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Thread: Reckoning: Kingdoms Of Amalur is such a lousy name...

  1. #301
    How To Go triggercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menzo View Post
    I don't know why it would be so hard for you to believe that the writer genuinely really liked Reckoning. Why must you assume that there is something shady going on here for him to give it a 9?
    It isn't that hard for me to believe at all, and it underscores to me that you've missed the point here. As an aside, I greatly enjoyed the demo and can't wait for the release, which is why I started the thread here. If you can't see how the optics of this look a little bit hinky, perhaps that explains a lot about how it happened in the first place.

    It's great to hear that the game is this good by IGN's metric. As a pre-order customer, I'm thrilled. I'm not questioning that, just yet. What I'm questioning is the entire process by which a site puts up material the way IGN did with their "Review In Progress" leading to an embargo-beating review of the game, a review that happens to mention the game as being an early Game Of The Year contender. Let's be clear on this: IGN stands to gain financially by having a review up in an exclusive window. EA/38 stand to benefit financially by having that particular review up in an exclusive window in advance of release.

    I can tell you this: if I were an editor at a competing online entity to IGN who had a review ready to run for the game, I might well be wondering who we had to know to get our review up for web traffic in a similar exclusive window.

    Which begs the next question, which is one you cannot answer (this song isn't entirely about you, Mick Jagger), but which perhaps a folks who read IGN would sure like to know: had EA/38 politely told IGN "No, we'd rather you didn't do a Review In Progress, and we'd like you to honor the embargo please" would the review score be the same?

    That's a question only the IGN editors can answer. From what you say, I will assume that it had no effect on their review, and it was written without bias based on exclusivity.

    So here's the deal. I know who you are Menzo. You've been a longtime poster here on Qt3 (and I remember you running the Sierra community boards as well as other hats for GK3 back in the day), so if you say there's nothing untoward here, that's good enough for me. That said, I think the initial question is a good one, and one created by some pretty clumsy optics caused by this situation.

    But whatever. Pull your tinfoil hat down tight if that's what makes you feel comfortable.
    ...and that's outstanding PR right there.

  2. #302
    I thrust game designers New Romantic Teiman's Avatar
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    I think the game will do well, it fit a niche. In despite using names like Salvatore, and having some problems. I hope on the release version dead enemies models dont strech to the infinite. I think the game will release and one of the most common experiences will be players having hilarious accidents with the sandbox. This game is a hibrid. His dad is elder scrools and his mother the god of war.

    I hope after using all that money to promote a brand still make money. It will be crappy to have a brand but no money. Not has good has having a succesful game but no brand.

  3. #303
    Social Worker Wendelius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triggercut View Post
    ...and that's outstanding PR right there.
    Personally, I think Menzo's post made sense. He was understandably irked because it's easy to spread doubt without basis and less easy to disprove once people have had the idea put into their head that the review is biased. So yeah. Maybe he overreacted, but you did go and poke at the bees' nest. :)

    And I don't mind that a PR person can slip out of PR speak while here. It's really annoying when people working on a game feel like they need to watch everything they write everywhere so much they only end up posting bland, uninformative stuff. I like that they feel at home enough here to let go a bit.

    Wendelius

  4. #304
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wendelius View Post
    Personally, I think Menzo's post made sense. He was understandably irked because it's easy to spread doubt without basis and less easy to disprove once people have had the idea put into their head that the review is biased. So yeah. Maybe he overreacted, but you did go and poke at the bees' nest. :)

    And I don't mind that a PR person can slip out of PR speak while here. It's really annoying when people working on a game feel like they need to watch everything they write everywhere so much they only end up posting bland, uninformative stuff. I like that they feel at home enough here to let go a bit.

    Wendelius
    But the very reason for existence of PR is professional marketing or some would say misleading or even lying.

    That said, in the case where there are such generous demos reviews are mostly superfluous anyways and one should simply see for oneself.

    Sadly, still no sign of a steam pre-load.

  5. #305
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    It's rare for me to post as a "PR professional" and even rarer for me to post as a representative of the company I work for.

    I thought people knew I was at 38 Studios now, but if not, there ya go.

    The reason I decided to post about this is because it was surmised that the reason Reckoning got a 9 was possibly for some other reason than it being a great game. It's easy to throw an accusation like that out there, but I'm going to call you on it if you have no evidence to back it up. Which you don't.

    I don't appreciate the casual nature of throwing around the idea that reviews can be bought, with real money or other consideration. Even though many people have just come to assume it's true, I'm not going to give up proving it's not (at least in my experience).

