Requiring YouTubers To Give Positive Reviews For Access To Games Can't Work As A Long Term Strategy

from the outta-the-bag dept

We've written before about the recent trend among video game publishers in trading access for YouTube personalities to their games and positive coverage. Nintendo had been the most notable example of this to date, but they certainly aren't alone. This most recent example concerns Warner Bros.' Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and the deals the publisher struck with YouTubers, which are far more restrictive than those we've seen previously.

"Videos will promote positive sentiment about the game. Videos must not show bugs or glitches that may exist. Maximize awareness for the Shadow of Mordor video game during the 'Week of Vengeance' through gameplay content, key brand messaging, and information and talent usage on Twitch channels. Persuade viewers to purchase game, catch the attention of casual and core gamers who already know and love Middle-earth. Requirements involve one livestream, one YouTube video, and one Facebook post/tweet in support of the videos. Videos will have a strong verbal call to action, a clickable link in the description box for the viewer to go to the game's website to learn more about the game [and] to learn how to register and play the game. Twitch stream videos will have five calls to action. Videos will be of sufficient length to feature gameplay and build excitement."

"Videos must include discussion of the Nemesis System. This really should take up the bulk of the focus, such as how different the orcs are, how vivid their personality and dialogue are, gathering intel and domination abilities, exploiting their strengths and weaknesses. Videos must include discussion of the action and combat that takes place within the game, such as brutal finishers, execution moves, and wraith powers. The company has final approval on the YouTube video… at least 48 hours before any video goes live."
Now, look, there's been a great deal of discussion as of late about the evils of the current gaming journalism scene, yet here's the shining example of corruption and nobody's up in arms. I can't quite figure that out. What these publishers are doing is creating a sub-section of the YouTuber ecosystem that will be first to market with reviews of gaming products but also in chorus with one another in heaping praise as a contractual obligation. Delightful. The Kotaku article says that this is an uncomfortable, systemic, and long-term problem. It isn't, and here's why: it can only work for a tiny period of time.

And that period of time is coming to an end. Now that these deals are coming into the light with more regular frequency, they are only serving to condition the public to one thing: not trusting positive reviews of games. It's the inevitable result of this sort of thing. If the gaming public knows that you have these deals, they'll almost certainly decide not to trust positive YouTuber reviews of games. The negative reviews, on the other hand, certainly will be trustworthy. So, in the end, gamers will only have negative reviews to base decisions on when it comes to the games they buy. That ain't no way to run an industry.

It's time the major publishers wised up to this sort of thing. Any short-term benefit is going to be far outweighed by the long-term distrust they're sowing.


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  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 14 Oct 2014 @ 1:09pm

    I suggest reviews of the game Middle-finger-earth, whereby the reviewer slams the product, beginning with the WB TOS on YouTube.

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  • identicon
    David, 14 Oct 2014 @ 1:09pm

    And damage to the Brand

    These YouTubers have one asset that they've developed: Their Brand. Their Trust. If they lose that, they will have lost everything they've spent years building in their audience.

    Watch your analytics, folks...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 1:21pm

    Wait

    So am I missing something here, maybe? Is this WB saying "Follow these rules to get early access to our game"? In which case, sleazy, yes, but not up-in-arms horrible. Amateur endorsement deal, I guess. On the other hand if this is WB saying "Follow these rules or we'll send so many take down notices for our game content on your channel that you'll never get another view"? Well, that's a whole 'nother ball of awful.

    Sorry if this is covered in the source article. Net nannies at work seem to have a problem with me looking at gaming sites. :)

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    • icon
      WysiWyg (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 2:40am

      Re: Wait

      The deal is that in order to get a review copy of the game you have to sign a deal to basically market it.

      As in, to get a review copy you're not allowed to actually REVIEW it.

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  • icon
    Jeremy2020 (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 1:23pm

    I think there isn't much uproar because no one takes gaming reporting (there isn't much journalism going on) as a legit place to get opinions about games.

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  • identicon
    Dan T., 14 Oct 2014 @ 1:28pm

    Is Roca Labs writing the terms for the game companies?

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  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 1:31pm

    I am not so sure that will make any difference to the vast majority of Youtubers. Magazines have Ben getting away with insanely flattering reviews even on high end products like audio equipment, cars, and other high end products. Editors have even admitted that this can be a standard practice to keep the advertising dollars coming in.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2014 @ 5:09am

      Re:

      Sure, blame Ben. He's the one who's behind all of this crap. Everyone knows not to trust anything Ben writes. :)

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 1:32pm

    Correction

    What these publishers are doing is creating a sub-section of the YouTuber ecosystem that will be first to market with reviews of gaming products but also in chorus with one another in heaping praise as a contractual obligation.

    A minor but important correction/distinction: The videos they are putting out are not 'reviews', they are advertisements masquerading as reviews.

    When the people putting together the 'reviews' are forbidden from pointing out any bugs or glitches, when they are required to point to certain features, and point people to the game-site multiple times, it's not a review. A true review, an honest review, includes the good and the bad. it includes what features the reviewer thinks are noteworthy. And it most certainly does not depend on the publisher to 'okay' it before it goes live.

    Honestly, anyone foolish enough to sign a deal like this, without noting upfront the terms of the advertisement they are about to post, has lost any credibility and trust they may have garnered up to that point.

    At that point they've sold out, and made it clear that if someone pays them enough, or offers them enough 'perks', they are willing to heap praise on whatever is put in front of them, and someone like that is most certainly not a trustworthy or unbiased source for game information.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 3:10pm

      Re: Correction

      The problem As Ohmwrecker explained:

      The monetisation coverage on Youtube hits is declining. The "sponsored deals" is a way to make up that loss.

      Expecting youtubers to shy away from any deals in the future seems unrealistic as getting invited to lans as a player or being able to present unique information usually requires a trust between the youtuber and the developer, a trust that often needs a written consent to assure mutual agreement and complaince.

      The debacle is thus a question of drawing lines: Some of the most popular Youtubers live and die on their reputation and lack of clarity in how different levels of "corruption" should be labeled is the real problem since the most lucrative deals, of course, would be the most demanding and thus the most "corrupt".

