Vietnam Vet Calls Black Ops Release Timing 'Tacky'

Vietnam veteran and East Kildonan, Winnipeg resident Ron Parkes is angry, and Activision is to blame. The Vietnam veteran accuses the company of purposefully releasing Call of Duty: Black Ops to coincide with Remembrance Day.

For those of you in the United States, Remembrance Day is a holiday observed in Commonwealth countries that remembers the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces during times of war. It's observed every year on November 11, which coincides with the German signing of the Armistice, ending World War II.

In the United States we call it Veteran's Day.

Parkes said that while he would be OK with the game releasing a few weeks before or after the day of remembrance, releasing it during the same week is wrong.

"I think it is very tacky to include the distribution of a graphic war-based game like this during a week that we are supposed to be honouring those who have fallen to the conflicts this game depicts," Parkes said.

"Remembrance Day is not a consumer advocate's day and this company is clearly using the date as a marketing strategy."

The Call of Duty: Black Ops release comes only a day and a year after the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which came out on November 10, 2009.

Parkes spent three months in Vietnam in 1965, and says no video game or movie can hope to depict the experience properly.

"War is always a miserable experience and the movies or video games depicting these wars never really do catch how bad it really is," Parkes said.

"War is a whole different scenario then regular life. You live and breath it everyday you are there, and sometimes those memories, good and bad, still catch up to you."

I can understand where Parkes would be upset, but I've not seen any evidence that Activision is using the holiday to promote the game.

We've reached out to the publisher for comment on this story and will update should we receive a response.

Vietnam vet questions timing of game release [Winnepeg Free Press]


    "It’s observed every year on November 11, which coincides with the German signing of the Armistice, ending World War II."

    Actually - it was the end of the first World War.

    "It’s observed every year on November 11, which coincides with the German signing of the Armistice, ending World War II."

    For the sake of being correct, I believe you want WWI, not WWII.

    Rememberance day relates to the signing of the Armistice which ended WW1, not WW2.

    I agree that Activision don't appear to be using the timing for any gain - I think it is just a coincidence.

    In all fairness, it's probably just the sweetspot for pre-Christmas launches.

      Also in more fairness, I think they've been releasing that last few CoDs (ever since Modern Warfare 1) in this early-ish November timeframe.

      Even if someone in marketing (or wherever) thought of releasing the game in the same week as Remembrance Day, I can't really think of anyone stupid enough go "Lest we forget... boy, this has made me want to buy the newest Call of Duty game now!".

    Strangely, November 11 also kind of coincides with the start of the christmas shopping season, which is the busiest time of year for the video games industry.

    Which one do you reckon Activision was thinking about when they set their release date? I'll give you a clue - it wasn't Remembrance Day...

    Dang, thanks for the heads up. Almost forgot to have my two minutes of silence

    Mr. Parkes makes a good point regardless of the release dates for war games, and that is that war games exist.

    Remembrance seems to be cut down to 1 minute on 1 day a year, but for 364 days 23 hours and 59 minutes we're fantatising about killing people on a virtual, unrealistic whim for enjoyment - far more crass than the shame of killing real people.

    I made the assumption that Australia got the game a little earlier than other countries (in part) for that very reason. Never the less, you can't blame Mr Parkes, as from a broad view it looks like a dick move.

    I think everyone is missing the point. IT's not about activision or videio games or the christmas shopping season. Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day is "supposed" to be a time of mourning 'lest we forget'. When we're supposed to be taking time out of our day to remember those who have given their lives, we're standing in line waiting for our pre-ordered Black Ops. Perhaps, just maybe, we have forgotten. If you're comfortable with that, all the power to you, but like it or not the man does have a point.

      Potentially, but he's very clearly quoted as saying “Remembrance Day is not a consumer advocate’s day and this company is clearly using the date as a marketing strategy.”

      His point IS that it's a deliberate attempt to capitalise on the significance of the day, which really there's no evidence to support - it's a different issue altogether if people want to play CoD and ignore Remembrance Day. It would probably be just as crass to do the same thing if a L4D or Halo game were released yesterday, and that's to say pretty minor all considered.

      It just seems uninformed to suggest there's something more in it.

    I reckon the date would've been better on the 19th. know, 19/11
    Colt 1911. ... >_>

    Nvm lol.

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