We haven’t dipped our proverbial toes into the murky waters of “GamerGate” yet (perhaps that will change, as it’s not going away) but, nonetheless, even we can imagine certain wielders of the written word cackling with glee every time another piece of YouTube-flavoured PR shadiness falls out of the rotting woodwork. So what’s occurring? In the words of Taggart – and we feel literally no shame in repeating the joke from the headline in the first paragraph – “There’s been a Mordor”.
Love him or hate him or merely consider him as a person who says things on the internet, Jim Sterling has – via his “Jimquisiton” on The Escapist – made some pretty damning allegations about the conduct of Warner Bros when it comes to handing out Shadow of Mordor review code to YouTubers. The list of demands from Warner Bros PR, allegedly made to anybody given a pre-release code, include “Persuading viewers to purchase” by talking about the game only in a positive light, and being careful to avoid recording any bugs or glitches they might come across. Shadiest of all, however, is the alleged requirement to hide the FCC disclosure behind the “see more” link in the video description; and the allegations that not only did Warner Bros have final approval on each video 48 hours before it goes live, but also that they have been taking down unapproved videos via copyright claims.
What’s most baffling of all perhaps is that reaction to the game seems to have been mostly positive from critics and the cash-swinging members of the public alike, implying that Shadow of Mordor is a quality product that needed no such questionable tactics to make it look good. But never mind that. Rejected headlines for this piece:
- Orc and Indie (reviewers)
- One Ring To Rule Them All, And In The Contract Bind Them
- These Demands Ent Right
- The Return Of The King Ridiculous PR Demands
- The Fellowship Of The Wrong
We’ve got a million of these, but now it’s time to stop.