BlackListed

Dornedas

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Oct 9, 2014
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What has Kotaku to do with Games Journalism?

I thought they were bloggers not journalists.
 

Daelin Dwin

Accidentally Prescient
Feb 3, 2014
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Bethesda and Ubisoft are totally justified to blacklist Kotaku for publishing leaked documents. It doesn't matter if they were legally obtained and they didn't sign an NDA. They should have respected the developer/publisher in not publishing documents they clearly didn't want published. If these documents exposed evil business practices or terrible work conditions then it would be a different story. But in both cases it was information about an upcoming title before it was ready for reveal. Heck, with Fallout 4 it was a script who's content was used in the final game.

Kotaku showed they have no respect for the developer/publisher, and published the leaked documents for a quick buck. Why should Bethesda or Ubisoft respect them?
 

meiam

Elite Member
Apr 19, 2020
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I get the general idea behind "being blacklisted = bad" (BTW, blacklist are not cool, just come out and publicly say what you want), but it's not like they were blacklisted for great reporting, they got blacklisted for telling the world something everyone knew, Fallout 4 is in development (Noooooo?!) and there's a new assassin creed coming out (again, Noooooo?!).

I dunno, if they were for something big like "activision blizzard use child slave to program there game" or something, they yeah awesome, but this...

Beside weren't they already blacklisted by ubisoft for not showering assassin creed 1 with praise?
 

uber.

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Apr 4, 2009
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Daelin Dwin said:
Bethesda and Ubisoft are totally justified to blacklist Kotaku for publishing leaked documents. It doesn't matter if they were legally obtained and they didn't sign an NDA. They should have respected the developer/publisher in not publishing documents they clearly didn't want published. If these documents exposed evil business practices or terrible work conditions then it would be a different story. But in both cases it was information about an upcoming title before it was ready for reveal. Heck, with Fallout 4 it was a script who's content was used in the final game.

Kotaku showed they have no respect for the developer/publisher, and published the leaked documents for a quick buck. Why should Bethesda or Ubisoft respect them?
This. I don't get how that is so difficult to grasp.
 

Loonyyy

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Jul 10, 2009
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Dornedas said:
What has Kotaku to do with Games Journalism?

I thought they were bloggers not journalists.
Half and half. They're not really bloggers, since it's not really a personal thing. They're a gaming site in the vein of most Gawker stuff. That is, heavy on the personal voice, often very informal, though, they've yet to follow the rest of Gawker in engaging in the uttermost of scumbaggery and unethical practice (Whatever you think of Kotaku, Gawker made their name to fame by declaring they didn't give a fuck about standards, including a couple of things mentioned in this comic over the years. Whatever Kotaku's failings, they haven't done that).

It's a gaming site that's formatted like a twitter feed, with a contant stream of news, updates, reviews etc from a variety of contributors. It's kind of great for minute to minute news and trivia, but that's also it's biggest failing, because it's not really structured, particularly professional, and the signal to noise ratio is pretty low.

Like most of "games journalism", their jobs mostly compose of reposting other outlets news, rewording and announcing press releases, linking to trailers, talking sales and hype, and writing reviews.

It's just that a couple of their stories they've gotten through their contacts have apparently gotten them on the outer with some publishers. Not sure that I'd jump on Kotaku's side though. Talking about games before they're announced is hardly hard-hitting investigative journalism.
 

NinjaDeathSlap

Leaf on the wind
Feb 20, 2011
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Meiam said:
I get the general idea behind "being blacklisted = bad" (BTW, blacklist are not cool, just come out and publicly say what you want), but it's not like they were blacklisted for great reporting, they got blacklisted for telling the world something everyone knew, Fallout 4 is in development (Noooooo?!) and there's a new assassin creed coming out (again, Noooooo?!).

I dunno, if they were for something big like "activision blizzard use child slave to program there game" or something, they yeah awesome, but this...

Beside weren't they already blacklisted by ubisoft for not showering assassin creed 1 with praise?
It's not exactly Watergate, true, but that just raises the question: If the stories were so inconsequential, why did Bethesda/Ubisoft even bother to bring the hammer down? It just makes them look like dicks for no good reason.
 

