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alex

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@humanity: No problem, man. I understand where the disconnect is here, and I'm not upset if people thought my stance was unusually hard or dismissive of the publisher's perspective. I just have some strong feelings on this one, as someone who's had to go and buy a number of games by publishers who were mad at us at various points, usually just for us doing our jobs. Giving us the silent treatment never solved anything. Talking it out usually did.

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@humanity: Again, I'm not suggesting what Bethesda and Ubisoft did here was illogical. It's not illogical to cut off relations with a company you are upset with. But I also think cutting off a major outlet for long periods of time because of something like this ultimately gets you nowhere. You know what's happened in every case I've ever seen of a publisher getting mad and cutting off an outlet? They reconcile. Eventually. It always happens. Even with the most mercurial companies, the bridge eventually gets rebuilt.

Publishing this story might be the thing that starts that rebuilding process, or it might just harden their resolve even more. I have no idea. I've never seen an outlet discuss something like this in such a forthright way, so I don't know what the end result will be.

There is a convention in the industry that things told to you off the record are not fair game to just be published. Like, we do adhere to some measure of decorum there. But when assets/information comes to you in the form it did in these leaks, that's a different situation. I don't think there's a definitive right/wrong answer to those situations. It's entirely up to the outlet to weigh the likelihood of anger from the publisher vs. the benefit of publishing.

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@sammo21: I've got friends at Kotaku. I've got friends in PR too. I've got friends all over this industry. I also worked in PR at one point, and I know what it's like to deal with unwanted leaks to the press. It sucks, and I'm not wholly unsympathetic. But I also never got mad at the journalists who wrote about those leaks because I know that's the nature of the job. You write about what people will be interested in, and leaks are often of interest to an audience. That's kind of the nature of media.

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@encephalon: Unless you're paranoid that Totilo is recording all his phone calls, I think you can safely call the dude up and let him know where things stand. You're right, maybe they aren't owed that, but my personal opinion is that silence is the shittiest way to manage a situation like this.

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@humanity: The difference between leaking information and breaking embargo is that embargos are an agreement between an outlet and a publisher. That agreement is actively made between the two parties, and breaking it is a violation of a specific agreement. Leaking details on an unannounced game involves no such agreement. Yes, it does potentially jeopardize a relationship with the publisher, who is likely to be unhappy about this, but it is not a violation of a previous agreement made. There isn't some standing agreement between all media outlets and publishers that says "we'll never leak anything." That's not the nature of the relationship at all.

Also, no, it's not being that guy because that guy isn't giving the people in line a choice. Publishing details does not force every Fallout fan to read them. If a person really wanted to stay unaware of what was happening, they could ignore the leaks. That is an extremely possible thing to do.

If you don't think it does any good for the community, that's fine. I'm not insisting that people believe that leaks are inherently good under all circumstances. But I also understand why a site like Kotaku would run the information they had in both cases, and think it's sort of ridiculous for anyone (other than the publishers) to begrudge them for doing so.

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@r3dt1d3: Maybe so, though I did specifically say during the podcast that I meant the silent treatment when I called it petulant. I think Vinny called me out on it, which is why I elaborated.

Also, I call it a choice because you do have the choice to decide whether an outlet is worth shitcanning over acceptance of materials that didn't come from a traditional PR source. They don't HAVE to do that. Microsoft didn't do that when Patrick broke the news that they were going to roll back their original DRM policies. Activision didn't do that when the COD stuff leaked prior to that. There is a choice, and I think choosing to ass out an outlet for something like this is overkill.

But it is their choice. I just think if they're going to make that choice, then they ought to communicate as such.

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@humanity: I didn't say it was childish to cut off business relations. I said it was childish to treat the site like they don't exist. Like, if you're mad, fucking tell them. Say the words "we are severing our relationship with you" instead of going radio silent and leaving them hanging indefinitely. There is a way to communicate your professional displeasure over something that isn't straight silence.

The publishers are obviously free to decide they no longer want to work with an outlet. But generally speaking, my feeling is that maybe instead of taking it out on the outlet who received the leaks, maybe look internally and figure out why leaks are coming out in the first place.

@neckbear Yeah that script leak really did a lot of damage to Fallout 4. Not sure how that game will ever recover.

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@hatking said:
@roundlay said:

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how the site handles Quick Look EXs? Do the developers approach Giant Bomb, does Giant Bomb approach developers, or is it a mixture of both?

I get the impression it's a mixture of both, but probably mostly marketing people approach Giant Bomb while they're out doing tours of gaming sites with their game. I've noticed it is frequent that Giant Bomb gets a Quick Look EX right around the time GameSpot gets a big preview story of the same game.

Edit: This is just a guess though. Basing it on how games marketing stuff usually works.

This is basically accurate. Usually we're approached by the PR team as part of a larger press tour. Avalanche also has dev offices in NYC so this was a pretty quick trip for them.

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@agentboolen: You can actually see us play around with the face thing in the quick look. It works pretty well, especially if you have mild photoshop skills.