Great Moments in PR FAIL: Ocean Marketing

December 27, 2011 -

This Penny Arcade post details one of the worst public relations train wrecks in history. It all starts with a customer enquiring about a controller he paid for well in advance, but quickly escalates into the kind of conversation you don't want to be a part of. Honestly I’ve seen better customer service from people at the DMV..

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Australian ISP's Create Plan to Deal with Copyright Infringement, Rights Holders Reject It

November 29, 2011 -

While Americans were enjoying Thanksgiving last Thursday Australia's Internet service providers held a meeting to come to a consensus on how to deal with illegal file-sharing in the country.

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Republican Senate Resolution to Kill FCC Net Neutrality Rules Fails

November 11, 2011 -

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's (R-Texas) effort in the Senate to kill the FCC's net neutrality rules has failed. The Senate voted, 46-52, against moving forward with a resolution that would have overturned federal regulations enacted in 2010 that govern anti-competitive behavior online.

"It's time to push back" against federal agencies that are overreaching their authority and enacting burdensome regulations, she argued before the Senate voted on a motion to proceed.

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A Mother's 'Long-Overdue Reaction' to Brown v. EMA

September 15, 2011 -

I'm all for letters to the editor, but one written by one Tina L. Bechtel, is particularly over the top and needs to be read to be believed. The Marysville, California mother of at least one son (at least the one she mentions in her letter) delivers what she calls her "long-overdue reaction to the 'supreme sellout' of our children," referring to the Supreme Court's decision earlier this year in the Brown v. EMA case.

Molyneux: E3 Fable Demo 'a Horrendous Mistake'

June 10, 2011 -

Perhaps stripping the navigation out of its E3 demo for the Kinect-only Fable title, Fable The Journey. was a terrible idea.. In retrospect, Lionhead Studios boss Peter Molyneux thinks they should have left the navigational features of the game in the demo. Because it was stripped to keep a tighter control on the presentation, many media types and viewers believed the game to be an "on rails shooter."

This, Molyneux has claimed in multiple interviews this week, is not the truth, but he blames himself for that perception. Speaking to OXM after his part in the Microsoft E3 briefing, Molyneux actually apologized for the game's debut, calling the whole thing a "horrendous mistake."

"I made a horrendous mistake on the press demo on taking out the navigation allowing players to move," he stated. "I'll state on record now that Fable: The Journey is definitely not on rails."

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FCC Commissioner Turned Lobbyist Defends Comcast-NBC Job

May 16, 2011 -

Caught with her proverbial pants down, former FCC Commissioner and soon to-be Washington D.C. lobbyist for Comcast-NBC Meredith Attwell Baker issued a statement regarding her new job, the approval of the Comcast-NBC merger and the appearance of impropriety taking a job at the company has caused her.

The Republican commissioner issued the statement on Friday after several publications including the New York Times called into question her role in the merger and taking a job with the same company a mere four months after her vote. From her statement (found in full here - PDF):

"Not once in my entire tenure as a Commissioner had anyone at Comcast or NBCUniversal approached me about potential employment. When this opportunity became available in mid-April, I made a personal decision that I wanted to give it serious consideration.

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Fraud Alert: Battlefield 3 Beta Key Offerings Aren't Real

May 9, 2011 -

Be wary of fake Battlefield 3 beta keys, says this Joystiq story. According to Battlefield 3 community site BF3blog, that website BF3nation is offering some fake Battlefield 3 beta keys to visitors. The site's owners were apparently received in a previous phishing scheme, so anything they offer is probably bullshit..

Joystiq says that EA has been trying to shut down the site for a while, but has so far been unsuccessful.

Right now EA isn't offering invites to beta keys for Battlefield 3, so anyone offering them is engaging in some sort of scam that will cause you nothing but trouble. Be vigilant. When Ea does start offering them you'll know because just about every game-related site on the Internet will be offering a chance to get one.

