Fake trailer edit
The Walking Dead trailer we ran earlier is a fake: our apologies, and an explanation
Official sources have confirmed that the Walking Dead: Survival Instinct trailer we ran earlier today is in fact a fan edit, created using footage that was released as part of a preview given to gaming outlet IGN. It's footage of an unfinished game, it wasn't meant to be promotional material, and I'd like to personally apologize for falling for it and presenting content that proved to be inaccurately labeled.
How this happened
I'd like to explain how this happened, because while I tried to research the matter and make sure the video was legitimate, it's clear I failed. I first saw the trailer on a variety of gaming sites labeled as an official piece of marketing for the game. The next step was to search for the source of the trailer on Youtube, where most companies upload their own promotional videos. I found what seemed to be the original version of the video under the account “TWDSurvivalInstinct.” It was the only video uploaded by that account, and it seemed to be an official account for the game. I also shared the trailer with other writers who confirmed to me that the footage was from a version of the game they had seen previously, so the fact that the footage was actually taken from the game gave me a false sense of security about running the fake trailer. The last bit of evidence that led me to believe the video was real was the fact it was posted on Dan Amrich's blog. Amrich is Activision's social media manager. “For what it's worth, I thought I'd missed something and posted the same video. Humans—we do make mistakes,” Amrich posted on Twitter. Amrich is a great guy, and I'll admit to feeling slightly better that I wasn't the only one who fell for the trailer. I felt I did a fair amount of legwork and was comfortable posting both the trailer and my reaction to it. Frankly, I was pissed off. Presenting a game in that shape to fans would have been irresponsible, and wrong. In reality the footage was simply from an early version of the game, and was not meant to be presented by itself in a promotional manner. It's impossible to tell the quality of the game or its graphics from an early build that wasn't meant to be anything more than background footage for a preview; almost all the problems I had with the game's footage can be fixed in the normal development cycle. For reference: this was the source of the footage. I try to hold myself and PAR to a higher standard when it comes to vetting this sort of content. In this case that system broke down, and I'd like to apologize to everyone who read the story, and I'd also like to personally apologize to the developers at Terminal Reality and everyone at Activision for the nasty things I said about footage that I thought was a trailer. It was wrong of me, and I look forward to learning more about the game in the future. Here's hoping the game is shaping up well, and when a real trailer is released it impresses both old and new fans of the Walking Dead franchise.