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Twitter PR has been the downfall of so many projects in the gaming industry. Of course the most recent PR disaster came from the developers behind Titan Souls, when the lead artist Andrew Gleeson decided to print out a tweet from TotalBiscuit claiming the game wasn’t for him, and pin it to his fridge with pride. This led to many consumers deciding not to purchase Titan Souls with the developers acting poorly to criticism. While this was just one-third of AcidNerve, the team behind Titan Souls, the other 2 members then took to Facebook to ask their friends to upvote positive reviews in order to counteract the bad PR Andrew had forced upon the team.

titan souls dev

titan souls dev 2

titan souls devsBut Twitter isn’t the only form of social media getting developers into hot water. For a few years developers have been illegally using DMCA take down notices on YouTube videos in order to censor bad publicity. They obviously don’t realize that this only leads to the Streisand Effect, and games are now not only known bad gameplay but also bad PR. One of the first and most famous of these instances was when Total Biscuit reviewed Garry’s Incident, but happened as recently as last month to Jim Sterling with the game Skate Man Intense Rescue. As Jim Sterling points out, the Streisand Effect does not work in the developer’s favor in these cases, instead of the developers being known for their game, now the game belongs to the censored critic.

Then of course there are those who are in charge of the PR for the community, the community managers, which have done nothing but terrible things for their games in question. Obviously the most famous here is Dina, community manager from Mighty No.9 . Not only does she not like MegaMan, she did a good job of alienating the community. She locked threads and banned members from forums if they disagreed with her or the way the game was being developed. Only backers could see these forums, but leaks show that they were extremely unhappy with how the community was being handled. Then there was Annie Mitsoda of Dead State who called one critic a “dickbag” for wanting an apology after a buggy release.  It is nice however to see that some companies are learning from these experiences.

Chris Priestly, formerly of Bioware, was forced to apologize last year after making a comment to actress Felicia Day that she could get free stuff if she went about topless. He later resigned from EA and now works as community manager for CD PROJEKT RED, who are currently developing The Witcher 3. During the controversy surrounding the Honey Badger Brigade booth at Calgary Expo, where one poster for sale had a GamerGate symbol, Chris Priestly firmly put his foot in things again by making this tweet comparing GamerGate to the KKK.

Chris Priestly KKK tweet

Eventually either hindsight or some higher ups at CD PROJEKT RED came into play and Chris apologized for his insensitive comments as well as deleted the original tweet. Finally, it’s good to see a development company working on their PR skills.

A lot of this stuff just seems common sense. Calling critics “dickbags” on Twitter, censoring discussion and criticism and likening a group of gamers to the KKK is never going to be seen as a good thing by the community at whole.  I think it’s time that those who represent games and their projects realized that they are responsible for the representation of their works, and decide to act accordingly.

What do you think of the situation with Gaming’s PR?

Update: A few hours before this article went live Dina resigned from her post of community manager of Mighty No.9. I would also like to thank the Twitter user who brought my attention so the above screenshots.


Georgina Young

Contributor

British girl, currently in Japan. Surviving on a diet of retro games. Worshiping the god that is the Sega Megadrive. I like Nintendo.



  • It’s appalling really, this is absolutely disgraceful behavior and it really shouldn’t be tolerated…like seriously going and taking the piss out of Totalbiscuit when he is the biggest gaming critic on YouTube is almost career suicide and don’t even get me started on the MN9 thing >_>

  • Troy Sch

    the problem with these developers is that there mostley indies
    and have basicley never learnt how to handle PR or how to behave proffesionally

  • ArsCortica

    As it turns out, Dina resigned from her position as the Mighty No. 9 CM just a few hours ago – only to (supposedly) be replaced by someone who also drank the KoolAid and is busy cracking jokes over Mark Kern’s attempt to rebuild bridges between gamers and the (review) industry.

    The former imho is also one of the major problems – many developers and reviewers alike are out of touch with their audience, something perhaps understandable considering how…vocal….certain minorities can be. Coupled with this comes the stereotypical indie developer who lives in his own small hugbox and will readily insult potential customers as idiots or worse. The latter behavior might stem from the fact that indie devs originally made games for the sake of making games, but as the indie scene increasingly has become commercialized, those indie devs who plan to make money of their games will have to learn that telling someone to fuck off is not a legit tactic if said person actually paid money for your game.

  • David Wright

    the paragraph about felicia day has an error. “could get free stuff IS she went about topless”

  • David Wright

    I have to say about PR people for major developers is that they have nothing to do with the devs themselves.

  • Zanard Bell

    I think the main problem here is that these so-called ‘community managers’ don’t really have any backgrounds in working in a public relations industry, nor finished anything related to it. (Gender studies, perhaps?) So whenever they’ve been given a position of managing the PR of the game to the direct audience, IE, maintaining the game forums etc., their dickbag entitlement issues surface and the devs suffer for it.

    That or the problem runs deeper. Like, you know: corruption in games journalism? (Or using videogames as a cultural platform to brainwash young folks to one particular political leaning?) For that, I defer to people who have better digging skills than I do.

  • Garbagio Dumpsterino

    I have friends with asperger’s with more tact than these fucking morons.

  • thegreygamer

    It’s not just game devs tbh
    Twitter and social media have claimed a few politicians recently to the extent of one party instructing it’s candidates to stop using it.

  • Azure

    Is it that hard to have an alt account for you to speak your mind without getting a backlash?

  • The best part about Gleeson was that he jumped on the man with 2 million fans on the day of his game’s release. I shit you not. THE DAY. OF. RELEASE. Extra-strength stupid, this one.

    I say his game, but really Titan Souls has other developers and a great publisher Devolver Digital. Those poor sods.

  • ReLiC71

    This is exactly what I came to say. For supposed PR people, they clearly don’t have any actual PR experience or training.

  • Nope Naw

    Nope. But kinda sucks that it’s necessary.

  • Typical

    That’s why I’m only buying games from EA and UBiSoft. They suck, but at least they won’t call me an idiot when I have a problem.

  • Kelly Maxwell

    I dont see Gleesons’ reaction as anything but a reaction.

    these Youtubers, just like journalists should respect the reach of their voice. especially when you have a cult of personality following you, that believes u can do no wrong. I think the reaction was perfect. Critics can have opinions on work, and artists can have opinions about those critique.

    Pinning Totalbutthurts “opinion” to his fridge is hilarious to me, and i’d like to think any developer should have the right to respond in kind to any critique.

    It’s Easier to Critique, than to Create

  • ColaFlavourChewits

    What’s interesting is that a lot of their screw-ups aren’t things that you would need special training to avoid; simply the basic professionalism and common sense that enables one to keep a job for longer than a few weeks is enough.

    Or at least, it should be. A large part of the blame in my opinion falls to whichever management decided to hire the community managers in the first place; if I’d managed to hire people for which a warning not to swear at customers or compare them to the KKK was an essential part of induction training I imagine I’d be out of a job sharpish.

  • HisShadowX

    Here are the main issues with developers.

    • Gaming developers have poor social skills and do not have the skill set to understand the public

    • Gaming developers have the belief since they have the success and education this allows them to know better than the consumer

    Many of these developers grew up on social forums where they are often tyrannical moderators. This has sadly affected their social upbringing.

    This also has an affect in these employees being placed as managers and they also come off as condescending and unable to reason and work out employee related issues since they are known to cause them.

  • HisShadowX

    I have aspergers the difference is we do not understand how to be social. Many of these developers were raised in a fashion were they were either very privileged or on a web forum as an elitist moderator or forum member

  • Stormwatch

    If I owned a game studio, I’d FORBID all my employees from using Twitter. It is not possible to reasonably condense a complex, nuanced opinion into 140 characters.

  • ColaFlavourChewits

    Reading the original set of tweets I’m not even sure what the tone was meant to be, and that was evident in how his followers reacted; some took the fact that TB mentioned the game in terms of his personal preference as a good thing, while others took it as a major insult and started insulting TB.

    Either way, I think TB overreacted; I mean, cancelling doing a review because a developer said something that might have been in jest is a bit harsh, and though you can argue that the situation makes it harder to be impartial one has to wonder just how thin-skinned one must be to not be able to disregard it and examine the game objectively.

    It’s not like he was being really nasty or launching a personal attack, just responding to a tweet in kind, and if we expect devs to act professionally and courteously we should probably expect the same from popular, trusted youtubers too.

  • Ben

    Smart business practice is to not make enemies if at all possible. Controversy is bad for business (unless your business is controversy). This is why most Devs don’t even get close to the Gamergate-SJW war, because they are smart, idiots on the other hand stand up on stage with an actual sock puppet on their hand.

  • Nope Naw

    Keep those generalizations flowing bruh.

  • Troy Sch

    yeah and also the game released on the same day as gta 5 and mortalkombat 10,
    it really needed that good PR

  • cypher20

    While not true of everybody, our society seems to have gotten really bad at handling criticism in general and these are all examples of that. Some people just can’t seem to believe that anyone would disagree with them on anything and react with vitriol and hate to anyone who even mildly disagrees with them. It’s really pretty sad and portrays incredible arrogance/narcissism, especially when many of those same people incessantly ask for “tolerance”. Um, “tolerance” means you “tolerate” other people, including ones that you disagree with or don’t like.

  • Megamatics

    It’s as if a lot of Public Relations people don’t understand the very concept of “Public Relations”. Their job is not to cling to whichever side they think is right, but more so to bring people in as well as bolster a positive message for the company. Community Managers have an even tougher job than a regular PR Guy, since they have to deal with a Knowledgeable Fanbase most of the time. It’s amazing how some game companies don’t see an issue with hiring just anyone into that spot, when they deal with loyal consumers directly.

  • HisShadowX

    That’s how people in the Autism Spectrum think many people feel they are very different and claim they are unique but I often find there are many similarities between people or social groups.

