EA forced to close down free petrol stunt

Written by Joe Martin

September 8, 2008 | 11:12

Tags: #mercenaries-2 #world-in-flames

Companies: #ea

EA has been forced to abandon the latest marketing promotion for the multiplatform title Mercenaries 2: World in Flames after it caused traffic chaos in north London late last week.

The publisher had bought £20,000 worth of fuel to giveaway to drivers near Finsbury Park, London as part of the marketing campaign for the explosive sandbox shooter Mercenaries 2. However, with drivers detouring to take advantage of the offer the roads soon fell into gridlock and the local community and MP soon raised concerns, prompting Electronic Arts to close down the offer.

"Whilst a lucky few might have got free petrol, hundreds of residents have faced misery," said Lynne Featherstone to the BBC, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green.

"Trying to recreate Venezuelan-style fuel riots on the streets of London is completely irresponsible and downright dangerous. Hundreds of local residents have faced misery on their daily journeys this morning. They deserve an apology for being the victims of such an ill thought-out media stunt."

Opinion seems to have been divided though as other customers have praised the idea. Prince Davis, who queued for a 15 minutes to get a share of the free fuel, said: "This is a genius idea, whoever thought of this should be promoted I'll definitely be buying the game, you're never too old to play computer games."

Mercenaries 2 launched on Friday last week and casts players as for-hire soldiers operating in Venezuela. We'll have a full review up tomorrow, but until then you can check out our preview or tell us your thoughts in the forums.
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