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2K sacks American PR over DNF blacklisting threats

2K sacks American PR over DNF blacklisting threats

2K Games has sacked its American PR after it threatened to blacklist sites that gave bad reviews.

2K Games has fired its American PR and marketing firm, The Redner Group, after it threatened via Twitter to blacklist publications that gave bad reviews to Duke Nukem Forever.

The Redner Group has since issued numerous apologies, as well as removing the remarks from Twitter.

'Too many went too far with their reviews...we are reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn't based on today's venom,' a Redner spokesperson said yesterday using the official Redner Group twitter feed.

A second message read: 'Bad scores are fine. Venom filled reviews...that's completely different.'

2K has since stopped doing business with The Redner Group and said, via its own Twitter feed, that it doesn't endorse or condone the comments.

'We maintain a mutually respectful relationship with the press and will continue to do so. We don't condone @The RednerGroup's actions at all,' said 2K.

Our own review of Duke Nukem Forever went up on Monday. We gave it a score of 50 per cent.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

18 Comments

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will_123 16th June 2011, 12:41 Quote
Quite right that is ridiculous if a game is bad it deserves the review it gets.
Parge 16th June 2011, 12:47 Quote
Not only that, but after speaking with some of the EA lot last week, they know a game is bad or good before they even ship it, so its not like people are taking a great game and reaming it due to a personal vendetta.

If you make a crap game, people will say its crap!
Paradigm Shifter 16th June 2011, 12:57 Quote
Duke Forever did one good thing for me: it made me go find my copy of Duke 3D again.
Mentai 16th June 2011, 13:56 Quote
A PR firm creating a PR nightmare is the exact opposite of their real job. The guy who tweeted that made himself and his company completely unhirable. Beyond stupid.
Puzzu 16th June 2011, 14:35 Quote
A PR Firm making extra headlines for a not so good a game......
Phalanx 16th June 2011, 14:47 Quote
I may just buy the game as a metaphorical 'tip of the hat' to 2K. Smart move, fellas.
digitaldave 16th June 2011, 15:14 Quote
anyone who believes this kind of preferential PR treatment does not exist behind closed doors anyways need to take a reality check.

the only difference here is the PR people usually will not admit it ;)
Denis_iii 16th June 2011, 16:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
Duke Forever did one good thing for me: it made me go find my copy of Duke 3D again.

which is what I plan to do instead of purchasing DNF!.

Fingers crossed Duke doesn't die off but is redone in the image of Duke 3D and.....
- no health regeneration.
- no linear level design.
- no vehicles.
- no 2 weapon limit.
- no cover mechanic.
and nothing else, just the original game play and style and level design ethos but in a modern engine.
NuTech 16th June 2011, 16:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitaldave
anyone who believes this kind of preferential PR treatment does not exist behind closed doors anyways need to take a reality check.

the only difference here is the PR people usually will not admit it ;)
Yup, pretty much this.

While journalists usually know when they've been blacklisted (it's quite obvious as virtually all contact is cut off), it's never, ever officially confirmed by publishers or PR.

The reason for the secrecy is mainly due to previous dramas such as Kotaku/Sony in 2007. Kotaku informed Sony of a story about to be published, Sony warned them not to, Kotaku published, Sony wrote them a lovely letter informing them of the blacklisting. Big mistake.

Within minutes, Kotaku published the email and the entire internet was talking about it, forcing Sony to backtrack. Sony removed the blacklisting and learnt a valuable lesson.

If you're gonna kick dirt, never admit to it.

EDIT:
Oh, looks like Eurogamer just publicly confirmed their 2K Games blacklisting. Funny to see if one of our industry's dirty little secrets starts getting publicly acknowledged again. TBH, it will be a good thing if it doesn't happen, as the journalist/publisher relationship isn't exactly a healthy one and there are irregularities on both side of the fence which could do with a clean up.

http://forums.bit-tech.net/picture.php?albumid=606&pictureid=19512
Snips 16th June 2011, 16:53 Quote
Sound like the flack Bit-Tech gets when it gives it's normal review of AMD goods.



I'll get my coat!
Phil Rhodes 16th June 2011, 17:18 Quote
Quote:
If you make a crap game, people will say its crap!

That's a matter of opinion.

Crysis 2 is crap. Console-oriented, fully-nerfed, wall-to-wall shag-pile crap.

I don't recall Bit-Tech saying so, and I suspect this is as much to do with keeping the PR people happy as it is to do with "serving the console audience".

P
Fizzban 16th June 2011, 18:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
That's a matter of opinion.

Crysis 2 is crap. Console-oriented, fully-nerfed, wall-to-wall shag-pile crap.

