The official Battlefield 1 Twitter account found itself in a spot of bother over the weekend, when it used the hashtag #justWWIthings to promote their recently released FPS.
See, as it turns out, the public weren’t too impressed with EA’s efforts to ‘meme up’ the First World War, especially after DICE were so careful to treat the game with as much respect as possible.
Many believed that reducing the Great War – a relatively recent event in our history where millions died – to a social media marketing campaign in an attempt to shift copies of a game was disrespectful.
One of the most misjudged memes was posted on Sunday, October 30. The tweet contained a GIF of a solider being burned to death by a flamethrower, with a line of accompanying text reading; ‘When you’re too hot for the club.’
You can see the offending tweet below, which was rescued from deletion by PC Gamer’s deputy editor Phil Savage:
— Phil Savage (@Octaeder) October 31, 2016
Searching the hashtag on Twitter now brings up tons of tweets from disappointed gamers and critics – probably not the result EA were hoping for.
— MrTom (@MrTom) October 31, 2016
#JustWWIThings for when you have the slightest doubt about the marketing machine being the worst thing about the games industry.
— Christian Doyle (@SamuraiRabbit) November 1, 2016
— Hayden Scott-Baron (@docky) October 31, 2016
A spokesperson for the company told GameSpot:
We would like to apologize for any offense caused by content in the last 24 hours posted on the Battlefield Twitter account. It did not treat the World War I era with the respect and sensitivity that we have strived to maintain with the game and our communications.
Amazingly, this isn’t the first time that EA has had to pull a #justWWIthings tweet. Back in July, the Battlefield 1 Twitter account courted controversy for sharing the below image.
Quite how they thought they could try it again a few months later with different results is baffling, but there we are.
In addition to this kerfuffle, EA executive Peter Moore recently had to delete a post regarding a special Battlefield onesie, writing ‘Trench warfare requires speciality equipment and clothing’.
Naturally, this deleted tweet was also brought kicking and screaming back to life (by Twitter user Wario64).
Well the tweet got deleted so now I have no choice but to post a screenshot pic.twitter.com/jrAsv5QAGh
— Wario64 (@Wario64) October 25, 2016
Come on EA, it’s not that hard: If you’re gonna make a title about World War I (or any real war), approach all aspects of the game – including marketing – with some respect.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.