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In my humble opinion game journalism and game public relations are like the church and state. They should remain separate for numerous reasons, most notably that there is a mountainous conflict of interest. If you are a company that writes evaluative articles about games then your company should not also be promoting games as part of its business model. Some companies are choosing to turn a blind eye to this obvious conflict of interest.
These two-faced entities form a second division with a different name, and pretend that nobody will notice. For the most part they are correct. The average gamer getting a press release in his e-mail doesn't know that PR company A is actually game review/news company B.
A company doing PR within the industry that is lives is literally defecating in its own bed. If they are providing the best PR to their clients then they shouldn't also be covering the competitors who are not clients. Telling Game A that you are working in their best interests while writing coverage and accepting ad money from their competitor is a problem that many developers would take issue with if they knew it was happening.
They certainly shouldn't be deciding where their clients' advertisement money goes, because sure as dogs bark none of it will arrive at sites that compete with the PR company's news/review outlet, even though that is exactly where the client would receive the best exposure.
These companies have created incestuous little circles where they take advertising dollars in from anyone, but only push out advertising dollars from their clients to site that don't compete with them or in more cases to their news/review sister company.
An equally seedy side of the industry involves publishers who will not advertise unless you write a review or coverage that they have the right to change. If you don't write what they want to see, the advertising dollars go elsewhere. I was shocked when a well known company came to us with this ultimatum. We of course declined, as we always do and literally 48 hours later the advertisements were running on three of our largest competitors. I'll go out on a limb and bet that they were given the same ultimatum that we were.
Game sites often complain about bloggers being unprofessional; about bloggers diluting the content that is available to readers with drivel. Well guess what? Bloggers may not be professionals, but with the exception of some very rare cases their opinions are honest.
Blog: VG - Visit To Mos Eisley
"Ralsu has been conducting a little experiment to see how the Vanguard community treats new players coming over from other games."
Editorial: MMOs Vs Online Card Games
"In this editorial, Micajah explores the rise in popularity of trading card games and whether they will impact the next generation of AAA MMO titles."
Editorial: Epic Fight In The Making - Star Wars Galaxies vs Knights Of The Old Republic
"People have been spreading the rumor of a Knights of the Old Republic MMO like wildfire. The Star Wars franchise is incredibly popular, but how will the existing Star Wars MMO, Star Wars Galaxies, fare against a newcomer? Chris "Spare" Higgins tries to answer than question in this TTH editorial!"
Dungeon and Dragons Online: The Skald
"The Skald is a warrior bard who inspires his allies in battle. A formidable warrior in and of him (or her) self, they bring great benefit to any party that has one as a member. Find out how to make one with Darkgolem's new custom build: The Skald"
EverQuest 2: Heritage Quest Guide Updates
"We all love EverQuest II's growing and changing world, but with these changes come outdated guides! We have updated our "Return to the Light" and "Training is a Shield" Heritage Quest guides with current information, locations, and mobs. Keep an eye out for more Heritage Quest guide updates, soon to come!"
Lord of the Rings Online: LotRO Newbie Guide Part 2
"Today we have another section of the Ultimate LoTRO Newbie Guide for you all! This section covers making your first character and general naming guidelines."
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Cleric Class Guide
"We've updated our Cleric guide. Aside from all the great information it contains on Vanguard's plate-wearing healing class, it's now complete with more linktastic goodness to help you find even more cleric stuff on Vanguard Ten Ton Hammer."
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Necromancer Guide
"We've updated our Necromancer Guide to have links to all of our current Necromancer class content. You'll find everything you need from this one handy page."
World of Warcraft: Guide To Magtheridon's Lair
"Magtheridon, the Pit Lord who formerly controlled the Burning Legion on Outland, lies captive at the bottom of Hellfire Citadel. We now bring you a guide to help you conquer Magtheridon in his lair."
- 38 Studios: R.A. Salvatore Interview Part 2
- Gods and Heroes - Video Interview With Chris Launius
- OGDC: Auto Assault Post-Mortem With Scott Brown
- OGDC: EVE Online Interview With Peter Gollan
- Pirates of the Burning Sea: Video Interview With John Scott Tynes
- OGDC: An Analysis Of Video Game Writers
- OGDC: How Developers Use Public Relations To Build A Brand
- Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising - Video Interview With Chris McKibbin, Executive Producer
- OGDC: Stargate Worlds Interview With Joe Ybarra - Part 2
- OGDC: Interview With NetDevil
- OGDC: Interview With Monty Sharma of Vivox
Encryption Pisses Off The FBI [Thanks Matt]
Female Body Inspectors want your private key.
60-Year-Old Woman Delivers Twins [Thanks Matt]
At about the same time baby is out of diapers mother will begin using them.
Bots With Brains: Future Robotic Overlords? [Thanks Matt]
All hail our cerebral robotic overlords.
Viagra Reduces Hamster 'Jet Lag' [Thanks Matt]
Now...if only I was a hamster with erectile dysfunction my jet lag would be gone!
Thanks as always for visiting TenTonHammer.com
John "Boomjack" Hoskin