back to article EA free petrol stunt triggers north London gridlock

Another great moment in the annals of computer game PR stunts today - Electronic Arts caused gridlock this morning by offering £40 of free petrol to punters in Finsbury Park, north London. Given current petrol costs, this led to over 500 drivers fighting to get on the forecourt from early this morning. The publisher offered £ …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Given current petrol costs" ... £40 of petrol must be worth, what, 40 quid now?

    See title.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Proof that video games encourage violence!

    With all those irate drivers and local residents, proof at last, games trigger violence.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They could have done it in Manchester, I'd not have complained.

  4. Sooty

    Given current petrol costs?

    Surely no matter what the current petrol costs are, £40 of petrol is going to be £40 of petrol??

  5. pctechxp

    Are you listening Mr Brown

    Think this shows that you need to cut duty on fuel NOW!

  6. Chris Griffiths
    Paris Hilton


    We all know we pay too much fuel duty, but this is just evidence of man's bacis want of something for nothing!

    Paris because...errr...she could pay for the fuel? (Look, it's been a tough day...)

  7. CollyWolly
    Thumb Up

    Why is I hate London so much?

    With that and the fights over a sale at IKEA a couple of years back, I reckon you should just get the video cameras out in London, spend a bit of money on a promotion like this and have a more middle class London version of that Bumfights video.

  8. Dan


    It shows there will always be* people willing to fight for a free lunch

    What is more interesting is if the `net cost' ** to the economy of the gridlock exceeds the value of the `free petrol'.

    *(Insert derogatory remark of your choice)

    ** (these figures always sell a little out of thin air to me)

  9. Elmer Phud

    re:'Are you listening Mr Brown'

    That's a bit cheap -- if you advertised free turds there would be flocks of people after any old shit they could get their hands on. Governments have bugger all to do with it (unless it's a return to the 'greed' years of Mrs T).

    No, these are petrol junkies, the ones who still go at 90 on the motorway yet complain about fuel prices.

  10. James Bassett

    In fact

    In fact, given the cost of Petrol, £40 of petrol is actually about 20% LESS petrol than it was before.

    And don't get me started on the fuel duty thing. If Brown lowers duty, the price goes down. This means more people now can afford petrol. Supply and demand forces price back up. Voila, price is what it was before but the government now has less to spend on roads.


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  12. Luke Wells

    @ Elmer Phud

    "No, these are petrol junkies, the ones who still go at 90 on the motorway yet complain about fuel prices"

    Driving at lower speeds may reduce your fuel consumption, but it doesn't reduce the price of fuel, so whatever speed you drive at, whatever car you drive, everyone has the right to complain about the price of fuel. Even if you drive a 1 litre diesel at 56mph on the motorway, the price of fuel is still going up.

  13. Matt Bradley
    Paris Hilton

    "Given current petrol costs"

    ... £40 worth of petrol must like... a teaspoonful?

    This is the best proof of collective unintelligence I've ever heard.

    I mean, seriously. We're all panicking about how little fuel we get for our money, then we all go rushing out to wait a traffic jam for £40 quid's worth?

    Collective logic failure here somewhere.

  14. adnim

    EA title So...

    It will a be rushed, buggy, unfinished, beta quality port of an Xbox360 or PS3 game. It will need all the promotion it can get. So how many of these people will now buy the game and then realise that they queued all that time for what will equate to £5.01 worth of petrol. (£40-£34.99)

    I wish this was publicised earlier. Always on the look out for a freebie, I would have happily driven the 200 miles to London for a free tank of petrol.

  15. Richard Kilpatrick

    Motorway fuel economy

    Not sure how it works out this way, but my car is more economical at 85 than at 70 (and indeed, it's not great at the oft-quoted "56", either) - at 80, it lowers itself, raises the rear spoiler more, and is in the highest gear - and pulling just under 2,000rpm. It's also a diesel, and as such returns 40+mpg in these conditions compared to the 30ish I got out of a small 1.5 Suzuki when trying not to get squashed by HGVs and Audis in similar situations.

    Modern large cars are designed with modern large car driving habits in mind :)

    Either way, how much fuel did people use up waiting for their £40 free?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not about current petrol prices.

    By next month that £40 of petrol will be worth £80

  17. Martin

    I used to live round there;

    and its fair to say the locals would queue for £40-worth of manure, never mind petrol.

    That being said, the next time anyones planning on giving away fuel in the Birmingham area, please let me know ;-)

    And @ Richard Kilpatrick, absolutely correct mate; every car has a different 'economical speed'. Ive had cars where its been 85mph, and others where its been 50mph. Can everyone PLEASE stop quoting 55/56mph as the universal magic figure; it was pulled from the bums of American politicians in the 1970s.

  18. Bill Neal

    Yes, but did anyone get the free fuel?

    Yes, but did anyone get the free fuel?

