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Eurogamer ran an interesting article about, in part, game journalists and their connection with advertisers. The image of Geoff Keighley sitting next to all those snacks, labels facing forward, has been passed around the Internet for the past day or so. The story also discussed writers tweeting at an industry event in order to win hardware, and the writer brought up a few instances of behavior he found questionable on the part of his peers. That’s not news. What happened next however, makes the story much more interesting than the standard patina of fear and distrust that often surrounds those who cover the video game industry.
Intent Media, the publisher of MCV UK, reached out to Eurogamer to complain about comments made about their writer, Lauren Wainwright. Eurogamer has since deleted sections of the story, and it has been claimed that Intent in fact threatened Eurogamer with legal action if the offending sections of the story weren’t deleted. “Also, don’t blame Eurogamer for this,” Robert Florence, the article’s author, stated. “The threat of legal action brings unbelievable pressure. I am clear on who the bad guys are in this.”
Florence noticed journalists winning PlayStation 3’s on Twitter, and was critical of the practice of promoting games in exchange for the possibility of winning prizes. He detailed what happened next in the original version of the story.
“One games journalist, Lauren Wainwright, tweeted: ‘Urm… Trion were giving away PS3s to journalists at the GMAs. Not sure why that’s a bad thing?’,” Florence reported. “Now, a few tweets earlier, she also tweeted this: ‘Lara header, two TR pix in the gallery and a very subtle TR background. #obsessed @tombraider pic.twitter.com/VOWDSavZ’”
Florence stated that this behavior made him skeptical of Wainwright’s motivations. “And instantly I am suspicious. I am suspicious of this journalist’s apparent love for Tomb Raider. I am asking myself whether she’s in the pocket of the Tomb Raider PR team. I’m sure she isn’t, but the doubt is there. After all, she sees nothing wrong with journalists promoting a game to win a PS3, right?”
both links are worth reading
reviewers being schmoozed is nothing new - but threatening libel is a new twist and this is only going to put Wainwright in an undesirable spotlight of attention
associated reddit link