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2K pours public scorn on agency who discussed 'blacklisting'

Update: Eurogamer reveals that it has been blacklisted by 2K

Update

Eurogamer has revealed that it has been subjected to 'blacklisting' by 2K games, as a result of issues arising from coverage of the company's products.

A tweet by Eurogamer operations director Tom Bramwell made public the fact that the site has been cut off by 2K, expressing sympathy for the fate of Redner PR for simply following what Bramwell calls 2K's "standard practice."

"I feel sorry for @TheRednerGroup today. We are blacklisted by @2KGames and it seems to be standard practice," reads the tweet.

No further details were provided on how the situation arose. Take-Two has told GamesIndustry.biz that it has no further comment on the matter.

Original Story

Publisher 2K has disengaged the services of the PR agency which tweeted about the possibility of 'blacklisting' journalists and media outlets which published bad reviews of Duke Nukem Forever, with the publisher publicly denouncing the practice.

The PR agency in question: The Redner Group, had been representing 2K in the US. Yesterday, the company posted a tweet, since deleted, stating that it was considering which reviewers had "gone too far" with their criticism of Nukem, resulting in them being taken off game mailing lists for good.

"Too many went too far with their reviews...we are reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn't based on today's venom," read the company's account, followed by, "Bad scores are fine. Venom filled reviews...that's completely different."

Today, 2K has sought to distance itself from the slip. A tweet yesterday from the official 2K account made clear that The Redner Group was no longer being retained by the publisher.

"2K Games does not endorse or condone the comments made by @TheRednerGroup and confirm they no longer represent our products," read the announcement. The company then further distanced itself from the scandal with a message to press.

"I'd like to point out that 2K Games does not endorse the comments made by Jim Redner and we can confirm that The Redner Group no longer represents our products," read a statement from 2K's Markus Wilding, senior director of global PR.

"We have always maintained a mutually-respectful working relationship with the press and do not condone his actions in any way."

Review scores for Duke Nukem Forever have been generally very low, resulting in a 49 per cent Metacritic average for the game on Xbox 360. A round up of the web's best reviews can be found in GamesIndustry.biz's Critical Consensus.

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Latest comments (9)

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game10 years ago
The practice itself is problematic, what if DNF's biggest critics were Darkness 2's biggest advocates. But forgetting that, publicly tweeting it sounds just stupid, and the sort of thin a public relations outfit of all things should know to avoid.
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Maybe the product was not the finished expected article, and 15 years late. If so, perhaps one has to take this real life criticism into perspective and take one on the chin
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.10 years ago
This was an interesting story as it was but the update just made me break out the popcorn.
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Show all comments (9)
We've been blacklisted by EA to the point where not a single person will return an email. So that just means that coverage of their stuff is light or in order to review the games we get them from an alternative source. When Origin goes fully live and they start making games exclusive to it then we just won't review their product any longer I suppose.

This all arose from an early preview of Dead Space 2 which was less than flattering and that they demanded be pulled down stating I had jumped embargo, when I showed them an email from their internal PR in one of the European offices stating there was no embargo, they just stopped replying...but not before calling me at 8.30, 9.30 and 10pm that same day.
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Tom Halls Creative Account Manager, Electronic Arts10 years ago
Yet you're invited to the BF3 media event at E3? ;)
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Mathias Johansson Co-founder, SkyGoblin10 years ago
Wow, two articles on GamesIndustry.biz in one day using a crap game and a tweet! I'm telling you, these guys have got PR by the balls, how can I hire Redner for our coming release?
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Wayne Gibson UK Marketing Manager for GameKrib.com 10 years ago
Duke Nukem is like the Hugh Hefner of the gaming world. I'll let you all draw your own conclusions from that statement.
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@Tom - Actually that came through an external PR firm... It's apparently only an internal blacklisting. I can give you a list of names that we have emailed on various topics, including E3 meetings who did not respond.

An internal PR person said half-jokingly when I was still in Europe, "Oh, you're most likely on an internal blacklist..." Only, I don't think he was joking and he sounded like it happened fairly often.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christophor Rick on 16th June 2011 5:05pm

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Julian Toseland games podcaster/website 10 years ago
Running a UK, gaming podcast that has no revenue whatsoever, and yet we still manage to get to number 1 in iTunes, we rely heavily on these companies to provide us with review copies just to be able to make a show.
I have to say it has always been a touchy subject reviews and the kind of stuff that can be seen as sometimes favourable, who can forget the big gamespot debarcle.

What I will say it is essential I think these companies have to realise that you will get poor reviews at some time, and relationships across the industry have to be taken both ways...simple fact is, we all need each other and we need to get on.

So all this kind of stuff is sad....all I would like is for it to be easier to get review stuff...number 1 and it's still hard as he'll, even after 3 years.
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