There’s a certain segment of the game journalist corps that claim that there is no dirty business between gaming PR and the editors meant to cover the games. Whenever something controversial happens, such as an IGN editor begging Microsoft to host their E3 conference, they circle the wagons and act like Baghdad Bob denying any wrong doing. One particular Kotaku editor has even taken it upon himself to act as “gaming journalism PR” and White Knights his fellow “journalists” all over NeoGAF and other places to defend his profession.
Well as with the Next-Gen Resolution Issue, they’re lying to you about how dirty PR can get, and the the recent Paris press event for Watch_Dogs is a prime example of this.
In one of the biggest examples of a game publisher trying to grease the hands of journalists to give their major game a great score to help its Metacritic rating, UbiSoft gave editors free Nexus 7 tablets as part of the Watch_Dogs press kit:
Sure many game sites will take the high ground and donate the free tablet to charity or give it away, but there is an equal number that won’t do that.
I’ve seen this sort of thing happen myself. Back in the PS2/Xbox era there was a popular open-world racing game. One of these games was set in Europe, so the publisher held a press event over there. During the event one of the PR people floated the idea of hiring hookers for the editors present. They did this right in front of the journalists, who all rejected the idea as their families wouldn’t really like it.