As part of its efforts to promote the upcoming "Call of Duty: Black Ops 3" game, major publisher Activision posted live tweets about a horrifying terrorist attack in Singapore.
However, the marketing move by the company was heavily criticized because the publicity stunt was made to appear like breaking news.
Earlier this week, the name of the "Call of Duty" Twitter account was changed to Current Events Aggregate. Then, on September 29, the user of the account began reporting about an explosion in Singapore, Gamespot reported.
"BREAKING NEWS: Unconfirmed reports are coming in of an explosion on the north bank of the Singapore Marina," the tweet read.
This was then followed by another tweet stating that the Singapore government has declared martial law and placed the country in a state of emergency.
Of course, upon reading the series of tweets which were posted with the key terms "Update" and "Breaking News," a lot of Twitter users immediately believed that Singapore was facing some type of terrorist attack.
Fortunately, all of the reports released by Current News Aggregate were fake and were all part of a publicity stunt for "Call of Duty: Black Ops 3." The account's name was also reverted back to "Call of Duty" and Activision tweeted that the fake reports refers to the future fiction of the upcoming game.
Despite these, various users criticized the move for misinforming the public by posting fake news reports, according to Polygon.
"So @CallofDuty has more than 2 [million] followers and is faking news that could be devastating for those unaware it's video game marketing. Awful," Twitter user Tauriq Moosa posted.
Another user called the publicity stunt irresponsible.
From the perspective of Activision, the content of the fake reports go well with the entire "Call of Duty" franchise since the entire series heavily features military operations. Despite this, the move was done in poor taste and as noted by IGN, it targeted people's fears just to boost the upcoming game's popularity.
"Call of Duty: Black Ops 3" is scheduled to come out on November 6 for the PlayStation 3,PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows platforms.
The campaign mode of the game is set in 2065 and depicts a dystopian future. In the game, the various countries have been forced to rely on ground troops composed of covert operatives since air attacks have been rendered useless due to the efficiency of anti-aircraft defenses.
To ensure the effectiveness of ground-based attacks, the warring regions have turned to cybernetics to enhance their soldiers.