Sunday, November 22, 2015

On Kotaku’s “A Price Of Games Journalism”

This is a response blog post to this article.

To sum it up: Kotaku, a blog about video games, leaked secret information about two games before they were even announced to the public, and the companies who make those games blacklisted them from any further interviews, inquiries, or early copies of games. Kotaku’s article makes the argument that they are writing for the fans, not for game developers, and that posting the leaks was in the name of good journalism.

My response:

You’re not a hero. Posting about video games is not heroic. You’re not saving lives. You’re not leaking an internal company document that says there is a severe problem in a new model that causes car crashes. You’re not getting the inside scoop about hostages in a war-torn county. You’re not busting down a drug ring.

You’re leaking video games before the company is ready, and that’s not a heroic journalistic ideal. You’re not using journalism to do good in the world; you’re using a shady source to generate clickbait (which means ad revenue).

Posting about games before they are announced hurts the companies that make them. Hurting a marketing plan can cost that developer money. It’s basic. You’re endangering the jobs of game developers so that your site can generate more clicks. It’s selfish.

Of course developers are going to cut off media outlets that are actively and knowingly hurting them. You’ve hurt these developers, but you’re only posting about this now because you realize that your leaks have come around to hurt you.

You deserve the blacklist.

One last thing: You’re so upset about this company trying to control the way people talk about the games, and yet you have an “approved” comment system? Hah. I scrolled through the comments on your article, and sure enough, almost every single one I saw was in your favor (...never before has the gaming community been this united...). It makes it seem like you're deleting any remark that disagrees with you. The pic is a screencap I took of your post when I tried to hit the reply button:

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