OJ Simpson in All-Pro Football 2K8

Posted May 10th, 2007 at 1:45 am

OJ Simpson gameWhen the list of names for APF 2K8 were released on the official website, one stood out and immediately created a stir. That person would be OJ Simpson. Is it right that someone who was found not guilty criminally but is still heavily suspected of committing double-murder by the majority of the public be featured in the game?

Just recently Simpson was asked to leave a restaurant by the owner who simply didn’t want him there. The reaction from the rest of the patrons? Applause after he left. That goes to show the general feeling about him even now so many years after everything went down.

The game is heavily centered on legends of the NFL, which he certainly is one. Should off the field issues keep someone out of a game that is based on what they did on the field? Thoughts on that are going to vary from individual to individual. It is certainly understandable why it would upset some people that he is included in this game. He fits in terms of what the game is about, yet the smart and respectful thing to do would have been not to include him.

Leonard Little drove drunk and killed a woman. This isn’t just assumed as is in OJ’s case, but there is no question about it. Yet no one is outraged that he is in Madden. The difference here is that the game is representing the current NFL, of which he is a part of regardless of what he has done in the past. However 2K Sports specifically sought out OJ when they didn’t necessarily need to have him in the game. They made the decision to line his pockets with cash, which could be viewed as an insult to the family of the victims and anyone else who has had to deal with similar tragedy, or simply don’t like him or what he represents. This is a guy who was going to publish a (supposedly hypothetical) book titled “If I Did It”.

It seems 2K has been ignoring the consumers with a lot of the recent news coming out about All-Pro Football 2K8. Putting OJ in the game is just one example to go along with others such as the lack of a franchise mode and the “play the game and shut up” comment. Given the position they are in, it seems to be a curious marketing strategy to say the least.

Ultimately OJ Simpson being in APF 2K8 is unlikely to keep anyone from specifically purchasing it for that reason alone. I would not be surprised however if the topic is brought up sometime heading up to release. The question is whether 2K is actually seeking out the negative press this could present as a way to get the game some attention.