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EA Mails Game Journalists 200 dollar checks

BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
edited September 2009 in Games and Technology
Seriously

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Apparently part of a promo for Dante Inferno.


Kotaku wrote:
Not one to back away from controversy, Electronic Arts today mailed out real checks payable to game reviewers for $200.

Each check, mailed in wooden boxes decorated with twin skeletons and the words Dante's Inferno, was affixed to a velvet pillow inside a box. Inside the top of the box is a welcome to the fourth circle of hell which reads:

In Dante's Inferno, Greed is a two-headed beast. Hoarding wealth feeds on beast and squandering it satiates the other. By cashing this check you succumb to avarice by harding filthy lucre, but by not cashing it, you waste it, and thereby surrender to prodigality. Make your choice and suffer the consequence for your sin. And scoff not, for consequences are imminent.

Not wanting to give in to temptation by cashing the check or using it to market Kotaku, or waste the money, we came up with a different solution. Balls in your court EA.

(Kotaku burned the cheque)


Not sure if this amounts to the most direct bribery ever, or if it's the most genius marketing I've ever seen.

Bamelin on
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    Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I actually think this is fantastic. Also great marketing, but just on principle fantastic.

    Canada_jezus on
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    AceedAceed Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Look at the routing and account numbers...no way those are real checks.

    Aceed on
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    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    The end of the routing number looks fine. Kotaku blacked out the account number in respect to EA (or so I assume).

    jclast on
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    BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I wonder if EA will keep/publish a list of who actually cashes the cheques?

    *cough*

    Bamelin on
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    AceedAceed Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    jclast wrote: »
    The end of the routing number looks fine. Kotaku blacked out the account number in respect to EA (or so I assume).

    You can see the numbers in other pictures.

    Edit: That being said, even if they're real, I doubt a bank would accept a check like that on first glance. Maybe with all the crazy designs nowadays they may. Can't wait for the first, "EA OVERDREW MY ACCOUNT WITH FEES BECAUSE BANK DID NOT ACCEPT CHECK"

    Aceed on
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    Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Also i would have cashed that motherfucker without a second thought.

    Canada_jezus on
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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    That's pretty fantastic, actually.
    You'd have to have no sense of humour whatsoever to condemn this. Good on em.

    Morninglord on
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) (WiiU: Morninglord22) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
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    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Also i would have cashed that motherfucker without a second thought.
    Me, too! $200 means Beatles: Rock Band for free.

    jclast on
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    fragglefartfragglefart Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I'd cash it.

    But the till punk would be all WTF about it, 'specially since it's fake, they'd probably call the police.

    fragglefart on
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    darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I'd cash it.

    But the till punk would be all WTF about it, 'specially since it's fake, they'd probably call the police.

    So you throw up the horns!

    darleysam on
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    FiziksFiziks Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Also i would have cashed that motherfucker without a second thought.

    ...and also undermine your credibility as a journalist.

    Fiziks on
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    ReznikReznik Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Shouldn't it have been a $666 check in keeping with the theme?

    Reznik on
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    Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Fiziks wrote: »
    Also i would have cashed that motherfucker without a second thought.

    ...and also undermine your credibility as a journalist.

    Nah i'd just slam the game to keep up appearances. Also i'd take pictures of all the shit i bought with it and use them in the review instead of screenshots.

    Canada_jezus on
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    vagrant_windsvagrant_winds Overworked Mysterious Eldritch Horror Hunter XX Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I'd cash the damn thing and give it to charity. That goes straight against their marketing campaign.

    Also, why hasn't their marketing campaign been fired yet? Fake religious protest, molest booth girls for prises, and this? Seriously?

    vagrant_winds on
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    FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I'd cash the damn thing and give it to charity. That goes straight against their marketing campaign.

    Also, why hasn't their marketing campaign been fired yet? Fake religious protest, molest booth girls for prises, and this? Seriously?

    The first two were pretty lame but you're pretty much being a giant stick in the mud for bitching about this one.

