Finsbury Park free petrol caused rush hour gridlock today as EA Games attempted to 'recreate a Venezuelan-style fuel riot on the streets of London' this morning (quote from local MP Lynne Featherstone.)
To promote the launch of new XBox game 'Mercenaries 2: World in Flames', EA Games took over the Last Stop garage in Finsbury Park. The Last Stop garage featured camouflage netting, a military style bunker, jeeps and sandbags with petrol pump attendants in army clothing dispensing the free fuel. EA Games planned to give away a maximum of £40 free petrol per car until their £20,000 free fuel budget was used up, however the police ordered the promotion to stop at 11am after complaints from drivers and residents.
With petrol still priced at around 115p per litre ($7.85 per gallon for US readers) this 'Mercenaries 2: World in Flames' promotion was always going to cause chaos. In the end EA Games gave away £11,000 of free fuel, but have succeeded in getting massive coverage for this stunt and the launch of 'Mercenaries 2: World in Flames.' They have received coverage on local newspaper sites, national news sites, the BBC, ITV and across the internet through gaming sites, blogs and social sites like Digg.
Telegraph TV reported on the Finsbury Park free fuel stunt here:
Games Radar have published a photo of the traffic queue in Finsbury Park:
Image of Finsbury Park free fuel traffic queue from www.gamesradar.com
So, very inconvenient for local residents, but extremely successful from a perspective of increasing awareness and buzz around the launch.......