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Do Smaller Game Review Outlets Need Their Own Organization For Equal Treatment And Protection

Smaller game outlets often fall victim to games and broken promises that are made by P.R. individuals. In a new opinion piece, Skewed and Reviewed asks if game review outlets should have their own union/organizations similar to what the film critics do in order to provide them a united voice and support.

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opinionated310d ago

lol nobody owes you shit pal.

Garethvk310d ago

It called a contract. I have multiple e mails where things are promised in exchange for things we were to do. You go to a company you work with and they say hey if you do this, this and this, we will do this or give you this. You do all the work, they know this, are happy with it, and when it comes time for them to settle up with you they back out. Would you just roll over and take it?

When we did what we said we would do and they did not after we completed our tasks this is them breaking their agreement. So when a company repeatedly states that they will do something and you keep your end what would you do? And to be clear, I went by reps at three other companies and asked them about the situation and all three said it was very wrong on the part of the p.r. firm in question as they failed to honor and agreement and we were correct in denying them further coverage. It is very simply we honor agreements we enter into and when others do not there are consequences. So yeah, when they put in writing and fail to deliver they do owe us.

opinionated310d ago

What kind of work did you put in? That sounds shady as hell. You selling reviews under the table? That’s like going to a drug dealer you don’t know but end up getting robbed. What are you gonna do, call the cops?

Unionize for all I care. Pay dues that do absolutely nothing for you. Go on strike and watch the industry not give a shit. It’s not like you’re voice actors or writers.

If you had the proof of someone not holding up their end of a written contract then you don’t need a union, you need a lawyer. Sue their ass.

rainslacker310d ago (Edited 310d ago )

ummm....are you a PR spokesperson for the company, or are you a journalist relaying information for your readers because that is the nature of journalism?

Why at any time is there any kind of promise of compensation from any developer or publisher, and as a news outlet, would you actually agree to such a thing? In particular, why would you agree to any kind of compensation for a review?

As a news outlet, you relay press releases. You relay news. You do reviews. You can even do editorial. You do this on behalf of your readers, not on the expectation of compensation from the industry that you cover. At least that is what would be ethical.

Who pays the bills at your site? The industry, or he reader who visits your site?

Maybe it would help if you put this into some sort of context and say what you weren't given that you were promised.

In any case, outside of maybe a embargo for early review copies, what have you signed that is any kind of legal agreement? Maybe the occasional NDA?

The compensation you get from these publishers is them giving you content for your site.

I don't think you're going to find any support here, because the gaming press in general isn't highly viewed anymore, and quite honestly, your comment seems like it's actually proud of doing something that people criticize the media of....and that's taking payment in some way to relay information.

That isn't journalism, that's sponsorship. If it's sponsorship, then you aren't a game review outlet....you're a marketing site for the industry.

Sure, go ahead and form a union or whatever. For every site out there that joins, two more will take your place the next day. The industry isn't unionized, and takes a grim view of it. Don't expect publishers to care. If they're screwing you over, stop doing what they apparently want you to do, and just do what journalist do.

310d ago
Big_Game_Hunters310d ago

This isn't gaming news. it doesn't belong on this site.

Garethvk310d ago

Hence why it is listed an Opinion Piece not news and those who voted seem to agree it belongs.

Big_Game_Hunters310d ago (Edited 310d ago )

It's also not an opinion piece related to gaming.

Garethvk310d ago

You just love to argue don't you? That is why it is listed as culture and offbeat. I would say something related to game reviewers, should they form organizations, and so on would be gaming culture related. Cannot have an opinion piece about game reviewers without gaming being involved.

rainslacker310d ago

Actually, since Gamergate stuff is irrelevant, because stuff about the press itself isn't considered gaming news, I'd say that this also falls under the same criteria.

Now, if you have some actual real news of publishers promising something and not delivering, that would be news. But just some vague accusations is not news.

I'm not going to flag the article for review, because I rather like that you inadvertently exposed that you were promised compensation of some sort to relay content, and specifically imply that it was for reviews, which only damages your site's reputation.

Anyhow, the official line at N4G is that game reviewers, or the gaming media in general, and their problems or wrongdoings/good doings are not actual gaming news.

To cite examples, PewDiePie's controversies are usually stuck down by mods eventually, because what he does isn't actually gaming news.

Poli_Games310d ago

I think it’s a smart idea to create networks where smaller companies or personalities can partner with each other and work together to achieve common goals

Garethvk310d ago

Its not all about conflict resolution it is about a shared voice and working with one another. In the film organizations, many are rival outlets but their is a mutual respect amongst members and it fosters healthy competition and in many cases raises quality and allows them to operate on an equal base as while some will always get special treatment, there is it the least a base level of cooperation with the studios that they can count on which when they do long term planning is key. There is also much better communication as reps will say thing like we are trying to get so and so in town for interviews and if not we may be able to do screeners. Or sorry so and so cancelled at the last minute but we are working to get you so and so as a replacement.

OnionThief310d ago

I love smaller review outlets and stores. Staff and writers often actually have passion about the gaming industry and are more willing to explore niche titles.
I really believe that's what makes them better than something like IGN, it feels like a person talking about their own experiences from playing a game rather than a carefully worded paid for PR piece. I fully support anything that allows smaller outlets to gain more influence and attention, especially when the larger ones often either attack their customers or take bribes left and right.

Garethvk310d ago

Thank you. Those are great points. I often say to some of the reps I have good dealing with who are now at P.R. firms it seems odd to me to have companies who buy and sell ads to one another then negotiate for first reviews, pictures, video, etc. It seems as if this lacks credibility as how can you be fair, honest, and objective when you paid or were paid by the same people you are supposedly doing an unbiased review for.

Palitera310d ago

As if the smaller sites wouldn't love to receive bribe offers.

Generally, they're even worse: in their eternal quest for a bribe offer (or contract, if you prefer to call it that way) they are even more in favour of big companies.

Well, whatever. Gaming bloguism just sucks.

Garethvk310d ago

There is a big difference between a bribe and selling an ad. We have had people offer us things for positive stories and such that could be used in an ad campaign and I turn them down. I always say my staff and I will call it as well see it.

OnionThief310d ago

I suppose it's on a site by site basis, but i've seen several small outlets that rely more on fan patreon donations than bribes. They're happy to call a spade a spade when it comes to some of the more questionable business decisions.

Though i'm sure you're right that there are smaller outlets out there that do take bribes just as bad as IGN.

rainslacker310d ago

Smaller sites can gain more reputation by creating better content. It takes time, but it can happen.

It doesn't take a conglomerate of sites working together, because the general community doesn't care enough to pay attention to this kind of stuff. The way news is disseminated nowadays is more about the content than the site. Aggregite sites are king, and it doesn't take a huge outlet to get attention.

The bigger sites get more from the industry because the reader base is there, but that's just par for the course. OTOH, you have a small site like DualShockers creating it's content based on what's available, and pursuing devs and pubs that will talk to them. They have built their reputation, and thus their site. I remember when Kotaku was a small indie site that focused on Japanese games. Now, they're one of the biggest sites on the internet.

Content is king. Build your own reputation, and don't rely on a conglomerate of others to somehow look out for you. The aforementioned Kotaku did that, and that led to gamergate. While I assume you didn't mean that it should be as vile as what happened there, it just isn't good, and IMO, doesn't lead to a varied and productive discourse for the readers themselves.

Garethvk309d ago

That is some great advice, thank you for sharing it.