  19. Outcast

    There is life outside the M25

    Always in Fakkin Landan

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. chris


    "Modern large cars are designed with modern large car driving habits in mind :)"

    Like breaking the speed limit and then complaining about speed cameras?

  22. tony trolle
    Thumb Up

    @Yes, but did anyone get the free fuel?

    13,000 got the fuel.

  23. Steven Raith

    FAO Richard Kilpatrick

    I'm struggling to think of a car with active aero and suspension that is also a diesel. Closest I can think of would be a 911 or a Mistu GTO, but they definitely don't have diseasal variants.

    Please enlighten me, my good man.

    Steven R

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Exceptionally Amateur

    So, rather than give away 500 (@ £40; or 572 @ £34.99) free computer games and thus bring joy to 500 (572) eager computer game players EA decide in their infinite wisdom to randomly benefit 500 (325 since the scheme was halted circa £13,000) car drivers and in return may earn themselves all this negative publicity and perhaps a dozen sales - all at the cost of severe aggravation to the hundreds of individuals caught in and around the scramble for half a tank of gas [potential MadMax reference]. Ah bless them ... this is exactly the same attention to detail that they showed when they brought out each of the much maligned Battlefield series (1942, 2, 2142 and assorted costly addons) ... and thus severely inconvenienced everyone who bought the games. I learned my lesson ... I don't give a flying fuck how much free anything EA gives to anyone - I will never buy another EA product.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good ole EA

    No one was complaining apart from the politicians. Yet again showing how out of touch they really are.

    They seized on it expecting some resident to complain, but they were all too busy filling up.

    In fact if EA had become a political party on that day, and there was a general election, there could be a new group in power today, that is how fragile this country has become :)

  26. Matt Bradley

    @Steven Raith

    Both the current BMW 3 series and the the Citroen C5 feature active suspension. BMW also advertise active aero; dunno about Citroen in this respect, though I wouldn't be surprised. "Over Engineered" is practically Citroen's middle name!

  27. Daniel

    supply and demand? WTF

    The idea that lowering the duty will bosst demand and cause prices to rise is a bit daft. Although supply and demand is the way it all works, the demand for petrol doesnt seem to be lowering with the cost of petrol going up. This is generally because people need to get places, people need petrol in their cars and bikes to do so. The idea that lowering the cost will somehow increase demand seems flawed. Much like the congestion charge it assumes people drive around at 8-9am in the morning, just for fun.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    @Richard Kilpatrick

    "my car is more economical at 85 than at 70"

    Sounds more like "the MPG indicator thingy reads less MPG whilst at 70mph and accelerating than at 85 when I lift my foot off the pedal" - ye canna change the laws of physics!

  29. Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward, re @Richard Kilpatrick

    Actually, that's probably accurate. In my case, I measure over 5 tanks (about 230 liters in my current car); see how many miles that got me and calculate from there to MPG.

    In my case, driving an average of ~85mph IS actually more economical (about 100m more per tank on average) than going ~70mph on average. Following the same route, same times, etc.

    It's a weight of scale really - HOW you drive is more relevant at lower speeds than higher speeds; at higher speeds it depends far more fewer factors.

  30. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    Oh well

    Oh well . a good thing they didn't offer any gaming geek a chance to slip their arms around either the slim and skinny under fed looking hotel heiress , Amy Pharmacopia or Lindsay Lohan in her usual minimalist outfits and get the resultant photograph autographed as well , as even the redoubtable and very experienced French riot police from Paris would have a hard time coping with all those hordes of testosterone males over the age of thirteen fighting to be first in that queue as they would be fighting for the same place in the queue too .

  31. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    Well, I was always under the impression that the way to get maximum fuel economy (disregarding acceleration and braking habits, remove un-aerodynamic bits etc.) is to be in the highest gear at the engine speed of maximum torque. So the right speed does in fact depend on your cars gearing (how many, ratio etc.) and where the maximum torque lies.

    Funnily enough my car (206 diesel) in top gear at handbook 'maximum torque' (1900 rpm) is pretty much 56mph spot on!

    Too off topic?

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. rick buck

    Faster Blaster

    Funny, MY car always got better mileage at higher speeds, too.

    And the faster you go, the slower time passes...

    ...(on an astrological scale)...that means..."I age less!"

    ...and what is the deal...with the crap the video games industry makes?

    100s of titles that are "Shoot 'Em Up" & "Kill 'Em" games,

    but only one or two "Driving Games".

    ???What Goes???

    Perhaps they could reduce violence by making fewer "Shoot & Kill" games?

    Perhaps we could be safer drivers by making us better drivers,

    by making a few more "Driving Skills" Games!!!

    I envision a game that actually trains you to drive "Economically!!!"

    Think about how that might impact society!

    Mine's the (windblown) coat with the SCCA patch on it

    (Honda Fit turbo w/ 6-speed, paddle shifters...85mph@36 mpg)

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