The official Need for Speed Twitter account has issued an apology after the team’s social media manager went off on an unsuspecting fan in the lead-up to NFS Unbond’s release.
More often than not on social media these days, brand accounts tend to toe the line. On one hand, there’s corporate necessities in terms of hitting quotas, pushing certain promotions, and maintaining a tone that aligns with the product. Then there’s the other half of the equation, a more edgy, laidback approach in which to build a rapport with a younger audience through memes, casual language, and the like.
Every now and then, we see social media managers leaning too far into the latter and having to pay the price. Unfortunately, most recent examples in the gaming space all circle back to Electronic Arts.
Just months ago the publishing giant came under fire after a tweet went viral for all the wrong reasons. Criticizing single-player games led to an enormous wave of backlash with countless other development teams lashing out in response.
Now, yet another incident has put EA back in the spotlight as this time, the social media manager responsible for Need for Speed once again went viral, though perhaps not in the way the studio would have liked.
On November 21, a new gameplay snippet for NFS Unbound was showcased online. On Twitter, the social team ran with a caption that claimed they “listened” to the community. One particular fan took issue with this, however.
In the replies they posted a simple query trying to clarify exactly what the community asked for. “To pay more to get 3 days early access?” they questioned.
Firing back shortly after, the NFS account claimed the gameplay video is what fans were seeking, and that this particular player should have guessed as much. “Reading is fundamental,” they said.
Not taking this response too kindly, the player continued bickering back and forth. Eventually, the official brand account replied with an insult, claiming this fan had a “milkshake brain” and that they should just “cry about it.”
Naturally, such an explosive interaction caught fire on social media. In a matter of hours it was viral and had reached more eyeballs than anything else from the NFS Unbound promotion. However, it wasn’t quite in line with what EA hopes to achieve on social media. A few days removed from the exchange and we now have a formal apology.
We admit we got a bit caught up in the hype for launch and some of our recent social media replies crossed the line. To those fans we upset, we apologize. We will do better. See you here next week.— Need for Speed (@NeedforSpeed) November 23, 2022
“We admit we got a bit caught up in the hype for launch and some of our recent social media replies crossed the line. To those fans we upset, we apologize. We will do better.”
Having been “shocked and appalled” at the interaction, as the player told Dexerto in a personal statement, they were less than pleased with how they were treated. “The reply I received was a personal insult. “In a world that is trying to be better and more understanding, Electronic Arts proves yet again how utterly out of touch they are.”