Activision, the company that publishes Guitar Hero and Call of Duty, did not get the memo. The recent Game Developers Conference is not the venue for half-naked pole dancers.
Thing is, GDC is for game developers. Not silly PR stunts.
To promote triad crime game True Crime, Activision turned part of the San Francisco W Hotel into a seedy club, called "Club Bam Bam", complete with stripper poles and dancing girls.
Ars Technica's "married prude" Ben Kuchera was approached by "an attractive Asian woman" who was "most likely paid to speak to me" and then, feeling uncomfortable, left.
According to the site, "The game being promoted dealt with the Hong Kong triads, so using sex appeal to get that point across was, in some ways, appropriate."
But at GDC of all places? The conference does have a large gathering of press, so sure, it might be wise of Activision to try to make a splash for the title. Events like this are certainly not unheard of at trade shows like the Los Angeles E3 gaming expo.
Even though there is news and there are announcements, GDC is still primarily an event for developers — something that GDC tried to emphasize this year as opposed to years' past.
Marketing games: the art of the pole dance [Ars Technica]