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Top 10 Best Video Game Guerrilla Marketing Campaigns

WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
These companies went the absolute distance in marketing these games! Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten best video game guerrilla marketing campaigns. We'll be looking at games such as Resident Evil, Skyrim, Battlefield, Destiny, Bioshock and Mass Effect. To have your ideas turned into a WatchMojo or MojoPlays video, head over to http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and get to it!

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Top 10 Best Video Game Guerrilla Marketing Campaigns

Well, that was cool. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten best video game guerrilla marketing campaigns.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the greatest guerrilla marketing campaigns to be centered around a video game’s release. For those unaware, a guerrilla campaign is one which forgoes traditional marketing tactics, such as trailers and billboards, and focuses instead on creative means to make their product known.

#10: Protest Our Game

“Dante’s Inferno” (2010)

EA was in a bit of hot water for this one. Unbeknownst to the public, the company had hired actors to stage a fake protest outside of E3 to promote their newest release, “Dante’s Inferno.” These protesters held up signs declaring the game and the company to be sacrilegious and even accused EA of being the Antichrist. However, some people immediately saw through the tactic and accused EA of using guerrilla marketing. A few days later, EA confirmed the hoax. This upset many Christians, as they believed that the company was making fun of them by portraying Christians as a meek and easily offended group.

#9: Body Part Treasure Hunt

“Resident Evil 5” (2009)

This one is particularly fun, but also a little gruesome. To promote the release of “Resident Evil 5,” Capcom placed various fake body parts around London’s Trafalgar Square and sent participating fans some clues to find their location. Each limb was allocated points, and the person who collected the most body parts and received the most points won a trip to Africa. It was a lot of fun, especially considering how realistic and bloody the body parts looked. However, like the fake protest, this campaign took a wrong turn when a number of the fake limbs went missing. Hopefully, Capcom alerted the police ahead of time…

#8: Name Your Baby Dovahkiin

“The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” (2011)

This one takes a particular amount of guts, but hey, good on them. To promote the release of “Skyrim,” Bethesda put forth a…interesting offer: if your child is born on the game’s release date, November 11, 2011, and you name them Dovahkiin, you will receive free Bethesda games for life. Megan and Eric Kellermeyer took up Bethesda’s offer and named their son Dovahkiin, which in the world of “Skyrim” means “Dragonborn.” While Dovahkiin Kellermeyer will probably be bullied for the rest of his life, at least his parents got a lifetime supply of Bethesda titles out of it. Hopefully, little Dovahkiin grows up to like video games.

#7: Tank Through London

“Battlefield 3” (2011)

Man, why does London get all the cool stuff? In what was a rather expensive marketing tactic, EA rolled out multiple 16-ton Abbot tanks through the streets of London. Hopefully news of this event had spread throughout the day; otherwise, commuters may have been in for quite the shock when they saw a bunch of freaking tanks rolling through the city streets. While we’re sure this caused some concern, it’s still an extremely awesome way to promote a game, especially when you consider what a rare occurrence it is to see a tank rolling through the streets of one of the world’s biggest cities.

#6: Amazing Street Hack

“Watch Dogs” (2014)

This has got to be one of the greatest and funniest marketing pranks ever. The concept is simple: someone goes into a shop to get their phone fixed, and the proprietor installs an app that allows the phone’s user to control the technology around them, exactly like Aiden in “Watch Dogs.” The man shows them how to unlock random cars, blow up street lights, and even dispense money from an ATM. While it is undoubtedly fake, the viral video still caught on and is sitting at over 20 million views on YouTube. We call that a success.

#5: Destiny Fragrance

“Destiny” (2014)

What do you do when you legally can’t advertise your product? You mask it with a fake advertisement, of course! Microsoft could not legally advertise that “Destiny” was coming to the Xbox One because Sony had secured an exclusivity deal with Activision. It’s stupid, we know. However, Microsoft thought up a quick solution: they advertised a new fragrance called Destiny and promoted it on their social sites, urging people to visit its website, Upon clicking, you were taken to a website wherein Bungie explained the situation and smugly declared, “We didn’t have permission to run adverts for the game. So we didn’t.” Cheeky Bungie.

#4: “Lost Planet 2” in Blocks of Ice

“Lost Planet 2” (2010)

There’s nothing quite like smashing a gigantic block of ice in front of various businesses and passersby. How to look like an insane person 101! To promote “Lost Planet 2,” Capcom encased the game case inside gigantic blocks of ice, which were scattered around various cities in the United States. Upon breaking the ice and obtaining the case, fans received a code which allowed them to access the exclusive online beta. Yeah, it wasn’t the full game, which is kind of a disappointment, but hey, a beta is cool, too. Get it? Cool?

#3: Wine Bottles on Beaches

“BioShock 2” (2010)

The goodwill of the original “BioShock” all but guaranteed that fans would be out in droves for its sequel. However, that didn’t stop the marketers from thinking up some ingenious tactics, including this one, which saw wine bottles from Rapture “wash up” on various beaches around the world. The bottles of Arcadia Merlot were scattered around the beach, and inside were posters advertising the game. While the posters were kind of lame, keeping the wine bottle as a souvenir would certainly be fun. Or you could just throw it up on eBay and get some cash, which a lot of people did. Assuming you didn’t immediately smash it open, of course.

#2: Find a Weather Balloon

“Mass Effect 3” (2012)

If your game takes place in outer space, it’s only sensible to send the game itself into outer space as well! To promote the launch of “Mass Effect 3,” EA attached the game to numerous weather balloons and sent them off into the stratosphere, complete with HD cameras so we could view its journey. Fans who signed up for an EA Online account were able to track the balloons via a GPS system. If you were one of the lucky few to find a copy, you were granted early access to the game and were given various other souvenirs, including a hat, shirt, and water bottle.

#1: Steal Our Game

“Red Faction: Guerrilla” (2009)

You must be particularly ballsy to go through with this one. A number of locked cars were parked on the streets of London with multiple copies of “Red Faction: Guerrilla” sitting inside. A sledgehammer was located nearby, and the idea was to use it to break into the car and steal a copy of the game. While the concept is interesting, it admittedly has little to do with the game. THQ’s PR manager explained that the game has the “world’s most realistic destruction engine,” and as such, they thought it would be a good idea to see how many citizens would destroy a car to get a copy of the game. It’s a bit of a stretch, but a delightfully strange one.

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