I don't recall Bit-Tech saying so, and I suspect this is as much to do with keeping the PR people happy as it is to do with "serving the console audience".

P

Bit-tech gives out the score/rating it feels a game deserves. I don't always agree with them, but it is all a matter of opinion. I can't comment on Crysis 2 as I have yet to play it. I'm in no rush to either as I don't expect it to be anything other than a pretty face.
HourBeforeDawn 16th June 2011, 19:11 Quote
well Im enjoying the interaction of the game and the comedy built into it. It reminds me of DN3d and thats what I was looking for.
kzinti1 16th June 2011, 19:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
Bit-tech gives out the score/rating it feels a game deserves. I don't always agree with them, but it is all a matter of opinion. I can't comment on Crysis 2 as I have yet to play it. I'm in no rush to either as I don't expect it to be anything other than a pretty face.

"I don't always agree with them". Who exactly is "them"? The one person doing the review? All the people at bit-tech? Only the ones interested in games at bit-tech?
Companies always hire people of like minds, so a game review will always be colored by that fact. I don't personally know anyone at bit-tech so I can't make use of any game review other than its obvious mechanics. The "feel" of the game, the "tone" of the game, what kind of mood the reviewer was in at the time of reviewing the game? There's no way to quantify any of this, not to mention any preconceived idea of what the game should be or actually is.
I, personally, agree with their 50% rating of DNF, if I use a 50% rating as neither good nor bad. Not 50% less than perfect but 50% better than a POS.
The Redner Group is a perfectly typical American PR firm. They aren't worth the powder to blow them up but they ARE worth the tape to seal their mouths shut. Broadcasting their bias is just plain stupid. Again, typically American PR. You're lucky if you didn't have to grow up with this type of crap in your ears and before your eyes each and every day. It's permanently scarred my id. I really don't trust any review or reviewer, ever. It's about the lowest, most base job in the world. And no, no one actually has to do it. Which makes anyone who chooses to extremely suspect.
Fizzban 16th June 2011, 20:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kzinti1
"I don't always agree with them". Who exactly is "them"? The one person doing the review? All the people at bit-tech? Only the ones interested in games at bit-tech?
Companies always hire people of like minds, so a game review will always be colored by that fact. I don't personally know anyone at bit-tech so I can't make use of any game review other than its obvious mechanics. The "feel" of the game, the "tone" of the game, what kind of mood the reviewer was in at the time of reviewing the game? There's no way to quantify any of this, not to mention any preconceived idea of what the game should be or actually is.
I, personally, agree with their 50% rating of DNF, if I use a 50% rating as neither good nor bad. Not 50% less than perfect but 50% better than a POS.
The Redner Group is a perfectly typical American PR firm. They aren't worth the powder to blow them up but they ARE worth the tape to seal their mouths shut. Broadcasting their bias is just plain stupid. Again, typically American PR. You're lucky if you didn't have to grow up with this type of crap in your ears and before your eyes each and every day. It's permanently scarred my id. I really don't trust any review or reviewer, ever. It's about the lowest, most base job in the world. And no, no one actually has to do it. Which makes anyone who chooses to extremely suspect.

'Them' would be the Bit-Tech reviewer obviously, which is either Joe or Paul. I made no comment on The Redner Group. All a review is is an opinion of one person who supposedly has the required knowledge to provide a score that is fair. No review is right or absolute. I was just commenting as I felt Phil was suggesting that Bit-tech hands out reviews in a certain way to keep certain people happy.
serial_ 17th June 2011, 06:31 Quote
So true. Had I reviewed DNF I would have given it an 80%, maybe even an 85%. It was everything I was expecting and more.

Hands-down the best boss fights in an FPS in YEARS. The only game that came close was Darksiders. And that's mainly because of Bahamut on Apocalyptic difficulty.

Playing Duke on "Come Get Some" has been so much fun. The boss fights are almost 'Nintendo hard' and it makes me proud of a game that has the most troubled start-stop-start development in gaming history.
BRAWL 17th June 2011, 11:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph4lanx
I may just buy the game as a metaphorical 'tip of the hat' to 2K. Smart move, fellas.

you and I are having words later Phalanx... Why don't you have it already?
feathers 19th June 2011, 08:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
That's a matter of opinion.

Crysis 2 is crap. Console-oriented, fully-nerfed, wall-to-wall shag-pile crap.

I don't recall Bit-Tech saying so, and I suspect this is as much to do with keeping the PR people happy as it is to do with "serving the console audience".

P

Crysis 2 has many crap things. Lack of SLI support, no DX11. It's a console game, however, even in DX9 it looks very good. Visually impressive and the game is still far better than Crap Nukem.
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