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News Australian journo sacked for whistle-blowing

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 7 Apr 2010.

  1. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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  2. Spiny

    Spiny New Member

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    To be fair to Rockstar, 'PR' is /not/ synonymous with 'developer'. The excerpt sounds like typical PR BS and is par for the course. The smoking gun would be an email from Zoo back to Rockstar PR agreeing, but I don't see this.
     
  3. AlexB

    AlexB Web Nerd and WC Addict

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    Not surprising really - games have huge investments nowadays and people are going to look out for their money. Shame, though.
     
  4. lp1988

    lp1988 Well-Known Member

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    True but not all is that stupid, (dough some are.) If I send you a product with a letter requesting a commercial on your page inserted, maybe paying a little more than normal, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the connection.

    But again in a case like this there are no "real" evidence, and thus none can be blamed, but still it does look a little suspicious.
     
  5. Tsung

    Tsung New Member

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    I think people have to be pretty stupid to think this sort of behaviour is not going on. Maybe not in this case (evidence doesn't seem that strong tbh) but I've seen plenty of gaming magazines give 90%+ reviews to games which turn out to be average at best..

    This is why I like sites like Metacritic (where you can get a nice cross section of reviews to read) and looking at the game forums (be it on steam or the game website) before a purchase. Still I make mistakes, the most recent being AvP. :(
     
  6. theflatworm

    theflatworm Gordon Freeman's Crowbar

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    Yeah, I look at sites like Metacritic too, and they are pretty useful. They also get it catastrophically wrong, IMO. Farcry 2 is one of the most repetative games I've played, and that got rave reviews from almost every source. I don't think we've quite got to the stage where I can blame situations like FC2 on advertisers cooking the book (I'd say it's more reviews getting carried away with shiny shiny graphics and/or caught up with the hype), but if we do get to the stage where 'buying reviews' is par for the course, then all site like metacritic will show you is who bribed the most people. I always find that a bit of reading between the lines is helpful.

    I really wouldn't wipe my arse with Zoo (which is ironic, given the number of lads who read it on the toilet for quite different reasons), and I have less than zero respect for their 'journalistic integrity,' so I wouldn't be surprised if this particular story is true. Soft porn mags should stick to soft porn.

    p.s. AvP got pretty a mediocre metacritic score: how did you end up getting fooled into that one?
     
  7. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    Move on, move on! There's nothing to see here!

    This happens. And not just with games, either. the Rockstar letter while not proof of bribery, shows that they will try to influence reviews.
     
  8. Evildead666

    Evildead666 New Member

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    I agree with FarCry 2...Bought it thinking (dreaming) of Far Cry, the original, and was sorely dissapointed.
    Just going past a checkpoint a few metres, only to turn around and ...miracle, all the guys I just killed are now waiting for my return voyage....
    There is no singleplayer game, its a large AI-filled multiplayer map....

    This type of scratch my back, i'll scratch yours is probably rife, and with Coke and Pepsi et Al paying for in game ads, the money is still pouring in....just not going where it should, on the game itself... ;)
     
  9. djab

    djab New Member

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    LOL agree.
    When I saw "games journalist" and "Deputy Entertainment Editor of Zoo Weekly" I thought it was a joke.
    Everybody knows that articles in this kind of magazines are crap.
    The articles are just there to fill the empty pages between pictures of half naked babes
    Look at their web site: www.zooweekly.com.au
    I always thought that the articles in this kind of magazine were ads or copies of articles from real magazines.
    I agree with theflatworm about their "journalistic integrity".
    And everybody knows that no one ever read the articles in this kind of magazines ... people just "look" at some of the pictures.

    For real gaming/tech magazines/websites this kind of issue is a bit more worrying.
    There have already been cases when company would send hardware or copy of games for review earlier (before release date) to journalists who usually give good reviews to their products and would send the product later (after release date) or not at all to journalists who have more integrity and who figure in their black list of "bad reviewer".
    This is done to ensure that on release date of a product the customers will only have access to the "good" reviews and so will buy the product without more thinking.
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2010
  10. Psytek

    Psytek New Member

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    All this proves is that PR guys ask and push for good reviews. This guy hasn't given any proof that at any point anyone has actually written a good review in exchange for anything.
     
