Developer calls accurate Borderlands 2 report "shoddy journalism"

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#1 Edited by Jeffsekai (7025 posts) -

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/08/developer-calls-accurate-borderlands-2-report-shoddy-journalism.ars

Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford is known for speaking his mind, and he seemed particularly annoyed when the news of Borderlands 2 broke last night. Eurogamer was given information from an unnamed source that the game was in development, with a major announcement coming soon. Pitchford called stories aboutBorderlands 2 "shoddy journalism" on his Twitter account. Here's the problem: the story was 100 percent true. When a marketing plan is in place, reporters defy it at their own peril.
"I can tell you that myself and everyone at Gearbox LOVES Borderlands and we have been absolutely thrilled at the reception it's gotten from our customers and the fact that it's sold over four million units now," Pitchford told Eurogamer in the past. "But we've only announced what we've announced. If we haven't announced it, it doesn't exist."
The report spread across the gaming blogs like wildfire, which seemed to annoy Mr. Pitchford. The cat was out of the bag: the game was in development, it was coming, and contrary to what developer bigwigs would have us believe, things certainly can exist before they're officially announced.
"I have long maintained that we will do more with Borderlands," Pitchford tweeted. "Shoddy journalism is not an announcement."
Less than a day later, the official announcement was made. The game is in development, and it will be released sometime in fiscal 2013, which begins in April 2012. In fact, every detail from the original Eurogamer report was accurate. The problem wasn't the journalism, it was the fact that the news of the game's existence was part of a larger marketing plan. "Eager gamers can learn more about Borderlands 2 right now by picking up the latest issue of Game Informer Magazine, which has the worldwide exclusive cover story on the title," Take-Two wrote in a press release. "Readers will find many game details inside the issue, including the first reveal of one of the several new character classes being introduced in Borderlands 2."
It's a problem when journalism happens
This sorry episode is indicative of a larger problem with our business: those that write about games are supposed to be part of a marketing program, and any attempt at breaking a story that isn't handed to an outlet is met with outright hostility. If you get a scoop about a game before an exclusive reveal at another publication, you're going to be called out for "shoddy journalism." Having a story before you're allowed to have it makes you a target.
We experienced this firsthand when we broke the news of Rock Band 3's keytar peripheral. After we ran the story we were contacted by the PR company handling the Harmonix account, and threatened with all sorts of nastiness if the story wasn't removed.
We held firm, because we knew the story was accurate, but what I was unprepared for was the anger fromother writers who had signed nondisclosure agreements that prevented them from writing about the peripheral until the NDA expired. From their point of view I hadn't played fair, and in many cases outlets which had signed the NDA didn't pick up our story for fear of angering Harmonix. We had stepped out of the marketing plan for the game by running a scoop we had dug up ourselves, and boy, did we ever hear about it.
Game Informer will still have the first details of the game, and that will remain exclusive until the rest of the gaming press is granted access to the title, which will be playable at PAX Prime. Neither Game Informer nor Gearbox was hurt by the early news of the game's existence, but the power of a Game Informer cover and story can't be underestimated within the industry, and publishers are going to do everything they can to protect the marketing deals they've made with the magazine. If you threaten that relationship with honest-to-goodness reporting, apparently you're nothing but a shoddy journalist.
Borderlands 2 is coming to the 360, PS3, and PC in fiscal 2013.
Update: Eurogamer did not, in fact, contact Gearbox for comment. The quotes in their story were from the past. Our own post has been updated.

This is just pathetic. This is also why journalism doesn't exist in video games.

My favorite part :

This sorry episode is indicative of a larger problem with our business: those that write about games are supposed to be part of a marketing program, and any attempt at breaking a story that isn't handed to an outlet is met with outright hostility. If you get a scoop about a game before an exclusive reveal at another publication, you're going to be called out for "shoddy journalism." Having a story before you're allowed to have it makes you a target.
#2 Edited by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -

Pitchford got punked and tried to spin it.

Classy Randy is Classy

edit: not "punked" as in deceived, or that horrible show. Basically he was beaten to the punch and his comments confirmed the butthurt.

#3 Edited by Dany (7887 posts) -

It isn't the journalist's fault that anonymous sources are willing to divulge information on a game. They should keep a tighter lid on information being told. The part about them telling the keytar peripheral in Rock Band 3 goes against the NDA but if they never signed it, no problem for them.

