5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

December 23, 2009 -

Best of lists are so 1999.

While 2009 was a great year for gamers and an unbelievable quantity of great titles were released, there were some marketing tactics and campaigns that caused anger, dismay and head-scratching among consumers and the media alike.

Set on Stun, noting that these “are the ones that angried up our blood and became stains on the internet,” runs down the Top 5 Worst Videogame Marketing Campaigns of 2009.

Coming in at the top (the bottom?), was Evony, the online game with a litany of complaints against it, not the least of which is using advertising images featuring scantily clad females that have nothing to do with the actual game at all.

Set on Stun scathed:

you sued people who reported on your gold-spamming and malware, you spammed blogs with comments, you ripped off image assets from other games, you and your sniveling CEO complained about people shining the light on your deceptive practices.

Dante’s Inferno from Electronic Arts came in at number 2 on the list. The marketing campaign generated controversy at every step, causing Set on Stun to write, “Dante’s Inferno & EA seemed to try to piss off anyone who came even close to caring about their game, a game by all accounts, should be pretty kick-ass.”

The marketing for Dante’s Inferno was fascinating to watch unfold. Gamers, and even the media, became so rattled after a while, that every time a bizarre story surfaced on the Internet, people immediately wondered if it was a plant/front for the game. Sometimes it was.

Professional and industry opinions on the campaign were split as well, as witnessed in a bipolar Ars Technica headline for an excellent overview of almost everything Dante’s Inferno threw at the press.

Shoot even went so far as to name Wieden +Kennedy, the firm behind the Dante’s Inferno marketing, as its Agency of the Year.

Head over to Set on Stun to see the rest of the list.

Any other campaigns you can think of that didn’t make the list?


Comments

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

Thank you Evony is on the list I swear I hate those ads

 

 

Never underestimate the power of idiots in large amounts.

Never underestimate the power of idiots in large amounts.

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

Was the Capcom body part thing this year? That's got to rank up there if it was.

 

 

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

Just have to say, love the pic used in this article. Between this and Nikolai Volkoff in one of the articles about Russia, I take it the writer's a wrestling fan. And if you even know about Pastamania, chances are you're on Wrestlecrap too (I'm MolotovMocktail from those boards).

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

Sites down, but I hope 'Limbo of the Lost' is in there somewhere, years to write, minutes on the shelves, not exactly a campaign, but not the best example of marketting or, indeed, quality control in history ;)

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

It certainly looks like not everyone is a marketing and advertising guru. Although I don't doubt that these are indeed the worst games marketing campaigns I still want to point out that wherever there is a top, there will also be a bottom of the top.easy saver complaints

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

While im unfamiliar with Evony or whatever #1 was, id put Dante on top, mainly because of how piss poor theyve been with it. It just seems like theyve missed the point of the story. Ill admit i havent sat down and read the story but ive read the basic point and it seems like its trying to show you what happens when you do bad things and basically warning you against such things. Yet the ad campaign seems to be trying to promote that stuff. Its really stupid, its like, heres a game based on a book that warns you of the dangers that face you if you sin... now go sin.

Its like if they made a game about a group of Jews trying to escape Nazi Germany, and the ad campaign is centered around trying to kill as many jews as possible.

They just seem to be alienating the people that the book was written for, and trying to appeal to the minds of the retarded 12 year olds who care for nothing outside of violence in games. And are willing to accept generic hack and slash games that rip of God Of War.

FTR, im not some crazy fanatical christian but hurt over the treatment of DI. Just sayin that this has been a poor job on EAs part, trying to be edgy but missing the point just to please stupid people

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

Wow, that Palin 2012 take was really mature and neutral.

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

It's an opinion column, he's allowed to have opinions.

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

Yes it's an opinion column, an opinion column on videogame ad campaigns, not poltics.

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

Not if they aren't in agreement with whatever right wing demagogue this guy is sucking off. 

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

And you'd totally be okay with someone drawing a political cartoon of Obama wearing a turban, right?  Considering some of the things you've said here on GP, I highly doubt it.

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You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

I don't remember a "grope a booth babe" ad, just "take a picture with a booth babe"

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

I've watched closely all the marketing campaigns for these games because I consider it's better to learn from other people's mistakes. Although Dante's Inferno came in second in your top, they still had a solid reputation management online and managed to come out face clean. Sadly for the rest of those four in your top, they didn't manage to do that.

