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EA Comes Under Fire for Shady PR Stunts

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the reinforcing-bad-behavior dept.

Games 228

EA has come under heavy fire lately for some deliberately shady PR techniques. You can't argue with the result, however, that has pretty much everyone (including us) talking about it. The question is: will extensive discussion, and the resulting widespread anger that seems to accompany it, actually help their game sales? Stunts have ranged from their "win a date with a booth babe" contest to paying game site editors a faux "bribe" to fit with their sin motif. "Outraged Christian bloggers, complaining female and LGBT gamers, editors being sent checks made out directly to them — all of this makes for delicious copy, and much of the gnashing of teeth seems to be centered on the fact that the gaming press continues to fall for the contrived controversy to give the company exactly what it wants: coverage. The campaign has been childish, daring, and borderline tasteless. Writing checks directly to game writers is cheaper than advertising on a site, with a much better result."

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228 comments

Marketing (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392145)

all of this makes for delicious copy, and much of the gnashing of teeth seems to be centered on the fact that the gaming press continues to fall for the contrived controversy to give the company exactly what it wants: coverage.

Submitter and the editor didn't actually see the ironic thing here?

For that matter I didn't actually had heard or read about this game, but thanks to slashdot now reporting about this, I think I will just google it. Just to know what it is about. Maybe I even buy it - after all everyone is talking about it. Good work Slashdot!

So what kind of game it is? Does it look good? What features are there? Is it fun? Is there multiplayer, and how is it? Is it fun to play with friends?

In the latest chapter of this fun tale, EA has finally decided to simply send editors of prominent gaming sites checks for $200. The point? If the checks are cashed, the gaming press is greedy. If they're not, the gaming press is wasteful. "By cashing this check you succumb to avarice by harding filthy lucre, but by not cashing it, you waste it, and thereby surrender to prodigality. Make your choice and suffer the consequence for your sin," the included note stated. "And scoff not, for consequences are imminent." The sin theme remains, if nothing else, on-topic.

This has to be one of the first times money has been sent directly to reviewers and editors with the hope that the story is broken publicly, and that's what makes the stunt so devious; of course it's going to be written about. Joystiq cashed the check and donated the money to charity, Kotaku posted video of their check burning. Without having a list of sites that received the faux bribe, it's impossible to tell if anyone actually cashed the check and kept the money.

Cheapy D, who runs the popular deals site CheapAssGamer, weighed in on the check. "Kotaku charges an $8 CPM (cost per 1,000 banner impressions) for their standard advertising banners. Their news post about this PR stunt will likely surpass 40,000 views," he explained. "To err on the safe side, let's say the total cost of the check and fancy box is $300. Since [the post's author] burned the check, EA basically spent the equivalent of a $2.50 CPM for a front page news post on Kotaku. That is an incredible value. Nice job, EA Marketing!"

This sounds like a fun stunt. And now it continues on slashdot too. Someone is going to get a nice christmas bonus!

Re:Marketing (3, Insightful)

skirtsteak_asshat (1622625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392173)

Agreed, this is tastefully tasteless, tongue in cheek, and WAY better than EA's other marketing. Besides, bribing game reviewers blatantly? We knew they did anyway, but this smacks of BRASS BALLS! I love it. The wooden cases with pillows were a nice touch... heck, I'd write a favorable blog article for that alone.

Re:Marketing (4, Insightful)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392623)

Indeed. It helps them so they don't have to write great games, and just keep churning out the medeocre sludge that EA's trademark stands for.

Caveat emptor (1)

mollog (841386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392735)

I heartily approve of these stunts. In fact, I wish it would happen a lot more.

We have already seen 'astroturfing' being done by political organizations to fake grassroots support for candidates, political parties, and political issues. The more of this blatant abuse we see, the more skeptical the world will be of these fabricated events.

I realize I'm dreaming here, but maybe someday, people will learn to mistrust what they see and hear in the 'media'.

