The team behind the official Call of Duty Twitter account is taking heat online after sending out a series of tweets faking reports of a terrorist attack in Singapore to promote the latest installment of the hit video game series.
Shortly after 1 p.m. ET Wednesday, the official Call of Duty Twitter account sent out a tweet claiming there were unconfirmed reports of an explosion at the Singapore marina.
“The cause of the explosion is unknown, but large plumes of dark smoke have been seen rising from the site,” continued the tweets. “City Authorities urge the public not to panic, and to not hinder the emergency teams that are converging on the area.”
In total, the Call of Duty account sent 19 tweets with updates on the fake terror attack – including quotes from a fake press conference by the Singapore Armed Forces.
Hours later – just after 5:30 p.m. ET – the account tweeted, “This was a glimpse into the future fiction of #BlackOps3,” confirming it was nothing more than a PR stunt.
But, not all of the account’s 2.8 million followers were amused by the stunt.
Many slammed Call of Duty, saying the stunt was offensive and made light of terrorism. None of the tweets from Call of Duty have been deleted and the account has not issued an apology.
However, some were quick to point out that the fake terror attack did indeed look fake and came to the game’s defense.
In Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 – set to be released on Nov. 6 – players head to Singapore to investigate the disappearance of a CIA station team in the first mission of the game.
The previous installment, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, was the largest ever retail release for a video game at the time, according to the game’s publisher Activision. The company said it sold 7.5 million copies on launch day, grossing over US$500 million.