BlackListed

Bat Vader

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I feel like I should find this to be important and care about this in some way or another but honestly I don't. I've pretty much stopped caring about the gaming industry and gaming journalism altogether. Now all I really care about is when a game is coming out.
 

K12

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Bethesda and Ubisoft's actions are defended because they are a company and they exist to make money.

Kotaku are indefensible because they write click-bait articles designed to rake in ad revenue and make money.

...anybody else see a conflict here?
 

Smooth Operator

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A news outlet didn't conform to multi billion conglomerates? Oh deary me! It's almost as if they were a news outlet...
You kids might find this shocking but that is what happens every day to real news reports, they say shit a company doesn't want heard and then companies try to pressure them with money and legal action. Of course this has almost never been seen with video games because everyone just plays by corporate rules.

"But OMG the respect and trust is gone now!" God you are naive, these people are out to serve their own needs and theirs alone, Ubi and Bethesda didn't do this because their feelings got hurt they do it to protect profits, and Kotaku did it to make a profit.
And if any side had the slightest bit of legal claim over the event this shit would have gone to court long before you heard of it.
 

Shamanic Rhythm

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Bethesda and Ubisoft vs Kotaku in some kind of battle over 'ethics' reminds me of what Jorge Luis Borges had to say about the Falklands War: "It's like two bald men fighting over a comb."
 

whatever55

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K12 said:
Bethesda and Ubisoft's actions are defended because they are a company and they exist to make money.

Kotaku are indefensible because they write click-bait articles designed to rake in ad revenue and make money.
look it's fairly simple, you as a company get to choose who you want to work with, if someone is a renowned asshole you can blacklist him if you want, that isn't unethical and it actually has nothing to do with journalism ethics.
journalism ethics are applied to journalists, not to companies like bathesda or ubisoft, you're thinking about business ethics with them.
either way there is obviously a counter to that, a balance of power if you will, if a company like ubisoft or bathesda decides to blacklist an outlet 2 things happen immediately:
1) the outlet can then do whatever the fuck they want without fear of precaution, like leaking inane bullshit that has no journalistic value that will only hurt the company.
2) they lose that websites audiance. which translates to lost sales.

the big issues here is kotaku is already doing 1 so if an outlet is already doing that the only fear you have in blacklisting them is losing access to their audience, here we get to the major point.

kotaku has almost no impact on game sales, it has no built in audiance, it gets lots of views, usually through click bait and overflow from the gawker network, but no real loyal userbase, nobody to stick up for them or nobody that cares for them.
kotaku has shot itself in the foot by not understanding risk management and alienating it's audience and now their crying that their foot hurts.
 

SecondPrize

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Defective_Detective said:
Gatlank said:
Defective_Detective said:
dirtysteve said:
Defective_Detective said:
The Kush Snickerer said:
That's the grave Kotaku dug when they decided to leak info out early, obviously.
You can't expect to be in a companies back pocket while simultaneously fucking them in the ass for clicks.
I'm sorry, but exactly what kind of relationship are you expecting Kotaku to have with publishers?

Are you saying it's completely acceptable for a company to blacklist journalists for unfavourable coverage?

There leads a very dangerous road...
Again, it's not really a blacklist, as it's individual companies making choices, not colluding.

You think Kotaku don't do the same? They pick and choose who they cover, often their good mates.
It's still blacklisting. It's individual companies making the choice to blacklist a gaming outlet.

And of course Kotaku pick and choose who and what they cover, but that's because they are not super-human. There are so many games being released these days that it is *physically impossible* for a review desk of maybe a dozen people to review everything that comes out. So they have to prioritize what they think will be of most value to their readership.

Bethesda and Ubisoft's behaviour is not even comparable. They are trying to control and denude a popular gaming press outlet and their readership by refusing access necessary for Kotaku to create coverage for their games.
Show me the blacklist.
As far as everyone nows this wasn't a joint effort to be called a blacklist.
Those companies decided they wouldn't waste more of their time with Kotaku and they aren't banned from reviewing their games (they now will have to buy them) has for interviews they are in their right to decide which media outlet can or cannot interview them.
What the heck are you even talking about? "Show me the blacklist"?