Re:Marketing (1)

tholomyes (610627) | more than 4 years ago | (#29393087)

I would give them more credit than that. In the last couple of years, EA's really put out some quality games, mostly because they have gone from a buy-and-assimilate mode to a buy-and-nurture mode. In recent memory, that means Black Box (Skate), Harmonix (Rock Band), Criterion (Burnout: Paradise), and BioWare (Mass Effect), which is nothing to sneeze at. All this without forcing out a new Rock Band game every three months on every available platform. No, Activision is the new king of sludge.

Re:Marketing (5, Informative)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392349)

I played it a bit at Gen Con. Its a fighter game like God of War. In game graphics are stunning and the cut scenes look nice.

Re:Marketing (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392545)

Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] also seems to have an another interesting marketing plot

Electronic Arts partnered with GameStop for a one-day only promotion of Dante's Inferno on 09-09-09. Those that pre-ordered the game were offered a $6.66 discount, the Number of the Beast.[5]

Re:Marketing (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392637)

Harnessing the Streisand effect is genius. It's almost on a level with exploiting Murphy.

Re:Marketing (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392747)

This idea is so old you have no idea. This is just one of the few times the press has covered it. Literally the concept of harnessing the streisand effect goes back around 50+ years, just in different forms.

Things that are "banned" or go against old-folks values, are another. good ole basic reverse psychology.

You didn't think those bollywood threats about products being illegal were because they actually were, right?

Easy way out of that moral dilemna: (1)

DiscountBorg(TM) (1262102) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392753)

'EA has finally decided to simply send editors of prominent gaming sites checks for $200. The point? If the checks are cashed, the gaming press is greedy. If they're not, the gaming press is wasteful.' ..Donate your checks to an art scholarship fund, or some sort of constructive charity/service. No waste, no greed!

Endorse it to the RED CROSS..... (1)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 4 years ago | (#29393069)

donate the amount to charity in your name and drop EA a note to say thank-you :)

Ironinc? = Addressed (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29393073)

all of this makes for delicious copy, and much of the gnashing of teeth seems to be centered on the fact that the gaming press continues to fall for the contrived controversy to give the company exactly what it wants: coverage.

Submitter and the editor didn't actually see the ironic thing here?

FTFA:

No matter how upset a few groups may get, this has been a successful way to market the game; we're very much aware we're falling into the trap ourselves. The question is a simple one: are we sinking to EA's level, or is it the other way around?

But you know, no need to read the article on slashdot or anything...

Re:Marketing (3, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29393095)

the gaming press continues to fall for the contrived controversy to give the company exactly what it wants: coverage.

Submitter and the editor didn't actually see the ironic thing here?

You forgot to quote the following from the article: "No matter how upset a few groups may get, this has been a successful way to market the game; we're very much aware we're falling into the trap ourselves. The question is a simple one: are we sinking to EA's level, or is it the other way around?"

So, no, you're not the only one who "gets" it.

EA doing something sleazy?!?!?!? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392155)

The hell you say!

Re:EA doing something sleazy?!?!?!? (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392335)

How about illegal? I thought Payola and other bribes to get favorable reviews was against the law.

Re:EA doing something sleazy?!?!?!? (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392415)

Not in general. On the radio, it's illegal [cornell.edu] unless the payment is disclosed, but that regulation's under the FCC's power to regulate radio. For general websites, newspapers, books, etc., there's no anti-payola legislation.

Re:EA doing something sleazy?!?!?!? (3, Insightful)

Sycon (1622433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392447)

First, I don't believe it is against the law. (Bribes in goods/monetary exchanges/contracts are, I just think that reviews fall into the grey area.) Second, the "bribe" made no request or attempt at being designed to influence the reviews. Its a publicity stunt, not really a bribe because they didn't ask for anything in return.

Re:EA doing something sleazy?!?!?!? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392935)

Dear EA:

I just wanted to let you know that I am an Interactive Entertainment Specialist (game reviewer) for PSXnation and would welcome any publicity, gifts, or checks you would like to send my way. I will give you a fair review of your product.

Re:EA doing something sleazy?!?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29392983)

Dear EA,

I am OUTRAGED that I did not win a date with a booth babe and I insist that you treat people equally and give us ALL a date with a booth babe.

