Wired.com this morning exposed attempts from a Duke Nukem PR rep to intimidate game reviewers from publishing negative reviews of the game:
A large part of my job is dealing with people who work in public relations. The vast majority of those whose do PR for video game companies are polite, well-intentioned, and extremely professional. They need us to get their games coverage, and we need them for access to the developers and early code to review in a timely manner. The press and PR relationship may sometimes be strained, but it’s rarely adversarial.
That is, until the Redner Group’s official Twitter account posted something you almost never see: an open threat stating that outlets who reviewed Duke Nukem Forever poorly may not receive review copies of games in the future. Anyone who has done this job for any amount of time has suffered through a dry spell after giving a publisher a bad review, but this is the first time the threat of a blacklist has been made public.
Our thoughts at Steam Addicts? Make better games (in a more timely fashion), and you won’t have to worry about crappy reviews.
Update: PR Daily (as well as numerous other sites) is reporting that 2K has responded by ousting Redner as their PR group, thereby ending a relationship that started in 2009.