We're not arguing over whether or not Ubisoft and Bethesda have or have not blacklisted them. You even admit that they're refusing Kotaku press access. Right there! In bold

It is completely legal for Bethesda and Ubisoft to choose who they do and do not talk to. That does not make it *right*.

Such actions hurt consumers by setting a precedent that if you are a gaming press outlet or Youtuber that does not "play ball" by probing too deeply into developer affairs, you will be refused press access, which ultimately hurts that outlet with a loss in readership since they won't be able to review games in time for release day.
What he's talking about is that blacklist is a word that means a very specific thing. It does not mean that one company didn't hire you or give you coverage, it means that either a group collectively holding substantial power in an industry gets together and conspires to freeze an individual or group out of the industry or a single entity which holds substantial power in hiring does so, like the trade union of an industry or a government. If Ubisoft and Bethesda colluded on this and decided to deny Kotaku access, yes you could say they were blacklisted. Barring evidence of that, it seems more likely that Kotaku damaged their working relationships with those publishers to the point where the publishers decided to wash their hands of them.
 

Daelin Dwin

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Feb 3, 2014
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Amir Kondori said:
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 is hilarious. If you believe this then please tell me you don't think video game writing is journalism. I don't really think it is but if I did then they were obligated to report newsworthy things like the leaks for their audience. So if you think they really shouldn't have reported the leaks then I take it you don't believe there is such a thing as video game journalism.

EDIT: Having read some of this thread the Kotaku salt is real. I have a feeling if this happened to some other outlets more favored by those who supported gamergate the tone of these comments would be different.
My issue is less that they published leaked documents. It's that they published leaked documents and don't expect the developer/publisher to respond to said leak by blacklisting them. There are plenty of sites that leak stuff and take the hit to their reputation or relationships. Kotaku has published leaks, been hit with blacklists from the offended parties, but feels like they have been wronged. In my opinion, you can't have it both ways.
 

LordLundar

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For those of you defending Kotaku, this is essentially what they had done:

In reality they're just being that asshole who ruins the surprise party because they want to be the one to do it.
That's it. To make matters worse in the act of running it, now VA's are going to be damn near impossible to get into the industry because the first thing ANY dev is going to wonder is "do I trust them enough to not run to click bait sites with scripts entrusted to them?" and the response is going to be "nope."

Kotaku did irrecoverable damage to the industry JUST to be a pack of dicks and are getting spanked for it and crying like a poor baby. Stop trying to make them out like some lone outlet doing civil justice against a corrupt regime. They're assholes who saw short term gains at a long term loss and rushed headlong into it. Nothing more.
 

dragoongfa

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Apr 21, 2009
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Time to give my two cents here...

First of all, Gawker and all of its affiliates should burn in hell as a principle.

Now, with that out of the way:

The move by the two publishers demonstrates the dynamics between game journos and publishers/devs while also highlighting how inept the whole dynamic is in this particular field.

Journalism 101: Any journalist needs sources in the field they are working in. A crime reporter needs several police officers as sources. A sports reporter needs several players and coaches as sources. A game journalist will need some developers and publisher agents as sources.

The sources need to be maintained while also being 'milked' for stories which have to be published in a way that won't inflict harm on the sources proper or affect the general course of an ongoing story. This is the whole concept behind source anonymity and not divulging certain aspects of ongoing criminal investigations.

A journalist of any field that goes against this basic logic will find themselves without a job soon enough. A Journalist who is successful in keeping a balance with the stories they publish and maintaining the good will of the sources is one who is worth their weight in gold. Most of the times compromises have to be made one way or the other but as a rule of thumb a journalist should know when it is worth to burn a bridge with a source and when it isn't.

What Kotaku and the two publishers did in this instance was not unethical but it highlight's the instance of Kotaku burning a bridge for very little benefit in regards to the story.