      Arguably the problem could be solved by making the contracts completely public and compulsary attachments to the videos, but that is not a risk most ad agencies are prepared to take since specifics can be competitively useful information and deals may be tailored to the specific "talent".

      What many youtubers would like to avoid is what this article says will be the inevitable result: They really don't want to lose their professional reputation. Maybe the solution is to be found in MCNs starting to actually work for their money, maybe it is international legislation or maybe it is an independent QA service. But it is certain that status quo is not good for anyone.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 3:48pm

        Re: Re: Correction

        The monetisation coverage on Youtube hits is declining. The "sponsored deals" is a way to make up that loss.

        Perhaps, but it's a short term fix at best, and one that comes at the cost of the long-term.

        If a particular game reviewer can't be trusted to give an unbiased, honest review of a game, people are no longer going to watch them. While gaining a good reputation may be difficult and time-consuming, regaining one is infinitely more difficult.

        So while it may seem like a good deal at the time, 'Bigger pay now, rather than smaller payments over time', it's also destroying the reason people watch them, and driving away the very reason they got the 'bigger' deal in the first place, their watchers/fans.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 5:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: Correction

          Absolutely. Now, this is a particularly extreme example of a completely unacceptable deal, but most deals will be much more innocent.

          As for keeping completely away from any kind of increased incentive deals, I don't think it is going to happen, nor do I think it would be a step in the right direction. Publishers and developers will always lobby the bigger channels in an attempt at getting their game reviewed. By making this process into an incentive, you are somewhat making it more formal and easier for smaller reviewers to get a little bonus from reviewing games too, as to avoid the monopolisation.

          It is unethical in a big way for these representatives for the game to force people to have a certain bias and it should be critizised.
          Leaving it on a channel to channel basis to take a stance on these incentives is going to poison the well for the more ethical youtubers, but going back to bribing the top youtuber doesn't seem appealing either.

          The way foreward is to standardize these contracts and making it more transparent so as to avoid the ludicrous advertisement outsourcing like this sloppy attempt.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 1:46pm

    This is the same thing that has been killing gaming magazines and why I haven't trusted a review from them in literally decades.

    Publishers: You are poisoning the well. You will kill your free publicity.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 1:50pm

    I had little interest in this game to begin with, but seeing some of my favorite Youtubers do a bunch of videos on it I was beginning to think I should give the game a chance. Then this scandal (and it's absolutely a scandal) broke out and has killed any and all interest in the game for me.
    Sadly, I'm going to be questioning those Youtubers' future videos as well.

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    • identicon
      Nic, 14 Oct 2014 @ 8:10pm

      Re:

      Don't. It's them who broke out this story in the first place. It's why there's little outrage over it. Totalbiscuit broke the story himself. Had it been kept under wraps and broken by a journalist, it'd be a whole different story.

      And it's not WB doing it, it's one PR agency. Still, not buying the game because of that.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2014 @ 11:27am

        Re: Re:

        Off-topic, but you shouldn't let this brouhaha color your perception of the game itself. It is genuinely one of the best/funnest games I've played in years.*

        * I was not paid in any way for that opinion.

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        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 11:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "you shouldn't let this brouhaha color your perception of the game itself."

          I don't think that's what he is doing. He didn't say the game sucks because of this, he said that he's not buying it because of this. That's 100% legit. I try to avoid supporting companies that do terrible things, too, no matter what the quality of their products are.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 1:54pm

    We already don't trust pre-release reviews of games

    At gaming forums I go to, a lot of people already don't trust pre-release reviews of games, and haven't for years.

    It's common knowledge that the people who get pre-release copies of games for reviews can't just rip every game to shreds if they want to keep getting those pre-release games to review.

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  • identicon
    Colin, 14 Oct 2014 @ 1:54pm

    This most recent example concerns Warner Bros.' Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and the deals the publisher struck with YouTubers, which are far more restrictive than those we've seen previously.

    According to the linked article:

    It should be noted that most of this was handled by outside marketing firms on the YouTube side, while traditional games press like Kotaku went through Warner Bros. PR. We were offered no such terms and received both console and PC review copies of the game shortly before release.

    Maybe a small detail but, I think, an important distinction nonetheless.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2014 @ 1:03pm

      Re:

      If both the game developer and youtubers are unsatisfied with the way this deal is presented, it is all the more reason to blow the story up.

      But as you mention, it is also very relevant to make these crucial distinctions when covering the story. Now, the OP has a bit too much of a birdview angle on the issue, while in reality these points are trivial to most youtubers and developers. The increasing number of middlemen taking over are where things truely get borked up at the moment.

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  • icon
    Zos (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 2:04pm

    who the hell trusted professional reviews before?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 2:15pm

    there's been a great deal of discussion as of late about the evils of the current gaming journalism scene
    No. There has been a great deal of attempts to mask misogyny and attacks against specific women by claiming they're really discussing gaming journalism. It's not the same thing.
    yet here's the shining example of corruption and nobody's up in arms. I can't quite figure that out.
    That's because the real point behind "gamergate" is to harass women. It has nothing to do with ethics or gaming journalism.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 2:20pm

    Unless a reviewer is purchasing the product themselves with money not provided by connections to the product developer the review is always suspect.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 2:22pm

    Want a non-biased review?

    SoM is...

    Assassins Creed blended with Batman in a KoAR (Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning) "like" open world setting with less variety and an expanded CO (Champions Online) automated multi-nemesis system with developmental / progressive abilities added to the heirarchy of enemies.

    Its an entertaining game with very few bugs but it is HIGHLY repetitive in nature! Good, smooth, combat mechanics with no true weapon variety (which would have been more interesting than simply the rune system) is very Batman based. The world mechanics are quite well done with movement over, across, and around obstacles very slick but at the same time the environment is simply a single mud and rock strewn one with almost no exception. The nemesis system is very entertaining and supports the Middle Earth mythology well and it is a wonderful idea but it also suffers from the lack of variety that the world itself does after you've played the game for a while.

