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SCEE apologizes for GoW II party

As many of you have heard, posted an article last Sunday about a Greek press event for God of War II that was held two months ago. While press events for major games is not unusual, the nature of this one was a little ... controversial.

The controversy came from a photo of the party in this month's Official PlayStation Magazine, in which you can see what appears to be a freshly slaughtered goat and a half-naked girl sitting next to it (and some kind of barbarian guy standing behind it).

The article also made a number of other claims, significantly increasing the gross-out factor of the story. I won't bother rehashing them now, because everybody already knows them. The reason we didn't run an article about this when it was first released is that we strongly suspected that there were some major pieces of the puzzle missing that we weren't hearing. Not that Sony hasn't made a number of PR stumbles in the past, but Dailymail's synopsis of the party made it sound like an orgy of blood and gore more suitable to the Marques De Sade than a videogame launch party.

Turns out, it wasn't quite as it was portrayed. Go ahead and click the continued link to see the cold, hard facts.

This week, further details of the event have come out - and while still distasteful, it is nowhere near as bad as initial reports made it seem. Much of what has been said about this event turns out to be untrue, and I've summarized the important details here:
  • The goat was already dead and was NOT slaughtered for or at the event.
  • It was a small, private event with approximately 20 journalists. It was not a public event.
  • Guests did NOT touch goat.
  • Offal was not served from the carcass. Caterers served the journalists a traditional Greek soup that never touched the goat. IT WAS NOT FROM THE STOMACH OF THE GOAT.
  • Some of the confusion came from the writer of the PSM UK article not actually attending the event.
  • Sony found out about the incident prior to the Dailymail hit piece, and was already attempting to address it.
SCEE has officially apologized for the event, calling it 'unsuitable in nature' and launching an internal inquiry to make sure something like this doesn't happen again. It was an unpleasant and stupid stunt on their part in the first place, but I'm glad to see them clarify the situation and admit their mistakes.

It's a shame things like this aren't more rare, but I'd like to leave you with a couple other infamous PR campaigns of bad taste:
  • Gears of War graveyard launch party
  • Acclaim: Ads on gravestones

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. I wouldn't haven apologized it. well, that's not true, I would've apoogized for 2 things.

1... inviting right-wing nutjobs like those in Daily Mails to the event
2... Not inviting me. man, that topless girl is cute. :(

other than that, no beheading of goat, no eating from the goat, no live goat getting killed, no torturing of goats. why is sony sorry for? I am sure people there had a blast.

Posted at 10:06PM on May 1st 2007 by kingofwale

2. You failed to include the beginning of Sony's quote, which was:

"We are conducting an enquiry to establish the circumstances behind the event..."

Posted at 11:02PM on May 1st 2007 by John

3. "1... inviting right-wing nutjobs like those in Daily Mails to the event"

Thing is, they weren't. From what I've read, several times now, the Daily Mail wrote the story based on what was in the OPM piece which was based on the invite for the event. End result; insanity.
I think Sony shouldn't have had the dead goat there as a prop, but everything else sounds cool. I still find it amusing that if they'd simply tossed the goat over an open fire it would have gone from bad to bbq, but whatever. Worst part is, we will probably be hearing the Daily Mail's slanderous version of events for the next couple months, since the truth can't stand up to truthiness.

Posted at 12:45AM on May 2nd 2007 by mccomber

4. WTF. Unless you’re a vegetarian, what’s wrong with actually seeing the animal that you’re eating being slaughtered? You DO know that is exactly what happens to 50 billion animals worldwide every year, don’t you? Last I checked, that was deemed socially acceptable. Or something.

I guess all those people out there who eat meat every day would rather prefer their meat to stay anonymous.

Gawd what a bunch of hypocrites.


Posted at 5:30AM on May 2nd 2007 by Laurens Holst

5. And if anything, the additional statements that they did not actually eat the goat only made it worse. The least they could do is eat it when they kill it.


Posted at 5:31AM on May 2nd 2007 by Laurens Holst

6. "1... inviting right-wing nutjobs like those in Daily Mails to the event"

Yes, because right-wing nutjobs care about a slaughtered goat. I do believe that would be PETA and the last thing I remember about 99% of their members are Bleeding-Heart Liberals.

Posted at 6:30AM on May 2nd 2007 by Killer

7. While some catered and/or cultural events may include heads or parts as part of the food layout (bird heads, pig heads, feet, etc.), and with certain pieces actually being edible, this was a videogame event featuring a dead goat as part of the decor.

Not all things are equal in all scenarios and this isn't carniverous hypocrisy.

This was akin to attending an anniversary party for the Godfather movies and finding the severed head of a dead horse part of the ambience.

I appreciate that Sony apologized and recognized that it shouldn't have happened in the first place. The original reports of pulling the OPM piece seemed to indicate more horror at the story getting out rather than shock that there was such a story in the first place.

Posted at 7:42AM on May 2nd 2007 by NJ Mom

8. Can someone tell me why a British Tabloid magazine (the Daily Mail) is the only one that had information on this so-called goat fest?

Posted at 9:26AM on May 2nd 2007 by Jason B.


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