Last time I went to a Godfather II event, it was a yacht, goat cheese hors d’oeuvres and a bottle of Cristal – this time around, it was a bar, a slab of ham and a t-shirt.

Pictured: Online Lead Designer Greg Rizzer and The Ham.

EA isn’t pleading poverty when it comes to putting on this less-than-lavish multiplayer event (although the declining economy certainly has hit them in other areas). Rather, says PR Manager Scott Gamel, the publisher wanted to choose a venue that suited the game.

“It’s a multiplayer event,” Gamel said. “We wanted to pick a place [journalists] could get to from all around [San Francisco]."


As for the ham, he explained that the theme of this Godfather II shindig was “Cuba.” Other themed offerings included rice and bean dishes, chorizo sausage on toothpicks, and strawberries with pineapple and coconut.

It’s hard to make a case about publishers possibly stinting games journos on swag, food and drink – it’s all free, right? And it’s part of some diabolical scheme to make us like their games better anyway; so if we go without, we’re being more honest about the games we’re looking, right?

Oh, here's the t-shirt they gave me:

But I wonder how hard the economy is really hitting this narrow section of the industry. How much money would EA save by scaling back on the promotion events? And who, pray tell, decided to serve ham this close to Hanukkah? They have Jewish people in Cuba, you know.

New screens below and check out my multiplayer impressions.