Monday, 29 October 2012

UPDATE:latest news: "There is no corruption in games journalism"

How can there be anything rotten in games journalism? Despite the fact gamers are still discussing the fallout from "Rabgate"  (as only I seem to be calling it) where it's highly suspected that because the sentient bag of oatcakes that is Rob Florence, cast a light on his perceived suspicion of collusion between hack journos and PR people from game publishers, and how it looks bad in the eyes of one's audience. But don't worry. Kotaku's Stephen Totilo has cleared the whole mess up, by treating it as a non-story. As you can read -highlighted in the above image- he's more concerned with "doing good games journalism"...which he proves with the industry-breaking news that chips are going cheap in McDonald's in Japan. Well blow me down with a feather, there was me thinking (like pretty much every other person in the industry) that Kotaku was nothing but a glorified blog, when they  throw the games industry on it's fucking head with a cutting expose on the over saturation of potato-based food in Asia. No wonder the Japanese games industry is suffering a crisis. All those dev-teams must be stuffing their faces instead of making good games! Well done Mr Totilo, that Pulitzer Prize must be on it's way right now. Stick it next to your Crash Bandicoot mug, why don't you.

Granted, Totilo has stated, on twitter, that Kotaku will now cover Rabgate. Which is awfully big of them seeing as every other major site has stuck their head in the sand, hoping the air of discontent will soon blow over. MCV obviously aren't gonna say anything and neither will Gamespress International (as as they're owned by Eurogamer)  so that's the trade sites keeping silent and bar the odd opinion piece, like this one by Destructoid and the decent indie sites. As well as  the ongoing neogaf thread. When a forum is a better news source than established and/or trade websites for covering a fairly important story within the industry, something is wrong. Right now, the usual shower of twats that comprise the Gamespress forum, presenters or company hacks (that are too coked up to remember the time he drunkenly tried to chat up the girl from Namco-Bandai) will continue to dismiss this issue as nothing more than  a fanboy storm in a internet teacup. Let the nerds rant, they'll tire out and move on to the next subject to get pissed off about. Besides, all Lauren Wainwright did, by her own admission, was do do some freelance work for Square Enix.She hasn't reviewed any of their games...
Might be a different Lauren Wainwright?
Look in the bottom, left of the review
Ok,  that looks a little bad. But it's not as if Wainwright went and let the cat out of the bag and openly admitted that games journalism done purely as a business and the relationship with the PR people is paramount, in the comments section of a article about standards in games journalism, did she?  Oh wait, she did! And now MCV and Square Enix censor someone who brought the whole sorry business to public attention and threw a 25 year old freelancer, well and truly under the bus, so the internets can vent their anger at her, while the insidious, corporate collusion carries on as normal. Because while Wainwright did a really dumb thing. No way does she carry the kind of industry clout that could get a article censored and a writer dropped
EDIT: Turns out Lauren Wainwright DID threaten Eurogamer with legal action. Which would explain why she's gone silent over the matter. She must have really of wanted that free PS3?

Don't think this is some new phenomenon that crept into games journalism. Where do you think Paul Rose's (aka Mr Biffo) parody, games journalist, Insincere Dave  is based off? It's almost always been like that.
Now, you may ask, can a games publisher directly demand a website/magazine change it's content or else it'll cut off it's supply of review code, press assets and invites to press events? No, not really. It is, however, understood that if a publisher has bought a load of advertising space for a game about to come out and your site/publication has early or exclusive access to it, that wasn't done because they like you. They expect something in return. Like a good review score. If you put the boot in, then suddenly the PR people stop calling to invite you to press events and all review code has run out, and the publisher doesn't buy as much or any ad-space any more. Nothing is said (certainly not to the writers directly) but the implications are very clear. Not every publisher or PR firm is like that (Rockstar still are one of the good guys) but more than enough are, that someone on the inside had the guts to speak out about it. And he got fucking sacked. Again, nothing is said, but very much so implied. Speak out and we fuck you good and proper.
So when Lauren Wainwright and whichever media-studies degree waving, tossbag  gets caught up in the scandal, and is made a sacrificial lamb. Remember the companies that made this climate of corporate cocksucking will carry on as before. And worse yet, Rob Florence may even have another stab at making a video game TV show!

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