Thanks!

Re:EA doing something sleazy?!?!?!? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392819)

What they didn't report is that each of those 200 dollar checks bounced.

Re:EA doing something sleazy?!?!?!? (1)

Phoenixlol (1549649) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392953)

Is this a joke or the truth? If it's a joke it's not all that funny and if it's the truth, nice source citing. Wish I hadn't used all my mod points this morning :(

"Outraged Christian bloggers" ? (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392233)

"Outraged Christian bloggers"?

Boy, remind me not to get on their bad side! They may pray me to death with their eerie powers...

Re:"Outraged Christian bloggers" ? (5, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392337)

Is "Outraged" a bit redundant, I was under the impression that it was implied when talking about Christian bloggers.

Re:"Outraged Christian bloggers" ? (3, Informative)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392741)

Wow its a Friday night they must all be at home (while their children are with the priest) and therefore have nothing better to do than downmod you :O

Re:"Outraged Christian bloggers" ? (4, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392341)

Drop Christian and you have "Outraged bloggers" in general. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the keyboard is as dull as a blunt pocket knife.

Re:"Outraged Christian bloggers" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29392655)

There are a few Christians I'd like to drop.

Re:"Outraged Christian bloggers" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29392713)

You might want to put "Christian" in quotes... because most of the "Christians" I'd like to drop are nothing like their namesake.

Re:"Outraged Christian bloggers" ? (4, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392719)

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the keyboard is as dull as a blunt pocket knife.

An ICBM is duller than a blunt pocket knife. That doesn't make it less mighty.

It's kind of scary how much impact the blogosphere can have... a bunch of bloggers get upset... their blog posts are picked up by some intern or volunteer at the Church of the Evangelical Scoundrel, who passes it on to his superior... the head of the Church of the Evangelical Scoundrel gets the ear of his local and state politicians... and the next thing you know, Jack Thompson uses his eye tooth to hatch from an egg, and all video game players are forced to confess their sins before a Grand Theft Auto De Fe.

Don't underestimate the powers of Christian bloggers.

Re:"Outraged Christian bloggers" ? (2, Interesting)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392869)

More like EA's competitors write a check to the local pastor of the loudmouth fundie church, he preaches, tells them what to do, and suddenly you have the media bending over backwards for the opinions of these nuts.

Works with pastors giving political endorsements or are we still too naive to accept corruption in the church?

Re:"Outraged Christian bloggers" ? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29393067)

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the keyboard is as dull as a blunt pocket knife.

A club is pretty dull too, but it can be mightier than the sword, depending on the swordsman and the clubman. The keyboard is only as dull as a butter knife when its wielder is. Most bloggers suck at writing, but not all do.

I guess it was money well spent (5, Insightful)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392271)

It got posted to the front page of slashdot, to be discussed endlessly. Total direct cost to EA to do this - $0, assuming ScuttleMonkey wasn't a recipient of one of the $200 checks.

Re:I guess it was money well spent (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392353)

Most people won't even cash those checks as they honestly look pretty dang cool. Plus it's one of those bragging symbols, "hey, check out this check I got from EA to pimp their game!" It's kind of like getting a check from Knuth.

Re:I guess it was money well spent (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392427)

Indeed... are they checks that COULD actually be cashed though, or are they "similar" to checks?

Re:I guess it was money well spent (5, Insightful)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392677)

But getting a check from Knuth means you found a bug in LaTeX. There is genuine pride in debugging a piece of software like that. Being a video game blogger? Not so much.

I'll be honest... I'd cash it and then not comment about it. Maybe I'd send a private e-mail to EA thanking them for their generosity and informing them how I feel compelled not to comment on this game because of the clear conflict of interests involved.

Re:I guess it was money well spent (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392997)

But getting a check from Knuth means you found a bug in LaTeX.

Not necessarily. I got mine for catching a typo and an abuse of notation in preprints of part of TAoCP vol. 4.

(Replying because I don't have mod points. Your second paragraph blatantly deserves 5, Insightful).