    If I were incorrect or you doubt my or others assumptions then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    Many of these developers refuse to try to understand another persons prospective because that’s how they were raised. My issue in relation of not understanding people is more mental than anything because people with my mind set think in a different fashion than someone who is neurotypical to covey a thought it is sent out as a complex web of logical ideas which causes someone with my condition harder to understand or relate to others.

  • how do these losers even get jobs? pathetic.

  • HisShadowX

    I doubt you could prevent them but you can strongly dictate to remove your companies information from all social media so not only does this protect the company but also the employee.

    Think about all the social justice warriors who have had their jobs lost or careers and studios ruined because one employee sunk the reputation of the entire company which is known as guilt by association.

    To where many companies have social media policies many gaming publishers or developers have yet to establish real boundaries

  • HisShadowX

    Think of a studio like Bioware like this. They no longer have to sell products to a customer anymore since there only customer is EA and that’s EA’s problem.

    For years many Bioware employees lost sight of why they make games and who for this ultimately hurt the publisher more than the studio though eventually hurting your customer will hurt you.

    Publishers really need to reign in its studios and establish common sense rules you see anywhere else

  • HisShadowX

    Friends, family, references . Education is a big thing as well

  • HisShadowX

    Problem is the PR people are not PR people they are just tyrannical forum leaders who got lucky and got into the industry. By acting like a tyrant mod will get you only so far.

    Anyone remember the Codebreaker? What caused the place to ultimately fall was when the company who owned the Codebreaker broke off from the CMGSCC and as the CMGSCC decided to rebrand to codetwink and come up with a new cheating concept the forum was run by a tyrannical moderator which caused everyone flee

  • Nick

    And because I think people should know what they are actually referencing when they say catch-phrases, here you go: http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/11/18/the-phrase-drank-the-koolaid-is-completely-offensive-we-should-stop-saying-it-immediately/

  • Gasbandit

    Dina, for one, was a developer’s girlfriend.

  • gixxerharry .

    TB was right in my few………No respect for me than i not going to make u money’s

  • Squirly

    The problem with that dev in particular is that the snark went back all the way to January. It’s not just because of that tweet, it was basically the one that broke the camel’s back.

  • Nope Naw

    I don’t know why you decided to bring autism into this. I also struggle to decipher what point you were trying to make with that first paragraph.

    Let’s retread a bit.

    “Gaming developers have poor social skills and do not have the skill set to understand the public”

    Conjecture. Sure, it applies to some people in the field, but that is true about any statement about people in any field. Also, you are aware that social skills is a big deal in a studio environment, right? When dealing with the public, sure, you have a point when referring to people such as Phil Fish. But for every Phil Fish asshole out there, there’s dozens of devs that are just trying to do their thing.

    “Gaming developers have the belief since they have the success and education this allows them to know better than the consumer”

    Again, conjecture. Thing is, in many ways, game devs DO know better than the consumer. For example. Knowing how a game is put together and knowing how TO put a game together are two very different things. Many of the anti-consumer decisions in games don’t come from the developers, they come from investors and board members. Also, shitting on all developers because “they have the success and education” is kind of an asshole move towards the devs that haven’t had success and is scraping by with huge student loan debts.

    Now back to the future.

    “Many of these developers refuse to try to understand another persons prospective because that’s how they were raised.”

    More conjecture. (Also, I think you meant “perspective”.) And, aren’t you guilty of the same thing here? Aren’t you refusing to put yourself in the average game dev’s shoes because it doesn’t fit the simulacrum you’ve created in your own mind?

    The last paragraph seems to have nothing to do with anything and is a grammatical mess, so I’m not responding to that.

  • 210

    TB decided to not do the review because a lot of people’s view of his review would be coloured by the drama.

    “Because of the artists actions and the subsequent dogpiling that ended up happening over social media, any negative criticism I give thereafter to the game could be viewed as an attempt at “petty revenge”. This puts my reputation and credibility into question. Am I the sort of person that would be overly harsh on a game because the developer went after me personally? That’s the question that would be in everyones mind as they watched that video.”
    http://blueplz.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/the-complete-set-of-kotaku-interview.html

    The only professional option TB had was to not say anything. It would have been seen to be biased and TB wanted to avoid that.

    “that might have been in jest”
    The artist had insulted TB before this particular drama.

  • GOHAN56734

    “Or using videogames as a cultural platform to brainwash young folks to one particular political leaning?”

    To fight the patriarchy. I saw neotards having boners over what if tomodachi collection or mysims ds included genderfluid characters and how it would benefit children “who are being closed off real life sex politics by their bigoted parents willing to leave them in ignorance” to be “educated” about it.
    As in, they see videogames here as a platform to “teach” children as young as 6 stuff that they wouldn’t have been otherwise been learning (children not being taught about sexuality at a young age, the horror!), in order to see the world their way. No matter how right or wrong the goal is, the indoctrination angle is there.

  • Azure

    That’s what I do I have no personal social media accounts it is pointless risking getting dogpiled over words these days.

  • Caio Pontes

    Krappy Shitsowell (See what I did there? so funyy jjajajajajahjghdkjahsdgajs)
    It’s critic’s job to critic. Not to cuddle, not to socialize, not to pander.

  • KefkaFollower

    > While not true of everybody, our society seems to have gotten really bad
    at handling criticism in general and these are all examples of that.

    This is true for most of the people and media. And this is why morning shows, talk shows, etc from Britain amaze me. They come and go shredding apart each others arguments without ever raising their voice.

    I think its all about education.

  • Unbeliever

    That’s why i avoid as much as i can social media.
    The bigger the public exposure, higher the risk of saying something stupid that will come back to haunt you.

  • SirBittle

    I’m annoyed that I was actually looking forward to this game because I thought it looked interesting and cool. I even saw the TB twitter comment and disagreed with him, but in no way took it as an offense against the game or its creators. It’s just a guy expressing his opinion. I think anyone who follows TB knows he is a man who has his opinions. There are lots of games and genres that TB does not like that I would. I respect his opinion however because I know he is honest and you always know where he is coming from.

    Meanwhile you have these unprofessional folks rolling around, taking offense at every little thing. I even had someone arguing with me on Twitter that TB is “irrelevant” to the industry. If he’s so irrelevant, why care what he says about the game?

    I also got promptly blocked by this person for disagreeing. Wonderful, that is.

    Needless to say, I’m not going to buy this game anymore.

  • Indeed. On Steam, Titan Souls released alongside Mortal Kombat X and GTA V. On GoG it released alongside the Bundle Tower sale. Within a couple of days it was buried on both. It needed prominent Youtube critics to spread the word, and it needed them fast.

    The numbers aren’t a total disaster… just not great either. 650 simultaneous users on Steam at its height on the first day, petering out to a couple of hundred and continuing with that number for the last few days. One wonders if it might’ve reached the success of something like the first Hotline Miami without the controversy. We’ll never know.

  • DeathBattleFan123

    Is it just me, or does the Mighty No. 9 logo look like it was purposefully placed at the crotch of the character to look like he’s triumphantly schwinging a massive robot dick?

  • Screech Screecher

    At this point I try to keep things very simple. I try to only support devs that driving principle is making an enjoyable game. Those that see this as a secondary concern I will no longer support.
    The gaming industry as a whole would be well served by trying to surround themselves with people that love video games and gaming as a whole and expunge those who only see the gaming genre as a vehicle to expand their view.

  • Kyle Francoeur

    “Fully unrelated” my ass.

  • Fenrir007

    If you are saying “this is offensive, stop saying it”, I’m afraid you are preaching to the wrong choir.

  • Ajt

    It goes a little deeper. So many of these people come up through a life path where they have little to no experience having to act in a professional manner representing their business or employer. Not just the community managers but all of them. The average McDonalds or Walmart cashier has a better background in professional business behavior than 90% of the games development industry. Most of them have never been in a customer facing position. But social media is so ingrained in these people’s lifestyles that it never sinks in that it makes every employee customer facing.

    The equally sad thing is how poorly so many game companies do when they hire a CM. truly good CM’s are rare and require skill and experience. Yet CD Projekt Red hired one that had left his previous employer after pissing off the customers and causing controversy. That indicates a failure in decision making that runs all the way to the top.

  • Matthew Dolby

    They’re adult children that were handed their positions and never had to work hard a day in their life.

  • Nick

    Not telling people to stop necessarily. just saying people should know what they are saying and that using the term “Don’t drink the Kool-aid” is pretty offensive, and using it may a) negatively affect how some people view you, and b) doesn’t actually help an argument.

  • Matthew Dolby

    It isn’t so much as how you were trained, but who you know now.

  • MusouTensei

    Apparently Dina quit her position today
    https://archive.today/1qXD6
    Giving one last piece of great PR
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CDDGfUfVIAEE-er.jpg

    I wish she would stay there tbh, who knows what company she will fuck up next.

  • Fenrir007

    I’m sure most people know the origin. It’s also a widely used term in business and I believe marketing.

    Quite frankly, no one cares about it, and if they do, it’s probably one of the offendatrons, who would be offended at any other possible word other than “toxic”, “problematic” and “patreon”.

  • Tech Stegosaurus

    I have aspberger’s. I’d describe it as having to use concious thought and logic to make up for having limited aptitude with social situations.

    It does not take much logic to avoid flaming prominent critics who’s good opinion equals hard cash.

  • You see, when it boils right down to it, it’s just a matter of behaving yourself in a professional manner and realizing the position that you’re in.

    From Dina with the MN9 controversy to the immature response from Gleeson on Titan Souls because one critic didn’t like the game, people need to realize certain content may not be suited for others and that their statements can greatly affect how consumers will be willing to show support. This has been proven for the past 8 months of the whole GamerGate fiasco.

    And I gotta say, these last 8 months of GamerGate have been an eye opener to me, as it shows me how NOT to handle a community of potential buyers of your game (MN9) and how NOT to respond to criticism on your game (Titan Souls).

