Giant Interactive’s “revolutionary” and controversial ads for Long Journey 2
C. Custer | On August 21, 2013 at 10:00 am
Last week, Giant Interactive launched Long Journey 2. You might be forgiven for thinking that I’ve gotten that timing wrong as the game has been around for quite a while, and has amassed hundreds of thousands of players, but that was just the beta. Last Friday, Giant officially launched the real deal, along with its new payment platform Quanebao, which we speculated was coming soon late last month.
But along with the game and payment platform launch came an advertising campaign that has rubbed some in China the wrong way after it was discovered that Giant has posted billboards and banners advertising the game in Jinggang Shan, the one-time home base of the Red Army and the cradle of China’s communist revolution. It is a place of extreme historical and political significance, and the presence of game ads at the area’s sites has annoyed some of the locals and sparked fierce discussion online, especially because the ads use the term “revolutionary” to refer to the company’s new online payment system. In a place that commemorates the beginning of China’s revolution and civil war, a conflict that ultimately killed millions, calling a new way of paying money for virtual crap in a video game “revolutionary” has understandably struck some people as crass.
A representative for Giant Interactive told Tencent Tech that the ads were part of a nationwide campaign, and the company was not focusing exclusively on advertising in revolutionary historical locations. But a cynic might point out that this would not be the first time Giant has used oddly-placed ads to drum up controversy and discussion about one of its games. In fact, the company has gained something of a reputation for that, perhaps at the expense of its reputation as a game developer. As one commenter on Tencent Games put it:
Although its ads are well-done, Giant’s games are just refried rice [i.e. rehashed/bland]; when its games can catch up with its advertisements, then maybe it’ll be badass.
But what do you think? Is this kind of advertising clever or a bit too exploitative?
(via Tencent Games)