The 8 worst gaming publicity pictures

Advertising disasters worse than Captain Hindenburg Airlines

This isn't just a bad PR picture, it's an entire advertising campaign built on technology more horribly misused than a webcam in a slaughterhouse staffed by blind children.


Above: You can say it's the limit of the technology, but we’re guessing even the virtual girl he's paid for won't come within three feet of him

This is the town of Atami, where players spent the summer posing for photos with underage schoolgirls from Love Plus. Thousands of men travel from around the country to pose near QR panels, which tell the smartphone to insert an image of the game girl. The panels also ask the phones, "what's it like being held by a sweaty palm all day?" and, "for the love of god, why don't you show him some real porn?"

In a mockery of human culture, over two hundred poor, misguided souls paid for a "double" room in a local hotel – which features another QR panel by the beds. It's a fantastic business strategy: the hotel gets to charge single men twice as much (and they were going to have to wash the sheets anyway). But because the game’s cast is almost exclusively underaged, it also turns Love Plus into grounds for arrest, essentially confirming, "everyone who buys this game is a pervert prepared to cross the country to get near fake versions of girls they'd be jailed for approaching in real life. Is there any chance our society is NOT doomed?"


8. Getting the goat (head)

Every company makes mistakes, but Sony's so spectacularly bad at Public Relations you'd swear it had a bet going with the Umbrella Corporation. And Sony is winning: the $599 PS3 launch, removing backwards compatibility despite near-universal protest, and tearing the guts from a decapitated goat at a press event while topless women stand by watching. If that last one looks out of place, well done for beingbetter at PR than Sony.

That image was taken at a God of War 3 launch party in Greece where journalists were asked to reach inside a real goat carcass and pull its entrails out, presumably as part of a Satanic ritual to force them to give great review scores. And that wasn't some accidentally leaked image taken out of context for maximum outrage. This picture was specifically printed in the Official PlayStation magazine (which was then recalled), exactly as above but without the pixels covering the blood and breast. It was also presumably intended for release in an alternate universe, because there's no way anyone could have thought they'd get away with that in this one.

The only thing more outrageous than the stunt was the apology, in which Sony spread the blame over so many other parties that according to company spokespeople, YOU had more to do with this than they did. This despite the event being:

a) At the official launch party for a flagship official Sony title
b) Fully written up for the Official PlayStation Magazine
c) Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony

Sony’s backtracking was more bloodstained, desperate and ineffective than accidentally people-mowing your motorboat twenty meters up a packed nude beach and then trying to put it in reverse. The best bit of the apology was where the company assured everyone that it wasn't the goat's original guts they were pulling out. Someone had already hollowed it out, you see, and these were the reheated guts of other animals they'd shoved into the decapitated goat proto-taxidermy.

At that point everyone accepted the apology - not because it worked, but because the people issuing it were clearly psychotically insane.

Sep 23, 2010


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