#4 Edited by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

That's a shame. Randy, I'm disappointed. I thought you were cooler and above silly stuff like this.

Gaming news publications should just stop signing NDAs and stop whoring themselves out to PR people just to have early access to a story. What's the point even if you can't inform your readers because of the NDA?

#5 Posted by august (3825 posts) -

Stay classy, Randal.

#6 Edited by FourWude (2261 posts) -

Seems to me that Randy wants to be the government. He wants to control the flow of information. And he wants it on his own terms.

Borderlands was good Randy, but you're getting above your station. 

#7 Posted by Loose (419 posts) -

Man between this and his comments about DNF, it seems that Randy is intent on digging himself into a pretty deep hole.

#8 Posted by ShaggE (6295 posts) -

Dammit, Randy. I like you, but you don't know jack shit about journalism, and you should probably keep your yap shut on matters like this. 

#9 Posted by RE_Player1 (7545 posts) -

I am disappointed in Randy.

#10 Edited by MattyFTM (14328 posts) -

He has a bit of a point. He doesn't convey it in the most eloquent way, but it's a 140 character tweet, there isn't much space to be eloquent, so I can forgive him of that. The Eurogamer headline read "Borderlands 2 Confirmed". A "source close to the game" leaking information is not an official announcement, and that headline insinuates that. If there is one thing I hate more than anything in game journalism, it's misleading headlines.

Moderator
#11 Posted by RIDEBIRD (1230 posts) -

Seriously where the fuuuuuuuck is his PR dude to shut him the fuck up. He's got no clue. And regarding the situation, only in this goddamn assbackwards business does this happen..

#12 Posted by Bumpton (438 posts) -

Personally, I view Randy as the symptom; not the cause. Like stated in the article, the whole industry is guilty of this stuff. I honestly don't know enough about marketing in general or how it's handled in other media, but this seems kinda crazy. If someone is willing to talk or a journalists get his hands on some memos, is it really that detrimental to their marketing plans? And the fact that other writers got upset about it when they could have taken the same initiative is just crazy sounding to me.
 
Obviously, it'll sometimes depend on the type of info it is. If it's story stuff that's leaked early, I'll get kinda bummed because I want it to be fresh. But if it's new features, it normally just gets me more excited/intrigued. Doesn't that accomplish the same thing as regular marketing? 
 
Or maybe I'm just completely naive... I certainly won't claim to know much about this part of the industry.

#13 Posted by SethPhotopoulos (5056 posts) -

This business is still growing.  It's just growing pains.

#14 Posted by RecSpec (3753 posts) -

I love when Games Journalism clashes with real journalism like this.

#15 Edited by Thor (25 posts) -

Seems like blowing up a minor thing to me. I don't really understand what's wrong with his comment at all...I'd probably be a bit bummed if someone stole my announcement oomph as well.

#16 Posted by RaikohBlade (593 posts) -

That's pretty funny. I'm glad something like this happened.

#17 Posted by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

@Bumpton said:

But if it's new features, it normally just gets me more excited/intrigued. Doesn't that accomplish the same thing as regular marketing?

They sell their stories to publications and need them to be under wraps until the publication who paid for the exclusive infos releases them. Now they are pissed that it leaked earlier through other channels.

#18 Posted by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

@Thor said:

Seems like blowing up a minor thing to me. I don't really understand what's wrong with his comment at all...I'd probably be a bit bummed if someone stole my announcement oomph as well.

The problem is he called it "shoddy journalism" but it's actually the opposite. No matter if he's bummed out or not.

#19 Posted by EuanDewar (4688 posts) -

Eh, I still like the guy. Those interview pre and post Borderlands all made him out to be the most welcoming dude in the industry. Duke Nukem seems to have changed him a tad.

Online
#20 Posted by tsiro (214 posts) -

@Bumpton said:

Personally, I view Randy as the symptom; not the cause. Like stated in the article, the whole industry is guilty of this stuff. I honestly don't know enough about marketing in general or how it's handled in other media, but this seems kinda crazy. If someone is willing to talk or a journalists get his hands on some memos, is it really that detrimental to their marketing plans? And the fact that other writers got upset about it when they could have taken the same initiative is just crazy sounding to me.