    There's my $.02 and YMMV. ;)

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  • identicon
    Harald K, 14 Oct 2014 @ 2:31pm

    "nobody's up in arms"? Where have you been, Timothy Geigner? You might have learned it from the clickbaiters at Kotaku, but you know who blew the whistle on the Shadows over Mordor demands? Totalbiscuit. Yeah, the youtuber with 1.8 million subscribers who's now staunchly on the gamergate side.

    So much for the anonymous coward above's claim that this proves GG is all about hating women.

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    • icon
      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 2:43pm

      Re:

      I'm watching it again just to make sure, but I seem to remember Totalbiscuit touching on a lot of the requirements to get early access. Now, he straight up denies it at the begging, so it might just be coincidence that he got early access some other way. But you know what they say about coincidence.

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    • icon
      node (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 3:55pm

      Re:

      Exactly this. Totalbiscuit also explains how he got his early review copy through other channels. Jim Sterling at the Escapist Magazine also immediately pointed out this issue.

      For the moment it seems that the youtubers and gamers are very able and willing to police themselves on this.

      That's a damn site more than the mainstream gaming media has been able to do for the last ~30 or so years now.

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    • icon
      Bob V (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 5:07pm

      Re:

      So much for the anonymous coward above's claim that this proves GG is all about hating women.

      The comment DID NOT say this.

      If you want to disagree with someone don't post a comment just 3 comments down, that is still visible while reading yours and say it says something that it does not.

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      • icon
        node (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 6:20pm

        Re: Re:

        Would you mind elaborating. What do you think he's saying? Seems to be a pretty clear case of the usual fallacy of division used to smear the gg movement. More or less irrelevant to this article at that.

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        • icon
          Bob V (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 8:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not really but
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamergate_controversy covers most of the salient points that you seem to want to discuss/debate/whatever.

          My point was his comment about the anon comment was a distortion of what was actually said in the anon initial comment.

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          • icon
            node (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 12:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Please don't post that horribly wiki article without mentioning that the talk pages to that article have been very much a battleground for over a month now and that it's neutrality is very much in question.

            If you are looking for background that has at least a pretense of neutrality why not take a look at these two Forbes articles.

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2014/09/04/gamergate-a-closer-look-at-the-controversy- sweeping-video-games/

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2014/10/09/gamergate-is-not-a-hate-group-i ts-a-consumer-movement/

            Claiming the gamergate is about hating women is at best woefully misinformed, if not deliberately disingenuous.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 1:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              A particularly good quote from the second article:

              'And do you know how you make all of this so much worse? Do you know how you get the worst and loudest voices to rise to the surface? Do you know how you can ensure that the real jerks out there, the tiny few who actually do go out and harass women like Anita Sarkeesian, do you know how to make sure this is the face of #GamerGate rather than actually try to figure out how to make video game journalism better?

              You write articles about how awful gamers are and why #GamerGate is just a right-wing hate machine. You make everyone even more angry and upset. You throw a match into the field and watch the world burn. That’s how you make sure these flame wars never die. That’s how you make sure that people never actually talk to one another. You, the guy with the megaphone, the guy up there on the pedestal, you have a responsibility beyond social signalling.'

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              • icon
                Dark Helmet (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 4:29am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I HATE arguments like that. The "the crazies don't represent us", or "the women-haters are a tiny minority of the movement" sounds great, except it's irrelevant as an argument, and here's why.

                It's a simple matter of priorities. I know 2 things about GamerGate.

                1. A lot of late-comers to the movement have a sincere and vested interest in gaming journalism and their interest in games reporting should is a good thing. They even have some valid criticisms that should be listened to, though there is a TON of misinformation out there.

                and

                2. Some percentage, I don't care how much, is TRULY harassing women, attacking women and feminists simply for voicing their opinions, and almost certainly committing crimes of harassment and threats of violence in the process.

                Now, until we ALL, including the "moderate" gamergaters, get that 2nd issue under control, issue number one is going to be off the table. It won't be addressed, because it's less important and, like it or not, it's spotlight has hijacked whatever legitimate movement you might have once had.

                GamerGate is over, and it was killed from the inside. Rename the movement, re-brand it, and launch it again with the legitimate questioning of gaming journalism minus the feverish childish bullshit anti-women antics, and I'll get on board with you. Until then, you're the "moderate religious" who don't blow themselves up but still think apostasy is a crime punishable by death, and you're my enemy.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2014 @ 6:48am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Feminists have been making death threats as well. Does that mean that to you, feminism is dead?

                  I smell the stench of double standards.

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                  • icon
                    Dark Helmet (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 11:14am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "Feminists have been making death threats as well."

                    Show them to me and I'll happily condemn them as well. However, unless we're talking about threats in the same amount and level of seriousness as SEVERAL female developers and journalists have received, we'll just call that a sad attempt at false equivalency and move on, I think....

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                • icon
                  John Fenderson (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 11:18am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Rename the movement, re-brand it, and launch it again with the legitimate questioning of gaming journalism minus the feverish childish bullshit anti-women antics, and I'll get on board with you."

                  Me too.

                  Truthfully, none of the things I've read or heard about the gamergate nonsense has given me any indication that it's actually about gaming journalism. What it appears to be entirely about (and has since the very start) is anger that women gamers and developers actually exist and are speaking in public.

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                  • icon
                    Dark Helmet (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 11:45am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "What it appears to be entirely about (and has since the very start) is anger that women gamers and developers actually exist and are speaking in public."

                    I actually think that's unfair to the majority of the people in the gamergate movement. I believe what most of them are fighting against is exactly what they claim to be fighting against: SJWs, social justice warriors. I think they're sick of discussions about how the games they love should be judged for how they portray women instead of simply being enjoyed for fun. I think they believe it's silly to critique video games the same way we do television, art, and literature. I think that they believe video games are for light-hearted, often mindless fun, not for social critique.

                    They're INCREDIBLY WRONG on every count, mind you, but I don't think the majority of gamergaters actively hate women or don't want women in their games industry. They just don't want to have to think about the social context of those games, what those games have to say about all of us playing them, or how the industry functions.