Re:I guess it was money well spent (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29393023)

But if you were running a gaming website, you could cash in twice - once from the check, and once from the publicity that reporting on the check would bring.

I think the problem here is that it's beneficial to EA AND to the websites... wait, is that really a problem then? Well, I guess for the general public it is - unless it's a really good game!

Re:I guess it was money well spent (3, Funny)

Ironica (124657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392731)

It's kind of like getting a check from Knuth.

...In the way that meeting the guy who sings for the band playing at the mall on Labor Day is like meeting Bono.

Re:I guess it was money well spent (1)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392491)

Come on, /. haven't got a Rockstar game "controversy" to give four or five advertisements to at the moment.

Re:I guess it was money well spent (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392793)

I'll resist the marketing pressure by refusing to read the story or participate in the discussion.

NO, wait, aww shit...

Marketing... (3, Insightful)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392279)

I wonder if there might be a better place for creative, unconventional thinking, for risk taking, and for the willingness to not water down an idea because it might offend someone. Oh, at EA? Nevermind!

The reason for EA's existence (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392309)

The current economic model for games means that there's a few huge winners, and a lot of games that ultimately lose money. In this environment, the selective pressure is massively against smaller independent studios. A small studio has to publish a hit every time, and this is becoming nearly impossible to do because of the expense involved in making a game with modern graphics. There's only a few success stories, and many failures. EA, on the other hand, can cash in on it's big hits and can afford to finance a variety of game projects, some of which will fail. Still, they want to make money : so EA game projects are going to be lower risk sequels whenever practical.

It's basic economics that created EA and gave it all it's power. We can hate them for what they are, but that doesn't change anything.

Re:The reason for EA's existence (5, Insightful)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392643)

A small studio has to publish a hit every time, and this is becoming nearly impossible to do because of the expense involved in making a game with modern graphics.

This is a self-inflicted malaise as far as the independent studios are concerned. There is absolutely no requirement to use "modern graphics" (whatever that means, I assume you are talking about ridiculously detailed models with megazillions of polygons). That is because there is absolutely no direct relationship between game play and the graphics quality. Some of the most popular games have graphics reminiscent of the 1990s or even 1980s, while some of the greatest bombs sport fancy 3D engines with programmable shaders, deformable environments and what not.

In fact this whole obsession with graphics to the exclusion of everything else seems to me very much like a hardware vendor instigated mass psychosis, helped along by the likes of EA and others who wish to achieve a strangle-hold on the gaming industry by setting up massive, artificial, budgetary "barriers to entry" for competitors. Which also happens to be a pre-requisite to cartel-forming, creation of oligopolies and finally monopolies.

Outrage! (5, Insightful)

koterica (981373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392319)

Why, its horrible that they are sending out money, and hot babes, and... wait, where can I sign up?

Outraged Christian bloggers? (0, Offtopic)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392333)

Who cares what they think. If it isnt "The War on Christmas" its "Creationism" or stuff like this. If there's any group whose opinion I couldnt care less about its this one.

This is all just political correctness gone mad. As much as I think these things are borderline distasteful, companies and people should still be able to do them. The overly religious and overly feminist opinions arent really affecting EAs bottom-line, its just making press and letting people who dislike EA have something they can also whine about.

Heaven forbid we allow adults to do such things or have games with some nudity. Funny that slashdot is in an uproar over the lawsuits over hot coffee, yet PC crap like this also makes the front page.

Re:Outraged Christian bloggers? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392367)

You "tl;dr"'d, didn't you?

Re:Outraged Christian bloggers? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392497)

I did read the article. And I have to agree with the OP; who cares if you're offending a bunch of bible bangers? The bottom like is that while they staged a fake christian protest, christians REALLY DO PROTEST GAMES LIKE THAT. So I find their outrage a bit on the hypocritical side.

As far as the woman being offended by a "win a date with a booth babe" promotion... I can't honestly say how that's offensive in the least. She needn't partake in the promo, and quite frankly, a lot of people would like a date with some of them. I wonder if she's also offended by shows like the Bachelor or More to Love (win a marriage with a good looking guy, or win a marriage with a fat guy, respectively).

