Best Of The Worst

1Up.com obviously didn't get enough Bungie in their "three weeks of Halo 3" coverage, because now the company is getting a mention again-- this time for Marathon.

Unfortunately, it's not a flattering mention. Marathon 2 is featured in their Best Worst Ads 3 feature, on page six, which shows their ad from 1996 that compares video games to a skinner box.

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Back when that ad was running, the only negative comment Bungie got was that it looked like the guy in the ad was being fellated by his monitor. You'd think one of the more perverse Bungie staffers would have noticed this before the ad ran, but you'd be wrong.

People also accused this image of hiding an explicit image of the female anatomy in plain sight. Once again, no one at Bungie had noticed...though it's hard not to see it when it's been pointed out. Even Craig Mullins was surprised by that one. He swore there was no sly Georgia O'Keeffe homage going on.

-Matt

Incidentally, that is about my favorite Mullins piece ever. And as far as hiding female anatomy in plain sight, I think Prey is far more guilty of that than anything Bungie has ever done.

So, on the Marathon 2 ad-- was that done in-house, or by an outside agency?


Rampant for over se7en years.

I don't remember the name of the company, but it was a small local group. One of guys who made that ad showed up at one of Alex's IGDA dog and pony shows in the not-too-distant past.

I believe they also did the ads for the other Bungie games that came out that year (including the Abuse ad that inspired some bizarre hate mail from a bigoted wingnut). I can't remember if they did the Myth ads or if Bungie did. I know the Myth II ads were done by a different group.

-Matt

Abuse ad hatemail? Do tell, I haven't heard that one.

I also never finished Abuse.

I should get on that, but I'm replaying Myth 2 at the moment.


Rampant for over se7en years.

The ad in question had a picture of a man playing an ungainly musical instrument - I think it was an accordion, but it may have been a tuba. A pretty lady sat nearby, obviously pained by the awful music. (This picture was taken from a real record cover.) The ad copy claimed the hapless musician later died and was reincarnated as a bug or some equally disgusting and insignificant creature as punishment for the musical abuse he inflicted during his lifetime. Far better to inflict Abuse for Macintosh, the latest from Bungie Software Products Corporation, blah blah blah. Something along those lines.

This inspired some goofball to castigate Bungie for - these are his words, mind - "lending credence to gutter religions."

That guy was persistent too. Others were arguably crazier, but he was the one who sent the most snail mail about his Bizarro-World take on Bungie's actions.

-Matt

Well, thank heaven for the Internet. E-mails at least would be easier to ignore.

I wonder if people like that even buy the products they see advertised.


Rampant for over se7en years.

But mostly it was snail mail - because it gets results.

He would write a lengthy letter every time Bungie shipped a new game, explaining what a piece of crap it was. He would work backwards from the most recent game to Marathon 2, devoting a page to each one and the flaws that made them unplayable and utterly bereft of value.

Having conclusively demonstrated that Bungie had shot its wad creatively with the first Marathon game and could never again develop anything of merit, he would advise them to give up their misguided and futile attempts at new games so they could devote their energies to upgrading and maintaining the first Marathon. No new content; just an industry-leading 3D engine and updated models/environments to show it off. The same old game, perpetually on the bleeding edge of the technology curve.

But how would Bungie make money, since all these updates would naturally be free to previous owners of the game? Easy! Bungie would be allowed to charge everyone full price for the game just one more time: for the BeOS port, which would surely become a huge seller as BeOS slowly but surely conquered the OS market over the next five years.

As Gary Larson said: same planet, different worlds.

-Matt

[quote=Matt]But mostly it was snail mail - because it gets results.

He would write a lengthy letter every time Bungie shipped a new game, explaining what a piece of crap it was. He would work backwards from the most recent game to Marathon 2, devoting a page to each one and the flaws that made them unplayable and utterly bereft of value.[/quote]

Well, at least he was thorough.

[quote=Matt]Having conclusively demonstrated that Bungie had shot its wad creatively with the first Marathon game and could never again develop anything of merit, he would advise them to give up their misguided and futile attempts at new games so they could devote their energies to upgrading and maintaining the first Marathon. No new content; just an industry-leading 3D engine and updated models/environments to show it off. The same old game, perpetually on the bleeding edge of the technology curve.[/quote]

That sounds uncomfortably like people I could think of. I hope it isn't them :)

[quote=Matt]But how would Bungie make money, since all these updates would naturally be free to previous owners of the game? Easy! Bungie would be allowed to charge everyone full price for the game just one more time: for the BeOS port, which would surely become a huge seller as BeOS slowly but surely conquered the OS market over the next five years.

As Gary Larson said: same planet, different worlds.[/quote]

Amazing that through the magic of open source, that is pretty much what has happened with the Marathon engine. Except for the money. And the BeOS port.

Ahh, BeOS. It was not to be, cherie.


Rampant for over se7en years.

I think I missed my calling...