    Personally, I don’t think I can support MN9, as that outburst left quite a stigma on myself and others and even got to the point of people asking for refunds. Combine that with a beta getting mixed feedback and Inafune cancelling another game in development: http://www.gameinformer.com/themes/blogs/generic/post.aspx?WeblogApp=news&y=2015&m=03&d=14&WeblogPostName=keiji-inafune-39-s-kaio-king-of-pirates-cancelled&GroupKeys=
    I feel that showing support at this point would give me an uneasy feeling.

  • John Bain

    “Pinning Totalbutthurts “opinion” to his fridge is hilarious to me”

    Well you are about as grown-up as the dev is I see. The people saying this are completely ignoring the context, both subsequent and past tweets. It’s a common problem on social media which is why I’ve elected to step back from using it. Nitwits like yourself will make use of it to libel and slander people they dislike by twisting the facts. Gleeson had made unpleasant remarks about me in the past, the earliest I found was in January. He made further unpleasant remarks both before and after posting the “fridge” pic.

    Now if I was actually “butthurt” as you claim, I’d do the video and slam the game as petty revenge. However I did the only professional thing one could do in this situation and recused myself. I can understand why this would confuse you considering we’ve had a rash of instances of people on the games press who apparently don’t know the meaning of the term “ethics”, so it’s not like you’ve had many recent examples to learn from, however in this instance it should be blindingly obvious to anyone who bothered to read the context and who isnt horribly biased themselves that I did the right thing. Furthermore, I don’t owe you a f**kin video. Maybe 1 in 20 games I get sent end up on the channel, if you give me any reason not to make that video like say I dunno, introducing an element of completely unprofessional bias by acting like a spoiled child on Twitter, then don’t be surprised when that spot ends up going to a different game. It’s my platform, I can cover or not cover whatever I choose.

    It’s Easier to Critique, than to Create

    ^^ well no shit, which is why I say that all the time.

  • John Bain

    Responding to the tweet in kind? Your response to “this game isn’t for me” is personal insults, retweeting angry customers, yelling “I AM LITERALLY PHIL FISH” and getting your knickers in a twist to the point where you print out the “offending” tweet and put it on your fridge?

    I can certainly see why so many indie devs make PR faux-pas if this is the attitude of some people.

  • Shaun Joy

    I definitely looked at it from a different angle over at the TechRaptor Youtube channel, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBGuAqhI-_8. I think the evolving nature of PR is definitely a factor here, and the indie seen in general. The question is how it’s going to get better in the current atmosphere, especially with the indies and their lack of PR and PR specialists.

  • Except that TotalBiscuit’s critique was nothing more than “this game doesn’t appeal to me.”

    When I’m presented with that kind of criticism, I just shrug and think “okay, fair enough,” I don’t start calling the critic names and start acting like a spoilt brat.

    The only “butthurt” behaviour on display in this case was from the developer, not TotalBiscuit.

  • Pesty

    I think even better than the absolute perfect timing that Gleeson chose to sabotage his own project, was the profound lack of judgment and insight that went into attacking TB. Totalbiscuit has mentioned (perhaps even boasted) many times recently in his videos/Soundcloud clips/Tweets about the exposure that he’s able to bring to games and games issues. A mention from TB brings eyeballs, it’s simply a proven fact. In the wake of Gamergate, TB has also made it abundantly clear about how seriously he takes ethical standards and the avoidance of even the appearance of impropriety. And finally, TB has also stated several times within the past year alone that he will go out of his way to look at games from the perspective of a gamer who enjoys that particular genre, even if he personally does not.

    But Andrew Gleeson has apparently so fully committed himself to the SocJus marching orders that he apparently could not be bothered to do even the simplest of research on a well known and well respected critic, and happily swallowed the line that TB is a wrongthinking unperson.

  • From the PoV of someone who studies social media, PR and marketing… It’s not gaming. Believe me, it’s not gaming figures only who have this problem. In all industries and sectors at all levels, everyday, there are people making asses out of themselves on social media. On personal and corporate accounts. I have a professor who has a blog updated weekly with such blunders. He filled a 200 pages book in one year with them.

    The reasons for this, I see as mainly two: first is the matter of your position. Even the smallest amount of power can go to your head. Second is that social media are so called because even if the tools and channels are different, internet interactions work the same as real life ones. It’s scientifically proven.

    But there seems to be a rather widespread opinion that somehow being on the internet or social media, EVEN while using your real name, insulates you from any criticism and reaction AND also allows you to forgo the normal pillars of human decency and politeness we use in everyday life.

    For why that happens, it’s another matter entirely. If you’d like to know more, I can elaborate once I go back home. 🙂

  • Pesty

    Honestly, that’s a difficult thing to do when social media platforms are very often used as networking tools. You can’t network on an alias. Now, if all you are trying to do is communicate your personal opinions and ideas on a topic, you can certainly do so with an alt account. But here’s the wrinkle: Argument from Authority is a powerful tool in public discourse, despite it being a glaring logical fallacy. “You should listen to my opinion, because I’m an elected official/celebrity/AAA game dev/Harvard graduate/etc.” And especially on such a limited platform as Twitter’s 140 character limit, those rhetorical shortcuts (that invariably lead into logical fallacies) are almost vital in communicating ideas.

  • Unsafe Ideas

    “These community manager/mod positions are often unpaid.”

    How does that work? Arent companies legally obligated to pay salary?

  • Jeremiah R.

    She’s screaming so loudly, and frequently, about how much it doesn’t bother her, you can plainly see that it bothers her a great deal. That’s hilarious. Oh well, good riddance.

  • Joseph Fanning

    “Quit”

  • Problem Raptor

    Precisely. I bought Lone Survivor on the basis of a WTF is video. TB didn’t seem to enjoy it much, but it looked interesting to me so I got it. And I have enjoyed it!

  • Experiment #626

    talk shit, get hit

  • “Gaaaagh, no! They were all monsters! There was no jazz at all! No jazz at all! NO JAZZ AT ALLLLLL!” *sobs*

  • abombomb’sanidiot

    Wait a minute. You want the guy to be killed and HE’S the psychopath?

  • John Bain

    I recall saying this once and was accused of promoting domestic violence.

    The internet sucks

  • Pesty

    The phrase may be apt, but it’s not necessarily tactful. Also, with only four words there’s a whole lot of fill-in-the-blank context going on.

  • John Bain

    Let me put it this way. When the internet was invented, the first thing to die was benefit of the doubt

  • Audie Bakerson

    But EA will call your a homophobe and racist.

  • Pesty

    “Benefit of the doubt” as almost just a general approach to every online interaction is probably the only thing that’s kept me from being a card-carrying misanthrope.

  • lunaticFortune

    But the card is worth it – I think last month they moved the complimentary .357 to just after the free toaster. /s

  • Jon Snow

    Fully unrelated personal drama eh? Totalbiscuit said the game wasn’t for him. One of the devs acted like a 12 year old about it. That’s not personal at all.

  • lunaticFortune

    Cynical as it is, I think not having (or not having the perceptions of) immediate repercussions might be at play. Talking shit is much easier if you don’t have to worry about the slighted party flipping a table and stomping you into a mudhole.

  • Jon Stone

    Gleeson’s tweet worked very well from a PR angle. It told the audience that he’s got enough class to want to disassociate his work from the perpetual critical car crash that is TotalBiscuit, whose main mission in life now seems to be to become gaming’s Katie Hopkins.

    Importantly, it also didn’t come across as ‘PR’. Nothing is better PR than sounding like you don’t give two shits what makes for good ‘PR’ while still coming across as a smart, decent human being. Good work, Gleeson!

  • Jon Stone

    You seem to assume the dev was reacting simply to TB’s dismissive comment, rather than TB’s bad character in general.

  • lunaticFortune

    I think… okay, hope they meant “unrelated to them personally”.

    Not that it makes much difference, since it’s essentially coming from the top, as it were. But until the other two make some sort of bull-headed mistake, I think it shouldn’t be held against them directly.

  • Typical

    It’s ok, since apparently I am one by terms I use to insult others. As well as whatever an ableist is. At least I’m not getting suckered into buying generic looking indie crap.

  • Typical

    Well, it would be pretty hard to undo my kid’s evil terrible brainwashing. “That’s for girls!” is the magic phrase I use to get him to stop messing with something.

  • Pesty

    I dunno, I think it seems fairly evident that she’s resigning from the position because that position is being cut. If she was going to get the axe for her poor conduct and lack of professionalism, then it would have happened a long time ago.

  • lunaticFortune

    Oh, the days when a JonTron quote becomes relevant.

    “I don’t care. I DON’T CARE. I don’t care!”
    *I care immensely*

  • Jeronimo

    Thanks for this article. Really good read!

  • BlueLight

    Some anons from 8chan (Great Temple of Vivian James) are saying it rare for a company to outright fire someone in japan. There are a lot of laws which make it annoying, and generally they don’t want to pay the severance bill.
    According to them, the Japanese tend to make a person a social outcast at the company if they want them fired. Cut their pay, give them little to no work, and hostile voice/mannerisms.

  • Caio Pontes

    And you seem to assume bad character. At least he provided some background, whereas you simply opened your mouth and inferred shit straight out of your ass.

  • Pesty

    What makes the Gleeson thing even worse is that TB didn’t even say that he disliked the game. TB just doesn’t like that genre. But because TB has been linked to Gamergate (because he supports good ethics), and Gamergate has been slandered as being worse than ISIS, then according to guilt by association: TB must be a horrible person who sews his collection of bathrobes out of live kittens. And so Gleeson must show his SocJus credentials by publicly shit-talking someone on the approved list of enemies.

  • BlueLight

    “Either way, I think TB overreacted; I mean, cancelling doing a review
    because a developer said something that might have been in jest is a bit
    harsh, and though you can argue that the situation makes it harder to
    be impartial one has to wonder just how thin-skinned one must be to not
    be able to disregard it and examine the game objectively.”

