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This year's AGC gave me (Dana Massey, Senior Editor) a unique chance to talk on the panels I normally cover. I sat on a panel that discussed the role of third party community sites and their interaction with game developers. Today, I give you my summary of the panel and some additional thoughts on the topic.
|Later, in response to a question from Bruce Woodcock, I got to get my prepared rant out there. Id written it out in advance, and while the actual delivery strayed a bit, Im putting my originally intended version here:
We [third party community and news sites] are the trusted impendent sources, but only if you [developers] let us be .It sounds like a contradiction, but when companies try to control factual negative press we [game press] must make a choice. Do we cave and cease to become a reliable independent source or do we risk no longer being a source at all? It hurts games over time more than us. If you never let anyone say bad things, the good things earned or not become meaningless. The only way to control your press is to make good games!
The rant above stems from a not uncommon practice of companies who complain bitterly or worse cut off communication after an unflattering editorial or review. It happens, it has happened on MMORPG.com and our policy has always been to let them react that way if they want. To be clear though, this only applies to factual or fair negative press. We have a responsibility as well and should expect to loose our relationships if we unabashedly and unjustifiably attack a game simply because we were in a bad mood.
You can read more here.
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios