The 8 worst gaming publicity pictures

7. Love Plus Date virtual pedotown

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 being better 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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  • Metroidhunter32 - September 25, 2010 3:42 p.m.

    Last was the worst by far.
  • g4m3rk1dd - September 24, 2010 10:09 p.m.

    that last one is by far the second most disturbing thing i will ever see in my life... the first being the Nintendo Wii...
  • Clovin64 - September 24, 2010 8:47 p.m.

    "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" Well put. Sony, what the FUCK were you thinking? This whole article had me in stiches. Video game companies can be incredibly stupid.
  • AlmightyFuzz - September 24, 2010 8:21 p.m.

    I meant I haven't heard of any these PR stunts...
  • AlmightyFuzz - September 24, 2010 8:17 p.m.

    You've probably generated more publicity for these games with this article than the PR stunts managed, because I haven't heard of any of these!!
  • The_Tingler - September 24, 2010 6:10 p.m.

    @jmcgrotty: "I honestly don't see why anyone has a problem with the Sony goat ad. It's an ad, not reality." Hee, I understand why you'd be wondering why people make such a big deal about an fake ad. The reason people make a big deal about it is that it WASN'T fake - it WAS REALITY! It was a press event, not an ad! They genuinely, real life, did everything GamesRadar said. Topless women, goat sacrifice, inviting members of the press to pull entrails out of a carcass. And then made excuses.
  • DrIntrigue - September 24, 2010 5:46 p.m.

    I remember that Ascii ad! And yes, it was lame, even at the time.
  • philipshaw - September 24, 2010 2:32 p.m.

    Classic Sony PR
  • Waldo - September 24, 2010 1:09 p.m.

    Great article. Some of you guys and gals at GR should think about writing as a profession! I loves me a good like-ism! Seriously, you guys put some thought into your articles, even the ones meant to be silly.
  • big0jeff - September 24, 2010 12:36 p.m.

    Wow! I would have thought that you guys checked your facts before you post something. That Sony stupid PR stunt happen way before God of War 3!
  • BigWillis - September 24, 2010 11:38 a.m.

    That Wolverine is giving the thumbs up, which makes this all much more hilarious.
  • AuthorityFigure - September 24, 2010 11:05 a.m.

    I have the Ascii Pad and the original box too! It is awesome. But, I never dressed that way because my pad didn't come with a make-up kit.
  • jmcgrotty - September 24, 2010 8:16 a.m.

    I've always been confused by this. I honestly don't see why anyone has a problem with the Sony goat ad. It's an ad, not reality.
  • ScrEAMaPiLLar - September 24, 2010 7:18 a.m.

    The last one. SONY what the f*ck? Good article had no idea any of these PR moves actually existed.
  • sepirothpk - September 24, 2010 7:04 a.m.

    GAIARES isn't a Japanese word, can't be written in the language
  • shyfonzie - September 24, 2010 5:35 a.m.

    What the fuck is wrong with Sony!?
  • publicanemone - September 24, 2010 5:16 a.m.

    @ #8 The eye-shadowed, fur-wearing dude ruined the whole thing. It would've been a huge success otherwise.
  • ElAmmoBandito - September 24, 2010 3:44 a.m.

    What about the new move men from sony?
  • Rubberducky - September 24, 2010 3:36 a.m.

    I enjoyed the kitties. Meow
  • tacoman38 - September 24, 2010 1:18 a.m.

    So I went to the link with the wolverine video. And it had 65 hits. I wonder how many were from GR. @Doctalen Truth.

Showing 1-20 of 32 comments

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