Kotaku claims to have been blacklisted

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So Kotaku claims they've been blacklisted by possibly two different publishers[1]claiming it was because of their excellent investigative journalism.

Plenty of people in the games industry or associated with it have come out essentially told Kotaku that they were blacklisted for the nonsense they put out which tries to create drama and insult developers.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

In terms of people sticking up for Kotaku there's kinda been about two. One of them being a fellow member of the Game Journo pro mailing list [10] and the other being Neogaf [11]

So any-one with thoughts on this?

The_Kodu:
So Kotaku claims they've been blacklisted by possibly two different publishers claiming it was because of their excellent investigative journalism.

Well, the behaviour of the publishers certainly looks like blacklisting. But then we don't know both sides.

The_Kodu:
Plenty of people in the games industry or associated with it have come out essentially told Kotaku that they were blacklisted for the nonsense they put out which tries to create drama and insult developers.

One of your first examples is a production designer at HBO. Not exactly 'people in the games industry or associated with it'.

I see a lot of people who don't like Kotaku, but aside from the Penny Arcade comic, I don't really see a lot of 'This is your fault for creating drama, Kotaku!' I just see a lot of 'I don't like Kotaku'. Which is fine, but it doesn't really go with your narrative that they're the one's saying this. Sounds a lot more like you're the one saying this.

The_Kodu:
In terms of people sticking up for Kotaku there's kinda been about two. One of them being a fellow member of the Game Journo pro mailing list and the other being Neogaf.

'There's kinda been about two'? How long did you look?

I don't know enough about Kotaku to know if I really want to be defending them, but it does strike me as very odd that the whole reason the GamerGate crowd hate Kotaku is because rah-rah unethical games journalism. But if this story is true (and I completely acknowledge it may not be) then you've got publishers acting sort of unethically, and yet GG are immediately taking their side. Because they really don't like Kotaku, so Kotaku are wrong.

Keavy:

The_Kodu:
So Kotaku claims they've been blacklisted by possibly two different publishers claiming it was because of their excellent investigative journalism.

Well, the behaviour of the publishers certainly looks like blacklisting. But then we don't know both sides.

The_Kodu:
Plenty of people in the games industry or associated with it have come out essentially told Kotaku that they were blacklisted for the nonsense they put out which tries to create drama and insult developers.

One of your first examples is a production designer at HBO. Not exactly 'people in the games industry or associated with it'.

I see a lot of people who don't like Kotaku, but aside from the Penny Arcade comic, I don't really see a lot of 'This is your fault for creating drama, Kotaku!' I just see a lot of 'I don't like Kotaku'. Which is fine, but it doesn't really go with your narrative that they're the one's saying this. Sounds a lot more like you're the one saying this.

It's a rather simple inference to make considering the idea that many of them are claiming Kotaku misrepresented things.

Keavy:

The_Kodu:
In terms of people sticking up for Kotaku there's kinda been about two. One of them being a fellow member of the Game Journo pro mailing list and the other being Neogaf.

'There's kinda been about two'? How long did you look?

If you've found some more feel free to talk about them but those are the only two I'm aware of or could find easily via google. I'm also not obliged to spend hours searching for some obscure publication that is defending them just because there may be a 1 more out of hundreds silent on it.

Keavy:

I don't know enough about Kotaku to know if I really want to be defending them, but it does strike me as very odd that the whole reason the GamerGate crowd hate Kotaku is because rah-rah unethical games journalism. But if this story is true (and I completely acknowledge it may not be) then you've got publishers acting sort of unethically, and yet GG are immediately taking their side. Because they really don't like Kotaku, so Kotaku are wrong.

Actually it's not unethical as such. There's never been an obligation or requirement to give press access and review copies. At best it was done, as with film, for mutual benefit. Reviewers got the material earlier and publishers got reviews releasing to add to the attention their title was getting along side the marketing push.

It's never been a requirement as such to get review copies (Yahtzee for example has mentioned before he just buys all his games like a regular consumer would).

Review codes and exclusive access are a privilege at the end of the day.

The_Kodu:
I'm also not obliged to spend hours searching for some obscure publication that is defending them just because there may be a 1 more out of hundreds silent on it.

You say that, but if you're not going to put any effort into looking for things, you shouldn't say stuff like this.

The_Kodu:
In terms of people sticking up for Kotaku there's kinda been about two.

I mean I only looked at it twice because it sounded so silly. Two people. On the whole internet. That's everyone who is sticking up for Kotaku, according to your research.

It's never been a requirement to get review copies, that's true. But Kotaku is a very big website. If other websites are getting review copies, and they aren't, then someone specifically had to have chosen 'No, let's not send Kotaku this game. Send it to other people, but not Kotaku.' Which, in an industry that depends on the most up-to-date reporting, can have a serious effect on the ability of a website to do its job.

