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Bulletstorm pre-orders unaffected by Fox News controversy

David Hughes's picture

Despite a controversial article by Fox News claiming that Bulletstorm was the worst video game in the world, the game's pre-orders have remained unchanged according to data compiled by HULIQ News.

Earlier this week, HULIQ News analyzed an article written by Fox News that claimed EA's upcoming Bulletstorm was the worst video game in the world. The article had a number of flaws, including experts who claimed that video games have led to an increase in rape despite no scientific studies existing which support the claim, and studies which have shown an overall decrease in rape since the mid-90s. Rehashing the flaws of the Fox News article, however, is not the purpose of writing this piece.

Controversies - especially those surrounding games - have led to some interesting choices from the business side of the equation. The infamous 'No Russian' level from Modern Warfare 2 led to Activision including a warning message which let players skip the level without incurring a gameplay penalty. Recently it was learned that THQ's Homefront was to be censored in Japan.

Some have argued in the past that publishers and developers include things like the 'No Russian' level as an intentional choice to generate controversy, and thus interest in the game. That said, if any companies have done this intentionally, they are certainly playing with fire. A controversy will certainly push greater public awareness but, depending on the cause of the controversy, sales could very well suffer. The adage 'any news is good news' does not necessarily apply.

It is interesting to note, then, that the slanted reporting of Fox News - and the subsequent backlash by the gaming press - has resulted in essentially zero impact on pre-orders of Bulletstorm according to data compiled by HULIQ News as part of our weekly tracking chart. The controversy has certainly given the game free publicity, but it is not at this time driving sales upwards. Thankfully, considering the flaws in the article, it is also not hurting pre-orders.

The same cannot be said of an 'expert' quoted in the article. Carol Lieberman, author of the book Bad Girls, had one of the more ridiculous claims in the Fox News article (about video games causing rape). As a consequence, her book has gone from having few (but mostly positive) reviews on its Amazon listing to having 128 total reviews as of this writing, with 115 of them being the lowest possible score (1 star). It remains to be seen whether Amazon will purge the reviews which have piled on in the last couple days, a practice referred to elsewhere as "Amazon bombing", but it is clear evidence of the backlash among gamers to the skewed report.

HULIQ News will continue to track the story, but pre-orders of Bulletstorm appear set to remain flat until its release date on February 22nd.

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