Fappy

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May 1, 2020
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Blacklisting an outlet over a leak seems like misplaced blame. You should be taking a hard look at yourself, your staff and your information security rather than getting salty that someone shared what slipped through the cracks. By shunning an outlet as large as Kotaku they are limiting their audience, which doesn't really seem worth it at all. It's just bad business.

Sure, you could consider what Kotaku did as dickish, but they were well within their rights to publish the info. The simple fact is, they shared info they knew their audience would want. When it comes to enthusiast press, that's one of the few metrics you can use to judge an outlet's merit.
 

Amaror

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Apr 15, 2011
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Ok, what i don't get is why WOULD there be any discussion about ethics in game journalism here?
That discussion is generally about whether or not game journalists are acting ethically, not whether or not someone else is doing something ethical towards game journalists.
Sure there can be a discussion whether or not game publishers are acting ethical, but that question has been clearly answered with "No and they never did" a long, long, long, looooooong time ago.
 

Gorrath

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Feb 22, 2013
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As far as I understand, Ubi and Bethesda blacklisted Kotaku for releasing things they didn't want released. This blacklisting appears to involve not giving Kotaku access to things that the publishers are under no obligation to give access to. So my question is; what does any of this have to do with ethics in journalism?

The blurb below the comic suggests that the two companies not responding to Kotaku's requests for comments on news that surfaces is shady as fuck. How, exactly? If Kotaku wants to do serious investigative journalism, it should position itself that way. Hiding behind a wall of, "We're just bloggers!" when it suits them is totally at odds with the idea that they are serious investigative journalists. Kotaku doesn't get to switch hats like this whenever it suits them. It's every bit as stupid as Fox News trying to claim that half their talking heads aren't journalists, just entertainers with opinions and on the other half are serious fair and balanced news people.

There seems to be no ethical breach on Kotaku's part; they released information that harmed no innocent person and which the public had an interest in. There seems to be no breach on Ubi or Bethesda's part; they are entitled to share or not share information with anyone they wish. So again, what does this have to do in ethics in journalism?
 

Albino Boo

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Jun 14, 2010
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NinjaDeathSlap said:
Meiam said:
I get the general idea behind "being blacklisted = bad" (BTW, blacklist are not cool, just come out and publicly say what you want), but it's not like they were blacklisted for great reporting, they got blacklisted for telling the world something everyone knew, Fallout 4 is in development (Noooooo?!) and there's a new assassin creed coming out (again, Noooooo?!).

I dunno, if they were for something big like "activision blizzard use child slave to program there game" or something, they yeah awesome, but this...

Beside weren't they already blacklisted by ubisoft for not showering assassin creed 1 with praise?
It's not exactly Watergate, true, but that just raises the question: If the stories were so inconsequential, why did Bethesda/Ubisoft even bother to bring the hammer down? It just makes them look like dicks for no good reason.
Because they spent a lot of money on big launch that was spoiled by a bunch of bloggers going for their own ad revenue. Bethesda/Ubisoft are business that exist to make money, not a branch of government. Fundamentally they are entitled to send or not send review copies to who the hell they want. Turns out if you spoil the big reveal at the show you piss them off and they screw you back.
 

ShakerSilver

Professional Procrastinator
Nov 13, 2009
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This issue has me rather torn. On one hand, I fucking hate Kotaku. On the other hand, what they have done was actual journalism and reporting, rather than doing the usual for press outlets and regurgitating press releases and whatever info the industry willingly feeds. Bethesda and Ubisoft's decision to blacklist them is very shady and shows how far the big publishers will go to control information flow.

Here's the thing though: the only reason that the companies have the power to blacklist Kotaku so easily is because of how Kotaku and other press outlets have so gleefully acting as the PR-branch of the AAA industry. [a href=http://i.imgur.com/ZkzjJVm.jpg]They've all been so complicit in the bullshit the AAA industry tries to peddle[/a], never willing to criticize unless they think it will earn them more controversy clicks (like leaking some game documents). It's a business relationship the industry and the "press" has - say nice things about our games, we'll give you free stuff and info on our stuff so you can make articles for more clicks. This isn't really a matter of journalistic ethics, it's got to do with this business relationship. They acted badly in this relationship and are now facing the consequences for biting the hand that feeds, so I can't say I feel to sorry for them. Their recent article on the matter seemed like nothing more than whining that they were punished for acting bad on that relationship, rather than standing by their journalistic integrity (HAH).