So can you say for sure it's not unethical for a game developer to prevent a major website from doing its job of reporting on the video game developer? Sure sounds unethical to me. Plus, let's face it, if this had been TechRaptor or, hell, The Escapist claiming that they had been blacklisted, the reaction from GamerGate supporters would be very, very different.

Keavy:

The_Kodu:
I'm also not obliged to spend hours searching for some obscure publication that is defending them just because there may be a 1 more out of hundreds silent on it.

You say that, but if you're not going to put any effort into looking for things, you shouldn't say stuff like this.

Well you've not put the effort in and been able to rebut the point. So should you not be allowed to rebut points when you've not put the time and effort in to show I'm somehow missing some companies obviously defending Kotaku?

Also nice quote mine. Next time leave the full statement it it rather adds context

The_Kodu:

If you've found some more feel free to talk about them but those are the only two I'm aware of or could find easily via google. I'm also not obliged to spend hours searching for some obscure publication that is defending them just because there may be a 1 more out of hundreds silent on it.

Otherwise it rather makes it appear you're just attempting to criticise and lay claims on me merely to try and justify your disdain for me.

Keavy:

The_Kodu:
In terms of people sticking up for Kotaku there's kinda been about two.

I mean I only looked at it twice because it sounded so silly. Two people. On the whole internet. That's everyone who is sticking up for Kotaku, according to your research.

It's never been a requirement to get review copies, that's true. But Kotaku is a very big website. If other websites are getting review copies, and they aren't, then someone specifically had to have chosen 'No, let's not send Kotaku this game. Send it to other people, but not Kotaku.' Which, in an industry that depends on the most up-to-date reporting, can have a serious effect on the ability of a website to do its job.

So can you say for sure it's not unethical for a game developer to prevent a major website from doing its job of reporting on the video game developer? Sure sounds unethical to me. Plus, let's face it, if this had been TechRaptor or, hell, The Escapist claiming that they had been blacklisted, the reaction from GamerGate supporters would be very, very different.

Yes because clearly the only people also laying into Kotaku are those I've listed as well. No-one else is laying into Kotaku over this, nope, zip, Zero, No-one at all.......

In terms of Kotaku not getting review copies. So? They are a big website as you say they can easily buy their own copies of said titles to review.

I dunno how many review codes Techraptor gets actually and I think there are some publishers who have The Escapist Blacklisted still from Jim's time as reviews editor.

While I am not a big fan of Kotaku, I agree that if poor ethics are involved we should be consistent.

Everyone is eager to shit on Konami when information about them leaks, so why not with Bethesda and Ubisoft? If they really were unethical do you not think they're capable of attempting to sweep accusations under the rug? I'm sure Anita Sarkeesian or any SJW of the week, or even Kotaku themselves have desperately fumbled around to declare leaked information as "deliberately misleading" too.

Let's face it, people have chosen their sides already. People like Bethesda's games (and to a lesser extent, Ubisoft's). People have an axe to grind with Kotaku. Had this been Jim Sterling and Digital Homicide or Breitbart and Zoe Quinn, I am fairly sure the sympathies would not have been with the developers.

Any industry where the big players can shut out journalists isn't in a good place. As has been said by others on many occasions over the past year, the biggest problem with games journalism is the power that the AAA developers have.

The loss of review copies is an issue for Kotaku - without review copies they won't be able to compete with early reviews, giving an advantage to competitors. A bigger problem is the apparent respond to Kotaku when they are investigating a story, which damages teh ability of journalists to cover news that is of interest to us. However, the biggest problem is the statement that this represents. If you are a game site, and you won't play ball with the marketing departments of the major studios, then they'll bite back. Accordingly, publishing a negative story might well place your outlet at risk. This isn't exactly the message we want journalists to be listening to.

The_Kodu:
Well you've not put the effort in and been able to rebut the point. So should you not be allowed to rebut points when you've not put the time and effort in to show I'm somehow missing some companies obviously defending Kotaku?

Well, I'm not the one making a topic about this. Big difference.

The_Kodu:
Yes because clearly the only people also laying into Kotaku are those I've listed as well. No-one else is laying into Kotaku over this, nope, zip, Zero, No-one at all.......

Never said that. Never came close to saying that. Never even thought about coming close to saying that. Never even considered thinking about coming close to saying that. Not sure who exactly you're replying too.

I don't know what your point is here. According to you, only two people on the whole internet were defending Kotaku, but to imply the same thing about the people laying into Kotaku (which I wasn't even doing) is ludicrous and wrong. So when you said, and I quote, "In terms of people sticking up for Kotaku there's kinda been about two," you were also being ludicrous and wrong?

The_Kodu:
In terms of Kotaku not getting review copies. So? They are a big website as you say they can easily buy their own copies of said titles to review.

You can't possibly think that's the issue here. Did you ignore everything I said about websites staying up-to-date? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't it a fairly standard procedure for review copies of games to be sent out before the games are released to the general public? So, if you sent review copies to every major website except one, that one website would be unable to produce a review as quickly as the others.

