Activision posted a series of tweets on Tuesday suggesting it was live reporting a terrorist attack.
The series of messages, which were fictional but not marked as such, sets up the framework of events to feature in upcoming shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Shared via the official Call of Duty Twitter account, the posts began with reports of an explosion in Marina Bay, Singapore.
BREAKING NEWS: Unconfirmed reports are coming in of an explosion on the North bank of the Singapore Marina.— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) September 29, 2015
The source of the explosion is reported to be at Coalescence Corporation, a fictional company that was featured in the Call of Duty: Black Ops III "Ember" teaser. The tweets went on to state that Singapore Authorities had announced an official state of emergency, and declared martial law. The final post in the series of tweets read, "This was a glimpse into the future fiction of #BlackOps3."
The tweets confirmed a character named James Chung will be tied to the game in some way as commander of the Singapore Armed Forces.
A second Twitter account titled "TheUnMarkedMan" posted conspiracy-theory style speculation in response to the tweets, further teasing story elements in the upcoming shooter.
The social media campaign has been met with some criticism, as the posts could have incited unwarranted panic. Others have criticised the campaign as being in poor taste.
When approached by GameSpot, Activision declined to comment.
At the time of posting the series of fictional reports of the attack in Singapore, the Call of Duty Twitter account had changed its profile picture, name, and profile description to resemble that of a real world news outlet, as seen in the screenshot on the right.
Do you think this social media campaign for Blacks Ops 3 went too far? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.