The check thing is another who cares... they're obviously going for a goof, or the editors would have gotten their checks like normal, without EA alerting the media first.

Re:Outraged Christian bloggers? (4, Insightful)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392615)

If they really do protest games like that, why did EA have to stage one?

Re:Outraged Christian bloggers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29392857)

If it was at an event, I doubt the organisors would want a handfull of actual christian protestors around calling everyone a sinner and trying to convert them to christianity.

A staged protest is controllable, and still achieves the same initial reaction of "lol did you hear what happend at the EA Dante's Inferno presentation?".

Re:Outraged Christian bloggers? (5, Insightful)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392683)

Perhaps considering that EA's stunt caused you to come here and bash Christians their displeasure with EA's stunt is not as baseless and hypocritical as you suggest?

Hypocritical would be EA protesting about something violent (a war perhaps?) that the Christians (hypothetically) agree with and the Christians getting up in arms. I could not, for example,get a bunch of white southern guys, all put black-paint on my face, make a bunch of NAACP banners, and go protest the fictional arrest of some African American while acting acting as offensively stereotypical as possible and then claim African Americans are being "hypocritical" when they get outraged at my stunt.

Re:Outraged Christian bloggers? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392789)

No, I bash Christains anyway... because they actually DO protest games, and other things they think are offensive and which NOBODY should have, because their make believe should be forced onto everyone.

Your hypothetical scenario I think backs me up... because while blacks likely would get angry, they'd be rather hypocritical too... there are plenty of black people living relatively close to my house, and I have to say, overall, they really aren't acting in such a way that breaks down the normal stereotypes... if anything, its re-enforcing them.

Re:Outraged Christian bloggers? (4, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29393079)

The mind boggles. Do you seriously believe that because some Christians are vocal all Christians agree with them? Or that because some black people behave like stereotypes that it's fair to say that all black people are like that?

Re:Outraged Christian bloggers? (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29393039)

No, I'll bash these politicized christian groups regardless. They have almost single handedly destroyed the videogame and comic book industries with their censorship campaigns and political connections. What we need is less "think of the children" hysterics and more challenging and interesting art. Thie politically correct nonsense only hurts us all in the long run. Kids will eventually be exposed to naughty words and adult situations. We adults shouldnt be paying the price for the lack of parenting skills in the US.

EA gave them a little taste of their own medicine. Big deal.

Re:Outraged Christian bloggers? (5, Insightful)

TnkMkr (666446) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392489)

You do realize the bloggers are upset because EA FAKED the protested of their own game and blamed it on christian groups. Most of the 'christian bloggers' probably didn't care about the game or even know it existed until they were slamed for a protest they had nothing to do with. For once I think they actually have something to gripe about, after all the fake protests lead to people thinking exactly what you just posted, when in reality the bloggers were not the ones protesting.

Re:Outraged Christian bloggers? (0, Troll)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392695)

Who cares because THEY ACTUALLY PROTEST STUFF LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME. If anyting EA should be doing this more often because of all the abuse theyve put up from these bozos.

Actually its a really good example of Poe's law. [urbandictionary.com]

Re:Outraged Christian bloggers? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392919)

In all fairness, Christian protesters were crazy well before EA falsely implicated them in this instance. They've protested lesser things. Remember kids, not all Christians are the same. Just as not all Atheists are, either.

A pictoral protest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29392373)

CtrlAltDel covered this nicely [ctrlaltdel-online.com]

[off topic rant]
Could somebody in charge of this site please read a book on programming and then fix the site. I can't stay logged in half the time in any browser and pretty much nothing works right under IE. (And no you can't play this "IE doesn't support standards" card. This site fails validation.)
[/off topic rant]

Re:A pictoral protest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29392479)

Even if the site did pass validation, "IE doesn't support standards" would still be true.

not the whole company (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392377)

It sounds to me like EA has some madly-ambitious marketing executive who gets paid based on the number of sales, so he has authorized any wacky stunt imaginable to drive sales to their target audience (young men).

