Acclaimed video game designer Jenova Chen claims that he has become suspicious of journalists.
Rightfully so. Now if only others would speak up and name sites, names etc. Also vice versa, it would be nice if review sites could give honest, non bias opinions of games without fear from the publishers back lash. I myself am suspicious of both sides.
As a journalist, who has networked with other journalists, I know many who aren't afraid of backlash. So many websites have been blacklisted by big publishers for refusing to remove a leak or change a review score. Journalists have a bad rep, bro, and we don't deserve it.
you and me both...
He's had to correct Joystiq a couple of times. Like when certain people from TGC left the company, It's almost like they tried to make it sound like there were hard feelings, or they would never work together again. Also, he had to speak up on one of their Sony and TGC's parting of ways articles. They used to be one of the good ones, now...
Yeah, especially considering TGC and Sony never parted ways. They still have plans to deliver new games to PSN, just to other platforms (specifically PC has been mentioned) as well.
He should be , there is no such thing as a video game journalist
Me too, Chen. Me too.
I get annoyed about stories like this, I really do. Writing in the gaming industry is the oddest thing you can possibly do; if you write quality copy it's probably not going to get read, if it doesn't get read then you don't get review copy which means you can't get the hits that comes with writing early reviews. So the PR companies reward bad flame-for-hits writers with all the early review code they could ask for while at exactly the same time verbally distancing themselves from those very same people. It's like slapping someone in public and then giving them cake when nobody is looking. There's a lot wrong with video game journalism and with journalism as a whole. But we're stuck between a rock and a hard place. People don't read the things we're drip-fed from PR ("URGENT: New Gun revealed for Brown and Grey: The FPS") and we don't get to keep up with reviews if we're not bringing in the hits. Jenova Chen might be suspicious of journalists and should deal with this individually with them, even naming names and clarifying statements in public if need be. On the other hand, he's spent time trying to market a game with an interview and if the only thing that's at all interesting and unique (read: not prepared with PR) about that interview is an out-of-context quote that paints him in a bad light, then that's what the journalist will use. And you know what? That out-of-context quote that paints him in a bad light will sell more copies than the probably-not-great base interview would have done. Six months later he gets to run down the journalists (perhaps the same journalists that loved his game enough to speak about it regularly and garner interest from otherwise unaware fans), get a ton of agrees and repeat next time he has a game out. Sorry for the rant, folks. There's been a lot of this sort of thing lately and, frankly, I think both developers and the press need to be a bit more open about how this incredibly dysfunctional relationship works.
Great comment, Mat. You must have posted this while I was typing. I agree completely.
Not that I think it's okay for journalists to abuse quotes and take them so far out of context, but think about it from a journalist's standpoint. You land an interview with a well-known developer, only to find out that a PR rep is hovering over their shoulder and making sure the dev doesn't say anything too juicy. All of your interview questions get a response like "we're not ready to talk about that yet" or "no comment". Finally, you get something that resembles an interesting quote. It's not all the journalist's fault. If they were actually given REAL information from the interview, they wouldn't have to reach so far out of context to make the interview seem interesting. I've done interviews where I was like, "wow, can't believe they told me this much - can't wait to post this", but I've also had interviews where I was like "can't even post this piece of shit of an interview" because it was basically "no comment" over and over again. Don't like it, don't take interviews. If you take an interview, be prepared to be asked questions specifically created by the journalist to make headlines. That's what we do. It's our jobs. Granted, I've seen many times where people take things to far, and twist and turn quotes into completely different sounding statements. That, my friends, is not cool. But it's not just the fault of journalists, it's their bosses, the audience, the developers, the PR. Collectively, this industry is broken. From interviews, to news, to reviews, to the way developers are paid based on Metascores.
***Don't like it, don't take interviews. If you take an interview, be prepared to be asked questions specifically created by the journalist to make headlines. That's what we do. It's our jobs. *** In a hit-based world, perhaps. But, you know, it really isn't "your job" to make headlines. It's your job to get information to your viewers. ***But it's not just the fault of journalists*** No, it is their fault. Two wrongs don't make a right. It's the fault of PR of limiting information, but it's also the fault of journalists for misusing the information they are given.
To add to this, it's both their job to get information and to get headlines. It may not be the true definition of a journalist to get a headline, but you can be sure that there are EICs out there pushing for grabbier headlines for traffic, making it the journalist's "job" to do so. If they don't, they risking losing their job. And we love our jobs - we don't want to lose them. And you're right about two wrongs. But again, PR shouldn't be granting interviews to journalists without integrity enough to trust that they won't inflate quotes this way. They make the mistake of granting the interview based on outlet size or traffic. I won't point fingers, but I can think of at least two media outlets off the top of my head who do this frequently, yet they get interviews constantly because of their reach. Meanwhile, respectable journalists get left by the wayside because they're not inflating headlines, and therefore not getting that traffic influx. Again, it's a broken industry. Good comment reply, though.
It's not just Chen whose words have been twisted by 'journalists'. Katsuhiro Harada and David Jaffe are two others in the industry who have experienced similar issues.
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