Jim Redner, the self-employed public relations specialist recently fired by 2K Games after threatening to withhold future games from journalists, has defended his actions in an essay published by Wired.
Following poor reviews of Duke Nukem Forever, Redner tweeted, “too many went too far with their reviews…we r reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn’t based on today’s venom”.
Duke Nukem publisher 2K Games soon responded, tweeting, “2K Games does not endorse or condone the comments made by @TheRednerGroup and confirm they no longer represent our products”.
In the Wired column, Redner describes his tweet as, “a brain fart of epic proportions that registered on the social media Richter scale.”
He goes on to say, “I overreacted when I read the review and I vented on Twitter. It was an act of passion on my part that lacked objectivity. In my opinion, someone had gone over the top to attack the game and those who spent their lives trying to make it.”
Redner then describes his role and selection process: “Publishers are under no obligation to send out copies of their game for review. They reserve the right to pick and choose who they want to send their game too, just like writers have the right to publish a review in any manner they choose. It’s call selection. It’s a choice,” he says. “I personally have sent first person shooter games to one editor knowing that he likes FPS games, but then not sent him a copy of a game based on our national pastime because I know he finds baseball boring.”
“We cater to sites that are featured on Metacritic. Sales teams live by Metacritic. The better the score, the easier it is to sell games and so we as PR people provide those Metacritic sites a steady diet of content and games for review. For those sites not on Metacritic, I judge them by the following criteria: If you have provided my game with a consistent stream of coverage, I provide you with a copy of the game for review.
“The writers I decline are from sites that have not provided my game with coverage previously and have a forum to publish previews and post content prior to a game’s launch. Sometimes I decline a request because I am already out of copies. And sometimes I decline a review request based on the tone of a previous review or coverage. That happens very rarely, but it does happen. In my opinion, my methods are fair and just.”
Redner concludes, “As PR professionals, it is our job to protect the game we represent. We should not supply games to journalists who are capable of such hatred.”
Gameplanet scored Duke Nukem Forever 4/10, writing, “Some will be satisfied that merely having Duke's name attached to the box equals a safe punt. Those suitably enamoured in this respect may possibly be content long after the end credits roll. However, casting a critical eye to this title reveals serious fundamental flaws that Duke, by the mere virtue of being Duke, cannot possibly fix.”