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

It said they would reward those who took a picture "doing a sinful act" with a booth babe. So maybe "grope" is too mild and the stunt should have been labeled "rape a booth babe". 

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

How about the ECA for advertising discounts as one of the main reasons to subscribe after they had been discontinued or that were never actually available?

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

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

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

Maybe because people need to fucking let that go already. Wasn't their fault some jackasses were abusing the system.

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

And whose fault is it that they continued to advertise it for some time after discontinuing before they even updated the list of discounts to say it was discontinuedd? Not to mention the other discounts they advertise that people have said don't work.

--------------------------------------------------

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

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

Re: 5 Worst Game Marketing Campaigns of 2009

Abuse of the system is moderately their fault (you put out deals and don't expect them to be potentially abused? How the hell is anyone on the net that naive any more?).  The abusers themselves still bear the bulk of the blame though.

The response to it though? That's 100% entirely their fault. Web cancellations is no harder than the original web signups.

 

 
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Andrew EisenNatir - I didn't say that. Of course they have. Most tangibly Sarkeesian.07/28/2015 - 5:40pm
Andrew EisenThey weren't bullied into doing a damn thing. They made a business decision. And Rockstar should sue them? On what grounds?07/28/2015 - 5:35pm
Andrew EisenOoh, there's a game from '87.07/28/2015 - 5:35pm
MattsworknameNo, but they were still bullied by feminist into pullign the game. Something I think rockstar should have sued over07/28/2015 - 5:33pm
NatirAndrew, people like Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, and Brianna Wu have no affect on anything with regards to the gaming industry?07/28/2015 - 5:33pm
Andrew EisenI also don't consider petitions (even stupid nonsense ones like the one in question) to be bullying or threatening.07/28/2015 - 5:33pm
Andrew EisenTarget is not a developer or publisher.07/28/2015 - 5:31pm
MattsworknameAndrew: target asutraila, GTA 5. You were saying?07/28/2015 - 5:27pm
Andrew EisenNatir - Everything. I've been here since the beginning but we're not talking about ethics in games journalism right now. Did you really want to switch subjects?07/28/2015 - 5:25pm
Andrew EisenYes, how a game works, how characters are portrayed, how the controls operate, tone, themes, writing, etc. are all up to the devs. But that doesn't mean any of that is off limits to criticism by the people who consume it.07/28/2015 - 5:25pm
NatirAndrew, what do you exactly know about the GamerGate issue and the history behind it?07/28/2015 - 5:23pm
Andrew EisenYou're being absurd. No one is bullying or threatening developers and publishers.07/28/2015 - 5:23pm
MattsworknameAs far as im concerned, if feminist are allowed to bully and threaten retailers, developers, and publishers, then so should men, blacks asisans and jews. but thats NOT how it works, And thats why aniita and company are bullshit07/28/2015 - 5:22pm
NatirThe point is that there are tons of games that have women in lead roles. How someone is portrayed (woman or man), is up to the developers and writers of the story.07/28/2015 - 5:21pm
Andrew EisenDon't type angry. Your spelling is getting worse and you dropped an f-bomb which is why I deleted one of your comments.07/28/2015 - 5:21pm
MattsworknameMen do not get to decide how they are portrayed in games all the time, not do people of specific races. So why should women suddenly have the right to tell the industry how to portray them.07/28/2015 - 5:21pm
Andrew EisenI get to argue anything I damn well please, thank you very much. And again, no one's arguing that women don't exist in games. They're critiquing how they're generally portrayed.07/28/2015 - 5:20pm
Mattsworknameroles07/28/2015 - 5:20pm
MattsworknameYou dont get to argue that andrew, men or women do NOT get a say in how a game portary them, That is at the whim of the developer. YOu may not like how it's done, but the list hows, clearly, that women get a large amount of representation in the industry07/28/2015 - 5:19pm
Andrew EisenAlso, those few hundred games aren't from 2014. They're from the past couple decades. I spotted one from as early as 1990 and a bunch that aren't out yet.07/28/2015 - 5:19pm
 

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