                    And, as I said earlier, until they can control the violence-threatening, idiot minority in their own ranks, they don't get to set the agenda. The dickheads have set it for them.

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                    • icon
                      John Fenderson (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 2:35pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      That could be right, I'm only talking about what I've personally seen and read from people who associate themselves with "gamergate". The majority of gamergate writings I've seen have been misogynistic, and a distressing amount of it has been violently so.

                      So I agree, people who are genuinely concerned about journalistic integrity should distance themselves from "gamergate" as much as they can and assemble their own movement. I could get behind such an effort.

                      That said, I also think that "discussions about how the games they love should be judged for how they portray women instead of simply being enjoyed for fun" is an aspect of women speaking out, so I'm not so sure we are actually making different points.

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                      • icon
                        Jay (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 3:11pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        I think they believe it's silly to critique video games the same way we do television, art, and literature. I think that they believe video games are for light-hearted, often mindless fun, not for social critique.

                        That's rather false given how the Bayonetta reviews came out and Polygon's was minded toward the "social justice" crowd and gave it a 7.5 because of her "sexiness". Meanwhile, the author has an account on Suicide Girls which is a risque site for young girls marking his hypocrisy.

                        Other sites gave it a higher rating for gameplay instead of how sexy the character was. These are the same problems that came up in GTA V which ignored other aspects of social commentary. We got someone arguing about strip clubs in video games but they ignore how you torture an innocent man in one of the later missions.

                        If you want to bring in social politics, at least be consistent in the review. Rather glaring when you see how many people care about how sexy a main character is.



                        They're INCREDIBLY WRONG on every count, mind you, but I don't think the majority of gamergaters actively hate women or don't want women in their games industry. They just don't want to have to think about the social context of those games, what those games have to say about all of us playing them, or how the industry functions.

                        And, as I said earlier, until they can control the violence-threatening, idiot minority in their own ranks, they don't get to set the agenda. The dickheads have set it for them.

                        The majority of gamergate writings I've seen have been misogynistic, and a distressing amount of it has been violently so.

                        Please show these. I've had a different experience and I've noticed a lot more people willing to make claims on the lives of people supportive of GG than against others.

                        So I agree, people who are genuinely concerned about journalistic integrity should distance themselves from "gamergate" as much as they can and assemble their own movement. I could get behind such an effort.

                        It's not really a movement, but a revolt against the corrupt journalists that refuse to report on anything accurately or fairly. Instead of buying into one sided narratives, people have been looking into stories themselves and finding out the things missed by these biased narratives and reporting it themselves. If you try to distance them from the scandal that broke based on Gamergate (namely, the 14 articles declaring "Gamers are dead") then you're ignoring how incredibly crass and entitled those "journalists" seem in trying to dump crap on their patrons.

                        If anything, I'd probably recommend looking at the recent Huffington Post articles as well as some of the links above to understand where people are actually upset.



                        Harassment received for speaking out

                        Intro to GG

                        One "journalist's background of bigotry

                        Timeline of GG

                        GG not supporting harassment

                        Take it as you will, but this is far more than what people believe it is.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2014 @ 6:18pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        I think the Quinn Affair is the most revealing: 1) There was no gamergate/notyourshield movement before the Quinn Affair despite there being some very real cases of corruption in games journalism before it, 2) the Quinn Affair receives so much attention despite the fact that it didn't involve any actual corruption (the coverage Quinn received came before she started a relationship with Grayson), and 3) the focus of attention, and hate, and death threats in the Quinn Affair is Quinn and not the journalist Grayson even though he is the one to whom journalistic ethics would apply. Given these facts, how can I not conclude that there is an element of misogyny at the core of this? I can't think of anything else that explains the reaction to the Quinn Affair.

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                        • icon
                          Jay (profile), 16 Oct 2014 @ 1:23am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          You missed the censorship of the story on Reddit, the lack of reporting on The Fine Young Capitalists, and how incredibly abusive she was to someone she was in a relationship with.

                          That's the problem with a one sided narrative.

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                          • icon
                            Dark Helmet (profile), 16 Oct 2014 @ 3:54am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            "That's the problem with a one sided narrative."

                            Are you KIDDING ME!??! The entire concept of her being "abusive" in her relationship is from a one-sided account. The late-comers might want to cry ethics, but this whole thing started because a bunch of people got upset at a woman in gaming who had a sex life.

                            For all I know, Zoe Quinn is a worthless person, a jerk, someone who I'd hate to spend time with. That still doesn't mean she isn't allowed to fuck dudes or make games, and I STILL haven't found where she received positive coverage on a game, or had a game pimped for her, due to her sleeping with someone. Despite all the fervor, STILL no evidence of that. Only a tiny mention in an unrelated article by a guy she is accused of banging AFTER the article came out.

                            You guys are amazing...

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                            • icon
                              Jay (profile), 16 Oct 2014 @ 4:26am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Obviously, you didn't look into the allegations and you've just ignored what people were upset about.

                              Namely, The Fine Young Capitalists, a feminist group, was harassed by Zoe Quinn and it was not reported.

                              Not by you, Polygon, Kotaku, RPS, or any other site. They got harassed and one person got doxxed and you're not condemning that. You're not reporting on it but you want me to rage about the Erin post when I said nothing about it.

                              Further, you skipped right over how 32,000 comments were deleted from Reddit when they were talking about it.

                              So don't claim people are amazing when all I've done is point out what was missed.

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                              • icon
                                Dark Helmet (profile), 16 Oct 2014 @ 6:36am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                "Namely, The Fine Young Capitalists, a feminist group, was harassed by Zoe Quinn and it was not reported."

                                Because, in the context of the "mass" video game media, it's barely a story. I'm an AVID gamer, and I'd never heard of either Zoe Quinn or the FYC before this stupid "controversy" broke out. None of this matters. It's not worth the bandwidth the story would take up.