  11. bb_vb

    bb_vb New Member

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    Funny you should mention FarCry 2. I'm playing through it right now, and I couldn't agree more about the repetitiveness. And playing on minimum settings @ 640x480 provides the gameplay with absolutely nothing shiny to hide behind. (I like to stretch my hardware as far as it'll go!). Hm, as a side note, this would make quite a neat review technique...

    As for the article, I was kind of hoping the evidence would be a little stronger than that. The poor guy's lost his job without really securing anything concrete on those involved.
     
  12. Shagbag

    Shagbag All glory to the Hypnotoad!

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    This is par for the course in Hollywood too. How many times do you see reviews for films lay on the hyperbolae really thick when you've already seen the movie and know for a fact that it's utter shite. Studios control media access to their stars by demanding favourable reviews. Highly critical reviews don't appear in the mass media anymore because they won't get interviews with Tom Cruise or Angelina Jolie if they do. Even if the reporter wants to pan the film his editor will overrule him and the Board will over rule the editor if he falters.
    It's got to such a bad stage now that if you ever watch a TV interview withan A-list star you cringe at the deference of the interviewer.
     
  13. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    Two things:

    When you sign a contract for a job it will most likely have some lines in it similar to: you nwill never do anything that could hurt the company or show them in a negaive way".
    In short, they where completly right to fire him, he should have been thankful to even have a job to start with.

    second, if Rockstar really does crap like that, shame on them.
     
  14. Tulatin

    Tulatin The Froggy Poster

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    So what you're saying then is that gaming journalists should shed the latter part of their name and function simply as whores for whatever publisher decides to drive up and throw a catcall, huh?
     
  15. knuck

    knuck Hate your face

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    no what he's saying is someone who publicly posts an email that was meant to be private is not responsible, nor professional enough to deserve to keep their job


    fair enough
     
  16. Adnoctum

    Adnoctum Kill_All_Humans

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    Seriously? You guys read the same article that I did and the conclusions you have come to is:
    "Well, there's no actual proof of anything, so I'm going to ignore the implications of this news",
    "Zoo's s**t, so he must be s**t, and I can dismiss his concerns",
    "It's not actually Rockstar, it's Rockstar PR, which is an entirely different matter because they are completely separate from Rockstar, whom I quite like",
    "Everyone and their dog does it, so what's the fuss?"


    How about we focus on the fact that Rockstar is pressuring a magazine to produce a review that conforms to the global Rockstar PR message that they want for Red Dead Redemption.
    How do you think Rockstar is exerting pressure? Sweet words over dinner and a hand job under the table?

    Rockstar is comparing Red Dead Redemption to GTA4, so if their advertising campaign is even close to the saturation level achieved by GTA4 then there is a large amount of advertising money at stake here. What other sticks do Rockstar have to "ensure Toby's article reflects this [Rockstar's message]"? If threats to advertising wasn't at the very least implied, why didn't Zoo tell Rockstar to "F**k Off!"? And why did Toby McCasker feel the need to blow the whistle, if his editors didn't exert the kind of influence Rockstar's email requested?

    Do you all just blow off this kind of PR editorial pressure as "normal"? Either grow some balls and demand better of game publishers and game journalists or develop some critical thinking skills.

    Incidentally, isn't this the very same game where the developer's wives and former employees had to come out in public and expose the sweat-shop-like atmosphere and poisonous management?
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2010
  17. thehippoz

    thehippoz New Member

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    I'll rub your back if you rub mine.. or in my arab accent

    I rub it.. then you do it
     
  18. Adnoctum

    Adnoctum Kill_All_Humans

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    Your avatar: Is that someone's backside painted like a pumpkin? Nice!
     
  19. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    I completely agree with you. The point is that Rockstar and other developers/publishers should not attempt to influence reviewers in any way shape or form. Even if its just strong words, let alone anything else.
     
  20. thehippoz

    thehippoz New Member

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    I'm pretty sure it's just a pumpkin.. it's your dirty mind :lol:
     
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