Scandal Embargo Hits Games Press Hard
by Cottingly Welles
Five long, hard days into the scandal embargo that has been forced upon the gaming press by an increasingly-jaded industry, some journos are showing signs of desperation. After a particularly scandal-fat 2012, it has become evident that not enough of the gaming press thought it prudent to store their nuts for the leaner times and so sites across the interwebz are suffering. “It’s like a reverse apocalypse,” whined one scandal-monger, “There’s just peace and calm… it’s fucking horrible.”
Twitter feeds remain noticeably devoid of trouble, almost eerily so, merely repositories of calm news stories without a snifter of outrage. No one is being exploited or abused, no one kissing corporate arse, and perhaps, more surprisingly, no one is being chastised for ‘doing something that lots of other people don’t think they should be doing because they have the moral high-ground and those other people don’t’. To underline the chaos, journos are even bantering politely and several jokes are understood to have been made, although these reports may well be hoaxes.
“Yeah, I saw a really nice Twitter discussion between Rock Sniper Popgun and T&PG – RSP were commending T&PG on their integrity,” said one bemused hack, who didn’t want to be named as Dermot Prodding, Editor of the not-very-popular site, Plague On Both Your Mouses.
How long the embargo will last is anyone’s guess but, according to my sources, PRs and publishers are going to great lengths to ensure that it does. “We’ve been on lockdown for a fortnight now,” said one games PR, from the other side of a boarded-up office door. “If we don’t say anything then no one can smother us with criticism and we can’t cause any arguments. It makes ordering a pizza difficult though.” This attitude has been prevalent throughout the industry, with PRs taking the drastic steps of unfriending everyone/unfollowing them and even staging a lock-in at P3 last week, where record numbers of press were left milling around like drunk farts outside the LA Convention Center, unable to see a single game. “We saved a fortune in swag and free dinners,” boasted a jubilant PR firm.
It has also come to my attention that review copies are being sent to completely random members of the public so that there are no accusations of bias in the press, and some publishers have even gone as far as to ensure that their games are bug-free on release – unheard of for years. One developer has even taken the drastic steps of ensuring that their female protagonists now wear “weather-appropriate attire, and battle-practical footwear” in order to avoid outrage.
Some PRs, publishers, and devs, however, are said to be worried about embargo-breakers within their own ranks. “Some fucking scab always ruins it,” moaned one PR whiner. “They’ll send out a press release with pictures of a limited-edition boxset in the shape of a vagina or something and we’re finished.” For the scandal-hungry press, however, anything, no matter how small may offer salvation, and the hope is that if the publishers don’t foul up, then their fellow press members might. “Won’t someone please eat a bag of fucking Doritos or objectify women?” begged one anonymous journo. “We’re dying here.”
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