    He didn’t cancel the review because the developer said something but that was one of the first domino that caused this. TB canceled the review because in his opinion doing the review would have ruined his reputation and he couldn’t be assured he’d objective. Now TB is just going to review some other game; solution found.

  • Jon Snow

    bad character in general. Really? Precisely why do you believe he has bad character?

  • Meittimies

    A good community manager acts both as a PR-person and the mediator between audience itself and the game developers. Whether they like it or not, they are the representatives of the company that hired them within that community, so they should act accordingly. A lot of these bad cases are inexperienced people who have never worked even in the simplest of customer-service jobs, taking way too much responsibility for themselves.

    I think part of it could also be blamed on the inexperience of the game development team- or its PR team itself, since they hired an incompetent person to the position in the first place. A lot of devs seem to mistake that even though Community Manager is essentially just a fancy name for “admin on the official forums”, their actions can still have a major impact in the companys public relations, if they step out of line.

  • BlueLight

    Don’t forget butts. They seem to love that word for some reason.
    God a 12 year old has better humor than them.

  • Pesty

    Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah, I have no personal experience with Japanese business cultures, so I was basing it off of my own here in Burgerland where there is generally a lot more latitude given to employers and not as much mandated job protection.

  • Are these really PR problems? The key line in the above article for me is this: “This led to many consumers deciding not to purchase Titan Souls with the developers acting poorly to criticism.” In that I’d like to see a citation because I’m pretty sure it’s not true.

    That the TBs of this world have some tiresomely fanatical followers who’ll downvote and swarm is without question, but reviews rarely impact actual sales of games. Indeed it could be argued that this particular storm in a teacup probably helped Titan Souls get a degree of recognition that it otherwise would not have. Swings and roundabouts.

    Moreover it strikes me as somewhat precious to make out that PR in games such a thing because gamers are all touchy and will quit en masse etc. No they won’t. Phil Fish sold a lot of copies of Fez for example, and he’s not generally known for his shyness. In the fringier end of gaming media, coverage and fandom (and I’m going to say TechRaptor is one of those venues) the significance of this stuff is often wildly over-read and really more a confirmation of community values than anything real. In practice? It’s just a headache, not a cause of studio or project death.

    Almost nobody cares about these mini-dramas that self-generate around would-be voices in search of their next click. They are in all honesty just noise that teams then take action to quash because nobody really likes to be yelled at by strangers. But it’s rare that any of the soap operatics actually translate into business consequences.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but there it is.

  • BlueLight

    IDK. Even here in burger land i’ve seen instances where employers seem hesitant to outright fire someone. Then again i’ve also seen the opposite. I think here it relates to possible counter sue cases where in japan all that is basically prepackaged in your firing.

  • Meittimies

    Actually, youtube coverage can have a major impact on sales:

    http://www.failbettergames.com/sunless-sea-sales-and-funding-deep-dive-part-iii-early-access-and-final-release/

    Can they have a NEGATIVE impact on sales? Thats an argument one can make since nobody has really researched it yet. Phil Fish really is not the best of examples since he was not solely responsible for the games marketing, and theres a lot of suspicion and signs that Indiecade and IGF both made Fez the success that it is:

    There are also legitimate PR-problems involving a game or a gaming scene that dont have much to do with the developers themselves, but can still affect the sales and marketing of those games. For example, Starcraft Brood War had a major scandal about its pro-players intentionally losing because they bet against themselves in illegal betting circles. That made it so that the Starcraft expansion basically died in the esports scene. Same happened in a smaller scale in the fighting game community, a pro-player in a Guilty Gear tournament rigged the brackets, which resulted in Guilty Gear being banned from EVO. Saying it wouldnt matter their sales would be dishonest, since there are a lot of games that try their hardest to get to the esports-scene so they would be successful. Skullgirls is a good example of a game that tried its hardest to get to EVO since day one of its development.

  • Pesty

    Gleeson’s tantrum over social media is definitely a PR problem, but I agree with your criticism of Tech Raptor’s assessment here. The major consequence here is not the downvote campaign from TotalBiscuit’s fanboys. It’s the fact that TB has recused himself from covering the game at all out of deference to his ethical standards: he no longer thinks that he would be able to give a report uncolored by bias and conflict of interest. So the real harm to the sales of Titan Souls is simply going to be down to a lack of exposure. And given the kinds of views that TB pulls on his videos, I think the lack of coverage is going to keep a lot more potential buyers in the dark on the game than this “storm in a teacup” is bringing in.

  • Oh boy, all I will say is if you think what Gleeson did was good PR, I sure hope you are not in the PR business.

  • Coverage certainly can have a major upward effect, as can prime positioning. Being featured in Steam’s capsule, for example, is much like being featured on the front page of the App Store or the Xbox store. You’ll get 5-10x as much attention simply for being more visible (because most users don’t care enough to search). However negative coverage? I’ve never heard of a PR hitch that destroyed a game. I’ve heard of plenty of bad games that attempted to PR their way out of their problems only to fail – but that’s largely down to the Emperor eventually being shown to have no clothes.

  • Sure. He’s hardly the only YouTuber though, or even the most popular.

  • I think it safe to say your views on TotalBiscuit are not widely shared outside certain Critical Theory influenced SJW circles.

  • Meittimies

    Thats very much true. But judging from the Sunless Sea sales charts after TB made a video and stream about it, Titan Souls lost a lot of potential sales there, as majority of Totalbiscuits subscribers do not really care what goes on in his Twitter. Bad PR doesnt make angry people to burn the game down, it just makes them abandon it.

    One could almost argue for Dina “destroying” MN9, as the beta turned out to be lackluster and both testers and fans wanted to inform the developers about it and suggest for fixes. But Dina was in the way, banning and silencing any dissent both in the forums and in the support-queue as Dina and her husband forwarded any and all emails straight to their accounts, and their accounts only.
    This came later to play when people wanted refunds from the game backing project, and Dina actually diverted all of those emails from the one who handles the refunds to her own email account, just to hide the fact the fans were very displeased about both the game and the community manager.

    So if the game comes out on the same lackluster state it was in beta, you can put part of the blame on the bad community manager who failed to work as the mediator in between the fans and the developers. But then, majority of the blame would still fall on the developers for simply making a bad game.

  • I used to be in the social media PR biz before it was actually called social media (early blogging days). Most clients were commercial or institutional, but I had a political ask me how best to use blogging. I told him the best way was not to if he actually valued his career. If Twitter had existed then, I would have said it would be best to just quit politics if he intended to Tweet as he was alarmingly prone to say whatever was on his mind 🙂

  • Pesty

    That’s true. Without intimate sales data and in depth research it’s really all just conjecture on what being covered by TB will do for exposure and more specifically: sales. But I would point back to the principle of this matter, and not the specifics.

  • BlueLight

    Citation needed you say?
    I am a customer and i will not touch this game even if a friend recommends it to me because a single dev acted childish.

    “but reviews rarely impact actual sales of games. Indeed it could be
    argued that this particular storm in a teacup probably helped Titan
    Souls get a degree of recognition that it otherwise would not have” – T. Kelly

    I believe i know what your citing which said something like only %3 of sales came from reviews. While the study helps us to understand the industry as a whole it treats every game the same. For instances i have a game here which on the PC platform alone has sold 19,288,425 units but did not have a marketing budget, story, sequel, or reviews. According to the study, 578,653 copies were sold because of reviews. The game is Minecraft. While i disagree on the review part i’ll let it slide since that can only lead to a semantic argument but will follow it up with a the devs of Guns of icarus seeing noticeable gain in player ship from youtubers and i believe in mentioning TB directly. Look at the steam charts and you’ll likely see a jump in players after a WTF… episode. So saying this was somehow good for the developer, i doubt it.

    “It’s just a headache, not a cause of studio or project death.” -T. Kelly

    Fun creator?…. ya they got crushed because of bad PR. Sadly it was because they illegally tried to take down TB video.

    *Nothing worth saying to the last sentence*

    “Sorry to be so blunt, but there it is.” – T. Kelly
    I wouldn’t say you were blunt. I think you just have a poor statistics. Sorry for being blunt.

  • BlueLight

    He’s one of the most popular. Not many people can claim to have 2,000,000+ subscribers in the gaming sphere or get 500,000 views on a video just about if a port is good or not.

  • BlueLight

    You can check the game play stats after one of his WTF.

  • Sure I get the lost opportunity argument but I don’t think the effect of a single Tuber’s coverage is quite the game changer that it was even a year ago. Flappy Bird was made by PewDiePie sure, but hundreds of channels have sprung up with greater or lesser audiences, as well as agencies that deal with them, pay for their time etc. The amount of free media coverage that this incident has brought up for Titan probably makes it all a wash at this point.

    Tbh I also think there’s an element of self-dramatizing on TB’s part in all this. Most publications choosing not to cover a story for one reason or another generally just wouldn’t. They usually wouldn’t go on to then make a visible declaration about same because it looks unseemly. It would make them look like they were all about themselves rather than the consumers.

  • MAPBill

    Great article! Twitter should adopt some anti-troll measures such as some sort of way to get that newly created accounts can’t retweet or use hastags for a week or something. That’d discourage some trolls.

  • Oh there are a fair few like Markiplier, Jack Septic Eye, Vegetta, Pewds of course, NerdCubed, Cinammon Toast, Stampy Longehad, Boogie etc.

  • I feel you’re conflating attention with reviews here. Attention is good for game sales just as it is for selling any kind of media. A good example for Minecraft is how App Store users regularly browse top charts and then buy what they see as number 1, 2, 3 etc but not number 101, 102, 103. Of course getting there is hard to begin with, but much of that is related to whether Apple features/pushes your game on its capsule-equivalent. It has little to do with stars, review ratings or anything like that though. Minecraft is also unusual in that it naturally leads to a lot of video creation, hence channels and what amount to an endless repeated effected of Tuber-style attention. Most games could only dream of being so fortunate.

