So a funny story that I sometimes tell to random industry people over my years in this
rat race has suddenly become a bit relevant.
Many years ago when I was doing this website
pretty much on my own I got an email and then a phone call from a game publisher. It was a huge
deal to me, working from home, to have much of any real contact with a fancy-pants publisher.
These guys had a game in the works that was hotly anticipated for various
reasons and they knew my audience would love more information.
So the PR guy on the phone asked me what I knew about the game and if I wanted to see
it. They were willing to handle my expenses and all of that, which was indeed exciting at the time.
But then this is when things got a little funny. (See, I told you it was a funny
story!) The PR guy started probing about what kind of article I was wanting to write. What
my current impressions were of the information I had was, and so on. His probing finally got to a
point where I ended up flatly asking if I were to write an article that turned out to be
negative, would that publisher work with me again? More after the jump.
After what can be classified as a very
uncomfortable pause, the answer came back as a roundabout confirmation of my suspicion
followed by no invite. In fact, that publisher ignored Shacknews entirely for about two
years after that.
That publisher? Eidos.
I seriously doubt that anyone involved is even at Eidos anymore. PR guys at publishers
tend to bounce around every couple of years. At any rate we're on pretty good terms with Eidos these
days (although I never deal with them myself) and I have not personally borne witness to any concrete evidence
that the current scandal is even true.
I can, however, tell you guys firsthand that it would not
be a huge shock. Game coverage and preview packages are still sold together with advertising budgets
in our industry. Big business decisions are generally driven by money, not integrity.