  6. #306
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    I guess that's one side result of the founding of Giantbomb.

  7. #307
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    Care to elaborate?

  8. #308
    World's End Supernova Brian Rubin's Avatar
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    BAck on topic, I just played the demo a fourth time, this time focusing 90% of sorcery and 10% on blades/finesse, and I've had more fun than ever. This is the way I'll play it once I get the full game, ESPECIALLY with chakrams. :)

  9. #309
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolff View Post
    Care to elaborate?
    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2007/11/30/gamespot-fire-gerstmann-for-honesty/
    We have a reliable source who tells us that while Gerstmann wasn’t the most popular man with the CNET owners, it was his Kane & Lynch review alone that allegedly saw him lose his job. We’d like to stress for reasons of balance, clarity, and fear, that this may be completely wrong. Certainly neither Gamespot nor Gerstmann have said either way, while Gerstmann has confirmed to Joystiq that the firing did happen. Eidos had secured massive advertising across the site, skinning the entire front page with K&L commercials, along with running gimmick adverts allowing readers to cut their own K&L trailers. This can make a below-average review a little awkward.
    In the end I would say it doesn't matter whether there is an explicit deal of xx amount of currency for a certain score or the implicit fear of a website of reduced ad space purchasing in case of a displeasing grade.

    No matter if this is only an ill rumor or not I guess this case helped spread a general sense of mistrust of review sites and make it more mainstream and more acceptable.

    Of course this is not helped by the modern 7-9 scale which does not say a lot anymore. I for one really liked the oldschool 0-10 scale:

    0-50: several gradations of "do not waste money"
    51-60: heavily bugged; buyer (be very) aware
    61-70: soms bugs, but pleasurable for fans
    71-80: good game, especially for fans of the genre
    81-90: very good games, pretty much no complaints
    91-100: pretty much never given

  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by triggercut View Post
    Menzo:

    When you put up a post like this:

    What, exactly, does it make you wonder? And why the scare quotes around review?

    Out with it. Other than accusing us of paying off a reviewer, what are you suggesting?

    without explicitly identifying and fully disclosing that "I work Promo/PR for this title" you lose the high ground when suggesting that consumers trust the process more.

    You've been doing this long enough to not be this clumsy.
    Didn't he do that by referring to the suspected party as "us"? I had no idea who he works for, but saw no other possible interpretation of that pronoun.

  11. #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nezz View Post
    Didn't he do that by referring to the suspected party as "us"? I had no idea who he works for, but saw no other possible interpretation of that pronoun.
    "In the interest of full disclosure" goes a lot further than a pronoun.

  12. #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menzo View Post
    I don't appreciate the casual nature of throwing around the idea that reviews can be bought, with real money or other consideration. Even though many people have just come to assume it's true, I'm not going to give up proving it's not (at least in my experience).
    Menzo, if the parties involved in this early review value their integrity, then the onus is on them to avoid this kind of thing. No one in this thread is directly accusing 38 or IGN or EA of being dishonest, they're merely pointing out how what has taken place doesn't eliminate that from the realm of possibility. If you guys really care about how this might look to gamers, as you seem to, then your jobs are to make sure your actions don't leave room for that kind of interpretation.

  13. #313
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    My bad. I forgot to ask IGN to add "we didn't take any money for this review" to the end. That would have solved everything and put everyone at ease.

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    What would have solved everything is not doing it to begin with.

  15. #315
    World's End Supernova stusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke M View Post
    if the parties involved in this early review value their integrity, then the onus is on them to avoid this kind of thing. No one in this thread is directly accusing 38 or IGN or EA of being dishonest,
    Integrity? EA and IGN? Please. Lets not mince words. If they could get away with it, EA would happily buy reviews and IGN would take their money. They value nothing but cash. Of course they can't get away with such a direct transaction, but if they could, they would. It's not an issue of integrity, as they have none.

  16. #316
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    Maybe, but Menzo is more likely to remain a part of the discussion if I give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

  17. #317
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menzo View Post
    My bad. I forgot to ask IGN to add "we didn't take any money for this review" to the end. That would have solved everything and put everyone at ease.
    Were I the editor of IGN:

    "Last week we received a finished PS3 build of the upcoming RPG Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning, the first offering from 38 Studios with Big Huge Games. After a few hours of play our reviewer, John Doe, noted that much of the information out there was insufficient at truly capturing the finished game he was playing. Due to the length and scope of the game, John suggested the idea of cleaning up his review notes and publishing them here as a 'Review In Progress'. With the permission of 38 Studios and EA, we are doing so. It should be noted that the notes and content of John's Review In Progress were entirely written and conceived before the decision to publish them was made, and that 38 and EA generously put no stipulation on the content contained within them."