What Kotaku published was a click bait article spoiling the early game of Fallout 4. Drew some clicks to it but it hardly benefited the source which gave this information to Kotaku. The developer felt 'betrayed' in the sense that they 'showed' Kotaku privileged information in good faith that would keep the journalist's curiosity satisfied until they would reveal the game proper. The response for such a 'betrayal' is to first stop sharing insider info for yet unrevealed projects before with holding review copies.

In short I believe that Kotaku burned a bridge for a single article a variation of which would probably be welcome at a later date.

The whole issue would be an attack on journalistic ethics if lets say Kotaku did investigative journalism and actually revealed evidence that the publishers willingly didn't patch critical bugs of the game, that the developers outsourced work to a completely uncredited team or that the office conditions during development were horrid while the personnel went unpaid.

The publishers would react badly of course, perhaps even attempt a real blacklist with other publishers. But they would be completely on the wrong side since it will be seen as they trying to wash the dirt off them on public while Kotaku would get a lot of brownie points with the gaming public.

Personally I would have stopped talking to anyone from Kotaku for being a part of Gawker. Just the whole fiasco of Gawker publishing the names and addresses of gun owners of New York is beyond unethical and actually put people in danger.
 

Doomskander

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Review copies and press access is basically a steady feed. A symbiotic relationships.

What Kotaku did was bite a finger off the hand that feeds so they could temporarily chew more meat.

And now they're no longer getting fed.

Please tell me where journalistic ethics are involved here?

If anything this is business ethics and very basic business ethics too:don't fuck over your business partner or he won't do business with you.

In fact...Kotaku accepting early review codes and such to begin with is more of a journalistic ethics concern than this.

As for not understanding why Gamergate would celebrate what is basically their arch nemesis and the most corrupt,unethical rag of an outlet on the internet being repeatedly kicked for their short sighted actions, that's quite silly. It is not a reformable, fixable rag. It refused to dispose of writers such as Grayson,Schreier,Hernandez and many more despite numerous ethical breaches on their part.

http://deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=nathan_grayson
http://deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=jason_schreier
http://deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=patricia_hernandez
http://deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=Patrick_Klepek

Kotaku are scum. Kotaku's article on why they haven't had contact with Ubisoft or Bethesda is speculation on their part, and massively playing the victim(OH NO WE JUST HAD TO TELL YOU FALLOUT 4 WAS COMING AND SPOIL THE OPENING LOCATION AND PREMISE,IT'S IN YOUR INTEREST THAT YOU KNOW THESE THINGS NOT IN OUR INTEREST TO GENERATE TRAFFIC AND GET CLICKS FROM IT, IT'S CALLED BEING A JOURNALIST!).

 

SNCommand

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How does "ethics in videogame journalism" include two companies who have nothing to do with journalism? If Bethesda decides to not market their game, would that then also have to do with "ethics in videogame journalism"?

Harping on breach of ethics from videogame companies has been happening for years, favorite pass time on the internet was comparing EA to the devil a few times

Current debacle involving "ethics in videogame journalism" has to do with the bullshit performed by the gaming journalism industry, it has nothing to do with whatever shady thing EA has up its sleeves when they decide to split their game in half and sell the rest of it for twice the price. I would involve ethics in videogame journalism though when a publication runs sponsored content of Battlefront 3 without disclosing it, if a journalist is "persuaded" to talk favorably about a product, or when a journalist lies about a product to make it seem worse than it is
 

General Torg

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Looking at the number of comments, shouldn't the last panel be changed? Looks like a lot of people want to talk about ethics in video game journalism.
 

Josh123914

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Nov 17, 2009
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General Torg said:
Looking at the number of comments, shouldn't the last panel be changed? Looks like a lot of people want to talk about ethics in video game journalism.
I actually see this as more of an issue of business ethics.

