Grimwell, now back on his eponymous website, discovers the obvious:
This is no different than in any other media, there are PR people trying to ‘spin’ the news and make steaming piles of crap into hits before word of mouth kills them. This is why I don’t buy gaming magazines anymore — you can’t trust what you read. On the web you can at least find people brave enough to spout off about the truth of what they find, but those people have no chance of getting an exclusive preview of the big games for the year, or secret access to the recesses of E3 where the ‘good’ data (which has been glossed by PR) is.
So I’m at the point of decision in a quest. Do I play the game and get the exclusives that are shallow and misleading (not always, but often enough), or do I play hardball and accept that I’m not going to be able to do launch day reviews because I won’t see products until I buy them?
As Abalieno, who discovered Grimwell’s new haunt, notes:
Even here I believe who is losing more are the game companies themselves, not the players. It’s the games that are going to suffer because the quality always stands out. You can hide the dirt under the carpet but you are going to have it come out somewhere else and hurting you even more.
As can be seen from my quote in the same article (which was taken from a private email – bad ranter! no cookie!) I tend to agree. Public relations people are normally great people (they kind of have to be, being that dealing with people is their job and all) but they are at direct cross-purposes from a free flow of information which is necessary if developers are to ever get honest feedback. Which is why the best community relations teams aren’t treated as PR adjuncts, but their own seperate fiefdom, where they act more as ombudsmen then salesmen.