Now, if more outlets continued the trend, broke their ties to the industry, and acted like actual reporters, then I'd be all for it. My guess is though this issue will die down soon and it'll "business" as usual for the gaming press and the gaming industry.
 

NinjaDeathSlap

Leaf on the wind
Feb 20, 2011
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albino boo said:
NinjaDeathSlap said:
Meiam said:
I get the general idea behind "being blacklisted = bad" (BTW, blacklist are not cool, just come out and publicly say what you want), but it's not like they were blacklisted for great reporting, they got blacklisted for telling the world something everyone knew, Fallout 4 is in development (Noooooo?!) and there's a new assassin creed coming out (again, Noooooo?!).

I dunno, if they were for something big like "activision blizzard use child slave to program there game" or something, they yeah awesome, but this...

Beside weren't they already blacklisted by ubisoft for not showering assassin creed 1 with praise?
It's not exactly Watergate, true, but that just raises the question: If the stories were so inconsequential, why did Bethesda/Ubisoft even bother to bring the hammer down? It just makes them look like dicks for no good reason.
Because they spent a lot of money on big launch that was spoiled by a bunch of bloggers going for their own ad revenue. Bethesda/Ubisoft are business that exist to make money, not a branch of government. Fundamentally they are entitled to send or not send review copies to who the hell they want. Turns out if you spoil the big reveal at the show you piss them off and they screw you back.
Then blame the people inside your own house who leaked it to them. Or better yet, realise in the modern age leaks to the press are just gonna happen, and pretty much the only way to mismanage them is to take it out on the press in question who do absolutely nothing wrong by reporting on stories that are given to them.

No, they're not obliged to work with the press, but they sure as hell don't look like adults either when they decide to take their ball and go home because the press does what it's supposed to do. Who do these guys hire for their PR that they think this is a good idea?
 

Karadalis

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Apr 26, 2011
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I dont see where ethics are involved here.

Kotaku released leaks.

Bethesda and Ubi where pissed that kotaku spoiled their big reveals and thus decided not to interact with them anymore.

None of these are unethical behavior...

This is what happens in professional journalism... its shocking i know but when you piss off a private corporation or individual said corporation or individual is not required by any form of law or ethical standards to further cooperate with you.

Heck developers send out review copies for the PR, not because they NEED to or somehow are OBLIGATED to do so.

Sorry but this comic strip misses the mark by miles. Kotaku is in the "right" to publish leaks and Bethesda and Ubi are in the right to simply not communicate or support Kotaku anymore.

What kotaku on the other hand has no right to is to whine and whail like a little kid about the big boys not letting it play in their sandbox anymore.. because in the past it turns out that kotaku shat in said sandbox repeatedly.

There was no journalistic gain behind releasing these leaks, they where leaked for profit. Perhaps kotaku should have thought about consequences before releasing these leaks that did nothing but to spoil the big reveals for these games?

Anyways, kotaku made their bed, now they have to lay in it. If they had a better reputation then shitflinging tabloid bloggers then perhaps people would support them more on this... but im afraid that train has left a long time ago.
 

The Wooster

King Snap
Jul 15, 2008
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Daelin Dwin said:
They should have respected the developer/publisher in not publishing documents they clearly didn't want published.
You and I clearly have very different ideas about journalism.
 

Albino Boo

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Jun 14, 2010
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NinjaDeathSlap said:
Then blame the people inside your own house who leaked it to them. Or better yet, realise in the modern age leaks to the press are just gonna happen, and pretty much the only way to mismanage them is to take it out on the press in question who do absolutely nothing wrong by reporting on stories that are given to them.

No, they're not obliged to work with the press, but they sure as hell don't look like adults either when they decide to take their ball and go home because the press does what it's supposed to do. Who do these guys hire for their PR that they think this is a good idea?
Kotaku made money at the expense of Bethesda/Ubisoft, what else did you think was going to happen.