  • David Renton

    “Car Crash that is totalbiscuit”, could you please explain or are you just ranting prejudicial views. I’ve watched a lot of TB’s video’s and he seem’s ok,i’m not a fanboi but i respect him for his ethic’s, his honesty and he make’s quality video’s which in the gaming industry is something quite rare.
    So what exactly is so controversial about TB, Jon Stone the issue seem’s to be with you, your prejudice more than anything.

  • BlueLight

    So based on active players since getting sales charts is near impossible to find. Titansoul had 631 active players on the 14th, with a dip on 15th to 190 then it basically starts smoothing out with 250, to 60 players. Sunless on march 8th(a month and 2 days after it’s releases) release had 685 active players. On Feb 7th the day TB video came out(day after release) there was 3,869 active players which is only 300 more user than the day before. Sun rider academy, a really bad look visual anime novel has for the past 26 hours beaten titan souls in players but didn’t get a huge peak player base at game launch.

    This isn’t good for a game if a week after launch the game is getting beaten by anime bullshit that doesn’t even seem that popular.

    Source http://steamcharts.com/cmp/297130,340730

  • Ata Vax

    Its definitely a problem. Like I can’t give Firefall another shot because of how huge a dick Matt Dewald is. And its not like they just tolerate him, they promoted him from community manager to producer.

    I think the problem is largely with the views of the industry. I’m a chef, if i make dishes that i think are awesome and they don’t sell, i don’t blame the community. I recognize that i need to satisfy the consumers, i have to compromise my vision to what i think sells best. I accept that, i don’t do some things i would love to do. A lot of bad chefs will blame the customers; but they fail to recognize their job isn’t to make what they like, its to make what the customers like.

    I think there is a lot of bad devs. Trying to force their views on the customers and when they fail to sway the views of the customers, instead of blaming themselves, they blame the customers. This is what causes these moments of backlash. They are hugely arrogant and entitled. The only reason they have a job is because of the consumer.

  • John Bain

    Slight problem with your analysis. You say the numbers only jumped by 300 for my WTF is, but what you didn’t take into account is that I did a big stream of the game the day before my WTF is came out. So actually, if you look at the jump, what you see is the max concurrents doubled. Now correlation does not equal causation, but to suggest that there was only a 300 player jump after the video does not take into account the effect of the stream, which on first glance appears to be significant.

    The developers of Sunless Sea also attribute the spike to my stream – “Some people were probably taking the last opportunity to benefit from our free lifetime DLC promise for backers and early access purchasers, but mostly, it looks like it was due to being streamed on Twitch by TotalBiscuit.”

    Source – http://www.failbettergames.com/sunless-sea-sales-and-funding-deep-dive-part-iii-early-access-and-final-release/

  • John Bain

    The mistake some people make is judging Youtubers purely by their viewership figures and not by things like their demographic and style of content. Pewdiepie has played plenty of Steam games, got millions of views but barely impacted the concurrent players on Steam. Why? Well for one he plays a lot of bad games for comedy purposes, people just tune in to watch him do his thing, they aren’t convinced to buy the game. Secondly, his demographic is much younger than mine. My primary demographic is 25-34 year old males, his consists of a great deal of pre-teen and early-teenage kids, that don’t have the purchasing power. Lastly, there’s a big difference between Lets Play and critique. Yup, LP can shift copies if a game comes off really well, but a recommendation from a trusted source is more likely to shift copies than an LP.

    We can shift copies. We’ve done it time and again. There are developers who have put out statistical analysis that clearly demonstrates the sales spikes generated by those videos and you can check for yourself on Steam Charts the spikes in concurrent players after a stream or WTF is video comes out.

    It is a mistake for an indie to put themselves in a position where a critic, any critic, doesn’t want to cover their game. It is an even bigger mistake to do so to the largest PC-centric channel on Youtube, which we are. We’re definitely smaller than people like Markiplier or Pewdiepie, but they don’t focus on being “buyers guides” or “tastemakers”, whereas that’s almost all that we do.

  • Cytos Lpagtr

    id love some links to those scientifically proven proofs, i have no doubt it is, but i need some evidence to stick it to someone i know 😛

  • John Bain

    “Tbh I also think there’s an element of self-dramatizing on TB’s part in all this. Most publications choosing not to cover a story for one reason or another generally just wouldn’t. They usually wouldn’t go on to then make a visible declaration about same because it looks unseemly. It would make them look like they were all about themselves rather than the consumers.”

    I think you don’t really understand the kind of business we do and how we approach our audience. We built our audience on the back of being honest to a fault and super transparent about everything we do. We also did it by trying to lead by example. This is an ethical issue and the best thing that we could do as a popular channel is make an ethical stand and thoroughly explain the thought process behind choosing not to cover the game. The hope is that indies learn from this and make less PR mistakes in the future because of this incident and that other critics maybe stop and think for a second about their potential biases and ensure they have sufficient self-awareness not to end up doing a disservice to the consumers. Contrary to your opinion, consumers are exactly what this is about. Ethics are for the benefit of the consumer and we are concerned about the consumer first, the developer second. While it would be unfortunate if Acid Nerve had to endure negative financial consequences for their artists behavior (and its safe to say at this point, to some degree they have), the audience is comes first, not them. A well informed audience is a constructive audience. If I can use an unfortunate incident like this to have a sincere talk about ethics and the danger of bias then I will do it in a heartbeat, because long-term that’s a good thing.

  • John Bain

    This comes across as the opinion of someone who has no idea what PR even is, much less has any experience doing it.

    Here are the facts. http://steamcharts.com/app/297130 – Titan Souls has flatlined. They received absolutely zero benefit from the artists behavior. “All publicity is good publicity” is provably false in the games industry, as you’ll note simply by looking at the playercounts of games like Garrys Incident or Guise of the Wolf. Garrys Incident was the subject of a 4 million view video about their particular PR flub, which was to react to harsh criticism of their game with a DMCA copyright claim. Did this publicity help their game? No, not a damn bit and you can verify that for yourself on Steamcharts.

    Your personal opinion of me and my work is so far beyond relevant to this discussion that it doesn’t merit a rebuttal, I’ll add you to the gigantic pile of Peanut Gallery denizens that have no impact on my business whatsoever, but your understanding of PR is not only woefully lacking but flies in the face of easily accessible facts. “Good work, Gleeson!”, yes well done, I’m sure the games concurrent playerbase being in free-fall due to lack of influential coverage is cause for celebration, I bet they’re breaking out the bubbly right now.

  • John Bain

    “Psychopaths like you should be shot in the head.” – if your reaction to someone having a different opinion to you is to wish them be murdered, then its safe to say the psychopath is you.

  • Ben Kuyt

    The easiest way to cut down on trolls is phone verification. No one will make or can make a troll account if they don’t have a phone to verify a pin.

  • BlueLight

    While i knew about your stream since it was the reason i bought the game myself, i didn’t know any information about beyond the fact it existed and i watched it. In such situations where i don’t think i know what i’m talking about, i’d rather concede it.

    Thank you for the correction and i’ll look at the link.

  • Big Ice Bastardman ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Community managers are hired by HR people which are notoriously on the progressive/SJW side of things, and they routinely prefer people who think like deranged social workers managing their communities.

  • “I think the main problem here is that these so-called ‘community
    managers’ don’t really have any backgrounds in working in a public
    relations industry, nor finished anything related to it”

    This is *exactly* correct. I used to be in the PR biz and these are clearly people doing a PR job who know jack shit about how PR actually works.

  • yanderenightmares

    How does one go about becoming a PR person for a game? Seriously, I can do a better job than some of these ppl.

  • I’m fairly sure I don’t agree it’s an ethical issue in the sense you’re describing John. The choice to cover or not cover lies with every media outlet (inc every blog, channel, Twitter user etc) and for many reasons. I’m sure – for example – that you get approached by many developers with their games that you turn down every day, many that never see the light of day, aren’t worth a video and so on. It’s entirely your choice whether to cover them, whether free or paid (I can’t speak for your own circumstances here ofc but pay-to-play is widespread among YouTubers, which is an ethical hot potato all its own), and if that went against Titan then so be it.

    The weird part is to then go and make a thing of it. It’s unrealistic and unfair to expect all working developers everywhere to never express a personal social media opinion of any kind without treating it as cause for attack. On the one hand it’s arbitrary, on the other usually misrepresentative of the whole person. It also runs counter to the spirit of campaigns supporting developer’s rights to speak or that kind of thing. It says speak but don’t say anything.

    Are innocuous tweets, even mean tweets from people that don’t like us, fully representative of tweeters? Nope. Out of context though they look that way. Should devs have to mind every single P and Q? I don’t see that they should – no-one else does, and with Twitter in particular the question of exactly how public it’s really supposed to be is grey. One could argue that since someone is on a public network they deserve to be treated as a public entity – much as is the argument re: celebrity – but that just turns it into a witch-hunt engine against the defenseless. An arbitrary engine at that whose random touch of pain might fall on anyone at any time.

    Ethically it’s just not right. Highlighting on tweets like these as “evidence” of “mistakes” and making a brouhaha about it is to me an example of being on the wrong side for possibly the right reasons. Especially for a media channel like yours, especially as those media channels grow ever larger. There’s an implied responsibility when you have a giant commentariat at your disposal, and to deny that responsibility is to fall into the same pit that every rightwing radio host has ever wallowed in.

    The fact that someone doesn’t like you isn’t news, nor is the fact that you choose what to cover or not. It’s not an issue of public interest with implications about a game or its coverage, it’s just someone’s opinion. That one never-heard-of-him artist made a tweet does not a scandal make and it’s strange to make a thing of it using your much larger bullhorn and then call that “transparency”. It smacks of the sort of thing that tabloids do when they want to grandstand.

  • John Bain

    “I’m fairly sure I don’t agree it’s an ethical issue in the sense you’re describing John.”