                                "Not by you"

                                You and I have been specifically discussing this in comments and in the chat room on an ongoing basis. Both are public forums. This bullshit about demanding that independent media outlets cover according to your demands is insane. Who do you people THINK you are?

                                "Further, you skipped right over how 32,000 comments were deleted from Reddit when they were talking about it."

                                Yes, that was bad, and shouldn't have been done. It also represents a big fat nothing with regard to the larger "controversy" GamerGate portends to be about. You people are all over the map, which is what I've been saying all along.

                                Your movement was hijacked from its onset, it has no clear and concise complaint, it often makes accusations that turn out to be blatant falsehoods, and it has allowed itself to be characterized by some of the most vile human shitheads I've ever heard about who think it's fun to threaten death and rape upon people who don't deserve it. It's broken, and it was NOT broken from the outside, so start it anew, make it make sense, stop bitching about tiny little sub-issues that don't mean anything in the larger context, and stop with the petulant demand that major and minor media outlets cover every story you seem to think is worth covering, and I'll get right on board with you. Gaming journalism is broken, but what you're talking about with the Zoe Quinn "scandal" is akin to the airplane being on fire and you're insisting we all talk about how it's made the soda cans too hot to drink. THE PLANE IS ON FIRE. Focus on that.

                                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                • icon
                                  Jay (profile), 16 Oct 2014 @ 12:36pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  I'm an AVID gamer, and I'd never heard of either Zoe Quinn or the FYC before this stupid "controversy" broke out. None of this matters. It's not worth the bandwidth the story would take up.


                                  *shrugs*

                                  Then you aren't trying to report with full context. That's on you and your decision. But obviously, it was important to enough people to look into those aspects of the story and uncover what wasn't being told by gaming journalists.

                                  Both are public forums. This bullshit about demanding that independent media outlets cover according to your demands is insane.

                                  If you say so.

                                  All I did was point out three parts of the story going missing. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and all you're doing is saying that it's about women's critiques and other nonsense while ignoring anything that doesn't fit your bias.

                                  Also, a chat box isn't really the best area for a everything when there's other ways to tell the story.

                                  Who do you people THINK you are?

                                  I dunno, maybe people upset that gaming publications decided to pull a Jack Thompson on us, declare us dead and move on as if that crap was kosher?

                                  Just a thought...

                                  It also represents a big fat nothing with regard to the larger "controversy" GamerGate portends to be about. You people are all over the map, which is what I've been saying all along.

                                  Well at least you're not claiming it's a right wing movement anymore...

                                  Your movement was hijacked from its onset, it has no clear and concise complaint, it often makes accusations that turn out to be blatant falsehoods, and it has allowed itself to be characterized by some of the most vile human shitheads I've ever heard about who think it's fun to threaten death and rape upon people who don't deserve it.

                                  Ah yes, ignore how they condemn such threats and ignore what I've just pointed out about third parties in other comments, right?

                                  It's broken,

                                  So's the journalism.

                                  and it was NOT broken from the outside

                                  Right, because journalists that try to claim that the public is entitles is so much better?

                                  so start it anew

                                  You missed the sites that have already popped up with better reporting.

                                  make it make sense

                                  Or you could just stop ignoring things you don't like. ;)

                                  stop bitching about tiny little sub-issues that don't mean anything in the larger context

                                  Sorry, but you have no control over those people and what they are looking for in reporting. Neither do I. What's small to you may be large to someone else. It's a collective of people organized into a number of things where ideas matter over who's in charge. They seem to have found a lot to do and they're still doing more. I guess watching the movement, we'll see where the ride ends.

                                  stop with the petulant demand that major and minor media outlets cover every story you seem to think is worth covering

                                  I didn't demand a damn thing from you. I just said you decided not to report on it. And you said that in chat. I accepted that you didn't want to report on it after our discussions and I'm not going to tell you a thing. But I WILL call out the contradictions just as I've done for years on this site in regards to copyright maximalism and treat this as I do any other person opposed to my viewpoint. You decided to talk about this and I just pointed out the issues. You can agree or disagree but the emotions flowing out don't matter to me. Decide whatever you want to report on.

                                  I am not here to tell you what to do. But just like others here, I call out things that contradict what you say.

                                  --but what you're talking about with the Zoe Quinn "scandal" is akin to the airplane being on fire and you're insisting we all talk about how it's made the soda cans too hot to drink.

                                  *rolls eyes*

                                  You brought it up dude. That hasn't been the topic since it broke and the censorship made it larger.

                                  By the way, censorship by DMCA started this ball rolling.

                                  Censorship on Reddit got a lot more people involved. Welcome to the aftermarket of the Streisand Effect.

                                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2014 @ 10:45am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            For the sake of argument, let's say Quinn was wrong in the Fine Young Capitalists Incident. Let's even assume that she cheated on Gjoni. Let's even assume that addresses my point about the Quinn Affair receiving disproportionate attention and that it addresses my point about Quinn receiving more hate than Grayson. After all, Grayson was never an asshole to anyone or cheated on a significant other... that we know about (though it's funny that people didn't look very hard to find non-journalistic dirt on Grayson, only Quinn received that treatment). It still doesn't explain why there was no gamergate/notyourshield movement until a chick was at the crux of an incident of (mis)perceived corruption.

                            Damningly, this focus on Quinn's non-journalism related activities gives the lie to the idea that this is about games journalism. What does Quinn acting like a bitch to the Fine Young Capitalists or cheating on her boyfriend have to do with ethics in journalism? Nothing that I can see. No, this is not about women at all.

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                            • icon
                              Jay (profile), 16 Oct 2014 @ 12:57pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              The issue with TFYC was that her "fight" with them lead to doxxing of one individual that she endorsed while also ensuring that her abusive behavior was not told to the general public.

                              The main problems with Quinn were 4 main issues: Her interaction with Wizardchan, her interaction with TFYC, the blog post by Erin, and the relationship with a "journalist"

                              With Wizardchan, she abused a forum for social awkward people just to have her game put on Steam. That abuse wasn't reported because of her connections to game journalists.

                              For TFYC, they tried to reason and negotiate with her and with evidence, it was found that she doxxed one member.

