At least it’s not as grotesque as what Acclaim tried to do two decades ago with Shadow Man: 2econd Coming.
In the case of the PS2-exclusive, released in February 2002 (and March in Europe), Acclaim advertised the game (the first part of which had recently been remastered, and if you missed the 1999 original, it’s worth a try!) by placing advertising on gravestones and paying for advertising on the tombstones of the recently deceased, adding that “especially poorer families” might be interested in the offer. That sounds grotesque, doesn’t it?
It is relatively close to what Activision Blizzard is trying to do, and it will indeed have lasting results for those who take it on. Blizzard has announced on Twitter that it has teamed up with tattoo artists for a Hell’s Ink event series. Winners of the social media sweepstakes will receive custom tattoos from acclaimed tattoo artists. They’ve already been chosen, but anyone can get a flash tattoo, and anyone who gets one will also get a card for the Diablo IV beta and the full game in digital form…
Let’s not forget that the Diablo franchise’s reputation has been in tatters since the beginning of June because Diablo Immortal, the free-to-play game for PC, iOS and Android, although financially unimaginably successful for Activision Blizzard, requires spending a significant amount of money to strengthen your character during the endgame. And in no time at all, microtransactions pop up, getting more and more expensive as you progress through the story.
On July 16, the first Hell’s Ink was held in Los Angeles. On the 23rd, Chicago (Mayday Tattoo Co.). On the 30th, New York (Inked NYC), on August 6, Miami (Till the End Tattoos), on the 13th, London (Noir Ink Studio). On the 18th, Berlin (Das Kabinett Studio), on September 3, Melbourne (Oculus Tattoo) and the 10th, Sydney (Little Tokyo Tattoo) will get the chance to do this kind of marketing stunt. Serving is on a first-come, first-served basis—more details here.
It seems a bit of a desperate move.