    I’ve made my position on why exactly I do think it is an ethical issue crystal clear. If you still choose to disagree with it after that then I don’t know what to tell you, other than what I consider ethical is integral to our business practices and it is vital that we continue to adhere to that or risk losing the very reputation that has allowed the channel to reach the heights it is now over the last 5 years.

    “The weird part is to then go and make a thing of it. It’s unrealistic and unfair to expect all working developers everywhere to never express a personal social media opinion of any kind without treating it as cause for attack. On the one hand it’s arbitrary, on the other usually misrepresentative of the whole person. It also runs counter to the spirit of campaigns supporting developer’s rights to speak or that kind of thing. It says speak but don’t say anything.”

    Feel free to express an opinion on social media but when you have your companies name emblazoned on your Twitter account, you no longer have a “personal” opinion, your opinion represents your company. Do you think Adam Orth got away with “personal opinions” after the dealwithit fiasco? No he got fired, because he along with many other unprofessional folks say stupid things on social media with their companies name all over their accounts. This guy in particular has been sniping at me since march and there is no question of the context in this situation unless you are to deliberately ignore everything but the fridge picture (which many people have either chosen to do or are simply ignorant of the other comments he made and his melt-down after the fact). I am not interested in the artist as a person, that is not relevant to my line of work, what I am interested in is keeping my coverage as unbiased as possible and not exposing myself to social media lynching, were I to go ahead and cover the game anyway and those with an axe to grind take every single piece of criticism I have of the title as a piece of petty revenge against someone who slighted me. My reputation matters more than anything. Without a reputation, one cannot be a tastemaker and once you lose that reputation it’s never coming back.

    Could I have just not covered the game and not said anything? Sure, but by doing that I’d be failing in my obligation to try and lead by example and demonstrate how to ethically run ones business.

    “Are innocuous tweets, even mean tweets from people that don’t like us, fully representative of tweeters? Nope. Out of context though they look that way. Should devs have to mind every single P and Q? I don’t see that they should – no-one else does, and with Twitter in particular the question of exactly how public it’s really supposed to be is grey. One could argue that since someone is on a public network they deserve to be treated as a public entity – much as is the argument re: celebrity – but that just turns it into a witch-hunt engine against the defenseless. An arbitrary engine at that whose random touch of pain might fall on anyone at any time.”

    And I absolutely will argue that point. If you want to tweet dumb shit about a critic, don’t do it on an account directly attached to the company whose game you sent review code for the week before. Take some damn responsibility for your own public behavior. I accept that everything I say on Twitter WILL affect my company and I expect others to live by that same standard. This ridiculous idea that you can just spout whatever nonsense you want online in full view of the public and there will be no professional consequences is absolutely ridiculous. People get fired for less than what that guy did.

    As for witchhunting, I have little sympathy. He knows exactly what he did and my response was both calm and proportionate.

    “Ethically it’s just not right. Highlighting on tweets like these as “evidence” of “mistakes” and making a brouhaha about it is to me an example of being on the wrong side for possibly the right reasons. Especially for a media channel like yours, especially as those media channels grow ever larger. There’s an implied responsibility when you have a giant commentariat at your disposal, and to deny that responsibility is to fall into the same pit that every rightwing radio host has ever wallowed in.”

    Ethically it is completely NOT OK to critique something when you have a negative bias against the people that made it. It presents a huge PR problem, has a massive potential impact on ones reputation and frankly the only reason I’m not surprised that you’re claiming that what I did is not ok is that the standards in this industry would be at the bottom of the ocean were they to sink any lower. As for the actions of my fans, I do not take responsibility or apologise for things I did not do. At no point was anyone encouraged, nor was it even implied that review-bombing or harassing that developer would be an ok thing to do, not to mention I condemned the behavior in a Kotaku interview the day after. I have fulfilled my responsibility both to my audience and the industry at large and I certainly will not take responsibility for a developers PR fuckup.

    “The fact that someone doesn’t like you isn’t news, nor is the fact that you choose what to cover or not. It’s not an issue of public interest with implications about a game or its coverage, it’s just someone’s opinion. That one never-heard-of-him artist made a tweet does not a scandal make and it’s strange to make a thing of it using your much larger bullhorn and then call that “transparency”. It smacks of the sort of thing that tabloids do when they want to grandstand.”

    Blahblahblah. I’ve made my justifications for my actions crystal clear. See the following two audioblogs on the subject. If you still don’t agree with me then we really have nothing else to discuss, my opinion has plenty of thought behind it and my actions were far from rash.

    https://soundcloud.com/totalbiscuit/why-i-can-no-longer-cover-titan-souls

    https://soundcloud.com/totalbiscuit/complete-answers-to-kotakus-titan-souls-questions

    Long story short, if you dont want your game to suffer, maybe dont personally attack the person who is supposed to be critiquing your game over social media. That’s not a threat, that’s the bare essentials of acting like a professional adult in this industry. If you can’t even do that then I suggest finding another career, but beware, they’re even less forgiving than this one when it comes to bullshit like this.

  • #AYYTEAMLMAO

    so titan souls just now turned someone who didn’t care in the first place to upvote all negative

    such a good idea from them

  • Momnoc

    Don’t see what’s wrong with FelDay’s comment thing. If she’s cutiewhoring, she might as well go all the way.

  • coboney

    And that discriminates against people who don’t have a phone, are in third world nations, don’t have the money for a plan or various things.

    Yes. Twitter for the Rich Only!

  • Fenrir007

    I wouldn’t dare to forget – butts are always on my mind.

  • ColaFlavourChewits

    I can appreciate that point of view, though at the same time I think people’s opinions of his work will always be coloured anyway; it’s the nature of people to see bias where none exists. It’s his decision ultimately, but for me professionalism is rising above the petty hate and doing what already made one a success.

    However, this point of view is based on the idea that the developer didn’t really personally insult him; if there was, as you say, a previous situation where the developer had insulted TB personally rather than vague tweets that could be read in multiple ways (new stories that I read on the matter only mentioned the tweet on the fridge and “this is the best day”) then I’m less inclined to believe he overreacted.

  • Fenrir007

    One thing I don’t get about PR.

    Is it really a shot in the foot to just admit you fucked up as fast as possible and work to fix it? Is it really better to go on a crazy crisis management involving denial, doubling down and alienation of a portion of your fanbase, as well as suffering the brunt of the streissand effect?

    Of course, sometimes devs find themselves at a cross road where both paths lead to Silent Hill, so I understand the PR management in those cases. But when you clearly fucked up and can fix it all with a simple apology…? Why is this not more common?

  • Vanadise

    It doesn’t /have/ to be abused, though. XSEED, for example, has several employees that regularly use Twitter, Tumblr, or various other forums to talk about their work, and they’re well-loved by the community for how open they are with their fans.

    It doesn’t hurt that Tom (one of their employees) has the patience of a saint. That guy has spent countless hours calmly talking to trolls that I would’ve ragebanned after a few posts.

  • J W

    I think personal twitter and the work place shouldn’t be connected. This cross promotion of the workplace via the private space (that is far more public than individuals seem to realize) is a terrible approach.

    Even if they’re idiotic, people should be able to express views in their private space separate from their work. The company does not own their views and opinions, and their views do not serve the company. Twitter is a very public space that people use to self promote for their careers, and companies even ask for twitter profiles in job applications. It’s seen as a work networking tool when it’s actually just a stripped down social media tool that gets used in the same way social has for years.

    This will not work out well in the end.

  • Ben Kuyt

    Everyone who wants to be on Twitter has a phone. Pretty sure the people in Africa and Asia have more important issues than following Ashton Kutcher or some shit. You know, clean water. Also, most third world countries barely have internet anyway. Twitter is for the rich, on a global scale. So yes, phone verification or no go.

  • You can get internet phonenumbers (pain in the ass to do, but can be done) or they could simply require it based off geolocation

  • ColaFlavourChewits

    As I noted in my initial comment, the overreaction in my opinion was due to the fridge tweet possibly being misread in tone; in that vein I find yelling “I AM LITERALLY PHIL FISH” to be quite amusing too. If he was putting the tweet on his fridge as a badge of honour or a sign that one has “made it” (some of the responses to the tweet read it this way) then I would see that as responding in kind; taking a jab with no real harm meant.

    If the dev had previously insulted you as you mentioned in your earlier response, making it clear that the tweets were meant as a further attack on your character, then I believe your reaction is more justified; when I did a quick search for the tweets to refresh my memory I didn’t find any reference to other insulting tweets before or after (admittedly I wasn’t looking in-depth) hence my stance.

    All that said, was my comment that poorly written that I came across as entirely supportive of the dev without question? I thought I sufficiently noted why I felt the response was “in kind”, so all that’s required is a rebuttal to my interpretation via further context and we’re golden; no need to make assumptions about my attitude.

  • I guess the social media bandwagon is to blame for this kind of situations. Social media is still kind of a “new” thing and a lot of companies are still getting to grasp its true form, so to speak.

    Some of these companies, not strictly in the videogame business, got quickly enticed by less-than-professional people posing as gurus of communication tools -that were still new to even have an ounce of experience with, mind you- and they fell through with it.
    As such, the offer and demand for these kind of jobs is and always has been on a very low standard, most of the time you only need to have a basic knowledge of how these tools work and that’s it.

    I expect this to be corrected over the years, as more companies realize that there is a shift in how the consumer analyzes, reviews and engages brands. They can’t remain as soulless entities expecting said consumer to just buy their products and treat them from a distance.
    Getting closer with your public is key to gain their trust and loyalty, and a “newer” industry like videogames can attest to that. Videogame enthusiasts, as well as tech-savvy people are more than eager to analyze what are you offering before making a decision.

    Which is why I’ll never understand why PR disasters such as MN9, and more recently the Calgary expo, ever happened.

