EA pisses off Christians, everyone else ignores them
Guerrilla marketing is all about tricking people into learning about your product. Most of the time, you don’t even know it’s going on around you. Sometimes it’s as subtle as a person at the bar strongly encouraging you to get shots of Jägermeister, and sometimes it’s a bunch of glowing ‘litebrights’ that cause massive panic (do you remember the Mooninites debacle?). This time, the devious minds at EA are attempting to use Christian fundamentalism to create buzz about their new game, Inferno.
Their tactic was simple: pretend to be a bunch of fundies, and make outrageous / cheap looking picket signs and make yourself visible. I have no doubt they were hoping other right wing Christians would jump in on the hate bandwagon. Any publicity is good publicity, and anytime the religious right boycotts something, it’s a good day for everyone’s bottom line.
The problem is that the game (which looks like a gigantic ripoff of God of War), based very loosely on the book The Divine Comedy, isn’t the kind of thing fundies are really concerned about these days. Sure, maybe 15 years ago it would have caused an uproar, but I have never in my life met a Christian who has bothered to read the actual book. It may have been required reading 400 years ago, but nowadays, only Liberal Arts students bother to pick it up. I’ve only read about 1/3 of it myself before passing out due to boredom. Then again, poetry was never really my thing.
Hilariously enough though, it seems to have generated a little bit of vitriol from a few Christians. Here’s a funny post over at Catholic Video Gamers:
Ok, look Electronic Arts, as much as the hardcore gaming community is full of the risible self-parodies known as the “freethinking” – the Richard Dawkins-loving, fundamentalist atheist, “I’m-so-much-smarter-than-you-are-because-I-don’t-believe-in-God” types, I doubt that even they would actually be more likely to buy a game because they *think* that their ideological foes (the equally risible Fundamentalist Creationist, anti-Catholic, evangelical “Christians”) happen to hate it. Gamers of all varieties will buy this product if its, well, actually a good game. So instead of engaging in a shamelessly anti-Christian stunt to promote your poor excuse of a product, maybe you ought to work on making this game, you know, something better than a blatant God of War rip-off and make it, ya know, something worthwhile?
Well, I guess the ad campaign did work a little, eh?