Okay so we know of a number of game developers and publishers who go a little far when they are trying to pull a PR stunt and generally we like them all. Activision, the Black Ops 3 publishers did just that recently and the result was, well… interesting to say the least.
Recently, they changed the name of their Twitter profile to make it look like a current events reporting page and added a profile picture to go with it. Immediately after that, they started making tweets setting up the tone for the publicity stunt that ended with a tweet reading:
BREAKING NEWS: Unconfirmed reports are coming in of an explosion on the North bank of the Singapore Marina.
There were other tweets like one that read “riot police have dispersed rioting mobs to the southwest of Chinatown using LRAD sonic area control weapons.”
Some of the fans were confused, some figured out what was happening and a handful of them bought in to the stunt. However, it was certain news websites that tried to portray it as tacky and irresponsible because apparently, they thought it was believable.
My point is, how could this have made millions of people believe that something was actually wrong in Singapore Marina (as they insist) when the basic sign of identification of their Twitter profile, the Twitter handle, still read “CallofDuty.”
Not only that, the tweet I mentioned above was accompanied by a picture of the “riot police” wearing exo-suits that Black Ops 3 has been promoting for a long time. Have you ever seen that in real life news reporting?
Also, there was this tweet reading “a 30-mile quarantine zone has been established to contain the area until more information is known.” This one had an image with it the likes of which no news reporting website, or channel has ever produced to date.
You can check screenshots of the tweets below to figure out how “believable” they were.