  • coboney

    Until recently I didn’t have a cell phone. Not everyone wants to have one or give the information to twitter to store that info

  • dsadsada

    Have these people never learned the concept of customer relationship management? I took an IT related course and I STILL learned that topic.

  • dsadsada

    CRM. Customer relationship management. It’s such a simple concept that I don’t understand how people like this still don’t understand it.

  • Moonswirl Butts

    No mention of Overkill’s awful PR with Payday 2? Really?

    Why does nobody mention Overkill EVER when it comes to this?
    Why do we let Overkill slide when they:
    -insult their playerbase for making a suggestion to fix a bad gameplay decision
    -extort their community for money via locking “free” content via paywalls to pay for a convention, and use the popularity of Hotline Miami 2 to boost the numbers
    -refuses to respond to criticism in a constructive way, even when proven wrong
    -keeps promising content and never makes due on it
    -constantly milks their community with an insane amount of DLC, and the game of the year edition doesn’t even include all DLC
    There’s so much more that they’ve done that I wouldn’t be able to fit here reasonably.
    It’s a shame you didn’t mention Overkill. Absolute shame.

  • Neojames82

    Na na na na, na na na na, HEY HEY HEY GOODBYE!!

    Also I’m pretty sure no company with brains is going to hire a woman that has been so very toxic to a game’s development without even touching the game. But I still wouldn’t have gotten the game regardless since it really didn’t look that impressive after seeing the newer builds.

    Oh, and you are calling some of those people “bigoted assholes” and you were all about being “inclusive” RIGHT!!! Inclusive as long as they didn’t support Gamergate right Dina? Honestly, she had no business being a community when the only reason she was hired is because she was banging someone on the team.

    And on a final note “Call of Cutethulu”….really…I wish for the real Cthulhu to be real and devour you into oblivion so we may have the pleasure of never putting up with someone like you in the gaming industry.

  • dsadsada

    “And I gotta say, these last 8 months of GamerGate have been an eye opener to me, as it shows me how NOT to handle a community of potential buyers of your game (MN9) and how NOT to respond to criticism on your game (Titan Souls).”

    No offense but I find it weird that anyone would need the stuff that’s happened in the past 8 months to know all that. It feels like it should be common sense to me. But then as these people have shown, common sense seems to be in short supply these days.

  • dsadsada

    Is your professor’s book published or is he willing to share his blog with total strangers like us? I’m really interested in marketing blunders, equally for their educational value as well as their entertainment value.

  • Neojames82

    Yes this is very true. It is somewhat know as the “window seat”. Where you pretty much are stripped of any sort of power in the company and are put in the back corner to do no-nothing projects until the person resigns on their own and they don’t have to pay severance.

  • dsadsada

    “The amount of free media coverage that this incident has brought up for Titan probably makes it all a wash at this point.”

    Doubtful. I first heard about Titan Souls here in Techraptor and over at nichegamer. I was moderately interested at the time. Hearing how a dev responded to “the genre’s not for me” is off-putting. The correct response is to do nothing and hope someone else picks it up, else try and convince the person to give it a try in the most respectful way possible.

    Not just that actually. Hearing here how the other devs are asking their friends to essentially fight vote manipulation with vote manipulation sounds terrible to me. That shows a complete lack of faith in your potential customers where you’d rather try asking your inner circle to offset the negative votes instead of even attempting to appeal to reason or try to address what’s gotten them so upset in the first place to get them to change their stance.

  • Ben Kuyt

    Didn’t say cell phone exclusively. You could use a home phone, and just get a number through that.

  • Well, at the bare minimum, these events showed how bad things can get by not being professional about one’s occupation.
    Think I could have worded it better.

  • David Flory

    You can find a lot of info on the MN9 disaster (which has been going on for a long time) if you dig around a bit. IIRC, the CM had a personal relationship with the developer.
    The Calgary thing I can only guess, but I think your “social media bandwagon” is a good explanation. I think companies wind up hiring young graduates who were incubated in a SJW bubble and accept SJW narratives without any idea that some of them are highly controversial. I think the Calgary people assumed that they would be praised for what they did. All their friends would have agreed that kicking out the HB was the right thing to do.

  • I did the same thing for Our Darker Purpose. I respect TB, but our tastes don’t fully align. Fortunately he is professional enough to know the difference between bad design and game design that is not to his taste.

  • BlueLight

    The more culture use ass.

  • Jim

    This situation however was nothing that woudl have needed a PR specialist. You don’t need training to simply not be a dick to someone, especially when you want that someone to promote your product (which must have been the case because TB got a key for a the game from the devs, which is what puzzles me here the most).

  • plasmacutter

    Twitter and other “microblog” type social media seem deliberately engineered to destroy context facilitating both honest public over-reaction and certain parties’ deliberate and intellectually dishonest manufacture of such over-reaction for the purpose of bullying.

    Add to that the social media revenue model which profits from the destruction of online anonymity and publish/resale of personal information and you have a situation where not only is outrage manufactured from nowhere, but is connectable to internet users’ meatspace lives.

    Social media in its current form is a massive net negative to society, but this all goes back to a culture which has forgotten fundamental lessons of web 1.0: you don’t give out personal info over the public internet.

    Idiots are not only sharing enough information to data-mine into a profile specific enough to isolate their identity, they’re using their real names and tying their online activities to information trackable to employers.

    Companies are not innocent actors in all this, but this traces back to a culture which not only allows such abusive practices, it encourages and aids it.

  • masterninja

    I think it used to be developers counted on their audience and they themselves mostly handled PR now it seems theres an incrowd actively hating on their community.

    Calling them toxic, entitled and lots of other things the moment they are unhappy with what they are getting or how its handled. The indie scene is one of the biggest places full of this behavior theres no way a bigt publisher won’t slap you on the wrist for causing bad PR.

    Certain indies however seem to think the press is gonna fight their battles when they claim the criticism they get after a bad pr move as “harassment”. i think the biggest thing is that people are coming into the industry that have no respect for their consumerbase and think nothing will go wrong.

    This is no longer the case however…

  • Gretha Unterberg

    Aye, the incidents mentioned above aren’t complicated situations that emerged and escalated because they didn’t get managed proper. No, its people going out of their wait to cause them in the first place, and for no good reason from the look of it.

  • Gretha Unterberg

    only to employees.

    sometimes the CM/moderators are simply the most active members of the community.

  • minmod

    Gamergate was literally caused by bad PR. The word wouldn’t even exist if they just handled it more intelligently.

  • Ivresse

    Huniepop would agree with you there, TB’s and his wife’s video of what is petty much a unrated porn game sent sales of that game skyward despite TB saying he could see why others would enjoy it but he personally didn’t.

  • Indeed anti-GG is a case study in how not to do PR. The consistent behaviour of the other side is GamerGate’s biggest asset, as if they are knowingly shovelling coal into the furnace to keep things going.

  • Indeed, this are people doing a RP job who know jack shit about PR. And also do not seem to be very smart. Not a good combination.

  • chimpy

    take a look in a mirror one day

  • HisShadowX

    This is where I do not understand how they did not research this mans background. He has a huge track record from Bioware being anti consumer and with Stanley Woo attacked customers.

    He was one of the guys who defended banning a person from playing a single player game and locked him out because he said something Stanley disagreed with on the forums. It took EA to lift the ban

  • HisShadowX

    Essentially these are people who were apart of the community and got lucky and got a real job in the process.

    Though I highly disagree that hiring Moderators based on experience is a good thing since many Moderators or Administrators at fan sites from the late 90s and early 00s act like a North Korean dictator that doesn’t take any type of dissent well

  • HisShadowX

    Anyone remember Silicon Knights and Denis Dyack? You can win the hearts of the biased gaming media and give them kickbacks in the process but you piss off your customers and they will remember you

  • Yeah, I’m aware of the situation with the MN9 community. Which is why I don’t understand how a company that is supposed to be conformed by seasoned professionals can allow that kind of behavior from its community manager.
    Even less so when the kickstarter proposal promised the backers would get a team of professional people in the development of the game. Given that the community was going to be a important part in voicing concerns and providing feedback, what happened was inexcusable.

  • Shaun Joy

    Oh I do agree, but just having a voice or someone looking over communication would have made a huge difference. To me, good PR is half defensive: stopping you from making a stupid decision.

  • Pesty

    I can’t argue with the fact that TB displayed quite a bit of ego in his public addresses to the matter. Or rather, just in the decision to make them public to begin with. But if I recall correctly, he had previously mentioned that Titan Souls was on his slate to review, so a clarification on why there wouldn’t be a “First Look” or “WTF is..” was probably in order.

    On reflection, I would have to say that I’m very critical of that kind of self-dramatization because I applaud the fact that TB is attempting to be transparent in his decisions for the sake of his audience and the larger community. It seems to me that he is trying to be the very example that he champions, and in that process it may be near impossible to not look a bit egotistical doing it.

  • chebob69

    I thought it was obvious that the job of PR is to try and make friends with absolutely everyone. Which granted, is kinda impossible and almost disingenuous by definition, but these guys are doing the exact opposite.

  • Jon Stone

    I’m not ‘assuming’ bad character. I’ve seen the way he’s behaved himself over the last few months and I don’t believe the man has any integrity whatsoever.

  • Jon Stone

    I appreciate the irony of being told I have ‘no idea what PR even is’ from someone who conflates PR with salesmanship.

    PR, of course, can and does impact on sales, but it is not the only – nor demonstrably the decisive – factor. A company can do great PR but perform poorly due to a poor or niche product, or it can make millions despite consistently poor PR.

    Quite frankly, even if Gleeson’s actions were the direct cause of a dip in Titan Souls’ sales (and that’s doubtful), it’s *still* good PR in the long run precisely because it demonstrates a refusal to pander to a prima donna. Your reputation here *is* relevant – you’re fast becoming known for being a thoughtless, pompous commentator with little social or emotional intelligence and a crass habit of throwing your weight around. As the audience for gaming fragments into different groups, it will become more and more important for indie developers with small audiences to disassociate themselves from people like you – in just the same way as it’s important for brands to distance themselves from cults and demagogues in general.