Obviously, it'll sometimes depend on the type of info it is. If it's story stuff that's leaked early, I'll get kinda bummed because I want it to be fresh. But if it's new features, it normally just gets me more excited/intrigued. Doesn't that accomplish the same thing as regular marketing?

Or maybe I'm just completely naive... I certainly won't claim to know much about this part of the industry.

Don't get me wrong, I have no idea either, but let me play devil's advocate for a bit.

Say you're in the marketing department for a video game company, and you're trying to come up with the best way to announce your game. You have big plans, and a schedule for when you're announcing what. Then, the day before you start off this announcement schedule, some organization comes up and says "Hey, I think they're making this game." Now your product has been half announced -- it's existence is out there, but without any of the resources or plans behind what was going to make the announcement exciting. I don't know about you, but I'd find that pretty frustrating.

The idea behind NDAs is not a bad one -- marketing and PR departments for these game companies want to control the flow of information, not because they're evil, but because they want to have as much control over building the hype for a game as possible. And when these NDAs get circumvented (this wasn't necessarily the case with Borderlands 2, but just in general), it throws off all of these plans, and turns it into more a game of "catch-up", which is not what is wanted. I can also understand other writers getting angry, they've followed the rules, written their articles, and not mentioned anything to anyone. But then, someone else swoops in and steal their thunder, seemingly getting the "first scoop" and undermining the surprise/impact of what was "supposed to be" the official announcement. I'm not saying that this is necessarily a good thing, but it's the way that things are.

Now I'm not necessarily defending Randy, but I can empathize -- it would be pretty disappointing to have an exciting announcement ruined by someone saying "Oh hey, this exists, I think".

#21 Posted by Bumpton (438 posts) -
@CptBedlam said:

@Bumpton said:

But if it's new features, it normally just gets me more excited/intrigued. Doesn't that accomplish the same thing as regular marketing?

They sell their stories to publications and need them to be under wraps until the publication who paid for the exclusive infos releases them. Now they are pissed that it leaked earlier through other channels.


I understand that... I guess I'm just curious how stuff like this is handled in other forms of media, like tv or movies. Seems like I hear about people in the game industry getting upset or pissy about this stuff more often, but surely it's common elsewhere. Hah, then again I only post and read in game forums so I'm probably just not looking in the right places.
#22 Edited by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

@tsiro said:


The idea behind NDAs is not a bad one -- marketing and PR departments for these game companies want to control the flow of information, not because they're evil, but because they want to have as much control over building the hype for a game as possible. And when these NDAs get circumvented (this wasn't necessarily the case with Borderlands 2, but just in general), it throws off all of these plans, and turns it into more a game of "catch-up", which is not what is wanted. I can also understand other writers getting angry, they've followed the rules, written their articles, and not mentioned anything to anyone. But then, someone else swoops in and steal their thunder, seemingly getting the "first scoop" and undermining the surprise/impact of what was "supposed to be" the official announcement. I'm not saying that this is necessarily a good thing, but it's the way that things are.

Now I'm not necessarily defending Randy, but I can empathize -- it would be pretty disappointing to have an exciting announcement ruined by someone saying "Oh hey, this exists, I think".

Journalism is not meant to be part of a marketing plan. That's what's bad about video game "journalism" (you can hardly call it that).

A journalists job is to break stories, not to give in to some marketing strategy by signing NDAs. And I ask again: what's the point of these so-called journalists signing NDAs and not being able to pass the information on to their readers? Who benefits from a bunch of journalists knowing stuff?

#23 Posted by ProfessorEss (7254 posts) -

I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to have been little more than a rant from a passionate guy who was bummed about the announcement not going exactly like he had planned. 
 
Plus, it's such a weird relationship. The press doesn't seem to mind playing by the marketing rules when it all works nicely for them, but they can be very quick to suddenly turn into "hard-nosed, deep-digging journalists" when it serves them.

#24 Posted by Bumpton (438 posts) -
@tsiro
Yeah, that really does make sense. It just seems like an odd set of rules that have kinda appeared alongside videogames... Journalists are supposed to reveal stuff and write interesting stories! It's up to those PR dudes and marketing to keep their stuff under wraps! Fight! 
 
There's a videogame in there somehow...
#25 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Hehe, video game journalism, no offense Patrick. 

#26 Edited by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

@ProfessorEss said:

Plus, it's such a weird relationship. The press doesn't seem to mind playing by the marketing rules when it all works nicely for them, but they can be very quick to suddenly turn into "hard-nosed, deep-digging journalists" when it serves them.