This isn't about companies not sending review copies to Kotaku, it's about companies who were sending review copies to Kotaku and stopped. That means they made a conscious decision to not let this website write reviews of their latest games. Is that illegal? No. Is that wrong? Debatable. Is that unethical? Yes.

The devil is in the detail here. It's the who what where & when aren't that important here. The big thing we need to talk about is why. What I hear, is that kotaku is being blacklisted for reporting leaks. That is exactly what they are meant to do. That is the job of news.

I don't think Bethesda or Ubisoft have the right to blacklist kataku for doing their job. I mean they have the ability. It's not braking the law or anything, but it's basically them asserting that they should have the power to decide that news shouldn't be reported. It's a right they really don't have, or should have. Can you imagine if they started doing things like black listing for bad reviews or anything critical of them. (I am not 100% they don't always do this even.)

nomotog:
Can you imagine if they started doing things like black listing for bad reviews or anything critical of them. (I am not 100% they don't always do this even.)

Oh geez, I'm trying to remember now because I think that actually happened. Someone gave Kane & Lynch 2 a negative review and the company made statements like 'Well, we'll certainly be more careful about who we send review copies to from now on!' It was one of the few actual stories of unethical game journalism that got attention.

Ah, I remember, and I'm sorry. I'm mixing together two completely different stories. Someone involved in Duke Nukem Forever threatened to stop sending review copies to people who gave it a bad review, as seen here.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/06/duke-nukems-pr-threatens-to-punish-sites-that-run-negative-reviews/

And Jeff Gerstmann was fired from Gamespot for giving Kane & Lynch 2 a bad review, as seen here. For added irony, the story is covered on Kotaku.

http://kotaku.com/5893785/yes-a-games-writer-was-fired-over-review-scores

So... yeah. I don't want to come across as a wild Kotaku fanboy, I only ever read their articles when someone links them to me, but the idea that a game developer can freely choose who to send reviews to and who not to send reviews to based on whether they like the reviewer, or whether the reviewer is likely to give them a positive review, is pretty damn close to unethical games journalism.

I don't see why people are trying to make this into some big issue, publishes like Bethesda and Ubisoft are under no obligation to directly interact with the press, just like every other organisation/individual. There literally isn't an issue here at all, Kotaku isn't being prevented from doing their job, because shilling for publishes isn't the job of the gaming press.

edit:

Keavy:
So... yeah. I don't want to come across as a wild Kotaku fanboy, I only ever read their articles when someone links them to me, but the idea that a game developer can freely choose who to send reviews to and who not to send reviews to based on whether they like the reviewer, or whether the reviewer is likely to give them a positive review, is pretty damn close to unethical games journalism.

It is the publisher that is giving free copies to reviewers they think will give a positive review, that has nothing to do with ethical games journalism.

If someone wishes to convince me that this is a big deal, be my guest. Because as far as I see it, this is not a big deal at all.

Hell, Jim Sterling has been the victim of blacklisting too, but that doesn't stop him from doing his thing. In fact, in Jim's case it just gives him even more ammunition.
"You can't stop the presses" is truer now more than ever, in the internet age.

Keavy:

The_Kodu:
Well you've not put the effort in and been able to rebut the point. So should you not be allowed to rebut points when you've not put the time and effort in to show I'm somehow missing some companies obviously defending Kotaku?

Well, I'm not the one making a topic about this. Big difference.

Nope just the one saying I haven't one it right when the seeming problem you have is something you've so far shown isn't a problem based on informtion you've found but on your desire seemingly to show I must be doing something wrong to justify you dislike.

Keavy:

The_Kodu:
Yes because clearly the only people also laying into Kotaku are those I've listed as well. No-one else is laying into Kotaku over this, nope, zip, Zero, No-one at all.......

Never said that. Never came close to saying that. Never even thought about coming close to saying that. Never even considered thinking about coming close to saying that. Not sure who exactly you're replying too.

No I was applying your logic to the other part of my initial post to show how silly it seemed. To immediately claim only those people were doing such a thing.

Keavy:

I don't know what your point is here. According to you, only two people on the whole internet were defending Kotaku, but to imply the same thing about the people laying into Kotaku (which I wasn't even doing) is ludicrous and wrong. So when you said, and I quote, "In terms of people sticking up for Kotaku there's kinda been about two," you were also being ludicrous and wrong?

So where did I say "ONLY THESe TWO HAVE DEFENDED KOTAKU, NO OTHERS JUST THESE TWO In THE ENTIRE WORLD"?

Keavy:

The_Kodu:
In terms of Kotaku not getting review copies. So? They are a big website as you say they can easily buy their own copies of said titles to review.

You can't possibly think that's the issue here. Did you ignore everything I said about websites staying up-to-date? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't it a fairly standard procedure for review copies of games to be sent out before the games are released to the general public? So, if you sent review copies to every major website except one, that one website would be unable to produce a review as quickly as the others.