    Fiaryn on
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    bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    i'm surprised the text with it mentions avarice but not corruption; you'd think that would be the more direct sin to emphasize

    bsjezz on
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    FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    bsjezz wrote: »
    i'm surprised the text with it mentions avarice but not corruption; you'd think that would be the more direct sin to emphasize

    Corruption is not one of the seven deadly sins. Corruption is a general state of amorality that can encapsulate one or more of the seven.

    The seven deadly sins are the theme here.

    Fiaryn on
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    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    bsjezz wrote: »
    i'm surprised the text with it mentions avarice but not corruption; you'd think that would be the more direct sin to emphasize

    Is corruption one of the seven deadlies? I honestly can't remember.

    All I can remember for sure are sloth, avarice, lust, and pride.

    jclast on
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    FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Pride, Wrath, Envy, and Sloth.

    Fiaryn on
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    Mr.SunshineMr.Sunshine Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    corruption isn't a sin.

    The 7 "deadly sins" are...

    Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Wrath, Sloth, Envy and Pride.

    edit, beated!

    Mr.Sunshine on
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    bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    well i'm pretty sure 'prodigality' isn't a deadly sin either, but point taken

    bsjezz on
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    vagrant_windsvagrant_winds Overworked Mysterious Eldritch Horror Hunter XX Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Fiaryn wrote: »
    The first two were pretty lame but you're pretty much being a giant stick in the mud for bitching about this one.

    Straight up monetary bribery? Maybe I'm in the minority here, but that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    vagrant_winds on
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    LookFreeGrenadeLookFreeGrenade Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Do you seriously not understand what they are going for with this?

    Not only is it a pretty cool marketing move, it makes fun of other companies that actually have to do shit like this to get good scores, and how terrible gaming journalism is in general

    LookFreeGrenade on
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    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    bsjezz wrote: »
    well i'm pretty sure 'prodigality' isn't a deadly sin either, but point taken

    prodigality : sloth :: avarice : greed

    jclast on
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    bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    anyway this is the inferno, not purgatory; the corrupt are sent to the eighth circle, while the greedy only manage to make the fourth. way more dramatic

    bsjezz on
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    darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Do you seriously not understand what they are going for with this?

    Not only is it a pretty cool marketing move, it makes fun of other companies that actually have to do shit like this to get good scores, and how terrible gaming journalism is in general

    Exactly. It's hilarious mockery of all the "they paid for that review score!" comments that come out every time a big game is reviewed well.

    darleysam on
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    kedinikkedinik Captain of Industry Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I absolutely hope that a games journalist follows Canada_jezus's plan.

    kedinik on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Fiaryn wrote: »
    I'd cash the damn thing and give it to charity. That goes straight against their marketing campaign.

    Also, why hasn't their marketing campaign been fired yet? Fake religious protest, molest booth girls for prises, and this? Seriously?

    The first two were pretty lame but you're pretty much being a giant stick in the mud for bitching about this one.

    Not really. A games company is very directly paying reviewers. Oh gee, it's not like that, it's marketing.

    So at what point does a payment start being marketing then? When you put it in a nice box and with a gimmick check? Surely if this is fine, then a tonne of other payments are just as viable as long as you call it advertising the game. Crap I can think of a dozen other games that could send joke checks to people and call it "promoting the product".

    I mean if they wanted to make it a gimmick it could have just as easily been a check for a piffly amount like $1, or maybe even $5 or $10, then maybe I would've seen the joke. Maybe.

    Guess I'm just another stick in the mud.

    subedii on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I posted this in the games sales thread too, but this reminds me of a review I did.

    LewieP on
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    Foolish ChaosFoolish Chaos Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I still don't even know what this game is, yet I kind of want to find out now. I guess marketing is doing their job

    Foolish Chaos on
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    bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    subedii wrote: »
    Fiaryn wrote: »
    I'd cash the damn thing and give it to charity. That goes straight against their marketing campaign.

    Also, why hasn't their marketing campaign been fired yet? Fake religious protest, molest booth girls for prises, and this? Seriously?

    The first two were pretty lame but you're pretty much being a giant stick in the mud for bitching about this one.

    Not really. A games company is very directly paying reviewers. Oh gee, it's not like that, it's marketing.

    So at what point does it start being marketing then? Surely if this is acceptable, then a tonne of other payments are just as viable as long as you call it advertising the game.