It's weird, you're right. I'd be glad if there was a games publication that declared to not ever sign any NDA; and I'd be even more glad if it was Giantbomb. But they won't do it because it would hurt their good relationships with some devs.

Well, at least GB doesn't do these review events.

@Bumpton: exactly

#27 Edited by tsiro (214 posts) -

@CptBedlam: You make some good points. The following is pure speculation, so take with a grain of salt.

NDAs allow the developers to show off early builds to journalists without worrying about them running to their computers and hammering out articles about games that they haven't announced. In showing off these earlier builds, developers would be able to draw on feedback from the journalists -- who presumably know a thing or two about video games -- and journalists would be able to prepare future articles, such that they can be released shortly after the NDA is lifted and/or the game is announced.

Without NDAs, we wouldn't have things like the Game Informer cover stories, but we'd instead have to rely entirely on PR firms and marketing departments for all of that information, because nobody outside of the company could be trusted to leak information at an unplanned time. I imagine that much of the information in these articles is still very tightly controlled by PR and Marketing, but at least it's (hopefully) being written by a source outside of the game studio.

I don't know if this makes any sense, it's still not a fully-formed idea. I guess what it comes down to is that usually I'm more excited by "official" announcements for games, ones that perhaps come as a surprise and/or contain a wealth of information about what's to come, as opposed to leaks that often contain little other than "this exists, probably".

EDIT: The problem with a journalist/publication that decided to never sign an NDA is that, in today's world, they would never get the first scoop, because marketing departments would go to other companies more willing to "play ball". They would always be reporting on seemingly "old news".

#28 Edited by patrickklepek (3398 posts) -

Pitchford's comment really bothered me. I'd go so far as to call it bullshit. It's Pitchford's job to deny the existence of Borderlands 2 up and down--I have no problem with that. But questioning a journalist's integrity because it contradicts your marketing plan is really bothersome, especially for a developer who normally champions a transparent press. It's hard enough to engage in journalism, but it doesn't help when it's outright subverted.

Staff
#29 Posted by MachoFantastico (4477 posts) -

Can't say I agree with you Mr Pitchford, plus was it really such a big thing that Eurogamer found out about Borderlands 2 last night. Not like it was a total shock, not like Eurogamer went out and found someone who revealed everything you'd want to know about Half Life 3. It's Borderlands 2, every gamer and his pet poodle knew it was coming so why get all upset... that's journalism.

#30 Posted by tsiro (214 posts) -

@patrickklepek: This is an issue that I can get behind. I imagine that it was tweeted in a moment of passion, but directly attacking the journalist for doing his job isn't cool.

#31 Posted by Jeffsekai (7025 posts) -

@patrickklepek said:

Pitchford's comment really bothered me. I'd go so far as to call it bullshit. It's Pitchford's job to deny the existence of Borderlands 2 up and down--I have no problem with that. But questioning a journalist's integrity because it contradicts your marketing plan is really bothersome, especially for a developer who normally champions a transparent press. It's hard enough to engage in journalism, but it doesn't help when it's outright subverted.

I agree 100%, which is why I made this thread. Thanks for commenting.

#32 Posted by Gaff (1637 posts) -

@CptBedlam said:

And I ask again: what's the point of these so-called journalists signing NDAs and not being able to pass the information on to their readers? Who benefits from a bunch of journalists knowing stuff?

I can imagine NDAs being a godsend for print magazines: No fear of getting a cover story sniped before the proofs hit the printers, give the writers and editors plenty of time to think of angles ("Let's do a Tomb Raider retrospective to coincide with the announcement of the new Tomb Raider!"), have the artists work on the cover.

NDAs can work when the information flow can be controlled: new magazine issues hit the news stands on so-and-so date, PR can start sending out flyers and posters to retailers, TV ads will hit the airwaves on such-and-such time.

Of course, on the internet, information is far from controlled. Screenshots leak, people let something slip, someone doesn't take a minute to look at those 140 characters and wonders "Should I really say that?".

#33 Edited by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

@tsiro said:

@CptBedlam: You make some good points. The following is pure speculation, so take with a grain of salt.

