Monday, 23 November 2015

No Sympathy for the Devil


In recent days we could see how Kotaku laments them being blacklisted by some of the bigger names in game development. And when you read their post, no matter how hard they try they don't fool anyone. If they ever were in game journalism business, they are not for some time now. These days their main function is agitprop.

Now, let us analyse their cries and determine if they have any weight behind them, or are they as usually just another empty sack of bad air that Kotaku is famously known for.

Being Blacklisted

Surprise, surprise! Being sent copies of games in advance to review them is not your right but instead a privilege. You get this privilege by being an established game reviewer. It is entirely on the good will of the game studio to send you an early copy of their game. What is more, they always send it with the expectation that this will not come bite them back in the ass. This only works as long as the two parties involved are being honest with each other.

If the "journalist" abuses this trust he can rightfully expect to be blacklisted. Why should the developers keep playing ball with you, when you continually abuse their relationship? Leaving you on your own is the only rational solution here. You have proven yourself to be unworthy of their attention, and thus established to be a bad investment because you care more about your own profits than healthy relations between the developers and the journalists.

Kotaku is correct in their assumption that they serve their audience and not the game companies. Good on them. But that means they are incompatible with the interests of the game companies, and as such should not even bother complaining about it. It's like a hyena crying foul when antelope decides to run instead of waiting for hyena to kill it.

Moral of the story: If you want it, earn it. And to be honest, Kotaku can afford buying their own games. I would even encourage it, so that they stop complaining about everything but how salty the prices for half-finished games really are. But let's not get distracted here.

You Reap What You Sow

I will freely admit I have no love for Kotaku. In my honest opinion they are garbage not worth iota of my attention. And to be honest, it feels like a poetic justice that the developers have decided to leave them on their own. If anything, it sends a strong message. You might be a force in this industry, but you are nothing if you decide to make an enemy both of public and the industry at the same time.

Kotaku spent years sowing discord, inserting their politics into their posts, and trying to alienate its readership. Not to even mention that their train of logical thought is taking some of the most impossible turns just to hammer some random point that has nothing to do with whatever they are writing about anyway. This was common for them, and I am sure it still is. But to each their own as they say, and if people enjoy it, who am I to stop them.

Ethics in Game Journalism

Ah yes, we finally arrive here. Kotaku is here playing victim when in fact they are the wolf wearing sheep's clothing. If you decide to be a beacon of integrity, you would know you have forsaken in that very moment any kind of goodwill you might have had with the game developers. If you had the integrity, or have been ethical you would not have cried for not receiving free copies of a game from the game's PR and marketing department. If you were all about ethics you would not care about the profits, and would instead focus on what really matters. But I'm afraid that any regular reader of Kotaku will misinterpret that because they expect for the world to adapt to their view of reality and not the other way around.

Honestly, Kotaku should look at this as a blessing, not a curse. They have been given an unique opportunity to show the world how much the very beacon of ethics in game journalism they are. And instead they decided to squander it by crying foul when there is none in the first place. Just the logical consequence of their own actions.

Talk about throwing pearls before swine...