|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Gamasutra - PR and the Game Media

Default Gamasutra - PR and the Game Media

August 31st, 2007, 01:24
Gamasutra has a long but interesting article up about the relationship between the gaming industry and the media that showcases its products, focussing on how PR shapes the perception and success of games:
It's the natural consequence of an undeniable fact: The games press is almost entirely dependent on access to information, people, and products that only game publishers can provide. You want the latest details on a game that's still a year away from release? What you get, when you get it, and who you get it from are ultimately decisions made by that game's marketers.
Think of it as a giant information spigot. The folks with their hands on the valve—the ones who tell games journalists about upcoming games (or don't), set up interviews with the game's developers (or don't), and eventually send out early review copies of that game (or don't)—are the publicists, or in the insider lingo, PR reps (public relations representatives).
You've probably heard the term thrown around, but what, exactly, does a PR rep do? “I work to educate and inform the media about our new product offerings and services,” says Michael Wolf, the PR manager for Games for Windows (the initiative, not the magazine). “The job of the media, in turn, is to carry their opinions about what I’ve told them to the public. The ultimate goal being to get coverage through online outlets, print publications, broadcast media, podcasts, etc.”
Wolf's diplomatic description of PR represents the ideal relationship between game industry journalists and the products they cover. But more often publicists seek not just to drum up press coverage, but to deliver positive coverage, preferably framed by certain points the game's marketers have deemed important to get across to the public (Spore is about evolution. Crysis is pretty, etc.). In short, they try to influence what the game press tell their readers, and how they say it.
As a simple fact of life, game writers and editors work with publicists on a daily basis, gathering the stories that populate their publications. But does PR really influence coverage? Do publicists really affect what you read in gaming publications across the web and on the newsstands? The very existence of the profession would seem to imply so. The real question is: How and to what extent? To find out, we spoke to several current and former game industry publicists—though many representing top-tier publishers refused (or were not allowed) to be interviewed—about their methods.
More information.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
magerette is offline

magerette

magerette's Avatar
Hedgewitch
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,929

Default 

August 31st, 2007, 01:24
I think this is a brilliant article on the realities of PR arm twisting. I loved the section at the end where the game companies want to cut out the middle men (primarily journalists) and 'tell' the readers/buyers only what they want them to know!! Yeah, right.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is offline

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#2

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,389
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

August 31st, 2007, 08:18
Exactly. I also thought this part was pretty interesting—and I'm sure it doesn't just apply to Rockstar, unfortunately:

When a publisher doesn't like the coverage they've received, they might decide to block access to information about their games, decline to send review copies, or refuse to set up interviews with their developers and executives.

Retaliation against the press was common practice at the house that Grand Theft Auto built. “That's all we ever did at Rockstar,” says Zuniga. “Even the lamest line of text that didn't praise the game would be viewed as a sleight. If a preview read 99.9% positive, they'd labor over how to 'fix' that .1%. It was ridiculous and frustrating. 'Ban IGN, let's go with 1up! Wait, 1up said something .2% bad—ban 1up! GameSpot's already banned—what now?' It just felt like the blind leading the blind.”

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
magerette is offline

magerette

magerette's Avatar
Hedgewitch
RPGWatch Team

#3

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,929
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Gamasutra - PR and the Game Media
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 10:13.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch