Call of Duty maker has come under fire after a controversial web campaign to launch the newest title from its popular video game franchise, Call of Game: Black Ops III, described a fictional “terror attack” in Singapore.
Set in Singapore during the year 2065, Call of Duty: Black Ops III begins with a mission where players must investigate the “mysterious disappearance” of a CIA station.
Ahead of its worldwide release on November 6, games maker Activision launched a series of tweets, setting up the opening scene for a fictional attack in Singapore.
While the tweets aimed to tease fans and also introduced new characters to the game, many social media users were unimpressed at the way things were playing out on Twitter, saying the scenario was in bad taste.
The popular Call of Duty franchise has attracted its fair share of controversy since its release in 2003.
Earlier editions of the game focused on World War Two events while newer titles have been set during more recent times.
Cuban authorities expressed unhappiness over a mission in one of the games, where players could attempt to overthrow and assassinate former leader Fidel Castro.
How Call of Duty unfolded “Singapore terror attack” in September 29 tweets:
10:03: Fictional news network “Current Events Aggregate” sent out a breaking news tweet about “unconfirmed reports” of “an explosion” in Singapore’s marina, exciting some gamers on Twitter while confusing others.
10:14: “Emergency teams” began to converge on the area.
10:21: Another update followed, confirming that the explosion took place at the “Singapore Research Laboratories” facility.
10:52: Chaos ensued, causing major traffic jams around the city centre. This led to a “state of emergency” and the Singapore authorities declaring martial law.
11:44: Military drones and riot police descended upon Chinatown to control the crowds.
12:05: The “Singapore army” released a series of statements on the ground, establishing a “30-mile quarantine zone” and calling for citizens to remain in their homes.
“There have been no claims of responsibility from any terror organization,” it added in a tweet.
12:35: Fictional army commander James Chung, also declared that martial law would “remain in place” until the incident was “firmly understood”.
14:37: The series of live tweets ended with an official message: “This was a glimpse into the future fiction of #BlackOps3”