Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Threatening Journalists Who Write Negative Reviews Is The Way To Go

Duke Nukem Forever is an average game, at best.

Phew.  Just wanted to get that off my chest.

I'd better be careful, though.  The publisher's former PR company, The Redner Group, tweeted that journalists posting particularly negative reviews of DNF may be denied future 2K titles for review.  In fact, to quote them directly:

"Too many went too far with their reviews...we (are) reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn't based on today's venom."

That tweet has since been deleted from The Redner Group's feed, and their CEO Jim Redner put out an apology today by email, stating that he made an error in judgement and asking for forgiveness.

To their credit, 2K immediately disowned Redner's comments and tweeted that The Redner Group would no longer represent 2K's PR interests, essentially kicking them to the curb.

It's always chilling when you are told to shoot the messenger rather than the message.  I suspect that Gearbox and 2K knew they had a stinker on their hands with DNF and wanted to simply get it released and then buried as soon as possible.  Reading other reviews it seems that the game itself is riddled with bugs and is very out of date with contemporary times, no doubt stemming from its mammoth development period, by which I mean mammoths were still around when work on DNF first began.  All of this negative publicity about the negative publicity put 2K in a bind though, and forced them to choose the wiser path which was firing The Redner Group.

As apologetic as Jim Redner was today, it doesn't excuse what he said yesterday.  Games journalists are still journalists and must be free to publish full and frank opinions about games and the games industry at all times without other considerations getting in the way.  If you want a great review, make a great game.  Don't try to intimidate journalists into giving you a better review than you deserve.

So say we all.

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