Gamers Blast ‘Mock War’ Posts

For the promotion of a new part of the Call of Duty  series, their social media team decided to create mock war announcements and post them on their Twitter page.

Messages such as:
UPDATE: Singapore authorities have officially announced a state of emergency and declared martial law.

Screenshot taken from the video games Twitter page showing their posts

Screenshot taken from the video game Twitter page showing their posts.

Of course, many people got scared with tweets favorited and retweeted at an alarming rate.
These messages were posted frequently and finally, the page announced that “This was a glimpse into the future fiction of #BlackOps3.

Many gamers are now upset because there have been too many real tragedies occurring lately, including bombings in China, and this is a bad way to advertise a game.

I don’t think that this was necessarily the most logical thing to do. I can see why or how this would work but they should have made it clear to their audience that everything they were tweeting was fiction. If an image of the game were added, the content may have been less controversial and more obvious to account followers.

Do you think the Call of Duty team had a good idea or tripped over their Twitter hype?

Did the controversy help or hurt the release?

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3 Responses to Gamers Blast ‘Mock War’ Posts

  1. Alex Sorrell says:

    This seems like a modern version of Orson Welles’ broadcast of War of the Worlds from the 1930’s to me, just replace the aliens with a war zone in Singapore on Twitter.

    I think it was a stunt that was in poor taste, even though it came from the Call of Duty account versus a mock news account. I commend them for trying to be creative using social media, but this wasn’t the wasn’t the right way.

    In general, I think that these war-themed video games have lost some favor in their public eye and it has a lot to do with these games have moved subject matters from WWII and other distant wars to more modern and relatable subject matters.

    The Call of Duty series is no stranger to controversy (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1226588/Call-Duty-Political-storm-brutal-video-game-allows-killing-civilians-airport-massacre.html) and I doubt all this controversy will help the series in the long run.

  2. Alexandria Coleman says:

    I agree with you in that I can definitely see both sides. These kinds of tweets would be very alarming to those who don’t know the Call of Duty franchise. With the number of retweets they received, I’m sure thousands of people who are not familiar with Call of Duty games saw them, which is where the problem lies. I would guess that most people who enjoy the game series appreciated these tweets, so in that sense the communications team at Call of Duty was very aware of their target audience. What they weren’t prepared for was their messages reaching those outside their fan base.

    It’s hard to say what could have fixed this, but I think including screenshots of the game and/or #BlackOps3 would have helped the campaign. Both of these elements would help people understand these messages were merely part of a game.

    As for whether it will hurt the release, I suppose we will have to wait until the game comes out in November to decide. However, the Call of Duty franchise has been going on for so long that they have pretty much established their fan base. Gamers either love it or hate it, and for those that love it, I doubt these tweets will change their perception of the game.

  3. Elissa Harrison says:

    History always seems to repeat itself doesn’t it? I want to take you back to the times when the huge scandal happened with “War of the Worlds” and people actually thought the world was under attack from aliens due to a broadcast. This exact situation occurred again when Call of Duty used it’s social media as its voice instead of a radio to play a trick on its audience. Though it seems like a creative PR student in light of the recent shootings and issues throughout the world I personally don’t think this was the most crucial move for their organization. Though it probably drew people in wanting to know who the source was tweeting these comments if they didn’t know who the company was. I personally don’t feel it got new people to want to play this game or get already users want to play even more. I think this was a poor move. I think having a national championship with the launch of the new game or giving people virtual tours of the behind the scenes of the product. Scaring people half to death doesn’t always help or draw people in.

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