This isn't about companies not sending review copies to Kotaku, it's about companies who were sending review copies to Kotaku and stopped. That means they made a conscious decision to not let this website write reviews of their latest games. Is that illegal? No. Is that wrong? Debatable. Is that unethical? Yes.

It's pretty simple if you have something others consider worth saying people will come back and read it.

Also yes they'd be able to produce a review as quickly. What you didn't say that had to produce a good detailed review. I mean they could play 5 minutes read a few other sites reviews and then write theirs based on that. It's not good but they could.

How is it unethical? It's always been just privilege or a courtesy to get review copies. If it were a company that reviewed a game itself poorly yeh sure it's pretty crappy but as is that's not even what Kotaku are claiming is the case.

It's rather a slippery slope fallacy to suggest that because they've blacklisted Kotaku for publishing leaks or actually throwing what amounts to insults to developers and studios that they'll start demanding good reviews or blacklisting people.

The_Kodu:

Keavy:

The_Kodu:
In terms of Kotaku not getting review copies. So? They are a big website as you say they can easily buy their own copies of said titles to review.

You can't possibly think that's the issue here. Did you ignore everything I said about websites staying up-to-date? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't it a fairly standard procedure for review copies of games to be sent out before the games are released to the general public? So, if you sent review copies to every major website except one, that one website would be unable to produce a review as quickly as the others.

This isn't about companies not sending review copies to Kotaku, it's about companies who were sending review copies to Kotaku and stopped. That means they made a conscious decision to not let this website write reviews of their latest games. Is that illegal? No. Is that wrong? Debatable. Is that unethical? Yes.

It's pretty simple if you have something others consider worth saying people will come back and read it.

Also yes they'd be able to produce a review as quickly. What you didn't say that had to produce a good detailed review. I mean they could play 5 minutes read a few other sites reviews and then write theirs based on that. It's not good but they could.

How is it unethical? It's always been just privilege or a courtesy to get review copies. If it were a company that reviewed a game itself poorly yeh sure it's pretty crappy but as is that's not even what Kotaku are claiming is the case.

It's rather a slippery slope fallacy to suggest that because they've blacklisted Kotaku for publishing leaks or actually throwing what amounts to insults to developers and studios that they'll start demanding good reviews or blacklisting people.

The unethical part comes in in that Bethesda and Ubisoft are flexing their muscle in order to intimate kotaku into not reporting leaks.

The said part is that it's not only is it a slippery slop we are actually climbing up the slope. I mean it has happened in the past where a publisher put the squeeze on the press because of a negative review. (Keavy posted 2 examples up top.)

The_Kodu:
In terms of people sticking up for Kotaku there's kinda been about two.

The_Kodu:
So where did I say "ONLY THESe TWO HAVE DEFENDED KOTAKU, NO OTHERS JUST THESE TWO In THE ENTIRE WORLD"?

Dude.

Maybe calm down a bit.

The_Kodu:
Nope just the one saying I haven't one it right when the seeming problem you have is something you've so far shown isn't a problem based on informtion you've found but on your desire seemingly to show I must be doing something wrong to justify you dislike.

... I'm just disagreeing with you about Kotaku. That's it. No hidden agenda. You have to understand there's a difference between someone trying to 'justify you dislike', and someone genuinely disagreeing when you say something a bit wrong.

The_Kodu:
Also yes they'd be able to produce a review as quickly. What you didn't say that had to produce a good detailed review. I mean they could play 5 minutes read a few other sites reviews and then write theirs based on that. It's not good but they could.

Oh come on, now you're just being silly for the sake of being silly. Do I really need to explicitly state that it's the goal of a video game reviewer to write good reviews of video games? That's kind of something I just assumed people knew, like how the goal of a baseball player is to be good at baseball. I certainly don't think anyone else on the forum required an explanation to understand that.

nomotog:

The_Kodu:

Keavy:

You can't possibly think that's the issue here. Did you ignore everything I said about websites staying up-to-date? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't it a fairly standard procedure for review copies of games to be sent out before the games are released to the general public? So, if you sent review copies to every major website except one, that one website would be unable to produce a review as quickly as the others.

This isn't about companies not sending review copies to Kotaku, it's about companies who were sending review copies to Kotaku and stopped. That means they made a conscious decision to not let this website write reviews of their latest games. Is that illegal? No. Is that wrong? Debatable. Is that unethical? Yes.

It's pretty simple if you have something others consider worth saying people will come back and read it.

Also yes they'd be able to produce a review as quickly. What you didn't say that had to produce a good detailed review. I mean they could play 5 minutes read a few other sites reviews and then write theirs based on that. It's not good but they could.

How is it unethical? It's always been just privilege or a courtesy to get review copies. If it were a company that reviewed a game itself poorly yeh sure it's pretty crappy but as is that's not even what Kotaku are claiming is the case.

