THE GODFATHER 2
Pens? Snore. T-shirts? Boring. Notepads? Been there, done that. Thinking up creative ideas for promotional products can't be easy, but someone at uber-publisher Electronic Arts went a little too far last week.
The game in question: Godfather II, a Grand Theft Auto-style adventure based on the famous movie. The offending item: a set of brass knuckles, mailed to video games journalists together with other goodies including a cigar, a silk handkerchief, and a book of matches. But while it nicely complements the game's mafiosi theme, it also had the unfortunate side-effect of turning recipients of the mailing into criminals, as mere possession of brass knuckles is illegal in many states and can carry hefty penalties.
After blog GamePolitics expressed its consternation, the publisher began a flurry of hush-hush phone calls to arrange the return of the weapons. EA declined to comment beyond expressing a desire to assist journalists in proper disposal of the items.
The controversial promo also doesn't seem to be helping out the game's critical fortunes: it's turning in some decidedly mixed reviews.