The Call of Duty franchise has leaked into mainstream media in many interesting ways over the years. If it’s not some Doritos or Mountain Dew ad campaign, it’s some complaint about violence influencing the children playing the games. Call of Duty‘s most recent headlining debacle involves Twitter.
Take a look at Exhibit A:
BREAKING NEWS: Unconfirmed reports are coming in of an explosion on the North bank of the Singapore Marina.
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) September 29, 2015
This is the tweet everybody is talking about. In a convoluted marketing scheme that only recently became clear, Activision carried out a series of actions that could be mistaken for the plans of a global-scale super villain. It began with Activision changing the title of the @CallofDuty Twitter account from “Call of Duty” to “Current Events Aggregate” without telling a soul. From there, they proceeded to tweet about things entirely unrelated to Call of Duty, about things like movies and fashion. It was all done as though to convince readers they truly had intentions to post actual news.
Regardless, the next tweet was not a harmless one. Pretending to be a source of credible news, the above tweet was made public, and the public did not have a sense of humor about it. When the tweet was originally published, the Twitter account was still labelled “Current Events Aggregate.”
Since the gaff, IGN has spoken with Treyarch’s Jason Blundell, who made the following statement:
Here’s my view – and again, I’m a simple director and not involved in the marketing at all. However, it was absolutely not done for any kind of attention in any way. It was not done maliciously, or as any kind of scare tactic. I personally am very sorry for anyone who looked at it and got the wrong idea because it genuinely wasn’t meant that way.
It was done on our channel, and it was to talk about the fiction of the world. I think we were as shocked as everybody else when it started blowing up, because essentially we were teeing up ready for a story beat. So again, very sorry for anyone who took it that way. It wasn’t meant that way at all – it was supposed to just be getting ready for a campaign element.
While Blundell clearly had nothing to do with it and is doing his best to save face with both the public and Activision, only time will tell whether or not the public will forget this lapse in judgment.