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Fox News Takes on DNF's Capture the Babe Mode

March 28, 2011 -

How could Fox News resist attacking Duke Nukem Forever? After all it's a game aching to court controversy - for reasons real or imagined. Fox News writers Jeremy A. Kaplan and Patrick Manning get together to take Gearbox to task for the multiplayer mode of the game, "Capture the Babe." They open by describing the multiplayer mode:

"A new videogame that requires you to abduct women and give them a "reassuring slap" if they freak out has gamers and women's rights-groups crying foul. Brace yourself for the awfully sexist world of Duke Nukem Forever."

Brace yourself for comments from people who know nothing about the game, save the ten minutes of video they found on YouTube:

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EA Downplays BioWare Employee's Metacritic User Review Fiasco

March 16, 2011 -

Electronic Arts has brushed aside complaints that a developer from its studio BioWare had acted unethically in posting a user review disguised as a fan. Electronic arts downplayed a BioWare employee's positive user review of Dragon Age II on Metacritic, saying that it was normal for "people who make games" to "vote for them."

The publisher said it sees no wrongdoing in studios “voting for their own game," comparing it to movie makers voting their film up for an Oscar.

"Of course the people who make the game vote for their own game," an EA spokesperson told Kotaku. That's how it works in the Oscars, that's how it works in the Grammy's and why I'm betting that Barack Obama voted for himself in the last election."

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GAME Follows Rules, UK Queen of Shops Gets Crazy

February 14, 2011 -

UK TV retail queen Mary Portas (known as Mary Queen of Shops on TV) went after UK-based games retailer GAME in a very public way over the weekend after her 17-year-old son was not allowed to purchase a 15+ rated game at the company's Oxford Street store. Outraged that the store was following the recommended guidelines on ratings, Portas took her fight to the phones to contact the company's CEO and to Twitter.

The result was a very public display that some gamers responded harshly to - like this Eurogamer forum thread where users called her everything from a "see you next Tuesday" and a moron, to a b*tch and a drama queen. Good job, Internet.

Her initial argument was that staff at the store recommended games to her son, but then refused to sell them to him because he didn't have a proper form of ID.

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Kevin Butler Tweet Accidently Shares PS3 Root Key

February 9, 2011 -

As a general rule, everyone loves the antics of Sony Computer Entertainment America's fictional executive, Kevin Butler. His TV commercials are hilarious, and even his online chatter is good for an occasional chuckle. But a recent back and forth on Twitter may have put some egg on the face of SCEA’s marketing department. During a short exchange of tweets with Linux and Mac enthusiast Travis La Marr, Butler inadvertently retweeted the PS3 root key to all of his followers. The story is particularly embarrassing for Sony, who is in a mad dash to stop people from sharing that root key on the Internet.  

La Marr tweeted the code at Butler, and signed off with "come at me @TheKevinButler." Whoever handles that Twitter account for Sony did not notice the long string of code in the message. That person retweeted the entire message, adding the comment: "Lemme guess ... You sank my Battleship?"

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The Biggest Disappointments of 2010

December 14, 2010 -

Gamasutra runs down the Top Five Disappointments of 2010 in a new feature that is part of its Best of 2010 series of articles. So what were the biggest disappointments of 2010, according to Gamasutra?

The list includes the on-going vagueness of digital sales figures (we're still dealing with estimates and not actual sales numbers); the failure of Final Fantasy XIV (Square Enix recently reshuffled the development team); EA backing down over criticism of "Taliban" in multiplayer and renaming the faction to an "Opposing Force"; the UK government ditching tax breaks for the video game industry; and the collapse of APB maker Realtime Worlds.

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Trapped Chilean Miners Not Playing Video Games

September 28, 2010 -

It was widely reported that the trapped Chilean miners received PSP systems to keep them occupied while they waited to be rescued. It turns out that that story is not true. According to a Washington Post report, a request by miners to receive music players and portable game systems was denied by rescuers.

