“I loved it when Fox News did the lesbian aliens on Mass Effect.”
How’s that for a quote? It comes from Frank Gibeau, the boss of EA Games.
Here’s the context.
We first got a gimpse of Bulletstorm’s marketing tactics with their Halo spoofing Last Call ad. At the time Geek Native asked whether mocking Halo would go well for any franchise hoping to be popular with gamers.
It transpires that Bulletstorm wasn’t popular with everyone. In particular, it wasn’t popular with Fox. If you’re not in America then let’s quickly describe Fox as an right-wing opinion channel with a news angle. Recently, Fox confused Iran and Egypt. What was their beef with Bulletstorm? They thought it might make you go insane and rape people.
Needless to say gamer press cried foul. I could but not help wonder what EA would think of the coverage. You see – having someone like Fox try and denounce the game isn’t always bad news. It’s a great was to generate press coverage of the game. True; a good percentage of Fox’s US audience are certainly the type to play shooter games but a good chunk of that audience would simply ignore the broadcaster’s concerns.
The site Industry Gamers managed to land an interview with EA boss big cheese Gibeau. Here’s some of his quotes;
“We love Fox News”
“When you’re building new IPs and you’re building games and you’re looking at an entertainment audience, they see a lot of messages.
“Controversy isn’t a bad thing. I personally believe you should court controversy. You should do it in a way that matches the creative integrity of the game.”
“I loved it when Fox News did the lesbian aliens on Mass Effect. I love when they covered the Taliban; I loved it when they covered the Bulletstorm stuff. In each one of those cases, it was true to the game and we were trying to do something creatively. The fact that their point of view is different than ours and represented an audience out there is fine by me.”
This blogger can vouch for some clever PR from EA’s agencies around the game. Geek Native has been sent two different Bulletstorm “grab your attention” packages.
The first thing that happened was that three bullets were sent to this blogger’s work address. That’s right. I came in to work to find I’d been sent bullets.
The next thing that happened, as I returned from a business trip, was a parcel waiting on my desk that was marked “Do not fly” and rattled suspiciously. Inside this dodgy package was a set of professional ear plugs and a canister of “Eau de Bulletstorm” aka gun smoke. The canister is perfect if you want your small flat to smell as if someone’s been firing pistols out of the window.