THQ's Balloon Release Angers San Francisco Residents

March 3, 2011 -

C|Net reports that the citizens of San Francisco are apparently ticked off at THQ - and by extension its partner GameStop - for releasing hundreds of balloons into the sky as part of a mock protest of North Korea - part of a marketing ploy for its new game Homefront. The balloon release happened during the Game Developers Conference. Many of the balloons had a postcard-size flyer attached to it advertising the game. People in the downtown area saw the balloons soaring in the sky, but were disgusted as they watched them land in the San Francisco Bay. That is when some residents began to express their anger. The anger was aimed at GameStop, which was a promotional partner with THQ and whose name appeared on the balloons.

People took to Facebook and Twitter to give the company a piece of their minds. Most were upset at all the balloons littering the bay. GameStop defended itself, claiming that it knew nothing about all the balloons until THQ let them loose that day. Of course, we knew yesterday that THQ planned on doing this, so how GameStop didn't have any prior knowledge is pretty baffling. Here is what the company said:

"We understand the concerns consumers have regarding the impact balloons can have on the environment," GameStop said in the statement. "However, the balloon drop stunt in San Francisco was created by THQ, the publisher of Homefront, and GameStop had no prior knowledge of it. THQ has since informed us that they released soy-based, biodegradable balloons."

THQ also responded to the anger by saying that the balloons were one-hundred percent biodegradable and that residents didn't need to worry about any environmental impact:

"The balloons that were released are completely biodegradable," said Julia MacMedan, vice president of corporate communications for THQ. "They start the process of biodegrading as soon as they're blown up with the helium. There should not be any environmental concerns."

"Because the balloons are biodegradable, [people] should not be concerned about any environmental impact from the balloon release," she added.

"The balloons released at the Homefront rally event today were made from a 100 percent organic product and are 100 percent biodegradable," THQ said in a statement. "The balloons have no history of causing any environmental pollution on land or in water. Although we're confident that there will be no harm to the environment, we've retained a cleanup crew to remove any potential lingering debris. This was a THQ sponsored promotion and GameStop had no involvement, whatsoever."

Nevertheless environmentalists were not appeased by statements from either company:

"It's still trash," said Ann Bauer, the director of education at The Marine Mammal Center in nearby Sausalito, California. "It's biodegradable over time, but a bird can still get entangled in it right now. A sea lion could be curious about it, bite it and swallow it. It could clog their stomach and cause them to die--right now. Biodegradable takes time to happen."

The balloon release might also be illegal:

"The (California) Fish and Game code 5652 prohibits littering balloons into state waters," Patrick Foy, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Game, said in an e-mail to C| Net. "There are plenty of written stories about the problems associated with the release of balloons and when they are ingested."

Source, image credit: C|Net


Comments

Re: THQ's Balloon Release Angers San Francisco Residents

Moral of the story?  

1. Don't fake protests, there's enough real ones to go around.

2. Your game will sell on merit, not because you released a bunch of balloons.

Re: THQ's Balloon Release Angers San Francisco Residents

Word.

-Austin from Oregon

Feel free to check out my blog.

Re: THQ's Balloon Release Angers San Francisco Residence

Soy based? Having been doing balloon animals and amature decorating as a hobby for years, I've never heard of such a thing. The natural latex that balloons are normally made of is equally biodegradable. The biggest complaint should be the wasting of helium when the nation is facing a critical shortage (thanks to dumbass politicians deciding to sell off the national reserves). Helium is needed for all manner of industrial purposes including welding and supercooling. And once released, it bleeds off into space. The main source is underground gas veins formed from radioactive decay that's siphoned off during the course of oil drilling.

Re: THQ's Balloon Release Angers San Francisco Residence

Now that's just bad luck, though it was made worse by poor planning, they should have done a release first or something with the disclaimer about the balloons being biodegradable.

...or just paid a skywriter, probably more expensive.

-Austin from Oregon

Feel free to check out my blog.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

How do you feel about Amazon buying Twitch?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MechaTama31Haven't been to GOG in a while. Their website reminds me of the old Zune software now...08/27/2014 - 6:01pm
Andrew EisenAlso, I know it's nitpicking but only ONE of the 21 movies on offer goes for $15. Four more are $10 and the rest are $6. But right now, all of them are $6 (except for two that are free).08/27/2014 - 3:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMasked, What are you talking about? I guess you never buy DVDs either?08/27/2014 - 3:21pm
Andrew EisenNot if they've hired more people.08/27/2014 - 3:13pm
MaskedPixelantePlus, now that they're negotiating movies, that's LESS manpower to negotiate true, pre-2000, non-console-port classics.08/27/2014 - 3:08pm
MaskedPixelanteNo rewatch value, once you've seen it there's no reason to rewatch it, and it's 15 bucks down the drain.08/27/2014 - 3:06pm
E. Zachary KnightIndie movies are a great start. They need a great distribution system too.08/27/2014 - 3:04pm
Andrew EisenEven if that were true, so what?08/27/2014 - 3:01pm
MaskedPixelanteYou do realize that there are going to be NO Hollywood movies on this service, right? It's all going to be indie documentaries and stuff like that.08/27/2014 - 2:56pm
Andrew EisenI think it's an awesome next step for GOG and completely fail to see why anyone finds it problematic or improper.08/27/2014 - 2:51pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4ZGKI8vpcg My feelings on the latest GOG news.08/27/2014 - 12:47pm
Andrew EisenFalcon SNUB!!!08/27/2014 - 11:28am
E. Zachary KnightAh. Didn't realize Captain Falcon was from F-Zero. Perhaps they didn't want too much SSB cross over characters.08/27/2014 - 10:30am
ZenEZK they could easily just put Captain Falcon in (they are using his car anyways) and he would be the most recognizable character from the series for the anime, games, and Smash Bros.08/27/2014 - 9:42am
ZenMasked there are also the two from Animal Crossing that are going to be in it. I am wondering what they will do for the Excitebike level they gave a peek at.08/27/2014 - 9:41am
E. Zachary KnightDoes F-Zero really have a character that is recognizable that could be used? I would think the cars and tracks would be more recognizable.08/27/2014 - 8:55am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/08/27/rockstar-lohans-gta-5-lawsuit-just-jonas-ing-for-publicity/ Rockstar releases the biggest "no duh" statement in the universe.08/27/2014 - 8:07am
MaskedPixelanteI'm just saying, they're giving us an F-Zero kart and an F-Zero track, but their crossover representative is Link?08/27/2014 - 8:00am
ZenMasked, not really sure what your are talking about lol. They will be giving a total of 6 characters, 8 vehicles, and 16 tracks...plus the Yoshi and Shy Guy sets if you get both packs. Not bad for about the price of a single CoD map pack lol.08/27/2014 - 7:02am
MaskedPixelanteSee the flaw here. Blue Falcon car, F-Zero themed track, and Link as a playable character.08/27/2014 - 6:46am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician