Worst gaming publicity stunts ever | Virgin Media
Wolverine

Worst gaming publicity stunts ever

10/10/2015

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Imagine the situation. You’ve just made a game, and now you’ve got to drum up a bit of attention. So what should you do? Well, we’re not sure, but what you probably shouldn’t do are any of the things we’ve listed here!

 

 

 

 

That's got your goat

Goat

The launch party featured a dead goat as its centrepiece.

Not content with the ultra-violent God of War game generating concern in the media on its own, a launch party was thrown for the release featuring a dead goat as its centrepiece. Guests were then invited to reach inside the dead goat and eat pre-prepared treats from inside, just like a gory piñata. Those Greek Gods sure do know how to throw a party!

Severed limbs in London

A severed arm holding a computer game on the Underground

The makers left severed limbs around London.

The makers of black and white slasher Madworld caused outrage after leaving severed limbs clutching the game scattered around key sites in London. An almost identical stunt was made months earlier for Resident Evil 5, though that time a bunch of the bloodied limbs went missing. 'Anyone pick up an arm in the tube today?'

Wolverine is real!

A cardboard cut out of Wolverine in the woods

Does this make you want to buy the game?

Winning our vote for the most random of publicity stunts, this real life Wolverine at Edinburgh Zoo was renamed Logan for the release of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine game. As you can see the furry little fella looks thrilled - but does it make you want to buy the game?

"We'll pay your speeding ticket!"

A speed camera

The police intervened ahead of the stunt.

Winning the award for the most irresponsible idea, the team behind racing game BurnOut 2 had planned to pay off all speeding tickets issued in London on the day of release. Unsurprisingly, the police intervened ahead of the stunt, concerned that it may promote a 'free pass' for dangerous driving.

Pimp my… mobility scooter?

A man on a Pimp My Ride mobility scooter

The 72-year-old winner opted to have his mobility scooter upgraded instead.

After winning a car makeover to mark the release of Pimp My Ride Street Racing, 72-year-old Harold Churchill opted to have his mobility scooter upgraded instead. His £400 scooter was kitted out with a customised body kit, surround sound music system, LED lights, alloy rims, a carbon fibre racing seat and a Nintendo DS in the dashboard.

Grave sponsoring

A grave with Shadow Man 2 text

...they sheepishly claimed it was all a joke.

For the launch of underworld adventure Shadow Man 2, marketing brainiacs planned to pay the recently bereaved to put ads on the headstones of their relatives. Genius right? After being forced to can the idea, they sheepishly claimed it was all a joke anyway.

Car crime is fun!

Man breaking into car

Anyone who fancied a copy had to smash the window...

Here's an idea. Let's get people into car theft to make them buy our game. One cunning PR team left copies of their game in a locked car in London with a sledgehammer chained to the wheel. Anyone who fancied a copy simply had to take the hammer, smash the window and grab one. The game, by the way, was Red Faction Guerilla - the story of a rebel uprising on Mars. See the link? Neither do we...

Fear the black cats

Black cats wearing F.E.A.R. 2 coats

Promoters released specially trained black cats to roam London's streets.

The Friday 13th release of action horror game F.E.A.R. 2 prompted the promoters to release a bunch of specially trained black cats to roam London's streets wearing cat jackets featuring the game's branding. Do people usually associate cats with terror? We don’t. We associate them with lovely cuddly-wuddliness! 

Hi. I’m Turok, what’s your name?

A Turok: Evolution dinosaur

The UK telephone directory now boasts five genuine Turoks.

Perhaps in an attempt to hide the fact that the game was a bit naff, the makers of Turok: Evolution offered to pay £500 to any British resident prepared to legally change their name to 'Turok' in honour of the game's protagonist. Astonishingly, the UK telephone directory now boasts five genuine Turoks.

Adding fuel to the fire

Military girl holding free fuel sign for Mercenaries 2: World in Flames publicity stunt

The queues brought traffic to a standstill.

EA brought chaos to rush hour in North London as they took over a petrol station and offered a free fill-up to passing drivers. Unsurprisingly, the queues brought traffic to a standstill. The stunt was to promote Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, where players take on the role of a mercenary trading in fuel.

Will are most amused

Gold Wii console and Big Family Games on red cusion

A gold-plated Wii was delivered to the Queen.

In an attempt to highlight the family friendly side of the Wii, this gold-plated Wii was delivered to the Queen to mark the release of Big Family Games. They're the biggest family of all, see? To be quite honest, we’d love to watch the Queen try her hand at Wii Tennis.

"Hell is not a game!"

Crowd holding picket signs

EA had to own up to hiring them as a PR stunt.

A Christian group protesting against hell-raising game Dante's Inferno at the E3 conference gained some column inches before makers EA had to own up to hiring them as a PR stunt. Busted...

Indiana Jones bull whip

The Staff of Kings cracking a whip

The 'most bull whip cracks in a minute' was attempted.

The release of Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings saw a rather portly-looking 'bull whip expert' flown in from the US to attempt the 'most bull whip cracks in a minute' world record. Judging from the photos at the Natural History Museum, not many people went along to find out if he succeeded...

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