It has been an eventful week for Ubisoft following the release of their heavily anticipated Watch_Dogs. From glitches to delays to login difficulties, now they can add a backfired PR stunt to the list.
It started with Ubisoft innocently sending a copy of the game inside a safe that beeped when staff at the Australian-based news site, Ninemsn, tried to open it.
Unsure whether to open the mysterious package, journalists become suspicious when they realized that after calling other newsrooms no one else received the same package. More importantly, Ninemsn does not cover video games.
This resulted in the staff calling the authorities, where a police rescue unit and four police cars were sent to their offices. The staff was immediately sent home, while police officials scanned the metal box and carefully moved it to the building’s basement where the bomb squad could open it safely.
Ninemsn condemned the idea, calling it “misconceived.” Publisher Hal Crawford recalled the event by stating,
The PR company no doubt got carried away with their creativity and ended up sending us something the bomb squad had to open up. There was a bunch of reasons this ended up looking weird.
Ubisoft later apologized for the stunt and assured that it had taken precautions to avoid a similar situation in the future.
As part of a themed promotion for Watch_Dogs, our team in Australia sent voicemail messages to some local media alerting them that they’d receive a special package related to the game. Unfortunately, the delivery to Ninemsn didn’t go as planned, and we unreservedly apologise to Ninemsn’s staff for the mistake and for any problems caused as a result.
Watch_Dogs will release later this year for Wii U.