Fans Trash Call Of Duty Booth At Games Expo

Fans Trash Call Of Duty Booth At Games Expo

Someone at Activision thought it would be a good idea to hand out $US200 editions of the next Call of Duty game to the first 500 people who could get to the game’s booth at the Milan Games Week. No other rules. Just get there first. Surprise: it was not a good idea.

Not sure what the organisers were thinking, but accounts from the showroom floor say that after a civil enough start, as the crowd got bigger hundreds of people went crazy, rushing the booth. In the process, they trashed the thing, so badly that it had to be closed down.

A reporter from Italy’s Il Messaggero newspaper was there, and says that while caught in the crowd they were kicked, shoved and slapped.

You can see some of the resulting damage in the clip below.

GamesWeek 2013, la febbre di Call of Duty: Ghosts Prestige Edition danneggia lo stand [Il Messaggero, via Go Nintendo]


  • Seems like acting like civil humans in first world countries is dead… When did people become like animals?

    • Move 500 people through a space designed for 100 people max and they’re not going to be able to help stepping on a few flowers. It’s not greed gone wild in a modern world, it’s too many people in one place. A crowd that sized packed that densely where everyone is told ‘first to the front gets something everyone in the crowd wants’ simply can’t act with the hive mind you expect it to.

      • Why would you take responsibility away from people? If someone told me: “first to the front gets something everyone in the crowd wants”, then I would be presented with a choice of how to react to this information. My choice would likely be to ignore it. It could be my favourite game series but I would go barging through a crowded hall, injuring people to get it. I wasn’t aware that crowds were cosmically obligated to engage in any behaviour that is suggested of it.

        • But that’s the problem. You picture it as you ramming your way through with no concern for the people around you. Intentionally pushing and shoving people down so you can be first. In reality it’s not. It’s you trying to get to make your way to the front. It’s just that suddenly a thousand other people are doing it at the same time and it’s all happening in a tiny space.
          A group that size puts out a phenomenal amount of pressure without any specific crowd member even trying. It’s hard to picture, but a thousand people packed densely can knock a brick wall down without trying. Many hands make light work but many bumps make a hell of a push.
          It’s also extremely uncomfortable, especially if you weren’t expecting to be caught in the middle of it. Understandably people get touchy. Imagine lining up for a free copy of a game, realising this cluster of people wasn’t worth saving $200, then looking back and realising the crowd behind you had grown to the point where moving back out wasn’t an option.

          I’m not trying to take responsibility away from them. I just get sick of this this oh, woe, the world is full of monsters, the human race is doomed by greed, everyone is terrible but me attitude. It’s a Call of Duty exhibition stand, it wasn’t designed to have hundreds of people moving through it so of course it was damaged when they drew in a massive crowd and of course it got heated. Extremely large/dense crowds being a shit place to be isn’t some new invention or a sign of the end of days.

          • Pretty much anyone who’s been in a mosh pit or other foul crowd event would know this. Last Full Moon Party I went to, there were a good 10 thousand people trying to get off the island at any one time on a handful of boats. It was probably worse than fighting for lifeboats on the Costa Condordia.

            It was pitch black, everyone was wasted or high, there was no “women and children first” chivalry, people just wanted to get off that island. Every time the crowd saw a boat come into the pier, it would surge ahead, people would sneak through the sides, and you’d get squashed till you could barely breathe. By the time you were in the middle, you’d want to get out again, but it was too late. If you had to piss, shit or puke, you did it standing. I’m not even one of those people with personal space issues but that shit was the worst.

      • Except people aren’t sure how many people are in the room. They wouldn’t think it was a certainty they would get the thingy even if it were only 100 people getting it and 100 people present.

  • I’m assuming there was a similar level of communication between the crowd and what you’d normally find on COD players, mostly containing references to each others mothers

    • If that was the case I’d expect them all to be sitting perfectly still in any dark corner they could find, waiting for the free copy to come to them. =P

  • COD fans aside, if anyone advertised that they’re going to have a stand in the middle of the CBD giving away a $400 item (taking this SE as 4x RRP of the game) to the first 500 people to turn up, yeah, you could probably expect worse than that.
    Human nature. It’s an ugly beast sometimes.

    • Exactly. The exact same thing happened when Myer did a similar thing for their boxing day sale. They has staff holding huge discount vouchers throughout the score and the first person there could take the voucher and redeem at the checkout. This was things like a new fridge for $100.
      A large number of their employees ended up injured.
      The next year they had their staff in procective gear, including caged face masks and a shopper ended up getting his hand fairly badly sliced open stopping people getting pushed through a plate glass window.
      It is amazing what people will do for money. The larger the sum, the more people are willing to do. It is human nature.

      The most interesting study on this I saw proved that it doesn’t matter what the sum is people still react the same. There was research being done into evacuating an airplane in case of a crash/fire. They told people to get to the ext\it as fast as possible. People were fast but would help older people and were basically polite.
      Researchers went, this isn’t really what happens when people are trying to get off a burning aircraft. So they offered $5 for the first 10 or 20 people to get out the exit. A plane of polite helpful people because a sack of cats.

      • It’s not necessarily so simple. There is such a thing as a mob mentality, but it doesn’t take one to make a disaster out of such a situation as the article describes.

        Just five hundred people, all pushing towards something. Individually each is pushing forward just a little bit. But the people at the back push on the people in front of them, who push on the people in front of THEM, and so on until the people at the very front are subject to a pressure that they literally cannot withstand, the sort of force that breaks bones and wrecks stands.

        If each person is pushing together with a force equivalent to a quarter of their body weight, a queue of twenty people imposes a force equivalent roughly to the weight of five people. However, it’s not a queue. You might have ten people in the front row and 490 surrounding them; each person at the front is being forced forward with something equivalent to (490/4/10) = (approx) 12 people, call it equivalent to 900kg, or the better part of a tonne.

        The only people with a solid handle on what’s happening are those at the front, those at the rear don’t realise what’s happening.

        There have been several occasions when this sort of thing has caused tens of casualties in large crowd situations.

  • Just reading the title made me think: What’s next? My little pony fans leave booth all coloured like rainbows?

  • COD fans, kicking and slapping?

    Pretty much confirms that COD fans are mostly 12 year old girls (boys).

  • People saying “COD fans” ha yeahhhh no.

    YouTube “Black Friday sales” and watch your grandma guttermouth a 12-year old for a hair curler.

      • Boxing day sales are nothing compared to Black Friday. People get trampled to death on Black Friday, there are always riots and most years have in-store shooting fatalities.

  • The only surprising thing is that someone thought this was a good idea to begin with. But then again, with the examples people have mentioned above, I guess it’s not all that surprising…
    Perhaps a raffle or something would be a better idea next time.

  • Secret Activision Plan for next year –
    “The first 500 people to the Battlefield booth get a free $200 edition of Call of Duty”

    Problem EA?

  • I bet the players who scored copies were hounded as ‘cheats’ and ‘gay’ by the other CoD players, you know, like at the end of every round of CoD.

  • Omg fail reading lol
    I saw expo and just assumed it was EB lol since I attended and they did a similar thing there.

  • This is obviously a reflection of COD players in particular, after all, when the game sales of Black Friday are in full swing, fans of all gaming genres converge and put on a massive display of restraint and manners …

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