When I saw a press release from Activision announcing a contest to be held at Milan’s Games Week event, and mentioning that the first 500 fans to enter the booth to try Call of Duty: Ghosts were to be given a copy of the game’s Prestige Edition for free, I knew there was going to be trouble, and I’m quite sure I wasn’t the only one.
When you give away a 200 bucks edition of one of the most anticipated games of the year (and in Italy Call of Duty is extremely popular) with the only condition of getting there first, you’re basically issuing a call to battle, and that’s exactly what happened yesterday.
Hundreds of fans crowded the area in front of the booth and the line didn’t keep its integrity for long, as people started pushing and shoving to get in, while some got to the point of resorting to violence, creating tension and fear among the onlookers. Luckily there are no reports of injuries, but the booth suffered severe damage, and Activision’s PR agency was forced to temporarily close it.
Below you can see a clip showing some of the damage done to the booth after the event, courtesy of YouTube user David Nasri. It’s a pity to see a gaming show turn into a brawling for this kind of petty reason, and the actions of those that caused this shameful outcome are definitely unforgivable, but Activision should probably reconsider this kind of contest for the future. It was doubtlessly reckless, and I’m surprised no one predicted this incident.