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EA hails Fox for Bulletstorm controversy

Games boss welcomes tabloid fury.

EA has hailed Fox News' furious denouncement of Bulletstorm last month for putting a much-needed spotlight on its brand new IP.

In February the US network published an article titled "Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?" in which one of its experts argued that EA's schlocky shooter and games like it are responsible for an increase in sex crimes.

Speaking in an interview with IndustryGamers today, EA Games chief Frank Gibeau proudly insisted, "We love Fox News," before admitting that the publisher is not averse to deliberately courting controversy with its titles.

"Look, when you're building new IPs and you're building games and you're looking at an entertainment audience, they see a lot of messages. Controversy isn't a bad thing. I personally believe you should court controversy," he explained.

He did however advise a little caution, suggesting "you should do it in a way that matches the creative integrity of the game," rather than being willfully gratuitous.

"I loved it when Fox News did the lesbian aliens on Mass Effect," he added. "I loved when they covered the Taliban; I loved it when they covered the Bulletstorm stuff. In each one of those cases, it was true to the game and we were trying to do something creatively.

"The fact that their point of view is different than ours and represented an audience out there is fine by me. I felt we could stand up and defend what we did and be aggressive about it and be proud of it."

Gibeau went onto explain that although he didn't agree with what Fox had to say, he fully understood why the network took such a provocative stance on the game.

"Fox has an editorial point of view that works for a certain audience demographic that doesn't necessarily play Bulletstorm. From that perspective, they're trying to get eyeballs on their channels. I understand what they're trying to do. I'm not going to respect their point of view as it concerns some of the things that we've done. We're very proud of what we've done in each of those cases and have been very aggressive about defending ourselves,"

Whether it's down to Fox News or strong reviews, the People Can Fly-developed sci-fi shooter has indeed got off to a strong start, selling nearly 300,000 copies in the US in its first week on sale and debuting at number two in the UK charts.

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Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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