If additional sales could boost your yearly bonus check by $1,000,000.00, would you give a shit if you "offend" someone? No. Money talks, and it does so a lot louder than angry bloggers.

Re:not the whole company (2, Insightful)

demonbug (309515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392581)

Nah, it's just the natural progression when your creative talent realize they can make more money for less work by transferring to the marketing department. You really don't need many writers and such to throw together the formulaic BS story for Flashy Graphics Sequel 9.

Instead of looking at it cynically, though, I think we should all be very excited. Here is a company, formerly known for selling over-priced, often crappy games, that has decided to give away their best work! There's no need to actually buy their games when you can play Media Circus for free! More of an interactive movie than a video game, but still a blast!

Re:not the whole company (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392737)

Probably less someone getting paid based on number of sales, and more getting paid based off how much impact the people above the exec thing they had.

I've seen execs rewarded for horrible sales simply because they convinced their bosses/clients that it 'would have been so much worse if I had not done XYZ'.

I don't get whats so shady about it. (2, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392419)

They staged something at E3? It's cute and a good technique. Considering you get the odd Cosplay at E3, why the hell not...

They paid writers to write about it? Isn't that like... their job? If someone pays you money to write something, you write something! I only consider Bribery truly immoral if its to commit an immoral act. To write? Writing isn't immoral under any circumstances, you can write as much as you bloody want and it won't hurt anyone physically, and if its hurts them in any other regard its their own fault.

Seriously, I'm not a fan of EA or anything, but people are making it to be a contraversy because they WANT it to be a contraversy. I mean, God forbid SOME marketing executive realized that when something goes Viral its free advertising...

Re:I don't get whats so shady about it. (1)

BooRolla (824295) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392801)

Think about what you said when Congress is writing laws. Writing can lead to all sorts of things

Re:I don't get whats so shady about it. (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29393081)

Yes and they wouldn't be in Congress if they didn't go to school and they wouldn't go to school if it weren't for their parents and you can Run this "This leads to that" chain as far back as you want - but in the end, what happens is because of SOMEONES direct action. You can make hate crimes, murder, rape, you can make all that legal, but in the end it has nothing to do with Congress, its the person who is committing these acts.

Am I condoning this kind of behavior? Not at all. I believe the laws are in place for good reason, but that doesn't mean that I think whoever passed the bill is a self righteous person who is solely responsible for the attrocities it stops. Those Police Officers, Men and Women in uniform, be it Peace keeping or soldiers who stop violence is physically are the ones who deserve credit.

I can write you a letter asking you to give me a thousand dollars. Perfectly legal, no strings attached, just you giving me some money. Are you going to do it?

Why would you be influenced by someone writing a positive review? At what point did we stop making decisions for ourselves and started relying on second opinions to guide us?

It's the biggest load of FUD

So to top that rant off - if EA wants to spend their hard earned cash paying writers to say whatever EA wants to say - all the power to them. In the end, any harm it "Causes" is not at all their fault.

Re:I don't get whats so shady about it. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392877)

The main shady part (IMHO) is that they encouraged you to accost women for "lust". Sure, you might get some to go along with it, but there are enough douchebags out there that will take it as a free pass to be... well, themselves, that it's just irresponsible for EA to do that.

Something must be done... (4, Funny)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392441)

this is outrageous. Please, don't fall victim to this EA marketing ploy. It is unethical and EA should be shunned for this.

Please, as a show of unity against this marketing scheme, please send me all of the $200 checks. Once I have received a substantial amount of them I will take these checks and show EA where to shove them. It's the only way we can get our point across.

If you didn't get a check and would like to make a donation to the cause, please feel free to send that to me as well.

GAMERS UNITE!

Clever marketing, plain and simple (4, Insightful)

MojoRilla (591502) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392445)

They are marketing a game called Dante's Inferno and they are having fun with the deadly sins. This is just good marketing, plain and simple. People objecting need to get their funny bone tweaked.

Awesome (1)

Sycon (1622433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392459)

Seriously. I think that although it could have been done *better*, this has been a fantastic marketing scheme. And to be honest, I don't really care if the Christian bloggers are freaking out, they're overreacting.

