Marketing is an important part of a big launch. You want all your customers to know your game exists and you want all the news outlets talking about it, too – even the ones that don’t traditionally play video games.
Sometimes, though, marketing people – whether employed by the publisher or part of an outside firm – get a bit too into their job and things go wrong.
That happened this week when a PR stunt for Watch_Dogs resulted in a call to the bomb squad.
According to Australian PR news site Mumbrella, a black safe was delivered to Ninemsn News’ offices, along with a note that simply said “check your voicemail.”
The reporter that received the package didn’t receive a voicemail (someone somewhere else probably has a suspicious voicemail from Watch_Dogs‘ main character Aiden Pearce) and instead simply punched the code into the safe.
The safe started to beep, but didn’t open, leading staff to call in bomb squad officers. The officers opened the safe to find a copy of Watch_Dogs, along with a baseball hat and beanie.
This isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened and it certainly won’t be the last.
A few years ago, Electronic Arts sent out brass knuckles to promote one of the Godfather titles, not realizing that brass knuckles are illegal in some states. THQ’s desperate attempts to promote Homefront, such as marching actors posing as North Korean protestors across the Golden Gate bridge, confused witnesses and left the bay dotted with red balloons. And let’s not forget “Torsogate” last year, when Dead Island Riptide publisher Deep Silver thought a large-breasted, dismembered torso would be a good pack-in.
Ubisoft hasn’t yet commented on the matter. Look for our Watch_Dogs review next week to find out if we need to call in the bomb squad or not.