NDAs allow the developers to show off early builds to journalists without worrying about them running to their computers and hammering out articles about games that they haven't announced. In showing off these earlier builds, developers would be able to draw on feedback from the journalists -- who presumably know a thing or two about video games -- and journalists would be able to prepare future articles, such that they can be released shortly after the NDA is lifted and/or the game is announced.

Can't say I'm comfortable with a bunch of "journalists" being used as QA or focus groups. That's not their purpose.

@tsiro said:

Without NDAs, we wouldn't have things like the Game Informer cover stories, but we'd instead have to rely entirely on PR firms and marketing departments for all of that information, because nobody outside of the company could be trusted to leak information at an unplanned time. I imagine that much of the information in these articles is still very tightly controlled by PR and Marketing, but at least it's (hopefully) being written by a source outside of the game studio.

Cover stories are practically useless (edit: for us). It's just information that the PR department would release anyway but sold to a single publication for profit. If there were no exclusive cover stories, we'd get that same information in a similar timely fashion. This is just about buying exclusive stuff to get people to buy the magazine.

@tsiro said:

@CptBedlam: EDIT: The problem with a journalist/publication that decided to never sign an NDA is that, in today's world, they would never get the first scoop, because marketing departments would go to other companies more willing to "play ball". They would always be reporting on seemingly "old news".

Often it's dozens or hundreds of "journalists" signing an NDA. That's not really the first scoop when the NDA is lifted eventually and everyone releases the same story at the same time.

And even if you don't belong to that group, nowadays it's not hard to have that story on your site 10 minutes later. Not a huge disadvantage.

I for one would rather have games journalists practice actual journalism instead of being the extended PR department of publishers.

#34 Posted by tsiro (214 posts) -

@Gaff: That's a very good point. On the internet, a bit of information can go from obtained to posted to viewed by millions in a matter of minutes, and when this information is leaked information, that's bad news for the PR guys. I guess NDAs are, in part, the industry's way of trying to keep print relevant.

#35 Posted by Icemael (6307 posts) -

Randy Pitchford can go fuck himself. This is the exact opposite of shoddy journalism.

#36 Edited by patrickklepek (3398 posts) -

I've always had a problem with cover stories for the exact reasons described here--you're just passing on PR information point blank. That's not to say there haven't been some great cover stories written, I just have a problem with them in concept. For an example of a super weird cover story that prompted a publisher to get really upset, go back and read Robert Ashley's EGM cover story on Saints Row 2.

NDAs aren't going anywhere because it's a controlling mechanism that's incredibly effective. I'd wish them away if I could, but it would lock me out of seeing too much. At the end of the day, it's my job to interpret and parse information for readers, and the best I can do is be as transparent about my own process as possible.

Staff
#37 Posted by MrKlorox (11198 posts) -

Randy is still Randy, it seems.

And he's just slightly more than a developer now. Should have titled it "Gearbox CEO calls ....."

#38 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Fighting over reveals.
 
Who cares, it's gonna be up in the air the day the site/magazine releases anyway, for me exclusives have never pushed me to buy mags or visit certain sites.
 
News, is, free.
 
I respect NDA's but I still think they're silly when it concerns wether or not a game is being developped.
Them announcing that it isn't in development would make me go 'huh?' over "Yo B2 is coming" (no shit, it sold major).

#39 Edited by FireBurger (1479 posts) -
@august said:

Stay classy, Randal.

Ever since I read this, I've though Pitchford is just a fucking weirdo.
#40 Posted by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

@patrickklepek said:

NDAs aren't going anywhere because it's a controlling mechanism that's incredibly effective. I'd wish them away if I could, but it would lock me out of seeing too much. At the end of the day, it's my job to interpret and parse information for readers, and the best I can do is be as transparent about my own process as possible.

I can imagine. It would only work if literally every single individual in games journalism would act in concert. But that's never going to happen so the best thing you can do is walk a fine line and try not to become too much of a PR instrument while still securing access to to the earliest sources of information.

Thanks for engaging in discussion with us here, Patrick. I really appreciate it to hear from "the inside".

#41 Posted by GoldenGlove (54 posts) -

That article made the confirmation of a keytar in Rock Band 3 sound like freaking Watergate.

#42 Posted by Silver-Streak (1328 posts) -

@patrickklepek: I can agree with your sentiment quite a bit. Although, I have to say, Randy's comment seems /really/ out of character for him. Or at least, in other interviews/tweets/etc, he doesn't seem like the reactionary/accusatory type.

