Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

The sad state of games PR (oops I meant journalism)

I remember watching a documentary once about how political interviewing has become less sycophantic over the years. It started with a black and white clip where the interviewer ends with this (paraphrased)

“We would like to thank you wholeheartedly minister for taking the time to talk to us today, is there any other message you would like us to broadcast to the people of britain?”

And ended with stuff like this

Games journalism is too often still like the former. here’s a quiote from a games preview I just read:

Journalist: Finally, is there anything else you’d like to add about [game name] or about [franchise name] in general?

Developer: [game-name] has allowed us to create a more-intimate single-player experience while greatly expanding multiplayer. We think we’ve struck a good balance that meets the needs of both audiences.

Journalist: Thanks,  Looking forward to it.

Pathetic. Why don’t they just print the guys press release verbatim and dispense with the pretence of being journalists? If you arent prepared to dig deaper into information that the GAMER might want and the developer might not be keen to reveal, then plrease go work for activisions PR department.

7 thoughts on The sad state of games PR (oops I meant journalism)

  1. that’s like when they interview game Dev’s about their game… and although the game has been touted for “The Hardcore Gamer” they always manage to squeeze a statement about how “but we believe the casual gamer will enjoy the game because we’ve made it X and Y”.

    it’s the mellowing of the industry really… we can’t chose a form or audience, we need to try to appeal to everybody.

    FPS Dev’s trying to appeal to RPG and Strat fans. Strat Devs trying to add FPS and RPG elements. RPGs that play like FPS games… etc etc

    Sometimes it works, sometimes it feels the game lost track of the original picture. I know, as a RTS fan, when I see them screaming about RPG elements I start looking elsewhere for my fix… because for every “RPG Element” they put in, they remove some RTS element.

  2. Haha, good post.

    Jonathan Blow commented on the same thing on a recent interview, but from the other side. It is also a responsability of the developer to break that patheticness.

    The so called “stablishment”, is composed by elements of both sides, and thats why it is so important that indie bitches like yourself take some steps in a fresh direction, and that old ‘journalists’ take new paths as well, as RPS guys does.

  3. The above poster makes a great point to add some more on that though, game magazines are mostly paid by game company’s. The developers pay for adds provide free games and peripherals and interviews the fans scream for. A major misstep in a interview can really cost them in lost exclusives add space and less early access to games. To counter this most magazines are fortunately subscription based so if the reviews are Obviously padded to excess they lose credentials with there subscribers which in turn reduces there value to the game makers.

    wow I kinda dropped into a rant there sorry but to sum it up, Be nice when interviewing and truthfull when reviewing will always serve the game critics agenda of getting paid to do what they love.

  4. Nah! It’s not that they are being paid.

    I think it’s just laziness. Because you can see that also in interviews with very small indie games. I was talking about this just today with Mateusz Skutnik. He did a recent radio review and while nice and polite, it was somewhat shallow. The question were very broad, missed the point, very little inititiative from the journalist herself.

    Mateusz also mentioned some highlights from his experience with the press. I second that. The Press often has NO clue whatsover and ask you question that either confirm a very simplistic breakdown of the whole thing or (even worse) are so broad that the answer will basically spell out the whole article for them.

    No wonder professional journalism is dying.

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