Gay Blogger (4, Insightful)

imunfair (877689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392469)

I like the part where the gay game reviewer dissed the reward involving a night with two (female) models, saying:

While I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, this stunt projected a view of your target demographic as lustful heterosexual males, when in reality a larger and larger portion of the gaming population are women and LGBT people.

I'm pretty sure a lesbian would be happy with that reward too. I guess they could have had two male models on hand for a gay guy/female winner, but to portray it as anti-homosexual is pretty unfair.


Not totally related but - why would you even make a 'gay gamer' site - do tastes in games really vary that much with sexual orientation? Seems like his whole job is built around being controversial and 'different'.

Re:Gay Blogger (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392609)

Not totally related but - why would you even make a 'gay gamer' site - do tastes in games really vary that much with sexual orientation? Seems like his whole job is built around being controversial and 'different'.

Yes and no. Mostly no, but... people do have different sensitivities. It may be both hetero guy A and gay guy B enjoy the same sort of game, but a certain event or image or something it gets taken very differently, where A won't hardly notice but B really has a problem with it, or vice versa. There's also a subculture thing here -- any discussion tends to be different if its with people in a particular community vs. with people not part of it, even if the topic of discussion really has nothing to do with the community's raison d'etre.

Re:Gay Blogger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29393063)

Props for Scrubs quote

Re:Gay Blogger (1)

dbet (1607261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392813)

Actually, even a gay man might have fun on that date, since they're usually paid for.

I mean, as a straight male if you told me I'd get paid to go somewhere nice with 2 guys, I'd be fine with it. "date" doesn't mean you have to get naked.

Re:Gay Blogger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29392959)

Not totally related but - why would you even make a 'gay gamer' site - do tastes in games really vary that much with sexual orientation? Seems like his whole job is built around being controversial and 'different'.

Surely, he is the only gay in the global village.

EA Marketing: Trolling for Lulz and Profit (2, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392483)

In theory, the best response of the media and industry should be the timeless wisdom of the net: "Don't feed the trolls". Ignore the faux protestors. Throw away the checks. Disregard the stupid "contest".

Alas, however, the mere fact that we have to keep repeating "Don't feed the trolls" is proof that EA will come out on the winning side of this, because the majority of fools in their target demographic either (A) enjoy being trolled, or (B) don't recognize a troll when they see it.

The only proper response is to allow their trolling to fall, and fail, unnoticed. Their game doesn't work unless others play along.

Hell, it looks like a decent enough game (1)

jockeys (753885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392511)

and now that EA has grown a sense of humor, it's kind of tempting. The fake protesters idea is hilarious.

Guerilla Marketing (2, Interesting)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392513)

I don't know about you guys, but I don't even notice advertising. I'm a bit interested in this story because of the marketing techniques they're using - I'm not interested at all in their games, btw. With there being so much noise and promotions out there, to get your message across these days you have to resort to things like this. [wikipedia.org]

What ? I can win a date with a booth babe ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29392607)

Quick ! Tell me where I can sign up for that !

My lustfull acts w booth babes a waste of time? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29392657)

Just found out it was nothing but a PR stunt. I was hoping for the free dinner in Vegas. Sadly, now all I have is the memory of having lustfully slept with dozens of beautiful women who work for EA. Rats.

Is all plublicity good? (2, Interesting)

jythie (914043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392693)

I wonder if anyone has actually done the research to find out if the old adage 'any publicity is good publicity'.

Marketing seems full of these 'of course it is true!' rules that they never bother to find out if they are actually, well, true. And some of the biggies are not.. for instance, throwing sex into an existing series usually results in a drop of sales/viewers, not a gain.

Then again, they would probably keep doing it anyway. The above example also applies here since even though at this point the numbers are out there and known, many marketers and execs STILL think that sexing something up will lead to larger profits.

I really do not think advertisers actually think through the effects they have.. only how to convince the people above them that they had an effect. Since no one bothers checking, it really just comes down to force of personality and ability to sell yourself to people like you, i.e. your bosses/clients.