It's rather a slippery slope fallacy to suggest that because they've blacklisted Kotaku for publishing leaks or actually throwing what amounts to insults to developers and studios that they'll start demanding good reviews or blacklisting people.

The unethical part comes in in that Bethesda and Ubisoft are flexing their muscle in order to intimate kotaku into not reporting leaks.

How do you come to that conclusion? To begin with neither Bethesda or Ubisoft have any leverage over Kotaku. All they are doing is not responding to them, that's it, no pressure is being put on Kotaku to do/change anything, they've made no demands. It's no different to having someone on your ignore list on this forum.

inmunitas:

nomotog:

The_Kodu:

It's pretty simple if you have something others consider worth saying people will come back and read it.

Also yes they'd be able to produce a review as quickly. What you didn't say that had to produce a good detailed review. I mean they could play 5 minutes read a few other sites reviews and then write theirs based on that. It's not good but they could.

How is it unethical? It's always been just privilege or a courtesy to get review copies. If it were a company that reviewed a game itself poorly yeh sure it's pretty crappy but as is that's not even what Kotaku are claiming is the case.

It's rather a slippery slope fallacy to suggest that because they've blacklisted Kotaku for publishing leaks or actually throwing what amounts to insults to developers and studios that they'll start demanding good reviews or blacklisting people.

The unethical part comes in in that Bethesda and Ubisoft are flexing their muscle in order to intimate kotaku into not reporting leaks.

How do you come to that conclusion? To begin with neither Bethesda or Ubisoft have any leverage over Kotaku. All they are doing is not responding to them, that's it, no pressure is being put on Kotaku to do/change anything, they've made no demands. It's no different to having someone on your ignore list on this forum.

Your very wrong. They do have leverage. Kotaku(like all game pages) get a befit of press releases, review copies and comments form companies that allow them to write their stories faster and better. A review released before the game comes out is worth a ton more then a review 2 weeks latter. That is why the press will cowtail in order to get review copies. They aren't agreeing to NDA's for nothing after all.

So publishers have concluded its not in their best business interests to provide a website that has a history of leaking inside information (not to mention a penchant for drumming up drama where none existed, as well as insulting developers and their consumer base) with free review copies, and have accordingly ceased to do so - as is entirely within their rights?

Yeah, Kotaku can cry me a river.

nomotog:

inmunitas:

nomotog:

The unethical part comes in in that Bethesda and Ubisoft are flexing their muscle in order to intimate kotaku into not reporting leaks.

How do you come to that conclusion? To begin with neither Bethesda or Ubisoft have any leverage over Kotaku. All they are doing is not responding to them, that's it, no pressure is being put on Kotaku to do/change anything, they've made no demands. It's no different to having someone on your ignore list on this forum.

Your very wrong. They do have leverage. Kotaku(like all game pages) get a befit of press releases, review copies and comments form companies that allow them to write their stories faster and better. A review released before the game comes out is worth a ton more then a review 2 weeks latter. That is why the press will cowtail in order to get review copies. They aren't agreeing to NDA's for nothing after all.

The press is suppose to do what's in the public's interest, not line their own pockets.

inmunitas:

nomotog:

inmunitas:

How do you come to that conclusion? To begin with neither Bethesda or Ubisoft have any leverage over Kotaku. All they are doing is not responding to them, that's it, no pressure is being put on Kotaku to do/change anything, they've made no demands. It's no different to having someone on your ignore list on this forum.

Your very wrong. They do have leverage. Kotaku(like all game pages) get a befit of press releases, review copies and comments form companies that allow them to write their stories faster and better. A review released before the game comes out is worth a ton more then a review 2 weeks latter. That is why the press will cowtail in order to get review copies. They aren't agreeing to NDA's for nothing after all.

The press is suppose to do what's in the public's interest, not line their own pockets.

Exactly. I wasn't talking about worth to kotaku. All that stuff about faster better reporting, that is primarily a benefit to us. The gamers. It's in our interest to hear about things like leaks or to get our reviews before games are released.

nomotog:

inmunitas:

nomotog:
Your very wrong. They do have leverage. Kotaku(like all game pages) get a befit of press releases, review copies and comments form companies that allow them to write their stories faster and better. A review released before the game comes out is worth a ton more then a review 2 weeks latter. That is why the press will cowtail in order to get review copies. They aren't agreeing to NDA's for nothing after all.

The press is suppose to do what's in the public's interest, not line their own pockets.

Exactly. I wasn't just talking about worth to kotaku. All that stuff about faster better reporting, that is primarily a benefit to us. The gamers. It's in our interest to hear about things like leaks or to get our reviews before games are released.

No it isn't in our interest, we benefit from thorough accurate reporting, not simply repeating marketing spiel from publisher verbatim. Leaks about malpractice or dodgy goings on behind close doors, not what project is being worked on. How is a game review before a game is released in our benefit, you do not need to buy a game as soon as it comes out.

inmunitas:

nomotog:

inmunitas:

The press is suppose to do what's in the public's interest, not line their own pockets.

