I guess Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) didn't need Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) to garner a reputation as the bad boy of its industry. The video-game giant is making waves with the risky underground marketing of its upcoming Dante's Inferno.

It all started during the annual E3 conference, when the game's marketing team staged a protest. Christian picketers urged gamers to trade in their PlayStation consoles for "Pray Stations" to repent for coveting EA's hedonistic title. When Christian bloggers realized that the over-the-top protests were fake, they were understandably outraged over being lampooned.

EA didn't quit while it was behind. According to Ars Technica, other questionable promotional campaigns in support of Dante's Inferno include a sexist "booth babes" contest and the mailing of $200 checks to the owners of popular gaming blogs.

There was a catch to the $200 checks: "By cashing this check you succumb to avarice by hoarding filthy lucre, but by not cashing it, you waste it, and thereby surrender to prodigality," read the check's explanation. "Make your choice and suffer the consequence for your sin."

These cutting-edge stunts may seem clever to the targeted gamer, but this isn't Take-Two. It was easy for Take-Two to get away with the racy "hot coffee" incident four summers ago. Being banned from Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) was a badge of honor for the company.

EA doesn't have that luxury. Critics and boycott organizers won't aim at just a single randy release. They'll battle against all of EA.

Industry giants EA and Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) can't take the same kind of gutsy chances that smaller publishers and developers can. I realize that the video game industry has suffered through six consecutive months of year-over-year declines, but EA can't afford to ignore the bigger picture.

What's your take on EA's guerrilla marketing? Let me know in the comments section below.

Take-Two Interactive Software is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Wal-Mart is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Play along with any of the premium newsletters for the next 30 days with a free backstage pass.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz remembers when he had all of the time in the world to play video games. He owns no shares in any of the companies in this story and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.