Why I think this is no good... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29392705)

If their contest required you to commit acts of lust on ANY booth babe at the event, that is problem. Especially if general workers in those booths got caught up in these lustful acts. Ironic when out of the other side of their mouth they are claiming that the industry needs to clean up it's misogynist ways.

Their marketing ideas worked astoundingly well when measured w/ the "any publicity is good publicity" stick. But if anyone bothered to RTFAs what they have done is morally reprehensible. A bribe is a bribe whether you admit to it and dress it up as a stunt or not. Having people pretend to represent a group they do not is not right either.

Maybe someone should put on an EA polo start passing out free EA games at NAMBLA events so members can pass them on to those they lust after.

I hope no one else follows EA's lead on this or we could be in for some really annoying and offensive "advertising" stunts in the future as the bar will be continually raised.

Brilliant Idea Until... (1)

_bug_ (112702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392711)

those who receive the checks do whatever they do with the check WITHOUT REPORTING ON IT IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER.

If it doesn't generate press they're going to stop doing it.

What if (1)

ktappe (747125) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392771)

What if an editor who received one of those checks just cashed it and immediately ceased writing about any EA product? Forever? (S)he would enjoy monetary benefit and would avoid conflict of interest. Meanwhile, EA would have screwed themselves.

Huh? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392783)

complaining female and LGBT gamers Wait... why are the "L" and "B" gamers complaining? Can't they win a date with a booth babe too? In fact, if they could just have male and female booth babes, couldn't you make everyone happy?

How is this news? (5, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392807)

EA is doing this since... well, I think they are pretty much defined by those methods.

I know that at least five years ago, the German Game magazine Gamestar was the only one not to have a story on some EA game, because they refused to rate it above 90% in order to get access to “exclusive” images etc. I think they even wrote about how EA offered them a pre-written “test” to print practically verbatim.

But this is not the only area where they are shady. If you remember the lawsuit, where the wives of EA programmers (or should I say “code monkeys”) sued EA, because their men never came home. Apparently, the internal rule was, to work until at least 8 PM, and never have free weekends or ask for holidays. If you would go home on the weekend, your boss would tell you, not to ever come back.

I also remember that everybody from Bullfrog (don’t dare to not remember them! ^^) quit the company, to found a new one, as soon as they were bought by EA. That company was again bought by EA. And that time, still 60% of the employees did quit on the spot.

Then their whole process of making games — from my perspective as a game designer — is just disgusting. It’s just like those Hollywood plastic fantastic default movies with ten writers. To them it’s just a production process. No heart, no soul, no free creativity. You just create a mass-product. Never a piece of art, how it should be. They are an insult to the whole business, dragging the reputation of us all down with them.

Now you’ve got an image of what kind of company EA is. Microsoft’s ethics are a freakin’ joke, compared to EA’s.
I wish I would be exaggerating.

I will embrace the Sin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29392941)

This means EA wants us all to steal the game right? Hurray Sin!

Formula for Fun (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29392973)

As a general rule, the level of fun is directly proportional to how much it pisses off fundamentalists. Reminds me of a sign in a Nevada road-pub: "Eat, drink, and be merry[1]; for tomorrow you'll be in Utah".

[1] "be Mary" for you crossdressers out there.
   

IT worked.. (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 4 years ago | (#29393047)

I went to the game's site to take a look.. and being honest it is VERY rare for me to pay attention to adverts of any kind.. Well played EA (that's likely the only compliment you'll get from me)

The Christians are just pissed because... (4, Interesting)

popo (107611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29393057)

The Christians are just pissed that their "moral" outrage seems to so consistently coincide with extremely popular titles.

So much so, in fact that marketing firms are now going so far as to stage 'faux Christian outrage' in the hopes that the outrage itself is the thing that contributes to the hits. This of course must be very annoying for the Christians who were hoping that the world was actually listening to what they were saying. It turns out that marketing departments haven't really been listening to the Christians at all, but instead -- happily noting the simultaneous occurance of increased revenues with the angry mobs of yammering Christians.

Which is as it should be of course. Trying to ram one's morality down the throats of others is generally regarded as poor form.

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