Exactly. I wasn't just talking about worth to kotaku. All that stuff about faster better reporting, that is primarily a benefit to us. The gamers. It's in our interest to hear about things like leaks or to get our reviews before games are released.

No it isn't in our interest, we benefit from thorough accurate reporting, not simply repeating marketing spiel from publisher verbatim. Leaks about malpractice or dodgy goings on behind close doors, not what project is being worked on. How is a game review before a game is released in our benefit, you do not need to buy a game as soon as it comes out, you can wait.

Accurate reporting requires comment from the people being reported on, you can't do that well black listed. A leak is a leak. Actually leaking a game in production is less risky then leaking other things, so if they can't even get away with that then you should be worried. (In the news, always be more worried about the story not published the the story published.) You know why pre release reviews are good, I don't have to explain it twice.

inmunitas:

nomotog:

inmunitas:

The press is suppose to do what's in the public's interest, not line their own pockets.

Exactly. I wasn't just talking about worth to kotaku. All that stuff about faster better reporting, that is primarily a benefit to us. The gamers. It's in our interest to hear about things like leaks or to get our reviews before games are released.

No it isn't in our interest, we benefit from thorough accurate reporting, not simply repeating marketing spiel from publisher verbatim. Leaks about malpractice or dodgy goings on behind close doors, not what project is being worked on. How is a game review before a game is released in our benefit, you do not need to buy a game as soon as it comes out.

I'm sorry, did a Gamergater, one of the self proclaimed champions for ethics in games journalism, just claim that pre-release/release day/as-soon-as-the-embargo's-been-lifted day reviews AREN'T beneficial to the consumer?
Wow.

nomotog:

inmunitas:

nomotog:
Exactly. I wasn't just talking about worth to kotaku. All that stuff about faster better reporting, that is primarily a benefit to us. The gamers. It's in our interest to hear about things like leaks or to get our reviews before games are released.

No it isn't in our interest, we benefit from thorough accurate reporting, not simply repeating marketing spiel from publisher verbatim. Leaks about malpractice or dodgy goings on behind close doors, not what project is being worked on. How is a game review before a game is released in our benefit, you do not need to buy a game as soon as it comes out, you can wait.

Accurate reporting requires comment from the people being reported on, you can't do that well black listed.

The people being reported on are not required to give comment, the reporter is only obligated to ask for comment. In this case "no comment" is going to be the most likely response.

A leak is a leak.

That's not the point, it's whether such information is of real value to the public.

Actually leaking a game in production is less risky then leaking other things, so if they can't even get away with that then you should be worried.

What did they not get away with? They published the information 1-2 years ago.

You know why pre release reviews are good, I don't have to explain it twice.

No I don't, you haven't explained why/how it is beneficial to the people buying the game.

edit:

Gundam GP01:
I'm sorry, did a Gamergater, one of the self proclaimed champions for ethics in games journalism, just claim that pre-release/release day/as-soon-as-the-embargo's-been-lifted day reviews AREN'T beneficial to the consumer?

No. I did.

inmunitas:

No. I did.

Is that supposed to be a yes or a no?

Keavy:

The_Kodu:
In terms of people sticking up for Kotaku there's kinda been about two.

The_Kodu:
So where did I say "ONLY THESe TWO HAVE DEFENDED KOTAKU, NO OTHERS JUST THESE TWO In THE ENTIRE WORLD"?

Dude.

Maybe calm down a bit.

Um....... I'm not Angry

I was asking you to point out where I said those exact words. I put them in caps to make it very clear what I was looking for.

I think you may have interpreted it wrong.

Keavy:

... I'm just disagreeing with you about Kotaku. That's it. No hidden agenda. You have to understand there's a difference between someone trying to 'justify you dislike', and someone genuinely disagreeing when you say something a bit wrong.

Well you're disagreeing with me about the ammount of people defending Kotaku without being able to show any other publication or developer defending them?

Seem like a very strange grounds for disagreement to ask me to go on faith and criticise my approach to the topic for not hunting down an as yet undiscovered source defending Kotaku which neither of us has yet found.

Keavy:

Oh come on, now you're just being silly for the sake of being silly. Do I really need to explicitly state that it's the goal of a video game reviewer to write good reviews of video games? That's kind of something I just assumed people knew, like how the goal of a baseball player is to be good at baseball. I certainly don't think anyone else on the forum required an explanation to understand that.

Well it seemed I needed to state that on the entire internet there were more than two people likely defending Kotaku but the two people context was two in the industry.

Gundam GP01:

I'm sorry, did a Gamergater, one of the self proclaimed champions for ethics in games journalism, just claim that pre-release/release day/as-soon-as-the-embargo's-been-lifted day reviews AREN'T beneficial to the consumer?
Wow.

