Gamekult co-founder nanark responded today in the Gamekult forums about the Sony Blacklist. He no longer works for the site.
The ban is considered as a retaliation after GK review. Poischich (Gamekult Editor) gave Heavy Rain a 6.
Here is the translation of nanark comment :
"As a reminder because many do not necessarily know me, I am co-founder of the site and was president of Gamekult until it was sold to CNET in 2007. I am not working there anymore and I therefore consult GK as a simple reader.
In fact, many publishers have blacklisted us more or less violently in the past.Canceling ads contracts regularly, stoping sending the games, stupid threats not always followed, etc..During my period, this happened with Ubi Soft, Microsoft, EA, Acclaim, Focus, Eidos, and of course Sony plus a bunch of smaller ones.
But the most ridiculous, it's been Sony who wanted to prevent us from testing an import game (GT4), a game thus commercially available...All the press has accepted the decision of Sony, being afraid of retaliation, which didn't take a long time to actually happen.
I pass the telephone conversation with their amazing PR who even threatened us with a court trial :) In short, we refused of course, we are not their puppy.
He then sent an email threatening quite clear to all amateur and pro sites indicating that they would cut us the ads (etc) and the little that was clever enough just doing his job might just be the second.
The PR guy then acted his threat: he claimed his debug PS2 back (which can run publisher games), no longer sent games, and for the ads, I think it did not have consequences, because the PR guy has no arms as long as that, he is only a PR guy after all :)
Later, he contacted us like "ok guys, let's bury the hatchet, you must come to the presentation of our Sony sponsored car for the 24h du Mans race" or something like that.
We did not go because we don't give a f*** about the car, he did not much appreciated. But from there, we received new games and other debug PS2.
Not from his initiative obviously, but I'm just guessing there ...At the time, we decided to not make the story public because it does not ultimately change much in our business: GameKult testing games for players, and we came to the conclusion to not relate in our columns threats and their applications (very, very regular) from game publishers, because with just this we could make another site ultimately not very interesting.
And we are used to buying the games, so short, nothing special. Anyway, almost 3 years since I'm retired and I see that the practices have not changed.That said, why would they change while there are some sites selling their a** for an exclusivity or ads (Note : Gameblog gave Heavy Rain a 5/5 and hosts the VIP blog of David Cage)"