In a desperate effort to redeem itself, Sony Computer Entertainment has now issued an official statement to explain why it cut the head off a live goat and encouraged people to eat its innards in an effort to promote the PS2, Gods Of War 2 game. The company is being slammed by the UK media for its stunt.
The statement is as bizarre as the event itself. Sony claims that the party where the event took place was held on March 1, and attended by around twenty European journalists (none from the UK). See original story at http://www.smarthouse.com.au/Gaming/Industry/A4Q7C3S3.
The actual article in the Official PlayStation Magazine published in Australia by Derwent Howard was written by a guy who wasn’t in attendance; the piece was done on the basis of the party’s invite, “which employed a degree of hyperbole in order to encourage attendance”.
(Maybe that’s how all Derwent Howard Playstation Magazines are published)
The goat in question had already been killed prior to the event and had been sourced from a local butcher. The goat’s “entrails” were actually bowls of traditional Greek meat soup. At no stage was anyone allowed to touch the goat, nor did anyone eat or drink anything from inside the goat. After the party, the carcass was returned to the butcher.
SCEE says it first saw the photo last Thursday and immediately ordered it to be pulled from the magazine, and on Friday The Official PlayStation Magazine agreed. The magazine never reached general circulation, but subscribers did receive the issue with the offending picture included. What is not known is whether copies set to be sold in Australia will contain the offending images.
SCEE closed by saying: “We are conducting an enquiry to establish the circumstances behind the event in order to ensure this does not happen again. We also apologise to anyone offended by the article in the OPSM.”
Part of the official reply also said:
The photograph shown in the Playstation Magazine was one of many supplied to the magazine to provide a balanced view of the event. Unfortunately, the article was sensationalised and focused on a picture that was unrepresentative of the wider event.
The event was a theatrical dramatisation with a Greek mythological theme and, as part of the set dressing, a dead goat was sourced by the production company from a local butcher. Following the mainstream popularity of shows such as ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get me out of here’ a series of challenges were set for the journalists. The ‘warm entrails’ referred to in the invitation and in the Mail on Sunday article was actually a meat soup, made to a traditional Greek recipe and served to attendees in china bowls direct from the caterers. There was never any question of journalists being able to touch the goat, or indeed eat the soup direct from the body of the goat, as one report has alleged. The goat was returned to the butcher at the end of the event.
We recognise that the use of a dead goat was in poor taste and fell below the high standards of conduct we set ourselves. We are conducting an enquiry to establish the circumstances behind the event in order to ensure this does not happen again. We also apologise to anyone offended by the article in the OPSM (subscription copies were sent out ahead of street date).
Director of Corporate Communications
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe