In somewhat bizarre fashion, a mobile MMORPG made by Changyou has announced their partnership with Hollywood star Johnny Depp. Depp most recently made headlines for his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard, something the publishers were not shy of making a part of their big announcement.
Rather than tactfully omit any reference to the trial, which featured mention of domestic violence, drug use and other potentially disturbing topics, Changyou opened their announcement with the following text: “We are delighted with the verdict of Mr. Depp’s trial and would like to congratulate him and his entire team…”, before going on to say their relationship with Depp is based on "mutual trust".
Quite why they chose to go that route is hard to fathom, but it’s certainly a bold choice given the nature of the defamation trial, and what was established in a similar case between Depp and The Sun newspaper in the UK, which he lost. The actor’s PR team has been working overtime since the start of the American trial, with Depp pictured everywhere from UK pubs to playing gigs.
For those who are interested, the game is known as Sea of Dawn, and is a mobile MMORPG, as mentioned. The partnership is for both the game and a new "adventure short film". Sea of Dawn is an "exploration game" based in the 16th century, leading to fan comparisons with Depp’s Captain Jack comparison online.
It’s unlikely the deal will rival Depp’s biggest endorsements, with the actor having been the face of Dior’s Sauvage range of fragrances and advertising Japan’s Asahi beer in the past, as well as multiple fashion brands and a Disneyland ride. On the other hand, the footage of Sea of Dawn released in 2020 showed some incredible graphics for a mobile game, which led to the likes of SEA IGN getting very excited about the new title.