And those will still exist and be available. Just by the looks of it not from Kotaku any more with titles from certain developers. Heck it's possible the AC review code for Kotaku could have been sent to Anita with Ubisoft believing she'd give them a more fair review with less attempts to cause drama or fake controversy over something.

IceForce:
If someone wishes to convince me that this is a big deal, be my guest. Because as far as I see it, this is not a big deal at all.

Hell, Jim Sterling has been the victim of blacklisting too, but that doesn't stop him from doing his thing. In fact, in Jim's case it just gives him even more ammunition.
"You can't stop the presses" is truer now more than ever, in the internet age.

It is a big deal, and I'll do my best here. When two of the biggest games publishers cut off any press invites, interview access, review code, etc., it makes it difficult for reporters to produce even-handed coverage of those publishers and their games. I think Kotaku has done the best possible job of handling this over the last year or so (I've suspected this issue for some time and have heard plenty of rumors about the blacklisting). But if you have readers wondering why major reviews are later than expected and why there's been a lack of interviews or coverage about major publishers, then I think going public and explaining the situation is perfectly fine. You can argue that the so-called "damage" to Kotaku has been non-existent because the site continues to grow and its reached record traffic numbers this year, but...I imagine they could perhaps be doing significantly better with timely coverage of those publishers' games and interviews wit devs/execs. In my career as a journalist, I've never been blacklisted or even threatened with such action by a games company , but I have both things happen with tech companies, and I can tell you it certainly makes things difficult. Not impossible, of course, but difficult.

As far as Ubisoft and Bethesda go, they're totally within their right to do this. I don't agree with it, and I think it's a bad move. But as others have pointed out, they're under no obligation to cooperate with the press in general or specific outlets they deem undesirable. However, I don't think it helps the situation to simply cut off an outlet without really explaining WHY they're being cut off.

Also, regarding Jim Sterling....I'm not sure this is an apt comparison. Yes, Sterling has been blacklisted. And just like Kotaku, he's also been VERY open about it ("Fuckonami" anyone?). In fact, Sterling has gone so far as to MERCHANDISE the fruits of said blacklisting: http://sharkrobot.com/products/fuckonami (for the record, I have NO problem with this -- I actually kinda want one of those T-shirts just to see what TSA might do the next time I show up at the airport).

Honestly, the amount of shit reviewers have to put up with to have (very important to the consumer) reviews out on day one is kind of fucked up. I mean, it's in the publisher's rights to be able to pull the ability to screen games from whomever they want, but it's still censorship.

I'm honestly surprised that the pro-ethics anti-censorship Gamergate is celebrating this, but then again they were never pro-ethics or anti-censorship to begin with.

The_Kodu:

And those will still exist and be available. Just by the looks of it not from Kotaku any more with titles from certain developers. Heck it's possible the AC review code for Kotaku could have been sent to Anita with Ubisoft believing she'd give them a more fair review with less attempts to cause drama or fake controversy over something.

I think you're missing both his and my point.

What I'm getting from his posts is that he doesnt think that early pre release/release day reviews arent beneficial to the consumer no matter who's putting them out or how many there are.

I'm saying that's a stupid stance for someone that claims to care about ethics in games journalism.

undeadsuitor:
Honestly, the amount of shit reviewers have to put up with to have (very important to the consumer) reviews out on day one is kind of fucked up. I mean, it's in the publisher's rights to be able to pull the ability to screen games from whomever they want, but it's still censorship.

I'm honestly surprised that the pro-ethics anti-censorship Gamergate is celebrating this, but then again they were never pro-ethics or anti-censorship to begin with.

I fail to see why it should surprise you, considering neither are Bethesda and Ubisoft journalistic outlets, nor is their exercising their prerogative of doing business with whomever they see fit censorship.

Gundam GP01:
What I'm getting from his posts is that he doesnt think that early pre release/release day reviews arent beneficial to the consumer no matter who's putting them out or how many there are.

They aren't, they are beneficial to the publisher and the review outlets, that's why they orchestrate them, along with the hype-train. There is no real reason for a consumer to buy a game as soon as it's released.

I'm saying that's a stupid stance for someone that claims to care about ethics in games journalism.

When and where have I made that claim?

undeadsuitor:
Honestly, the amount of shit reviewers have to put up with to have (very important to the consumer) reviews out on day one is kind of fucked up. I mean, it's in the publisher's rights to be able to pull the ability to screen games from whomever they want, but it's still censorship.

I'm honestly surprised that the pro-ethics anti-censorship Gamergate is celebrating this, but then again they were never pro-ethics or anti-censorship to begin with.

It's actually not censorship. Look, I don't like blacklisting, and I don't agree with what Bethesda and Ubisoft alleged to have done here. But it's not censorship. These are companies, and they're free to make whatever decisions they want about who gets their review code and invites to press events and interviews and who doesn't. It's not censorship for them to simply decide, for whatever reason, that they don't want to work with Kotaku. Bethesda and Ubisoft aren't under any obligation -- legal, moral or ethical -- to play nice with Kotaku. As others have pointed out, Kotaku can still write about these companies. They're not being silenced.

