Jimquisition: Shadiness of Mordor

josh4president

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Someone needs to get a list together of all the fools who actually took this brand deal.

Then, provided their tongues can be forcibly removed from the bottom of Warner Brother's boots, we can calmly and firmly make it plain to them that if this is ever repeated that they are silly people who shall never again be worthy of our attention ever regardless of circumstance.

Because come now, really? The biggest consumer revolt in years is taking place right now over lack of transparency and some nork sitting at his desk behind his 'Chungus St. McChungusson' name plate thought this was brilliant?

Really?
 

Rabidkitten

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RiseUp said:
Rabidkitten said:
After all the Gamersgate stuff that happened isn't this just vindicating all of those people who were up in arms. Isn't this just another stark example of how utterly corrupt the gaming press is. YouTubers ARE the gaming press, like it or not they are now the leaders in the gaming press, dethroning print media. And while print sites scramble to stay alive, no one seems to be pitch forking the far more corrupt YouTubers. The print media are just as bad probably because these kinds of PR deals are not exclusive to YouTubers but the YouTubers have no quelms flaunting their journalistic corruption.
Here's my main issue with GamerGate in general (because of course it has to come up somewhere in a thread about industry bullshit): they target the wrong people. There is corruption within the industry, but it's not at all driven by the sinister, self-promoting intent they assume of people in gaming journalism. It's as a direct result of publishers manipulating gaming media as a marketing department, something a good amount of journalists seem to buy into simply because they're excited about what they do, they like the opportunity to have the industry cater to them and give them special access to things they personally enjoy. They like their hobby, and they like talking about it. That makes some people complicit in this system, but they're not responsible for it. It's the industry's largest publishers that GamerGate should be worried about, not Indiecade or Zoe Quinn or Gamasutra.
You are correct. Going after the press for anything related to indies, especially ones that make free games is laughable.

It should be noted, that simply taking money to promote a product utterly destroys your credibility as a journalist, previewer, or reviewer. If you take money for a preview and then turn around and review the product in a separate video, just because the video is separate does NOT mean that a conflict of interest hasn't established.

If regular news journalist made a video about how great Bank of America was then a week later wrote an editorial relating to Bank of America, would you listen to that person? HELL NO.
 

Erttheking

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It really is a pity when good games come from companies with sleazy practices. It's almost like watching a nice kid get smacked by an abusive foster parent.
 

DeadCoyote

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I can't see how this is bad by itself. You make a product - you sell it for what you want. If you want to sell your game for a price of a good review - you do that. I say it's fair enough with one big "BUT": all such reviews should be marked as advertisment, because that's what they are.

If you hire a designer to make a picture of how awesome youre product is and why the audience should buy it right now - such picture is called advertisment. It is marked as advertisment and is placed in slots for advertisment.
If you hire a film\clip-maker to make a video of how awesome youre product is and why the audience should buy it right now - such video is called advertisment. It is marked as advertisment and is placed in slots for advertisment.
Naturaly, if you hire a critic to make a video\article of how awesome youre product is and why the audience should buy it right now - such video\article shpuld be called advertisment. It should be marked as advertisment and placed in slots for advertisment.

Then it'll be ok. There's a russian game site called Riot-Pixels. They have an awesome practice - they simply sell a place on their main page, so publisher would place their a review-like advertisment of their game. Such material is always marked as "advertisment". I haven't see anyone being angry about it. Works like a charm for everyone.
 

Rabidkitten

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hermes200 said:
Rabidkitten said:
After all the Gamersgate stuff that happened isn't this just vindicating all of those people who were up in arms. Isn't this just another stark example of how utterly corrupt the gaming press is. YouTubers ARE the gaming press, like it or not they are now the leaders in the gaming press, dethroning print media. And while print sites scramble to stay alive, no one seems to be pitch forking the far more corrupt YouTubers. The print media are just as bad probably because these kinds of PR deals are not exclusive to YouTubers but the YouTubers have no quelms flaunting their journalistic corruption.
Ehh... no. They are not.

Youtubers are normal people that suddenly found a big soapbox to speak from. For as informal and unorganized "gaming press" as a term is, your statement is like saying Youtubers that have channels about history are the new generation of History professors.
So you have to be an established business to be the press? Funny cause I have the Pax Press List and I'm pretty damn sure about 200 Youtubers are on that list. Some of those guys makes a ton of money each year, and they are putting print sites out of business, but their just a buncha hobbyists.

