Report: EA Backs Off Controversial Booth Babe Plan for Comic Con

Electronic Art has apparently backed off a Comic Con promotion which encouraged attendees to "Commit an act of lust" with booth babes hired for the event.

Negative Gamer reports on EA’s mea culpa:

Costumed reps are a tradition at Comic-Con. In the spirit of both the Circle of Lust and Comic-Con, we are encouraging attendees to Tweet photos of themselves with any of the costumed reps[…]

We apologize for any confusion and offense that resulted from our choice of wording, and want to assure you that we take your concerns and sentiments seriously.

It’s all by way of promoting the publisher’s upcoming Dante’s Inferno. GamePolitics readers will recall an earlier controversy around the game when EA hired fake Christian protesters to march outside the Los Angeles Convention Center during E3.

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  1. Conster says:

    I remember being pretty excited about this game after seeing a trailer or commercial or something. These stunts, though, ruin things for me.

  2. Austin_Lewis says:

    Really?  Because I saw some pictures that suggest otherwise.  And not just from the Suicide Girls.

  3. thefremen says:

    No, comic-con was nothing like that in the least. Suicide Girls booth, yeah, totally like that, the rest of the place not even in the least. The organizers want it to be the Cannes of pop culture.

    Actually since you bring it up, I did notice a LOT of guys in crazy skimpy outfits. Some dude as Ryu-chu with nothin’ but body paint, speedo bottoms and a tail, another dude with a cape and a speedo bottom, and yet another dude with a bath-towel cape and speedo bottoms. But these were all attendees, not reps.


    Meh, either way what is it worth trying to actually have a discussion on GP frontpage? This is basically the same as Kotaku/Joystiq/Destructoid/Freep/b/Stormfront now anyways. 

  4. sheppy says:

    Selling women?  Wasn’t the top romantic comedy at one point called Win a Date with Ted Hamilton?

    Look, maybe comic-con was different but the last anime convention I went to, women were wearing as little as possible for as much attention as possible.  Many promoting their websites and webcams.  Hell, some even charged for pictures.  If Comic-con was ANYTHING like Acen, then the ONLY mistake EA did was calling out the attention whores AS attention whores.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  5. thefremen says:

    Yeah but alcohol companies WANT people to associate their products with rape/inappropriate touching/general douchebaggery. 


    Oh wait maybe that’s what EA is after as well. What makes the contest sound like it’s encouraging fondling is the fact that it also says it will be judged. If the winner was chosen at random from all eligible entrants one would assume that you could just take a pic with a product rep and post it and win.


    Also, there’s the creepiness of selling women involved with the prize. That’s just disturbing.

  6. Godkarmachine says:

    Squirrel, please!

    – Stand back! I have an opinion, and I’m not afraid to use it.

  7. OmegaWarrior says:

    WTF is with EA’s marketing dept?  What is this, the third time in a row they’ve issued a mea culpa for their promotions?  Brass knuckles, fake religious protest at E3, now this booth babe thing.

  8. Zero Beat says:

    If they were considering a "Sin of Wrath" contest, they may want to scrap that idea.

    Personally, I think it’d end as one of the biggest mistakes in marketing history.


    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  9. Lou says:

    We have a furry club here on the University where I work on and my first though was WTF?! But then again there are couple of girls that look smoking hot in those outfi…………… Did I said that out loud?

    Back on topic, I believe this was another overly-enthusiastic idea from a marketing company trying to think outside the box. This was definately a prime for a marketing clas on what NOT to do.

  10. Drazgal says:

    Think about it though, how often would you have heard about this game if not for all the marketing "mistakes" over the last six months? I can barely remember any preview of the game, but I damn well remember the games name with all the press it gets from events like these.

    Which ofcourse is the goal of a marketing department.

  11. Arell says:

    And now booth babes will start carrying pepper spray during every gig.  Like they didn’t have enough to worry about being surrounded by a horde of overexcited nerds.  It’s bad enough having to dodge getting dry-humped by a furry that’s too in-character on the way to the parking lot.

    Seriously, did someone at EA just go stupid or something?  "And in other news, EA, who sends brass knuckles through the mail system (a Federal crime) and mocks Christians, has now asked comic book geeks and gamer nerds to sexually assault women and record the attack.  In response, they kinda sorta appologized for the poor choice of words."

  12. Charax says:

    I don’t see anything in there saying they’re stopping the promo, so this amounts to another "EA does something stupid, EA puts out halfassed statement, EA goes straight on doing whatever it wants" story.

  13. Magic says:

    I’m sure you’ve heard the saying before: any publicity is good publicity.

    Generally speaking. That’s my theory behind EA here – the brass knuckles was possibly a genuine mistake, but the fake-protesting-Christians for Dante’s Inferno were definitely used for attention (Including being found out as fake I reckon). Same deal here.

  14. MrKlorox says:

    The best thing to come from this marketing fiasco is the PC term for Booth Babe. "Costumed Rep" is such a laughable phrase for these women.

  15. d20sapphire says:

    That’s a particularly good point, though luckily Wright isn’t working directly under EA anymore if I remember correctly.  But still, he was right.  Maybe part of the reason why he’s doing other stuff.

    This is also a great example of how to scare away potential girl gamers.  "You’re pretty much only necessary if you have a hot bod to win someone a prize so s/he can hang out with two other chicks with hot bods."  I don’t see a lot of woman appreciating this contest.

  16. GoodRobotUs says:

    Interesting, considering Will Wright was talking only a few weeks ago about the need for the game industry to ‘grow up’, and guess who owns his company…

  17. Father Time says:

    It could be, even if Ea sucks as a marketer it coulod still make a good game (I doubt the guys who make the game get to decide how it’s marketed).

    I think that’s just my hope that it will turn out to be a good game?


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  18. Austin_Lewis says:

    I am very disappointed in EA.  They finally did something that was fairly awesome, and then they pussy out of it.  Shame on you EA.  Go sit in the corner.

  19. DarkSaber says:

    I agree. It’s no different than the sort of promotions you see in relation to music festivals that are sponsored by alcohol companies.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  20. Ryno says:

    Wow, I’ve never had the first comment!

    The stupidity of this is just beyond words. How could anyone think it was a good idea?

    Edit – wonder if any sexual assault charges were/will be filed because of the stunt?


    Saying that Jack Thompson is impotent is an insult to impotent men everywhere. They’ve got a whole assortment of drugs that can cure their condition; Jack, however…

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