    I doubt your career will suffer – characters like Richard Littlejohn and Jeremy Clarkson survive just fine for years dripping the same poison into the ears of their eager fanbases, with little to no care for the damage they might be doing.

  • Jon Stone

    His behaviour on Twitter, mostly.

  • Jon Snow

    Care to give some specific examples? I find him refreshing. I enjoy his willingness to call a spade a spade.

  • Kelly Maxwell

    yeah.. the difference, as i said is you have major reach. If you go out of ur way to badmouth a game, in a genre you dont even like, that says to me you want to shit on it. So the developer responding is fair to me. Totalbiscuit has played this game b4, where he pretends he’s “just a gamer” but you arent just a gamer if ur influencing millions of ppl potentially. Now you’re something more. and you should respect what your comments could mean for a developer.

  • Kelly Maxwell

    again, it’s a genre you dont like, you didnt even research that b4 you “played it” and your contribute to the conversation is “i didnt like it” Well no shit sherlock. Again, you can pretend it’s immature, and you can pretend totalbutthurt wasnt wrong. But he is. He’s been wrong b4, an he’ll be wrong again.

    Replying to critics is the right of any developer.
    i can see your just as longwinded as Totalbutthurt is. you should learn, if u dont have a british accent, it isnt as effective dear.

  • Kelly Maxwell

    yeah, except you arent really critiquing a game if all you say it “isnt not my thing” that isnt critique. that’s just a pointless comment, designed to chill interest in a game. that should be obvious to you.

  • Kelly Maxwell

    trust me, if you have 2 mil subs and you GO out of your way to talk about a game, and a genre u dont like, it’s an attack. We can sit and pretend it isnt, but TB isnt as divine as people have pretended throughout this, and the cult of personality surrounding him affords him a degree of influence and control over the minds of the plebs that worship his accent.

    It’s evident to me, but dont expect these plebs to ever admit that.

  • Except he wasn’t badmouthing the game, all he said was that it was a type of game that just doesn’t appeal to him, and he put it across in a pretty respectful manner.

    He didn’t say that the game was terrible, or the worst thing he’d ever played, all he said was “sorry, it’s just not my thing.”

    That’s not even criticism.

    If the developer had just shrugged that off and moved on then there wouldn’t be any drama here. The developer is the one who made an issue out of this, not Totalbiscuit. If the developer had just shrugged and moved on, instead of making a big, hand-wringing song and dance over it, then Totalbiscuit’s tweet would have disappeared in to the aether of Twitter and nobody would have cared either way.

  • Oh-ho-ho dear…

    You do realise that the guy you’re replying to there is actually Totalbiscuit, right?

  • Example please, this is the internet so link to where he had done something that calls his integrity into question.

  • Jon Stone

    Well, here was my first clue: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sihieb

    I’m a British person from the same region that he’s from, from a similar background, and it strikes me as deeply disingenuous to try to leverage that upbringing in saying something as obviously stupid as “we had no privilege, no advantages for being white”.

    And no, it’s not that he just has a ‘different opinion’. I can respect people who have a different opinion who have thought through that opinion and come to it honestly. I have no respect for someone whose opinion demonstrates a complete refusal to engage with the argument he claims to be ‘baffled’ by.

  • Throwingrocks

    He is probably charming as hell when it comes to sucking up to potential employers or people who are otherwise in a position of power over him. And many people in those positions believe they are too smart and savvy to be charmed, so if this guy can charm them, this guy can charm anyone. So they give him the power he’s looking for.

    Then he turns out to be a bully and an asshole to the people he has power over, and the suits just don’t understand what happened.

  • HisShadowX

    You know what I think I’m going to change my tune a little bit I’ve been in the customer service industry for ten years and it’s a tough buisness by the mid twenties I had grey hair for customer abuse. And I am autistic specifically on the aspergers side of the spectrum.

    I’ve grown to take the side of my customers and put them first but regardless of education people can be lost or lost their minds doing customer service. After a while most become bitter and either get fired or just phase out.

    Perhaps it’s time for this man to look at his skill set and move somewhere more comforting to him.

    I literally had coworkers go insane on a call center floor it happens.

    I think he needs a new line of work

  • MAPBill

    That could be difficult to implement considering the many different countries with many different ways that they set up their phone systems. In the end it’s too much of a hassle for Twitter to bother with.

  • You are in error, for it is indeed just a different opinion. Is there some objective measure of ‘privilege’ that makes his views objectively fallacious? I very much doubt you and I would agree what ‘privilege’ even means, as our meta-context and underpinning axioms are probably very different. All you have demonstrated is TotalBiscuit has a different opinion to you, not that he lacks integrity.

    I too am British and I have noticed when visiting both orange and green relatives in Ulster, that in spite of them all being pasty faced glow in the dark white, said relatives do not seem very ‘privileged’ by any reasonable definition of the word. The historical conflict in Ulster is pretty much about which tribe controls the State, and thus dispenses its largess, because both sides are utterly statist and equally benighted in their own special ways. But both tribes seeking state imposed privilege are very white.

    Conflating privilege and race as a general principle is simply a non sequitur. It only works in specific situations such as the Jim Crow era in the Southern parts of the USA, Nazi Germany, Apartheid era South Africa, Ba’athist Iraq or modern day Malaysia. Indeed to hold it as a generally applicable notion is faintly preposterous and indeed actually racist.

  • Jon Stone

    No, I’m not ‘in error’. A person’s integrity is a matter of judgement, Totalbiscuit lacks integrity. That’s my judgement of his character based on opinions he’s published which demonstrate, perfectly clearly, to me, that he doesn’t care to listen to or engage with the arguments he seeks to discredit.

    If you’re looking for the fallacy, it’s contained within the part I quoted. To say “we had no privilege, no advantages for being white” is to argue that a class or group who are disadvantaged in some way can’t possibly be said to be advantaged in another. On any definition of privilege, working class northern white people had advantages over black people and working class northern men had advantages over women. To imply that Thatcher’s cruelty somehow levelled all that out by making whole communities poorer, or erased the race disadvantage of a black southerner and the sex disadvantage of a southern woman, is to demonstrate wilful ignorance.

    Privilege is not some kind of scale everyone gets put on, from least privileged to most privileged. So for you to observe that a group ‘lack privilege’ doesn’t mean much. As long as there is gender inequality, men enjoy male privilege, and as long as there is racial inequality, whites enjoy white privilege. Does that male/white privilege make up for other hardships, disadvantages? In a lot of cases, no. A downtrodden, broken homeless man isn’t really going to get much out of his male/white privilege when so much of the world is lined up against him. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If he were black or a woman he’d be disadvantaged in more ways.

  • “A person’s integrity is a matter of judgement”

    No, and *that* is your error (well your factual error at least, with the rest being merely highly debatable opinions). Integrity is not a matter of judgement, it is a matter of avoiding intentional falsehood. If TB shared your axioms, then his views as expressed (which are quite close to mine) might well indicate a lack of integrity. The same would apply to me. But I do not share your axioms, your meta-context, your underpinning view of how the world actually works, and thus have radically different opinions.

    As a consequence I think your views are a series of manifest absurdities, but your absurdities do not indicate you lack ‘integrity’, merely that you have a world view that in my *opinion* bears little relation to reality.

    Yet absent evidence to the contrary, I do not therefore assume deceit and a failure of integrity on your part, just a poor grasp of causal links, amongst other things. In short, we disagree. We have a profound difference of opinion. Unlike you and your remarks about TB, I feel no need to go ad hominem and impugn your integrity just because I think your views are a litany of mistakes and fallacies.

  • Ben Kuyt

    Then they will have to understand that trolls aren’t just people that disagree with you, and that the internet is full of them.

  • Kelly Maxwell

    is that suppose to make some difference? if u have a counter point to what i’ve said, please raise it.

    otherwise leave the cult of personality fanboism out.

  • Kelly Maxwell

    as i’ve said. he didnt research the games genre, clearly. he spent time playing it and went out of his way to dismiss it. you can pretend “but he was nice when he dismissed the game” all u like. in the PR world, words matter. TB isnt some naive blogger, he knows exactly what he’s doing, and so does the developer.

    My point is, you cant vilify the developer for replying as he did. “Critique” should ALSO be critiqued, Or do you not agree?

  • It kind of does, considering (a) you’re talking about him in the third person and (b) you’re basically flat-out insulting him to his face.

    otherwise leave the cult of personality fanboism out.

    While I’m not a TB fanboy, i’ve gotta’ say… look who’s talking.

  • How do you know he didn’t research the game’s genre? How do you glean that from a single tweet that basically just says “this game isn’t for me”? You’re acting like that tweet had a detrimental effect on the games sales, which it didn’t, and ultimately wouldn’t have had the developer not made a drama about it.

    My point is, you cant vilify the developer for replying as he did. “Critique” should ALSO be critiqued, Or do you not agree?

    Depends on the critique, or if the comment is even a critique in the first place (which this wasn’t). If Totalbiscuit said something that was factually incorrect, or unfairly represented the game (which he didn’t), if he wiped his ass with it and declared it the worst game he’s ever played and one of the worst games ever made (which, again, he didn’t), then yeah, the developer should offer a response.

    But when the comment is nothing more than “sorry, just doesn’t appeal to me,” there’s no real reply one can give to that except “well, okay, thank you for your time.” Maybe, at a push, you could ask “what can we change to make it appeal to you?” but then you’ll just be wasting your time chasing clouds.

    If you honestly can’t take “sorry, not for me,” then frankly you’re far too fragile to be working in a creative industry.

  • Proud2beFree

    That’s not gaming’s PR problem.

    THIS Is gaming’s PR problem: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/129966/pr_and_the_game_media_how_pr_.php?print=1