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.

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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

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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ZippyDSMleeEh still rather subjective… the haters would be better off going after teen and beauty rags and magazines than fiction, fiction follows reality and going after fiction tends to turn into a bullying fest’s… plus its fiction its unrealistic to start with….02/27/2015 - 1:10am
MechaTama31That's a pretty difficult anatomy to break.02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
MechaTama31"the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy" <-- I'm sorry, but we are talking here about the woman who can roll up into a little ball and live to tell the tale, yes? ;)02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
Andrew EisenAs far as examples that could be culled from female game characters though, that one's pretty mild.02/26/2015 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenNot as much the heels or the suit in and of themselves but certainly the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy to show off her lady bits.02/26/2015 - 9:10pm
E. Zachary KnightWell, Samus's heels are certainly impracticable, but I wouldn't really call her Zero suit objectified. I don't really feel that the new Lara Croft is objectified either, but that is my subjective opinion.02/26/2015 - 9:08pm
Andrew EisenTomb Raider: No but we haven't seen much of anything yet. Samus: Yes.02/26/2015 - 9:07pm
ZippyDSMleeWould you call the new tomb raider objectified? WOuld Samus Aran from the new Smash bros be objectified?02/26/2015 - 9:02pm
WonderkarpI'm hoping they put the rest of the comic book ghostbusters in there. Ortiz and Rookie(From GB the game)02/26/2015 - 8:38pm
Wonderkarpghostbusters board game is doing great. getting close too a 3rd extra playable Character. Ron Alexander.02/26/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenSmurfette is not subjective. If there's more than one female character, it's not Smurfette. Anyway, as with everything on the list, Smurfette is, in and of itself, not necessarily a bad thing.02/26/2015 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI think there's 5 women (out of 15, I think) but other than one being a bit more "hippy" than the others, they pretty much all have the same body type. Especially when compaired to the huge variety of male body types.02/26/2015 - 8:31pm
Wonderkarpso I dont see Smurfette as a bad thing. Unless like all your female characters are Smurfette. remember the Smurfs also had Sassette02/26/2015 - 8:29pm
E. Zachary KnightOne good example of the larger issues is one Anita used in the presentation, Blizzard's Overwatch game. There are a dozen men in the game with a dozen body types. But there are only 4 women with 2 body types, but 3 of them have the same one.02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
Wonderkarpthe smurfette thing is subjective to how many female characters you have. Take Sonic for example. You have Amy, who is obvious smurfette, but there's several other female characters now without that. Including the original animated seriescomics with Sally02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
E. Zachary KnightAE. Very true. I think that is where I was going, but it didn't come out right. Jack Harkness is sexy but not objectified. Whereas, a women would have to be objectified in order to be "sexy" in most games.02/26/2015 - 8:26pm
E. Zachary KnightAnd as Andrew pointed out, there is a big difference between a sexualized man, and an idealized man. But for some reason, there is no distinction between women in games. For the most part.02/26/2015 - 8:25pm
Andrew EisenI think one of the issues we run into repeatedly with these conversations is the confusion over "sexy" and "sexually objectified."02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightYet, for some reason, in orde rto have a sexualized women, she must be wearing lingerie or a bikini. Can't women be sexual and still dress for the job at hand?02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightThe problem I have with complaints of "sexualized men" is that men don't have to wear speedos to be sexualized. Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood/Doctor Who, was one sexy man, but he spent 99% of his time in a WW2 soldier's trenchcoat.02/26/2015 - 8:23pm
 

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