EA spokeswoman Holly Rockwood says the stunt was arranged by a viral marketing agency hired by EA. However, the “protest” was still covered by local newspapers and The LA Times.
The new game, Dante’s Inferno is loosely based on Dante Aligheri‘s poem “Divine Comedy,” The fake protesters were “upset” about the game because it glorified eternal damnation. The protesters passed out pamphlets and held up picket signs saying “Hell is not a Video Game” and “Trade in Your PlayStation for a PrayStation.”
Some critics have been saying this might not have been the best move for EA. Why would you build negative buzz about your own product?
We think it was a perfect thing for EA. As people were walking into the trade show, they already had interest in the game. Not only that, they received free publicity in local newspapers, which then made it’s way onto the internet. And now that the coverage is on the internet, their clelver stunt will reach much farther than a trade show in LA.
You could also applaud EA for creating fake negative buzz themselves so nobody else can. Now that it’s already been done, no one would take real protesters seriously. Way to dodge that bullet, EA!