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Default Swaying Gamers @ Washington Post

July 4th, 2007, 14:38
The Washington Post has an interesting article on the business of previews - and impressing previewers. Bethsoft's recent Fallout 3 presentation is front and centre:
The company flew Masson and about 60 other writers in from as far away as Australia and Japan to give them an early look at the company's Fallout 3, scheduled for release late next year.
In addition to an hour-long demo and chats with the game's designers, the trip included a two-night stay in downtown's swank Helix Hotel, dinner at Logan Tavern and a private party at a nightclub in Adams Morgan. Airfare, hotel, food, drinks and shuttle bus were provided, courtesy of Bethesda Softworks. Although a few attendees paid their own way, most did not.
More information.
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July 4th, 2007, 14:38
That's not a new thing. Editors of magazines often get interesting stuff.

An old editorial ("old" means here it was written in 2004) in the German magazine called "Gee" says that the goodies the editors often get (in this article there were postcards from all over the world sent by "Lara Croft" mentioned, for example) shoud rather go into Collector's Editions, or even better . Into normal editions, like it was ages ago.
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July 4th, 2007, 15:08
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
That's not a new thing. Editors of magazines often get interesting stuff.
They're not editors, at least not all of them. One of the invitees, the guy from critical-hits.com NMA talked to, has a normal dayjob and runs the place on a volunteer basis. The place has about 1/4th the hits of NMA. I asked Matt what was up with him getting invited and not us, no reply.

Anyway, back on topic; yeah, it's pretty usual. But maybe my industry standards are outdated, but I'd think a press event 1.5 years before release in which they had a 4-hour demo display and discussion would mean giving the press lunch, dinner, one night at a normal hotel and maybe a flight over…but this 4-hour press event was surrounded by 2 nights at a swanky hotel, a private party and paid-for dinners. Isn't that a bit much?
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July 4th, 2007, 18:30
Well it IS about influencing these people into liking you and your game. Its a mild form of bribery and thus probably works exceedingly well, because it doesn't even leave a bad conscience.
Ultimately the responsibility remains with the journalists, though - do they actually hold back bad news becasue they want to be invited to the next party too, or do they just take whats offered, and accept loss of privileges when it comes down to it.
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July 4th, 2007, 18:53
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Ultimately the responsibility remains with the journalists, though - do they actually hold back bad news becasue they want to be invited to the next party too, or do they just take whats offered, and accept loss of privileges when it comes down to it.
From the status of the gaming industry…from the fact that some of the previews only just fell short of giving the game the GotY award based on an 1-hour demo…I'd say the journalists aren't living up to their responsibilities.

But that's hardly anything new. Gaming journalism is a joke. We all know that.
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July 4th, 2007, 19:32
My favorite press reaction thus far:
Originally Posted by VooDoo's Fallout 3 preview
It's too early to give Fallout 3 the official Voodoo Extreme seal of approval, but don't be shocked if the game ends up being the best of the series.
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July 4th, 2007, 20:51
Ive always known that I was in the wrong field of work (rodeo clown), but this really drives it home!
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July 4th, 2007, 20:54
Hey, we know that rodeo clowns get all the chicks.

And ducks, and bulls and things…

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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July 4th, 2007, 20:58
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
From the status of the gaming industry…from the fact that some of the previews only just fell short of giving the game the GotY award based on an 1-hour demo…I'd say the journalists aren't living up to their responsibilities.

But that's hardly anything new. Gaming journalism is a joke. We all know that.
Yes. Which is why we hang out on sites like this, right? Which on the other hand is gaming journalism too.
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July 4th, 2007, 21:21
It reminds me of politics, actually. Alan Alda had a great line in The West Wing's final season: "Hey, if you can't take their money, drink their booze and then go out and vote against them, you're in the wrong business."

Maybe politicians should think about reviewing video games when they retire.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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July 4th, 2007, 22:11
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
…but this 4-hour press event was surrounded by 2 nights at a swanky hotel, a private party and paid-for dinners. Isn't that a bit much?
Unless hookers were included as well… nope, not even close .
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July 4th, 2007, 22:41
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Unless hookers were included as well… nope, not even close .
Huh, go figure
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July 4th, 2007, 22:54
Nice ass on that one .
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July 4th, 2007, 23:47
Why just don't they put all of this money into the games instead ? That's a thing I actually cannot understand.

But I'm sure that THEY do "understand".
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July 5th, 2007, 01:03
How come no-one from this site was invited!! I would have forced myself to accept and fly over to the States!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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July 6th, 2007, 00:12
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
How come no-one from this site was invited!! I would have forced myself to accept and fly over to the States!!
That's actually a good question. Compare RPGWatch numbers to those of two invitees
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July 6th, 2007, 15:16
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
How come no-one from this site was invited!! I would have forced myself to accept and fly over to the States!!
Maybe your not as obviously corruptible as some?
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July 6th, 2007, 16:02
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
That's actually a good question. Compare RPGWatch numbers to those of two invitees
Interesting stats—I had no idea 26 per cent of users here are from South Africa….and the percentage from Europe is too low to list?

Your numbers at NMA seem to have gone up since the FO3 debate. I hope that's a good thing for you guys.

Edit: I guess i should at least say something on topic to this thread, but it kind of turns my stomach to see this aspect of our society. When I was a kid, there was a big scandal in radio. It involved disc jockeys who were paid bribes to play records and extoll the 'artists'—IIRC it was called "Payola" and people ended up doing jail time for it.

Ah well—that was then and this is now.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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July 6th, 2007, 16:21
Alexa rankings are worthless. Just look at what they are measuring.
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July 6th, 2007, 16:33
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Why just don't they put all of this money into the games instead ? That's a thing I actually cannot understand.

But I'm sure that THEY do "understand".
Fallout 3 certainly already has a bigger budget than Gothic 3, Drakensang and Legend together.

Why they do it is simple. They secure themselves a lot of positive press and have full control over what the press can see. Plus the event is not as expensive as it seems. Their own people are already their and donīt have travel. The organizational costs are peanuts. Something similar at or attached to the E3 or GC wouldnīt be less expensive, while hundreds of other games would compete for press attention.
Weīre talking about several million readers worldwide. Gamestar for example sells 250k and is read by a similar no. of people. All articles based on the event will at least be mildly positive, most very positive.

Thatīs the stuff you can do when you have a real marketing budget.
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