                              But the major points are she DDoS’d our site, she called us exploitative, and her PR manager Maya Felix Kramer posted my Facebook information which Zoe replied to, alerting her followers. Due to this, I received a death threat. My name Matthew Rappard does not appear on the current site or the previous site for TFYC, and I would have preferred to be a silent partner. This Twitter retweeting went on for almost 24 hours, most of them calling us transphobic and exploitative.

                              With no one talking about this, a LOT of gamers were upset at this behavior. Just for perspective, when gamers saw Alison Theus needed surgery, they came together to help Extra Credits by paying for that, and seeing her bully this donation site with no one reporting on it in the industry got a lot of people riled up.

                              But adding to this was the last two.

                              The blog post, I've not read. I came in when censorship on Youtube was a thing and I took it that what it said was pretty valid given how she tried to silence the topic. But the final straw and what everyone was upset about was the relationship.

                              I know a lot of people talk about some sort of review, but that's rather disingenuous. He didn't review her game but what DID happen was that people saw him giving her game preferential treatment (if you look at some of the research, I think it was the fact that he used language of Zoe's as well as put her game screen as the background over any of the other 50 games so DQ made more of an impression).

                              Those are the main 4 contentions in THAT part of the story from a journalistic perspective.

                              It still doesn't explain why there was no gamergate/notyourshield movement until a chick was at the crux of an incident of (mis)perceived corruption.

                              Well, as people were looking into that story, 14 articles came out declaring that gamers were dead. Source

                              What isn't mentioned is that people supportive were pushed out of even chronicling the story from Wikipedia or the doxxing and harassment coming out.

                              For Gamergate, it started when those articles came out. For NYS, that came about because a lot of journalists wanted to claim minority support to hide their unethical practices. Hence, the term.

                              That's why so many people are focused on the journalists. ZQ hasn't been relevant to the conversation since those articles came out. But people keep wanting to talk about her instead of the unethical issues unearth through that controversy as well as others that have arisen from agenda driven journalism.

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2014 @ 1:35am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                I just spent hours trying to determine the truthfulness of your claims about Quinn. Please provide proper citations next time.

                                With Wizardchan, she abused a forum for social awkward people just to have her game put on Steam. That abuse wasn't reported because of her connections to game journalists.


                                The Wizardchan Incident: He said, she said. Wizardchan doesn't deny that people at wizardchan wrote nasty comments about Quinn but they do reject her claim that she received threatening phone calls from their members. We have no idea whether or not such phone calls were received or from whom. Wizardchan insists they didn't make any, Quinn insists they did. We have no proof one way or the another. It's impossible to evaluate this claim but, interestingly, gamergate has decided to believe wizardchan when we have no idea what the truth actually is. There's a pattern of gamergate accepting every negative claim about Quinn at face value (Relatedly, gamergate also has a habit of denying the reality of harassment and death threats being received by its victims).

                                For TFYC, they tried to reason and negotiate with her and with evidence, it was found that she doxxed one member.


                                The Fine Young Capitalists Incident: It's hard to know what to think about this one. At first, they issued the statement you quoted from above, but then they offered a retraction which included this: "Regarding our grievances with Zoe Quinn, an associate of hers, posted my Facebook information. Zoe did not add any information to the post, nor did she post my phone number or email. The subsequent death threat I received via email was not orchestrated by Zoe. Nor was the DDOSing of our website or the banning of us from Twitter. She was simply the most famous voice in a choir of people that did not understand the project." They then retracted the retraction and their "Peace Treaty" link now redirects to this. FYC's account of this is inconsistent, to put it mildly. It is impossible to know what's going on here and, once again, it's revealing that gamergate prefers the version of events that looks worst for Quinn.

                                He didn't review her game but what DID happen was that people saw him giving her game preferential treatment (if you look at some of the research, I think it was the fact that he used language of Zoe's as well as put her game screen as the background over any of the other 50 games so DQ made more of an impression).


                                The Grayson Affair: The Rock, Paper, Shotgun article you're alluding to was written on January 8th, and, according to Gjoni himself: "I want to clarify that I have no reason to believe or evidence to imply she was sleeping with him prior to late March or early April." Like I said, no corruption here. But, once again, gamergate believes anything negative about Quinn even though the timeline does not add up. Unlike the wizardchan and Fine Young Capitalists incidents where the truth is unclear, in the matter of Quinn and Grayson we actually have some idea what the truth is and it contradicts the gamergate narrative. Gamergate really wants to believe the worst about Quinn. I wonder why.

                                What isn't mentioned is that people supportive were pushed out of even chronicling the story from Wikipedia or the doxxing and harassment coming out.


                                This is because, as you can see, the narrative being pushed by gamergate is questionable. Wikipedia's got enough problems with truthiness, it doesn't need any more of them.

                                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2014 @ 10:57pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                ZQ hasn't been relevant to the conversation since those articles came out. But people keep wanting to talk about her instead of the unethical issues unearth through that controversy


                                It's hard to figure out exactly what you're saying here. It sounds like you're saying gamergate is focused on journalistic ethics and its critics are the ones who obsess over Quinn. I just want to point out that, on twitter, journalism is receiving a lot less attention. Searching on topsy, we can find the number of tweets that occurred over the last 7 days:

                                #gamergate brianna wu: 3645
                                #gamergate anita sarkeesian: 2589
                                #gamergate zoe quinn: 1238

                                Compare this to Grayson's mentions:
                                #gamergate nathan grayson: 113

                                He gets an order of magnitude fewer mentions than the non-journalists.

                                How about the authors of those infamous "death of gamers" articles:
                                #gamergate leigh alexander: 691
                                #gamergate arthur chu: 97
                                #gamergate tauriq moosa: 1
                                #gamergate joseph bernstein: 0
                                #gamergate callie beusman: 0
                                #gamergate dan golding: 0
                                #gamergate casey johnston: 0
                                #gamergate victoria mcnally: 0
                                #gamergate anna minard: 0
                                #gamergate patrick o'rourke: 0
                                #gamergate chris plante: 0
                                #gamergate jack smith: 0
                                #gamergate devin wilson: 0
                                #gamergate luke plunkett: 0

                                A female writer (Alexander) tops this list, scoring seven times more mentions than her nearest competitor (Chu), but even she is far behind the non-journalists. One writer (Moosa) gets a single mention, while the remaining 11 writers get zero mentions.

