It can't be easy coming up with promotional ideas for games. There's no "talk show circuit" for games like there is for movies or albums. Video games are PR nightmares being blamed for every violent or sexist act committed, and are literally responsible for taking $100 million from stupid children and giving it to Kim Kardashian. So it shouldn't surprise you that some of the stunts used to promote games are stupid, desperate, and insane. Here are six of the worst.
6 Halo 5 And UFC Team Up To Kill All Cross-Promotion Forever
In October of 2015, the Ultimate Fighting Championship teamed up with the game Halo 5: Guardians for a massive cross-promotional event. It wasn't a very strange idea. The UFC covers virtually every surface in sponsor logos. For instance:
Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
Training Mask says, "Ads on dick baskets are less expensive but just as noticeable as billboards or skywriting!"
Sometimes having the name of your video game plastered all over a countdown clock, a bloody floor, and a man's hot pants isn't enough. So one of their ad-wizards came up with the idea to have the fighters incorporate some video game references into their trash talk.
The poor pugilists who were given this task were Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier, two polite adult professional athletes. The point is, if you're looking for someone to sneak in an insane reference to Halo while he threatens to knock your teeth in, it'd be hard to find two worse choices. And when the two started tweeting at each other during the lead up to their fight, their Halo referencing was such clumsy and blatant product placement, it made Adam Sandler look like Bill Hicks.
"With the same affordable taste and now with less child molestation, Subway sandwiches are a hole in one!"
Brace yourself. It began with Cormier taunting Gustafsson by saying:
Yes, this was a real thing someone typed with their actual human fingers. And it didn't stop! He continued:
If you're lost, and it's okay to be since this is fucking stupid, Spartan Locke is a character from Halo 5, not a sex act used in ancient Greece. Gustafsson had no choice but to strike back with a shoe-horned Halo 5: Guardians reference of his own, subtly featuring a Halo character featured in the hit Halo home video game series.
"Bitch, I will crush you like the weight of the robust bonuses included in the Halo 5: Guardians Mountain Dew Summer Blast Bundle.
#realtalk #whatamidoing #kiiilllmeeee"
It's nearly impossible to create fake joke tweets more ludicrous than the actual tweets these men allowed to be posted on their behalf. These are two of the most successful professional athletes and dangerous warriors alive, and they are talking like cartoon enemies from a toothpaste commercial. Just listen to this terrifying trash talk from the light heavyweight contender:
The internet obviously reacted with mocking laughter. In a sport where heavily concussed men are constantly trying to come up with unique ways to describe their opponent's impending doom, it's likely no one will ever top the absurdity of this. Also: We are confident it didn't result in a single additional copy of Halo 5 being sold.
5 Final Fantasy XIII's Louis Chocobo Bags
When a company like Louis Vuitton makes billions of dollars a year in profit, you'd think they could hire the best models, right? Or at least models that exist with real physical bodies? No, for their 2016 spring line-up, they hired computer-generated characters from Final Fantasy XIII as models. Which isn't even a very good video game. In fact, it's the worst-reviewed Final Fantasy game of the series and, one might argue, the double-worst place to recruit handbag models.
"Heal! HEAL! FIREBALL! Sir, whatever this object is, it seems broken."
This is Claire Farron, better known by her protagonist/stripper name of Lightning. She was the lead character of Final Fantasy XIII and even got her own spinoff called Lightning Returns. Don't let her gentle features and pink hair fool you; Lightning is a no-nonsense badass, who would probably see a clutch handbag as nothing more than a way to safely transport the genitals of a slain adamantoise to the nearest genital alchemist. Even in the ad, she seems to have no idea what they're for. She flips around and brandishes the purses like a programming bug accidentally replaced her sword.
The most feared item in the game: ... bag?
According to the official website of the campaign, Lightning "pushes the idea of the heroine even further." Because nothing says "heroine" like a dead-eyed sex doll cartoon threatening invisible enemies with a four-thousand-dollar handbag. What story are they trying to tell here? That style is an empty, deranged illusion for people living within several layers of pointless abstraction? That's a risky message for a company bundling $12 of parts and labor with $3,988 of empty, deranged illusion. And it's also just dull. Why not give her a nice Cactuar or Rangda to fight?
"You can't put a Rangda in the ad? We Rangdas are, like, 60 percent handbag already!
Remember us from Final Fantasy XIII?! You know ... Rangdas!"
The weirdest part of the campaign had to be the "interview" that Lightning gave to the UK paper, the Telegraph. Due to the problem of her not existing, some poor journalist had to pretend to be talking to a character from a game she'd clearly never played about the great honor fictional characters feel when hired as real-world fashion models. It was all just impossibly nuts, like it was a dry run for one of Skynet's wackier infiltration schemes.