In what is probably the worst marketing idea since THQ filled the San Francisco Bay with red balloons to promote Homefront, Electronic Arts has announced that they are planning to put copies of Mass Effect 3 in weather balloons and launch them up into space.
The idea is to put GPS tracking devices in with the games, then release the weather balloons from New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Berlin, London and Paris next week. Fans with way too much time on their hands can then check the location of the balloons via masseffect.com and physically track down a free copy of Mass Effect 3 when the balloons come crashing down to the Earth, prior to the game’s March 6th release date.
The problems with this plan are almost too long to list, so lets just stick with the big ones. For starters the majority of the Earth is covered in water, and it is highly likely that at least one of these balloons will end up in the middle of the ocean somewhere, thus making its retrieval by fans impossible. Weather balloons that do end up on land have the potential to create even worse problems, like;
- Landing on someone’s private property who isn’t exactly thrilled about the mob of gamers trespassing on their land.
- Landing within a military base. Gamers would not be able to get to it, and I’m betting that the military would not exactly be happy with EA for landing flying objects in their installation.
- Landing in some random situation where it poses a danger to anyone trying to retrieve it.
There is a million ways that this could go wrong and a good chance that someone is going to get hurt out of it. Obviously whoever thought this up at EA didn’t do much thinking past the idea that it would pretty cool to send copies of Mass Effect 3 up into space.
Source: USA Today