    And as for the exclusive final review? I wouldn't have done it, not under these circumstances. Perhaps if IGN had tabbed the "Review In Progress" as Preview and thus firewalled it from their review content, I'd have considered it...but not in this scenario with the way they labeled things there.

  18. #318
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    I'm certainly not reading it. I'll wait for the Eurogamer review.

  19. #319
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    Checked out the review mostly for the ME3 tie-in and ended up liking it enough to place a preorder on Amazon :)

  20. #320
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    I got 50 bucks saved up for this game. Might wait a few months. But if Trigger whines more, I might pull the trigger sooner!

  21. #321
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    Yea, same here. I was going to wait for a sale, but I'm going to give my money to 38 Studios because I think triggercut's been a bit of a dick.

  22. #322
    How To Go triggercut's Avatar
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    Do I get royalties for the sadclowns who are buying a game I can't wait to play myself?

  23. #323
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    I don't know, that depends on whether you are getting money for making baseless insinuations about the company and the journalist already.

  24. #324
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    Quote Originally Posted by Destarius View Post
    I don't know, that depends on whether you are getting money for making baseless insinuations about the company and the journalist already.
    I need to figure out how stusser does it. I take pains to explain myself and give someone involved an opportunity to explain and then accept that explanation at face value. stusser calls them all lying bastards and no one bats an eye.

    Oh well. Flame away.

  25. #325
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    We expect better standards from you? If Kingdoms was a piece of absolute shit after it came out, then I think you'd be on better ground to state your doubts about the relationship between IGN and 38 Studios on the review/preview score, and I'd be right there with you. But to me, to do it BEFORE it happens is baseless, and rather defamatory.

  26. #326
    Spinning Toe mjgreeny75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Destarius View Post
    We expect better standards from you? If Kingdoms was a piece of absolute shit after it came out, then I think you'd be on better ground to state your doubts about the relationship between IGN and 38 Studios on the review/preview score, and I'd be right there with you. But to me, to do it BEFORE it happens is baseless, and rather defamatory.
    I don't agree. I think a bit of doubt in this case was perhaps not justified, but certainly not unlogical either. IGN and 38 brought that upon themselfs entirely, they could have chosen to wait with the final review and everything would have been normal, and fine. But they chose not to, so they can expect (and should accept) this kind of discussions. Which, in my opinion, is taking place in a very decent way. Noone is accusing anyone, it's just stated that this has the potential to smell iffy...

    That it turns out to be a good game, doesn't have anything to do with it. Had it been a bad game, it would have been worse, a lot worse even. Then it would obviously have been a setup, now it's just clumsy.
    Last edited by mjgreeny75; 02-05-2012 at 05:53 AM. Reason: typo. Damn English ;p

  27. #327
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    Quote Originally Posted by triggercut View Post
    Which makes me wonder how much money changed hands here over the "review".
    This is as close as you can possibly get to defamation. In some countries, this crosses the line as a malicious insinuation. Triggercut certainly pulled back after being called on it, but this is not something you want to get a demand for apology and reparations for.

    This board is frequented by industry insiders and I would think careless comments like that made by triggercut are certainly open for the commencement of a defamation suit - not necessarily successful, but I think nasty to be on the end of one at any rate.

  28. #328
    New Romantic Alistair's Avatar
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    Very funny :)

    Perhaps I'll put this here. It's a new 'making of' Risen 2 video which has some combat animation stuff. I look at how much discussion the mondo generic KOAR is getting and deduce that animated hitting of monsters is where the big RPG bucks really are.

  29. #329
    Social Worker Kadath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triggercut View Post
    Let's try this again.

    The Steam version of Reckoning is self-published by 38 Studios, without the presence of their publisher EA. There is no EA to it. 38 Studios was able to negotiate their own deal with Valve and--one more time--there's no EA, or Origin, involved in the Steam version of the game.

    Buy the game on Steam, and you play it through Steam, and no nothing else.
    Thank you, that explains it better than anywhere else has, which makes me wonder if they had all this freedom finding out this inportant tidbit is so hard

  30. #330
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRobb View Post
    Checked out the review mostly for the ME3 tie-in and ended up liking it enough to place a preorder on Amazon :)
    Now they're tying ME3 DLC to IGN reviews? This is getting out of hand!!!1

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