    I mean if they wanted to make it a gimmick it could have just as easily been a check for a piffly amount like $1, or maybe even $5 or $10, then maybe I would've seen the joke. Maybe.

    Guess I'm just another stick in the mud.

    i can assure you that a publisher would need to pay a lot more than $200 to expect to butter up a hugely influencial media outlet

    the amount of cash is tokenistic; it makes the point, but isn't enough to actually cross the line into a real offer

    bsjezz on
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    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    subedii wrote: »
    Fiaryn wrote: »
    I'd cash the damn thing and give it to charity. That goes straight against their marketing campaign.

    Also, why hasn't their marketing campaign been fired yet? Fake religious protest, molest booth girls for prises, and this? Seriously?

    The first two were pretty lame but you're pretty much being a giant stick in the mud for bitching about this one.

    Not really. A games company is very directly paying reviewers. Oh gee, it's not like that, it's marketing.

    So at what point does it start being marketing then? Surely if this is acceptable, then a tonne of other payments are just as viable as long as you call it advertising the game.

    I mean if they wanted to make it a gimmick it could have just as easily been a check for a piffly amount like $1, or maybe even $5 or $10, then maybe I would've seen the joke. Maybe.

    Guess I'm just another stick in the mud.

    It is not really any different than reviewers getting free games. I would class this as marketing though because it is not _just_ a check from EA. It is a check from EA with skeletons and shit on it and a note that ties into the concepts explored in the game.

    jclast on
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    ZerokkuZerokku Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I'm pretty sure it was already confirmed these weren't legit checks.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showpost.php?p=11529681&postcount=2201

    This is just some brilliant marketing.

    Zerokku on
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    FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Zerokku wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure it was already confirmed these weren't legit checks.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showpost.php?p=11529681&postcount=2201

    This is just some brilliant marketing.

    No don't you see this is EA trying to fascist all over our faces oh nooooo

    Fiaryn on
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    citizen059citizen059 hello my name is citizen I'm from the InternetRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I think this is a great marketing trick, personally. Well done.

    citizen059 on
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    MechanicalMechanical Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I'd cash the damn thing and give it to charity. That goes straight against their marketing campaign.

    Also, why hasn't their marketing campaign been fired yet? Fake religious protest, molest booth girls for prises, and this? Seriously?

    Actually, for drawing attention this campaign is nothing short of brilliant.

    Mechanical on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Zerokku wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure it was already confirmed these weren't legit checks.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showpost.php?p=11529681&postcount=2201

    This is just some brilliant marketing.

    If it's a fake check then fine. I still don't get why so many people here think it would be totally OK for games companies to directly give money to reviewers. O_o

    subedii on
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    ZerokkuZerokku Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    subedii wrote: »
    Zerokku wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure it was already confirmed these weren't legit checks.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showpost.php?p=11529681&postcount=2201

    This is just some brilliant marketing.

    If it's a fake check then fine. I still don't get why so many people here think it would be totally OK for games companies to directly give money to reviewers. O_o

    Like Coscous said that post, theyre essentially getting free publicity from these fake checks. Not to mention the fact that if you think about it, this is quite a jab at companies that do buy reviews. Or moreso, reviewers that let themselves be bought.

    Zerokku on
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    Foolish ChaosFoolish Chaos Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    subedii wrote: »
    Zerokku wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure it was already confirmed these weren't legit checks.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showpost.php?p=11529681&postcount=2201

    This is just some brilliant marketing.

    If it's a fake check then fine. I still don't get why so many people here think it would be totally OK for games companies to directly give money to reviewers. O_o

    If its kept in the dark, then yeah no thanks. But making it an obvious and fake "bribe" (it isnt really) is fine by me.

    Foolish Chaos on
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    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    subedii wrote: »
    Zerokku wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure it was already confirmed these weren't legit checks.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showpost.php?p=11529681&postcount=2201

    This is just some brilliant marketing.

    If it's a fake check then fine. I still don't get why so many people here think it would be totally OK for games companies to directly give money to reviewers. O_o

    Because $200 is not a lot of money to people who do things for a living. If you're calling $200 a money hat then you are describing a very small hat.

    jclast on
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