                                Here are all of the journalists listed on this gamergate boycott list and their mentions:
                                #gamergate jim sterling: 294
                                #gamergate matt lees: 211
                                #gamergate ian cheong: 201
                                #gamergate ben kuchera: 208
                                #gamergate phil fish: 130
                                #gamergate bob chipman: 115
                                #gamergate john walker: 71
                                #gamergate stephen totilo: 62
                                #gamergate adam sessler: 55
                                #gamergate devin faraci: 48
                                #gamergate amanda marcotte: 35
                                #gamergate samantha allen: 32
                                #gamergate patricia hernandez: 26
                                #gamergate greg tito: 13
                                #gamergate jonathan holmes: 1
                                #gamergate rami ismail: 1
                                #gamergate simon parkin: 1
                                #gamergate david bell: 0
                                #gamergate colin campbell: 0
                                #gamergate tim colwill: 0
                                #gamergate mitch dyer: 0
                                #gamergate cara ellison: 0
                                #gamergate fruzsina eördögh: 0
                                #gamergate edwin evans-thirlwell: 0
                                #gamergate sarah gray: 0
                                #gamergate tom hatfield: 0
                                #gamergate britt hayes: 0
                                #gamergate jon hicks: 0
                                #gamergate mark hill: 0
                                #gamergate david hollingworth: 0
                                #gamergate tadhg kelly: 0
                                #gamergate jeff klima: 0
                                #gamergate ross lincoln: 0
                                #gamergate keza macdonald: 0
                                #gamergate garrett martin: 0
                                #gamergate luke mckinney: 0
                                #gamergate darren nakamura: 0
                                #gamergate dale north: 0
                                #gamergate christian nutt: 0
                                #gamergate mike pearl: 0
                                #gamergate aja romano: 0
                                #gamergate jim rossignol: 0
                                #gamergate samit sarkar: 0
                                #gamergate dennis scimeca: 0
                                #gamergate dan seitz: 0
                                #gamergate joe skrebels: 0
                                #gamergate zoya street: 0
                                #gamergate paul tassi: 0
                                #gamergate kevin vanord: 0
                                #gamergate aoife wilson: 0
                                #gamergate josh wirtanen: 0

                                Once again the journalists are mentioned far less frequently than the non-journalists.

                                So how does a real instance of corruption fare:
                                #gamergate mordor: 164
                                #gamergate wb: 16
                                #gamergate warner: 13

                                Again an order of magnitude lower than the non-journalists.

                                How about some other cases of alleged journalistic corruption:
                                #gamergate bethesda: 5
                                #gamergate mcv: 5
                                #gamergate ausgamers: 0
                                #gamergate ea australia: 0
                                #gamergate game arena: 0
                                #gamergate gameplanet: 0
                                #gamergate joab gilroy: 0

                                They go almost completely unmentioned.

                                How about another case of alleged journalistic corruption:
                                #gamergate patricia hernandez: 26
                                #gamergate anna anthropy: 0

                                Barely a blip on gamergate's radar.

                                Let's look at how insults fare:
                                #gamergate slut: 438
                                #gamergate bitch: 371
                                #gamergate faggot: 193
                                #gamergate cunt: 131
                                #gamergate whore: 77
                                #gamergate fag: 12

                                Slurs easily beat all journalists other Alexander and they also beat all alleged cases of corruption.

                                Let's test the theory that gamergate is about journalists being corrupted by personal relationships and money, that it's not about women at all:
                                #gamergate sjw: 3744

                                SJW (social justice warrior) beats everything, including Brianna Wu, and I think this shows the overwhelming focus of gamergate is cultural not ethical.

                                Hat Tip.

                                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                • icon
                                  Jay (profile), 29 Oct 2014 @ 3:30am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  I have no idea what you're trying to imply when you can read other posts I've made here and see that there are issues with a narrative being pushed instead of proper reporting of details.

                                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 5:55pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  My interest in the quote actually had very little to do with GG itself(of which I remain fairly clueless about, as I don't follow social media, and so have only read a few articles like the above on the topic when posted), but more the underlying idea, that once the lines have been drawn, once the focus is on how terrible the minority on either side are acting, that's it, it's over. At that point, there will be no rational, reasonable discussion.

                  And you know what? After checking the link Jay posted below, even assuming only a fraction of that is accurate, I'd say neither side is clean here, both of them seem to have their share of psychotic nutjobs, and it's not even close to one-sided on the harassment and deaththreats.

                  So in a way, it looks like you're right, the entire thing is poisoned, and the underlying issues of ethics in journalism are hopelessly lost in the pile of bile and hatred, but it most certainly doesn't seem to be just one side poisoning the well there.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    That One Guy (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 5:57pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    *Jay posted above

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    Jay (profile), 16 Oct 2014 @ 4:36am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Why do you think there's only two sides to the argument?

                    There's been evidence that trolls have been riling up and doxxing people on both sides of the issue. That's a third party just looking to cause conflict, namely that one of Anita's recent discussions was prevented because of a really crazy troll from Something Awful.

                    Hell, did anyone talk about how there's a reward for the capture of the perp? Link

                    When you have a number of people in a revolt this size, you're going to have outliers. Regardless, you can't just claim that everything is one way or another. Sometimes, you have to rake the much and look for what the truth actually is.

                    There's been rational debate and discussion trying to occur, but you won't have it if the only thing you focus on is the death threats and ignore the real issues.

                    What people are upset about is how incredibly corrupted that game journalism has become. It was a problem seen for a long time and gamers have had to fight back against corrupt journalists. This isn't even the first time.

                    They did it with the Mass Effect 3 ending which was Bioware making a poor ending and hiding behind Jennifer Halperin for it. They spoke up, EA tried to close down conversation and it got larger.