And the History Channel is accountable for its terrible unscholarly depictions of history, as much as a professor should be. Its just that no one has any standards for TV so no one does anything. That doesn't make it a ok.
 

Kohen Keesing

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Well, this actually explains why I've been unable to find ANY pages on the internet that address some game-breaking bugs in SoM (such as the inability to move faster than slow-walk pace, or Graugs that have the ability to ignore cliff faces and telport to the top like they're using DOOM's 'noclip' cheat. So not only is WB's information restriction making them look shady as fuck, it also means that things like significant amounts of game progress - I had already completed about 2/3rds of the game - have to be erased in order to fix bugs (like the movement speed issue).
 

Scorpid

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If I was the developer I would be sort of offended that WB assumed you were putting out a game that needed this much protection from the glaring eyes of the public. I mean the particular bit about not mentioning the movies is there because (I assume) so that your game wouldn't hurt the larger LoTR brand. I agree with jim that that much protection only shows that they had no confidence in the product and wanted to pull a fast one before anyone knew what their game really was.... which was apparently good anyway so this move only hurt the brand and would always of hurt the brand not to mention the brand of the reviewers themselves. There is not an ounce of brains behind this at all just fear.
 

Kohen Keesing

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Scorpid said:
I agree with jim that that much protection only shows that they had no confidence in the product and wanted to pull a fast one before anyone knew what their game really was.... which was apparently good anyway so this move only hurt the brand and would always of hurt the brand not to mention the brand of the reviewers themselves. There is not an ounce of brains behind this at all just fear.
Unfortunately I think I see where it's coming from. It had occurred to me long ago that graphical power in a game is usually directly proportional with how much money was pumped into it. Add on top of that the huge brand name of LotR, as you said, and we have an enormous investment that WB cannot afford to risk in any way. But brainless it is, because WB, and by extension possibly Monolith, are going about protecting their investment as stupidly as possible.
 

CaitSeith

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This makes me think: in which other games has this happened too? (more specifically AAA games). I doubt this game is the first one on doing this kind of shady publicity control / censorship (suppressing informative videos because they are inconvenient for a company is censorship).
 

Toilet

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You see I'm genuinely confused, Jim calls himself a consumer advocate and makes videos + statements that go after and decry these big faceless companies that don't really give a shit about him. However when it comes to important stuff like GamerGate and the controversy surrounding it he is silent and refused to take a side. So much for being a consumer advocate right.
 

Halverhahn

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Thanks for covering this. I listened to and read what Jim Sterling, Angryjoe, Boogie 2988 and TB had to say about this game. And about Warners highly selective and heavy handed way in doling out copies. This game seems to be good to great, but now I will pass on it. I dislike how Warner tries to force youtubers into unethical ways of covering new games. Perhaps in the future, a disclosure stating the exact date when a youtuber received his or her copy or review code would be interesting to gamers.
 

RA92

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Toilet said:
You see I'm genuinely confused, Jim calls himself a consumer advocate and makes videos + statements that go after and decry these big faceless companies that don't really give a shit about him. However when it comes to important stuff like GamerGate and the controversy surrounding it he is silent and refused to take a side. So much for being a consumer advocate right.
I think this is for you.

http://leighalexander.net/list-of-ethical-concerns-in-video-games-partial/
 

Kohen Keesing

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Toilet said:
You see I'm genuinely confused, Jim calls himself a consumer advocate and makes videos + statements that go after and decry these big faceless companies that don't really give a shit about him. However when it comes to important stuff like GamerGate and the controversy surrounding it he is silent and refused to take a side. So much for being a consumer advocate right.
He may have an episode squared away somewhere. I know Jim's mentioned before about having videos like his Silent Hill review that are sitting there rotting, unused because other things required more attention at the time, and now the decrepit video is irrelevant because too much time has passed since the original event happened. Besides, one man can't reliably cover every fleck of dung that happens in this shite-orchestra of an industry.

That being said, there are definitely a few videos I would like to see from Jim, but I'm not going to bring them up because of the shit he kicked up about people hassling him to do certain subjects before, e.g. "I'm going to tear the XBO a new asshole now. But not because you want me to, because I want to."
 

EternallyBored

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Toilet said:
You see I'm genuinely confused, Jim calls himself a consumer advocate and makes videos + statements that go after and decry these big faceless companies that don't really give a shit about him. However when it comes to important stuff like GamerGate and the controversy surrounding it he is silent and refused to take a side. So much for being a consumer advocate right.
Just because you see something as important doesn't mean everyone does, the fact that he isn't focusing on your desired issues as much as you would like doesn't disqualify him from being a consumer advocate.