From a business standpoint, a company can decide not to work with another company (in this case Gawker). That is their right. They have no obligation to explain why they opt not to give Kotaku review copies among other privileges. Explaining why exactly they refuse to work with Kotaku opens the door up to scrutiny over whether or not that is justified, which is probably why (to my knowledge) Ubisoft and Bethesda are being quiet.
The most likely answers would be either;
A) This company is not a respectable journalism site,
B) It insists on being referred to as a coalition of bloggers, so we will treat it as such.
C) They spoiled our hype machines despite past cordial relationships.
All of these are answers that would just cause headaches for a legal team, when silence is a valid option.

Now Kotaku is arguing this is the companies not liking investigative journalism. I read the Fallout 4 stuff a while ago, and it wasn't really an investigation, it was more of a reblog imo. The relationship Kotaku enjoyed with these companies was confidential access and some free swag. Gawker cannot take either of these companies to court for revoking privileges. That is why they are called privileges, and Gawker knows the reason these privileges were revoked were because for Bethesda and Ubisoft the trust they would once have for Kotaku handling exclusive information has all but evaporated.

Being a journalist, one would have to weigh the risks on a decision like this. On the one hand, the public would like to know this stuff (even if said publication had no reliable way to verify the information), on the other hand, why bite the hand that feeds you? I mean Kotaku wasn't revealing anything that Bethesda or Ubisoft weren't going to release to the public on their own terms anyway.
And I really don't see how this could be conflated with The Escapist's Star Citizen articles, when I think we all know that if the devs had their way in that case, the former employees would never have their grievances amplified.
I could appreciate Kotaku's actions if it was taking some sort of moral stand, but this wasn't a moral stand. It was just bad business. Stupid business even, and now Kotaku wants paint this as a journalistic issue so they can have a do-over.

Am I missing anything here?
 

ChaoGuy2006

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General Torg said:
Looking at the number of comments, shouldn't the last panel be changed? Looks like a lot of people want to talk about ethics in video game journalism.
Yeah, but because its a bad publisher "we didn't care enough."

So, a publisher blacklists a journo outlet. This ultimately makes the publisher bad. What happens next?
Good Journo:
- Tells people s/he was blacklisted.
- People are upset someone who does good work has their job made harder, and are pissed with the publisher.
- The publisher loses reputation, and possibly sales because of their actions.
The blacklist almost turns back on the publisher.

Bad Journo:
- Tells people s/he was blacklisted.
- People don't care as the journo has not done good work in the past. However, they are pissed with the publisher.
- The publisher loses reputation, and possibly sales because of their actions.
The blacklist almost turns back on the publisher.

Yes, many have been busy celebrating about a bad publisher getting their just desserts- but many are still pissed at the publisher for blacklisting.

Ultimately, blacklisting just makes you more aware of what publishers not to trust.
I will support good journos, but bad ones can fade off into obscurity.
Just like I will support good publishers and devs, but bad can fade off into obscurity.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death."
I disapprove of poor journos, but I will demand publishers do good practices.
But defending Kotaku? When their past actions have been made up for.
 

Silvanus

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Doomskander said:
As for not understanding why Gamergate would celebrate what is basically their arch nemesis and the most corrupt,unethical rag of an outlet on the internet being repeatedly kicked for their short sighted actions, that's quite silly. It is not a reformable, fixable rag. It refused to dispose of writers such as Grayson,Schreier,Hernandez and many more despite numerous ethical breaches on their part.

http://deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=nathan_grayson
http://deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=jason_schreier
http://deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=patricia_hernandez
http://deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=Patrick_Klepek
Something I don't quite understand; Deepfreeze cites blacklisting as an unethical act when those figures may have had a hand in it. Is it unethical when it's them, but not unethical when it targets Kotaku? That seems inconsistent.

That site gives flimsy or otherwise shitty justifications for naming figures; the "sensationalism" tag seems to be used almost exclusively to target articles they merely disagree with, as I've argued before. It's a poor choice to bring it up in support of an ethical argument.
 

