Call of Duty Black Ops 3 is nearing its release date, and Activision is beginning to turn up the marketing for its next big title. Unfortunately, its most recent stunt has drawn the anger of the internet by tweeting about a fictional terrorist attack on Singapore; complete with hourly updates about the complete breakdown of civil structure.
The Twitter campaign began in the early hours of 29 September, when @CallofDuty changed its name to Current Events Agg. What followed was a series of tweets about an attack on the Singapore Marina, and an the imposition of martial law on the country. It included details about military drones patrolling the skies, and the government setting up a 30 mile quarantine zone.
The information was retweeted several hundred times; often without the context of being a publicity stunt for the game. In fact, the revelation that it was a publicity stunt did not come until five hours later when it Activision finally announced that the event was a piece of fiction from the upcoming Black Ops 3 game.
Naturally, this has drawn large amounts of criticism from the internet. Gaming news sites IGN and Polygon have called the stunt irresponsible, while Twitter users have called out the company for its tasteless choice of marketing campaign. One comment even pointed out that Singapore is only 31 miles wide, which would make the 30 mile quarantine zone cover the entire island.
The single player campaign for Black Ops 3 begins in a collapsed Singapore, where members of the Black Ops team go missing. Which is probably why the social media campaign chose to terrify the world into believing that the city-state was under attack.
Admittedly, this has generated a large amount of publicity for Black Ops 3; which means that Activision will probably consider it a success and try something like this again. Fortunately, many social media users caught on to the fictional nature of the news early; meaning that we managed to avoid a 1898 War of the Worlds scenario.
[Source: The Straits Times]