Madden NFL 19 may not have garnered the most excitement in EA's E3 2018 press conference, but one reaction to the game has left a fair few Madden fans seething. The title was shown off as part of the EA Play event this year, taking up part of the EA Sports section of the conference alongside an update on the FIFA franchise.
All in all, the reaction from the crowd at the event was muted, which is often the case during the sports sim section of EA's E3 conferences. Nonetheless, Madden NFL 19's trailer did get more attention online, with the franchise's fans taking a look at the improvements made over the previous yearly iterations of the series, and among those taking note was GameStop's own Twitter page.
However, the GameStop account quickly hit a sour note when it made a bad taste joke. While discussing the graphical quality of the game, another Twitter user jumped in with a tongue in cheek comment about the game having a Battle Royale mode, following on from the announcement of Battlefield V's Royale mode. The GameStop account's response - that it has "dibs on Ray Rice" - did not go over well.
Ray Rice was arrested in 2014 after a physical fight between himself and Janay Palmer, who is now his wife. In a graphic and shocking video, Rice was seen hitting Palmer and then dragging her out of an elevator. Although the charges of aggravated assault were eventually dropped, it led to a larger discussion about domestic violence in the NFL, with the league taking a much tougher stance against violence going forward. As such, it's not much of a surprise to see that Madden fans criticized the GameStop joke on the matter.
The comments quickly came GameStop's way, with many pointing out that the joke was not funny. "Wondering how society feels about a national brand making jokes about domestic violence," read one response. GameStop eventually took the post down, stating that "making light of domestic violence is unacceptable, and we’re truly sorry for any upset our comment caused."
The social media misstep from the company shows just how thin the line is when brands try to bring personality to social networks such as Twitter. While adding humor is definitely seen as an asset for some companies, one wrong move and one poor taste comment can lead to embarrassing situations such as this. That said, it's likely that GameStop is going to be a little more careful going forward.
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