Obviously, I've never met the guy, but it just seems odd in general.

#43 Posted by Gaff (1637 posts) -

@tsiro said:

@Gaff: That's a very good point. On the internet, a bit of information can go from obtained to posted to viewed by millions in a matter of minutes, and when this information is leaked information, that's bad news for the PR guys. I guess NDAs are, in part, the industry's way of trying to keep print relevant.

I think it's less about keeping print relevant than it being a hard habit to kick: NDAs have "worked" since the 90s, why change? Also, to put things into perspective, if Wikipedia is to be believed, GameInformer has a circulation of 3,5M. I'm not sure how many unique hits on-line heavyweights -Think Kotaku, IGN, 1UP, NeoGAF- typically pull, but as much, or "real", as GI, I'd imagine.

#44 Posted by Dogma (943 posts) -

NDA:s also gives the editors/writters time to get home, think and write something thoughtful and not just gushing out words to make it out fast. It would be chaos without those restrictions between outlets. In todays world we would se game writters announce news and announcements on Twitter or writing directly on their site from a smartphone, just to be first out of the gate. That's why NDA:s also can be something good. It gives everybody time to present their information in good and interesting way. Some use that time, some don't.

Printed publication on the other hand tend to see games earlier. Much earlier. So they are ready but they still want that NDA to be fair to them too so time don't run out before they release a new issue. IF they had the same date (that all web media could release their info the same day as the publication) then this would be a lesser problem, because yeah... I'm not to found of the exclusives (at least when others have to be gagged).

And in this case with Borderlands 2 I think it was fair play by the publication. They got lucky. They did nothing wrong since they reported a rumour. But as Matty said, they used a bad headline. And no, it's not offical until the game is actually announced.

Yay! Post number 300! ^^

#45 Posted by Quacktastic (1066 posts) -

It's weird to me that publicly traded companies are allowed to have non-public information.

#46 Edited by AndrewB (7444 posts) -

I think it's time they start making their marketing plans more flexible. Leaks happen. Roll with it instead of going hostile and making a liar of yourself. 
 
The funniest part is that these things always sem to happen with the most "DUH!" games. Duh, you're working on a sequel to your company's most successful game. I could have told you that months ago. In fact, I'm sure I remember reading some news shortly after hearing that Borderlands was selling like hotcakes that a sequel was in the bag. Even if I didn't, it's pretty obvious that a sequel driven business is going to pick up a sequel for a game that sells.

#47 Posted by Cheesebob (1230 posts) -

Perhaps DNF has made him a bit more cynical. But God knows why. Someone should tell him that he shouldn't give 2 fucks because its mainly 3D Realms' fault the game sucked several horse peni.

#48 Posted by eroticfishcake (7782 posts) -

I've always thought Randy was a little mad, especially after the DNF disaster. Guess this is just another milestone in his madness.

#49 Posted by Tumbler (161 posts) -

Gearbox has been doing a lot of things that cause me concern lately. I recently picked up Borderlands GOTY off steam for $7.50 and had not played it until now. Amazing game, loving everything about this game. I'd never given Gearbox much thought as a developer but the more I played Borderlands the more impressed I was becoming with them.

But the more recent moves / announcements have been well below my expectations of that company. They "finished" duke nukem forever which turned out to be a giant POS. (my opinion) There was a random marketing guy that started threatening ppl on twitter about the reviews of duke nukem forever, and now you have the head of the company attacking a gaming journalist for getting in the way of their marketing plans. IE letting Game Informer be the first to announce this game.

All this gives me a very bad feeling about what the expect from the company in the future.

#50 Posted by Marokai (2787 posts) -
@Jeffsekai said:

This sorry episode is indicative of a larger problem with our business: those that write about games are supposed to be part of a marketing program, and any attempt at breaking a story that isn't handed to an outlet is met with outright hostility. If you get a scoop about a game before an exclusive reveal at another publication, you're going to be called out for "shoddy journalism." Having a story before you're allowed to have it makes you a target.
So much of the video game industry is fucking infuriating. The treatment toward women and minority groups, the way developer employees are treated. This is, unfortunately, exactly how video game companies see gaming news outlets. Just as marketing tools. Never allowed to criticize and if they step over their boundaries to report on something secret then they're doing something wrong. 
 
I love video games but this industry is the absolute worst.

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