An advocate cannot advocate for every single viewpoint that exists within an industry, he is advocating for consumers on issues he thinks are important, it is up to the consumers themselves to support the voices that match their views on the ideas and changes they wish to see. Jim refusing to take a side on GG has no impact on his other views, and it supports the views of those who agree with him, he advocates against big businesses because he sees them as a greater harm and a bigger problem to the industry, a view point I agree with him on, so if he takes your advice and starts covering more GG related issues, then he may be a better consumer advocate for your desires, but he becomes a less desirable advocate for the issues I see as important.
 

Kmadden2004

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Toilet said:
You see I'm genuinely confused, Jim calls himself a consumer advocate and makes videos + statements that go after and decry these big faceless companies that don't really give a shit about him. However when it comes to important stuff like GamerGate and the controversy surrounding it he is silent and refused to take a side. So much for being a consumer advocate right.
Jim has explained why he refused to take sides, and has said that he will do a video on it once the dust settles. I don't really see why his refusal to take a side for or against the GamerGate... community? Movement? Whatever... I don't see how his abstaining from taking sides in a tussle where there is plenty of blame to go around on both sides goes against his usual consumer advocacy stance.

If anything it just looks like common sense.
 

Slayer4472

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So, are we boycotting this game? Or are we going to let the shady practices slide on account of its quality?
 

EternallyBored

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Slayer4472 said:
So, are we boycotting this game? Or are we going to let the shady practices slide on account of its quality?
It's too late to boycott the game at this point, it's already out and sold quite well. The most effective thing would be to organize a letter campaign to the WB to let them know that the you are unhappy with the PR firm that the company hired to represent the game, and that you no longer wish to purchase products advertised by that company or advertised in such a manner. Depending on how receptive the PR company is, it might also be effective to contact them to voice your displeasure for how the contract was written.
 

geizr

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VoiceOfTheVoiceless said:
Great. Can't trust video game journalists. Can't trust YouTubers, Can't trust video game companies. The sadness of the business today.
That's why you have to think for yourself, make choices for yourself (and be open and honest with yourself regarding the TRUE reasons you make the choices that you do), and carry a Bullshit Meter (TM). One need not give in to pessimistic cynism; only accept the truth of the motivations of people, including yourself, and learn to navigate and conduct yourself accordingly, staying true to your own course, sense of self, and personal integrity.

OT: That is sad to learn that the publisher felt that it had to institute such a policy. Generally, you can tell well ahead of time that a company has little faith in their own game (usually they try to hard to distract you with a lot of sexy imagery). This seems to be a case of the lack of faith showing afterwards. Personally, I'm still interested in the game, but the experience will be a bit tainted knowing this went on in the background. In my opinion, it'll actually make the little issues stand out even more, which is a shame because there are plenty of games that, for some gamers, are truly fantastic and memorable despite their many flaws (Remember Me is one such game, for me).
 
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Jimothy Sterling said:
Shadiness of Mordor

The Eye of Sauron is watching, forever watching, and he wants to make sure your YouTube videos are "on message."

Watch Video
all very well n good, but can we not focus on the real thing hurting the industry, people having a different opinion than us, and primarily focus on how we can silence them/put them out of business.
 

Plunkies

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Grace_Omega said:
See *this* is the sort of thing the Gamergate people should be focusing on, not the sex lives of indie developers. This is legitimate corruption.
Ignoring your ridiculous misrepresentation...Who brought this issue to light? Was it the noble gaming journalists (who are never involved in "legitimate corruption", presumably)? No, of course not. It was a youtuber, as usual, actually caring about the consumer.

Oh, and then of course Jim Sterling hops on the bandwagon, likely after he's checked with his journalist and dev pals to make sure no one will be upset with him if he does. He's happy to stand up for the consumer as long as his ass isn't on the line when he does it.

We expect PR companies and publishers to be scummy. It's what they do. Gaming press is supposed to be the consumer's first line of defense against this type of thing but they've decided to actively work against the consumer instead. They take deals and favors for positive coverage, they censor criticism, they carry on unprofessional relationships, they allow ideological agendas to interfere with objectivity, they pressure other journalists to do the same, they bury stories that contradict their narrative, and they value click baiting over informing.

Do you know why publishers and PR firms do the sketchy things they do? Because they can get away with it. Because games journalists are complicit in their behavior.