                    Same thing with Adam Orth and his claims about the XB1 which people were upset about.

                    Hell, you can go back and see a lot more issues such as the Microsoft/Youtuber deal and see how they were upset with Youtubers on that.

                    It happens. People respond to incentives and the perverse incentive here is that some people troll. You have to deal with that while moving on with the conversation about how to end the corruption.

                    Escapist's reforms are a decent start but more people should want to do it. That's far more than trying to shut down a conversation because one person got a death threat when others have condemned it.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Case, 15 Oct 2014 @ 1:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "It's not about women, we're just discussing feminist world conspiracies all the time for no reason"

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Dark Helmet (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 4:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "More or less irrelevant to this article at that."

          Yes, beside a passing comment about some of the heavy talk about gaming journalism, I didn't mention gamergate at all, and this article wasn't in any way about it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 2:31pm

    Don't got down this whole please? Not on Techdirt at least. The entire source article, and even this one, is written from the perspective that YouTubers did something wrong. The problem with that, and what is carefully left out of the source, is that the high profile YouTubers were the ones that talked about the problem.

    So a company tries to influence the coverage of their game by offering bought coverage and the people they're selling it to with the most influence call them on their bullshit? Okay, why isn't the article here showing how that's how things should work?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 2:33pm

    Another great example

    This is another great example of why I ignore almost all reviews, and particularly game reviews. They aren't all corrupt, but you can't always tell which are bogus and which are real.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 2:40pm

    I gave up on game reviews and the like back in 2000 or so. Ever since gaming houses stated that reviewers would give positive reviews for early access to the next game release for review. Ever since then I've understood there is no creditability in gaming reviews and these gamer youtubes I have never trusted for the same reason. Now it's just out in black and white.

    Want to know how good a game is? Go pirate it to find out. There is no other way to find out that is dependable anymore. Gaming houses have no one to blame but themselves over it. I wouldn't agree to buy a car with the understanding the wheels will be shipped in a month from now. Yet games are release incomplete with tons of bugs in them sometimes and maybe you will get a fix an maybe you won't.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    node (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 3:36pm

    It should be pointed out here that some VERY big youtube personalities have immediately come forward and addressed this issue.

    See: http://www.gamesreviews.com/news/09/totalbiscuit-reveals-shadow-mordor-code-branding-deal/

    A little googling will reveal similar outrage about this attempts at branding deals with other youtube personalities as well.

    That said, it's a valid topic and it's also no big surprise that publishers would start to approach youtubers like this.

    With the upheaval currently going on in gaming journalism and youtubers generally getting more and more prominent in game reviewing, this was pretty much inevitable.

    So, while it is certainly in order to address this issue, it still very much remains to be seen how and who among the youtubers can retain their integrity in face of the same stick and carrot method publishers have used with the traditional gaming outlets.

    Trust in reviewers is an important issue to the lately much maligned gamers, one difference however is that gamers have recently become much more aware of the ecosystem around them.

    The will, and they do call out people they perceive as having been tainted by collusion with other parts of the industry.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Blackfiredragon13 (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 4:19pm

      Re:

      And this is why I consider TB to be consistently trustworthy. He may have cancer, he may be fresh out of surgery, but he'll be damned if he can't give his honest opinion as a critic.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 4:44pm

    What is sad is it is a good game on the premise of just hunting down and killing orcs. Sure it has some flaws, but it is still a good game far as I can tell

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 4:51pm

    Reviews or advertisements?

    Do these reviewers typically disclose their relationship with the publishers? If not, at what point does the FTC become involved?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 5:26pm

      Re: Reviews or advertisements?

      How would FTC do anything about ie. PewDiePie from Sweden or Cynical Brit from England? The internet is international and legislation is national.

      Hopefully most of them will disclose these deals, but it seems more like a moral rather than legal responsibility.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 7:44pm

    Probably tinfoil territory, but what are the odds some negative reviews are encouraged (I wouldn't imagine a direct demand) by competitors?

    Not that I read reviews either way, professional or not. It's not just the possibility of reviewers being shills in disguise, but also a matter of taste. For example, I don't like FPS and 4X games, and couldn't possibly review them objectively if I were asked to.

    I happen to have enough friends and acquaintances who regularly play games, some of which always get titles early, so I tend to just ask them their opinions. Not unbiased, but I know them personally, and I know where their biases lean towards.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 3:37am

    This new "early access" crap is starting to piss me off, and this little tidbit is just another reason why I refuse to buy into any early access commentary, regardless if it's as asinine as outlined in this article or a true opinion without any restrictions.

    Early access games are incomplete versions of the game and for me, this means I won't put stock in any opinion (good or bad).

    Now that developers are pushing "early access" as a form of pre-publicity, and gamers (who have no damn self control) are eating it up, this is a train wreck long designed before the locomotive even began to move.

    I'll start making some popcorn. This is going to get ugly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      WysiWyg (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 9:25am

      Re:

      You are confusing two different kinds of "Early Access". The one you're thinking of is where people get to play early version of a game, often by paying (though not always).

      The kind talked about here though is where reviewers get a copy of the finished game before it goes on sale. Think of it as the equivalent of having screenings of a movie for critics before it premieres.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Andreas (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 7:16am

    Well, there is only one answer to that: Write all youtube reviews with as much irony as you can. It will look good in writing, even though everyone knows, the opposite is the case. That's what human ressources departments do on work summaries in germany, where they are legally required to only write positive stuff. Like "he made an effort towards punctuality". Fight the system inside out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Sheogorath (profile), 16 Oct 2014 @ 1:19am

    Oh, yeah?

    Videos must not show bugs or glitches that may exist.
    Hey, Warner! 17 U.S. Code § 107 days, "Go fuck yourselves!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ABBIE GIUNTA, 4 Aug 2015 @ 5:26pm

    Just in case anyone needs to fill out a WB 16 Form, I found a blank form in this site PDFfiller. This site also has several related forms that you might find useful. http://goo.gl/uTWQ4s

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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