In theory, the idea of giving away brass knuckles as a promotional gift for the Godfather II video game may seem pretty cool (because it is!). In actuality – or in the wild – it’s very much against the law in most countries. Oops.
Here’s Kotaku.com with 5 of the worst video game marketing blunders, including my personal favorite, the brass knuckle giveaway:
Yes, 2009 really was a great year for video game industry controversy-and this one takes the shiny, gold, four-fingered cake.
Video game companies like to send fun promotional gifts to game journalists accompanying review copies of their game. I assume it’s in an attempt to be memorable, but we all know they’re just trying to kiss major ass for a good score. Sometimes the gift is a cute little toy or stuffed animal, and sometimes it’s a package of meat. But on a good day, it will be an illegal weapon.
To promote The Godfather II, EA shipped out real brass knuckles alongside press copies of the game. Except… funny thing is, brass knuckles are very, very illegal in most countries. In fact, they’re illegal in ten states in the US alone (including California where EA is based), and considered prohibited weapons in Canada. Anyone in possession of said weapons would face criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada-in this case, that would be thanks to Electronic Arts.