Ogoid:
So publishers have concluded its not in their best business interests to provide a website that has a history of leaking inside information (not to mention a penchant for drumming up drama where none existed, as well as insulting developers and their consumer base) with free review copies, and have accordingly ceased to do so - as is entirely within their rights?

Yeah, Kotaku can cry me a river.

Okay, on the other hand...

(Ogoid, I'm not sure if you're arguing that journalists *shouldn't* leak inside information at all or just arguing that you understand why Bethesda and Ubisoft are pissed, so consider everything hereafter to be addressed to the royal "you" and pardon the venting)

Leaking inside information, as people have termed it, is what journalists do. Or rather, it's what people inside those companies do. And the journalists, if they have any professional standards, will investigate, vet and report that information. Doesn't matter if it's games or tech or politics. EVERY games news website should have a history of publishing leaked information. Otherwise you lose the right to call yourself a journalist.

If your argument is that Kotaku shouldn't be publishing information ahead of time about games, i.e. shouldn't report on stuff until the publishers are good and ready and give reporters the greenlight, well that's fine. But what you want isn't journalism. You want state-sponsored media. You want a glorified extension of publisher marketing and PR. You want a gaming press that is neither independent nor ethical.

I've seen a lot of folks claim that the job of games journalists isn't to report on leaked info about games. Hell, I've even seen OTHER games journalists claim this. For example, Matt Liebl of GameZone -- who should turn in his journalist card at the earliest possible convenience -- actually argued the following:

"Sure, Gamers wanted to know if Fallout 4 were in development. And at the proper time, presumably E3 (when Fallout 4 actually was revealed), they would have. The truth would have been made public with or without Kotaku's leak because that was part of Bethesda's marketing plan. There's nothing "journalistic" about leaking documents fed to you. It serves the public no purpose other than ruining the surprise of a yet-to-be-announced game."
http://www.gamezone.com/originals/opinion-no-kotaku-you-weren-t-blacklisted-for-speaking-the-truth-jxh2

So here's the deal: if you agree the above statement about "proper time" and "ruining the surprise"? Great! That's your opinion. But again, if that's the case, then what you want in a gaming press isn't journalism.

NOTE: To be perfectly clear, if Bethesda and Ubisoft have a legitimate beef with Kotaku, then that's one thing. If they feel the coverage of their companies and games has been biased or error-riddled or overly negative, okay. If they're disgusted by parent company Gawker's recent actions (such as outing a no-name executive at a competing media company), okay. If they're pissed that Kotaku broke embargoes or broke confidentiality agreements, okay (there's zero evidence of this, BTW, it's purely hypothetical). But if the blacklisting was because they got pissed a Kotaku reporters for doing their job and getting scoops about Bethesda's and Ubisoft's games and it ruined their exlusive reveal agreements with GamePro, well...then that's incredibly petty, foolish and shortsighted. Yes, it's totally within their right to do it, and no, it's not censorship. But it's still foolish.

inmunitas:

Gundam GP01:
What I'm getting from his posts is that he doesnt think that early pre release/release day reviews arent beneficial to the consumer no matter who's putting them out or how many there are.

They aren't, they are beneficial to the publisher and the review outlets, that's why they orchestrate them, along with the hype-train. There is no real reason for a consumer to buy a game as soon as it's released.

I'm saying that's a stupid stance for someone that claims to care about ethics in games journalism.

When and where have I made that claim?

Arent you supposed to be pro GG?

Gundam GP01:

inmunitas:

Gundam GP01:
What I'm getting from his posts is that he doesnt think that early pre release/release day reviews arent beneficial to the consumer no matter who's putting them out or how many there are.

They aren't, they are beneficial to the publisher and the review outlets, that's why they orchestrate them, along with the hype-train. There is no real reason for a consumer to buy a game as soon as it's released.

I'm saying that's a stupid stance for someone that claims to care about ethics in games journalism.

When and where have I made that claim?

Arent you supposed to be pro GG?

Where did you get that idea from? As I've never claimed to be "pro GG".

Gundam GP01:

inmunitas:

Gundam GP01:
What I'm getting from his posts is that he doesnt think that early pre release/release day reviews arent beneficial to the consumer no matter who's putting them out or how many there are.

They aren't, they are beneficial to the publisher and the review outlets, that's why they orchestrate them, along with the hype-train. There is no real reason for a consumer to buy a game as soon as it's released.

I'm saying that's a stupid stance for someone that claims to care about ethics in games journalism.

When and where have I made that claim?

Arent you supposed to be pro GG?

I believe that if we were to use "conspiracy" theorist lingo to describe inmunitas's position it would be that of a "no-claimer."

inmunitas:

"It's not a movement and never was, it's always been just a hashtag."

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