Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sony beheads goat at ´God of War II´ launch event in the UK

Sony Computer Entertainment beheaded a live goat at a launch event for ´God of War II´ in the UK. Further, attending members of the press were challenged to reach inside the still warm carcass and devour the raw innards in a competition to win a PlayStation3.

The unlikely story was broken by the UK´s Daily Mail. The current issue of the country´s Official PlayStation 2 Magazine has published a set of pictures showing the horrific act. In one of them, below, the beheaded goat has subsequently been pixellated. Hostesses at the event were bare-chested.

Copies of the magazine have already been mailed to subscribers. Newsstands are supposed to carry it from Tuesday (May 1st), but, apparently, the entire circulation of 80.000 has been recalled following the outrage.

Sony has apparently apologized for the event. However, there is no word yet on SCEE´s virtual press office.

According to the article, even a Member of Parliament has commented on the event and condemned it.

Has Sony finally lost its mind? There will surely be dire consequences for the company in the wake of this incident.

Sony has been criticized for a number of its advertising campaigns in the past. There were racist and illegal graffiti ads promoting the PSP, as well as a fake fan blog. This latest incident is by far the most serious, though, likely implicating lengthy legal proceedings, as well as a public outrage that will further damage the reputation of a company struggling to get back on its feet.

EDIT The title of this post may be misleading and some of the above information inaccurate, I am afraid. According to Kotaku and, perhaps after an update, the original article, the goat was not actually killed on site, but ordered from a butcher shop. It was then stuffed with other meats.

EDIT Interestingly, Dave Karraker, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at SCEA has issued an official response regarding this incident, although it really should have been up to SCEE to make that statement. Here it is:

The event was a theatrical dramatisation with a Greek mythological theme and, as part of the set dressing, a dead goat was provided by the production company from a qualified local butcher. Following the mainstream popularity of shows such as 'I'm a Celebrity, Get me out of here' a series of challenges were set for the journalists.

The 'warm entrails' referred to in the invitation and in the Mail on Sunday article was actually a meat soup, made to a traditional Greek recipe and served to attendees in china bowls direct from the caterers. There was never any question of journalists being able to touch the goat, or indeed eat the soup direct from the body of the goat, as one report has alleged. The goat was returned to the butcher at the end of the event.

Also, animal rights group PETA has mentioned this story on their blog:

When a company of Sony's stature goes out of its way to commit an act of senseless violence for a promotion, you have to start questioning whether they have any concern at all about the message they're sending to fans. Sony is evidently recalling the entire 80,000 print run of the PlayStation magazine in which this story featured, though it's frankly a bit late for the victim of the stunt at this stage.

Source: The Daily Mail
Image source: Official PlayStation 2 Magazine
Thanks to: Cheswick, Joystiq
See also: FOX News


Anonymous said...

This is a joke right? It sure as hell sounds like one.

Falafelkid said...

No, this is for real. The article includes Sony responding to (and apologizing for) the incident. This can only be real. I took a while myself to understand that this was real, though.

Chris said...

How can such a big company produce so many total fuck-ups in a row?

Hey Sony, pay me for representing your company - I promise you it will only get better from now on!

Anonymous said...

I know you already told the first commenter that this is real... but this can't be real! I'm not going to buy it until we hear official word from Sony... this IS the Daily Mail we're talking about here-- sensationalist trash. That picture doesn't look entirely convincing, and I can't imagine anyone actually eating raw goat innards. I'm not buying it. Are there any sources aside from the Daily Trash?

Neo said...

Jesus, I thought Ken Kutaragi and Phil Harrison were the only ones that have given Sony PR hell lately.

Anonymous said...

Mr falafel Sony killer!!!!

Number 1

Falafelkid Sony destruction!

Anonymous said...

Kotaku is reporting on it as well. Apparently the goat wasn't buthered there but bought from a butcher and tehn later stuffed with fake warm intestines according to sony pr.

On a Nintendo note wasn't that new channel supposed tobe coming out in Japan today? When Miyamoto annoucned it at GDC Japanese Wii owners supposedly got a message saying it would release april 29. Any news?


Anonymous said...

Is SCEE based in Denmark?

Because they've all got to be on SOMETHING otherwise illegal.

Starstriker said...

This keeps sounding like a late april fools joke. It really, really does.

Anonymous said...

well, maybe kutaragi was transfered to the PR department and this is his first act.

Now seriously, WTF is goin on with sony? Not that i care, but if they continue this trend, well nothing good can come up..

Shoxware Games said...

What the Fuck?
Sony's lost it completely!

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of the above comments

Eric said...

Why didn't they just go with a piñata? It could have been a fun event instead of a PR catastrophe.

Grandmaster B said...

The question of the moment is, will Nibris ever release Sadness and Raid over River?

I am banking on no, at least not for another 3 years. I dont know why they just dont concentrate on one game.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you can't just stfu Grandmaster bitch! No one gives a f... about you or your faggit ass comments. Stop talkin all that jazz. Never ever can that b in your name stand for something else than bitch. Grandmaster bitch. Always has been, always will be. You will always be Grandmaster bitch. Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch.

- The Irrelevant Annoying Laughing Stock

Grandmaster B said...

Your not even worth replying to.

Carmine "Cai" M. Red said...

Laughing at Sony's fiascos is all well and good, but couldn't we get back to the topic at hand? i.e. Nintendo?

I mean, Iwata just announced their release list for 2007, which STILL includes MP3, SMG, AND SSBB!

AND Iwata said that the big N has 49 Wii games in development (mostly "gamer games") and a METRIC TON of DS titles in development under their name as well!

Surely those are more interesting than a simple PR fiasco that will have relatively little effect on the industry right?

~Carmine "Cai" M. Red

Arsenis said...

It is very true, there is a release list for 2007 Japan.

There are too many games that will compete against each other which makes me think of the Fiscal year 2007 for Nintendo.

So any of those games could come on February 2008, hell maybe even March.

Justin said...

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Βορέας said...

Wasn't this launch event held in Athens?

Falafelkid said...

Hi Βορέας.

Wasn't this launch event held in Athens?

Yes, you are totally correct. The event was held in Athens. I did not change the post title in order not to change the link. I did, however, note that some of the above information may be incorrect in light of the recent Sony statement.

Falafelkid said...

If anyone is wondering what the cryptic code means that Justin posted, it´s the HD-DVD processing key.

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