Doomskander

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Silvanus said:
Doomskander said:
As for not understanding why Gamergate would celebrate what is basically their arch nemesis and the most corrupt,unethical rag of an outlet on the internet being repeatedly kicked for their short sighted actions, that's quite silly. It is not a reformable, fixable rag. It refused to dispose of writers such as Grayson,Schreier,Hernandez and many more despite numerous ethical breaches on their part.

http://deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=nathan_grayson
http://deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=jason_schreier
http://deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=patricia_hernandez
http://deepfreeze.it/journo.php?j=Patrick_Klepek
Something I don't quite understand; Deepfreeze cites blacklisting as an unethical act when those figures may have had a hand in it. Is it unethical when it's them, but not unethical when it targets Kotaku? That seems inconsistent.

That site gives flimsy or otherwise shitty justifications for naming figures; the "sensationalism" tag seems to be used almost exclusively to target articles they merely disagree with, as I've argued before. It's a poor choice to bring it up in support of an ethical argument.
Well for one Deepfreeze counts journalistic blacklist as an ethical violation because it is a site about journalistic ethics not business ethics. And if Deepfreeze would view Kotaku being blacklisted as good or bad(it's made no stance,and likely won't as it exists to just catalog journalistic malpractice) matters little in me using it to show the ''quality'' of work Kotaku's writers are known for.

Your second point seems to lead the conversation away from the journalists itself into discussing Deepfreeze.it minutia,for which I am sure there is a thread. Deepfreeze catalogs bad practices and then gives it's own opinion on what sort of criteria of ethical breach it would constitute as. It is perfectly fine if you disagree with that opinion, however do you disagree with all of the things Deepfreeze has documented as ethical breaches?

How much of it do you think the Kotaku journalists are innocent off? A quarter?A half?All of it? Because a lot of entries are pretty clear cut ethical violations,and as such me linking Deepfreeze to show them was merely convenience.

I could individually use separate entries from those deepfreeze pages to prove my point instead, if you want to take the lengthy route.
 

vallorn

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Nov 18, 2009
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dirtysteve said:
vallorn said:
Xsjadoblayde said:
Why is this even important? I just...arghh! So many comments for such a tiny issue! This...baffles. Ugh, back to the wine it is then!!
Ever seen the comments thread for White Guy Defence Force? I think that's what they were trying to do with this strip what with trying to summon The Shitstorm In Yellow (GG V AGG) to the comment thread... Still, it did get a lot of people discussing how Games Journalism functions which is always good for peeling back the paper thin veneer that most outlets put up!
It's........it's.....it's all clickbait.
Clickbait all the way down.

Tono Makt said:
Calbeck said:
Meanwhile, in the next room over, the 18-month battle continues to rage...
No, someone called in a bomb threat and the discussion moved to a new place entirely. That's why it's empty in there.
We keep the discussion on wheels now so we don't have to keep taking them off and putting them back on when disgruntled people decide to break the law and call in bomb threats.
 

The Kush Snickerer

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Nov 20, 2015
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CFriis87 said:
Bethesda and Ubisoft are being infantile? I was under the distinct impression that this was about a bunch of videogame bloggers whining over no longer getting free shit like pre-release review copies and other swag.
/thread the comic has a fucking punchline now
 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
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Guilion said:
--
Now, here is a couple of plays that I seriously don't understand. Why are they complaining about not receiving review copies? No offense but considering the numbers Gawker is worth one would figure a bunch of blogg- Oh sorry, "journalists" could make a little pool and buy a 60 dollar game for review. It just seems like a lazy excuse to me, hell it makes me think there's some money being passed under the table for positive coverage.
--
I think a big reason for this is that sites which obtain the game from the companies usually get it a few days before release, and can get the first reviews out a couple hours before launch.

Kotaku now has to operate like Yahtzee and thousands of non-journalists / popular youtubers, and send out their review of the game a few days after launch. This will no doubt cut into their revenue, since their style of attention-grabbing isn't going to work when 3-dozen reviews of the game are already out, and they can't just race a review out the door in the way they've become accustomed to.