the God of War 2 release, the company hosted a party. They brought a dead goat and scantily clad women at the party venue. The photographs of the event were published in the Official PlayStation Magazine and then the event caught the attention of media and everyone criticized this cruel act. Sony later apologized for its mistake and said that it recalled 80,000 copies of the said magazine. Sony later returned the goat to the butcher who killed it.

  1. Splinter Cell: Conviction

Back in 2010 Ubisoft was probably running out of video game marketing ideas and decided to do something new. Instead of highlighting the unique features of the game, Ubisoft made a guy dress up as the villain from Splinter Cell: Conviction. The person’s job was to promote the game using his fake gun and accessories he was carrying. There were a number of problems with this marketing idea. Those who dressed up as the bad guys from Splinter Cell: Conviction went to nearby restaurants and stores flashing their guns. People dialed 911 and a guy who was dressed as the game’s villain was almost shot.

  1. Resident Evil 6

One of the most disgusting video game marketing campaigns of all time was Capcom’s decision to open butcher shops. The company set up a fake “human meat market” to promote the sixth game in the Resident Evil series. They sold meat cut in the shape of human body parts. All proceeds were sent to charity, but that’s not the way one should promote their product. The meat shop was closed in two days but the PR stunt later created a social media buzz and a woman in Ghana turned the whole marketing thing into a cannibalism hoax.

  1. Watch Dogs

Some of Ubisoft’s video game marketing plans are excellent, but with Watch Dogs, they didn’t plan their campaign well or maybe that’s how they wanted it to be. A major Australian online publication had to call a bomb squad after one of their employees received promotional material for Watch Dogs which was kept inside of a safe. When the office staff tried to open the safe, it started beeping. A cryptic message was also delivered with the safe. The staff immediately panicked, and the office floor was evacuated as everyone was thinking someone has sent a bomb. Later when the bomb squad opened the box, they found the Watch Dogs marketing material.

  1. Godfather II

Weather balloon idea wasn’t the only PR blunder EA made. While promoting Godfather II, EA sent brass knuckles to many game journalists across the country. Someone from their marketing team didn’t realize that keeping brass knuckles or metallic knuckles is illegal in many states. It is also illegal in EA’s base California. Later, EA realized its mistake and then started emailing and calling everyone to whom they sent those knuckles. EA requested everyone to send the knuckles back so that the company can dispose of the illegal items.

  1. Hitman: Absolution

In 2012, Hitman: Absolution developer IO Interactive released a Facebook app that allowed users to threaten Facebook friends. The app was used by many people and it encouraged users to identify female targets using the signs such as “hairy legs“, “small tits” and “muffin top.” To identify male friends, there were some methods such as “ginger hair“, “shit hair” and small genitals. Users were encouraged to choose a reason to kill their friends. Those who were added to the target list received a personalized video identifying them as a target. IO Interactive later admitted the app was not appropriate and removed it from Facebook the same day.

  1. Dead Space 2

Dead Space 2 advertising campaign was criticized and it was also praised for its uniqueness. The game’s marketing idea was even awarded. The marketing was pointless because the game was strongly rated ‘M’ but still EA decided to run a campaign called “Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2.” EA selected 200 women who weren’t familiar with gaming and captured their reactions during a screening of Dead Space 2. These reactions were featured in EA’s web series and television advertisements. So what they wanted to do, just some cheap publicity for their game or they were encouraging the teenagers to do everything their mother tells them not to do and pick this game up from a store?

Staff Writer; Jay Baker

Have any Gaming Tips? News? Hit up our Video Games Guru at; JayBaker@AfroGamers.com.


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