The miners do get TV, three hot meals a day, ice cream, personal letters from loved ones, and their clothes laundered on a regular basis - all part of a well crafted routine to keep the miners productive and working as a team. Instead of keeping busy with games and music, the miners are engaging in therapy sessions, and regular daily work clearing the debris.

The rescue plan is being aided by lead psychiatrist, Alberto Iturra Benavides, who wants to leave them with "no possible alternative but to survive" until drillers finish rescue holes, which the government predicts will be done by early November

"With earphones, if they're listening to music and someone calls them, asking for help or to warn them about something, they're not available," Iturra said. "What they need is to be together."

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Playlogic Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

July 28, 2010 -

Dutch-based publisher Playlogic has filed for bankruptcy, according to documents from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Yesterday the company told the press, who had caught wind of its financial straits, that it was not going bankrupt. But late yesterday the board of directors confirmed it had voluntarily entered into "surseance van betaling," – apparently the Dutch equivalent to Chapter 11, for both Playlogic International and its development studio Playlogic Game Factory.

The company blamed a combination of "Tough market conditions, late payments by large customers and delays in projects" as the cause for the filings. One of the big companies that Playlogic alluded to was distribution partner Koch Media, which Playlogic is suing for unpaid bills totaling €1.7 million. Add to that a first quarter loss of $2.2 million, and a $20 million loss for the full 2009 financial year, and it is easy to see why Playlogic is struggling to stay alive.

Source: GI.biz

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Daily Star Apologizes for Fabricating GTA Story

July 26, 2010 -

Only the Daily Star could make the New York Post look like the New York Times.

We’re a little late to this one, but last week that bastion of accurate reporting, the UK’s Daily Star, ran an article insinuating that Rockstar was making a Grand Theft Auto game based on the criminal actions committed earlier this month by ex-con Raoul Moat, who killed one and injured three across a six-day spree throughout the NorthEast UK. 

GTA Rothbury, as the game was called by Star writer Jerry Lawton, contained a series of animated quotes from relatives of the victims, outraged by the thought of a game, book or movie based on the criminal’s exploits, as reported up by CVG.

The story was eventually taken off the Star’s website entirely (since it was made up) and the newspaper issued an apology (thanks again CVG) stating:

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MattsworknameWilson: how? Im still waiting for my upgrade notice07/29/2015 - 3:44am
Matthew WilsonI updated to a clean instill of windows 10.07/29/2015 - 2:36am
Mattsworknameargue that it's wrong, but then please admit it's wrong on ALL Fronts07/29/2015 - 2:06am
MattsworknameTechnoGeek: It's actually NOT, but it is a method used all across the specturm. See Rush limbaugh, MSNBC, Shawn hannity, etc etc, how many compagns have been brought up to try and shut them down by going after there advertisers. It's fine if you wanna07/29/2015 - 2:05am
Mattsworknamediscussed, while not what I liked and not the methods I wanted to see used, were , in a sense, the effort of thsoe game consuming masses to hold what they felt was supposed to be there press accountable for what many of them felt was Betrayal07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAs we say, the gamers are dead article set of a firestorm among the game consuming populace, who, ideally, were the intended audiance for sites like Kotaku, Polygon, Et all. As such, the turn about on them and the attacking of them, via the metods07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAndrew: Thats kind fo the issue at hand, Accountable is a matter of context. For a media group, it means accountable to its reader. to a goverment, to it's voters and tax payer, to a company, to it's share holders.07/29/2015 - 2:02am
Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Banning in the legal sense? Not that I'm aware but there have certainly been groups of gamers who have worked towards getting content they don't like removed.07/28/2015 - 11:45pm
DanJAlexander's editorial was and continues to be grossly misrepresented by her opponents. And if you don't like a site, you stop reading it - same as not watching a tv show. They get your first click, but not your second.07/28/2015 - 11:40pm
TechnogeekYes, because actively trying to convince advertisers to influence the editorial content of media is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, especially for a movement that's ostensibly about journalistic ethics.07/28/2015 - 11:02pm
Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
 

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