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DNF Shunned PR Guy Received Death Threats

By - Source: Industry Gamers | B 24 comments

Jim Redner of The Redner Group talks about the backlash he received over the Duke Nukem Forever blacklisting threat on Twitter.

Duke says Tom's Hardware rocks. This dude is simply speechless.Duke says Tom's Hardware rocks. This dude is simply speechless.Last week brought reports that an external PR firm hired on by 2K Games to promote Duke Nukem Forever jumped on Twitter and threatened to blacklist websites that publish highly negative reviews. But as we pointed out, this practice isn't uncommon unless the reviews are seemingly stamped with IGN, Gamespot or another highly-commercialized site. What typically is uncommon are threats made by PR firms to reviewers and their associated websites made out in the open.

Jim Redner of The Redner Group, the individual responsible for the blacklist threat posted on Twitter, admitted that his post was an emotional outburst. Given the 14-year drama and the eventual low scores generated across the board, the overwhelming negativity was enough to get everyone involved somewhat emotional. It's understandable. But venting on an public "forum" like Twitter is no place to display those emotions.

"I was venting," he said in an interview. "I would like to believe that I would have handled it differently if I had been thinking. Normally, I would have contacted the writer directly to have a conversation about the review.  I do not support the act of blacklisting. I do support choices."

He went on to reveal that he and his family received threats after his Twitter post went live an began to circulate through the press. "I received threats against me and my family," he admitted. "For the span of 48 hours, my blunder put me in the public eye in a limited way. During the course of that I time I received a ton of emails and twitter messages from people. Some were supportive and others were not.  I was heckled. Some of it was quite clever and funny. Some of them were very mean. A few were scary."

He then went on to compare himself with Hollywood celebrities. "It got me thinking about celebrities and they type of hate they must receive on a daily basis," he added. "I cannot begin to imagine what Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Aniston go through on a daily basis.  That must be awful.  After reading what I received, I cannot imagine what people say about celebrities via Twitter."

The interview went on to cover the topic of blacklisting. Rather than using such a harsh term, he instead calls it a "choice" based on the writer's past coverage, personal preference, ease of working relationship and more.

"If I decide to send one writer the game because I believe that he or she will provide it with a better score and not send the game to another outlet because I believe that person incapable of being fair, that is a choice that I am making for the benefit of my client," he admitted. "Yes, I am excluding someone. Publishers are under no obligation to provide writers with copies of the game. Writers are under no obligation to review a game from a publisher.  Publishers can provide copies of the game to any writer they want for any reason. Writers can write a review in any matter they see fit.  It’s called choice."

He pointed out that he didn't provide any names in his tweet; he didn't even call for a boycott of a specific writer or outlet. What he did say was that "too many went too far with their reviews. We are reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn’t based on today’s venom. Bad scores are fine. Venom filled reviews that’s completely different."

"When I pick one writer over another, I usually am choosing someone I believe will provide my client with fair coverage or better," he said. "For gamers, I know this may sound sinister, but this is a business.  Businesses operate to make money. It just so happens that many of us are fortunate enough to be in the video game industry that we love and have found a way to earn a living."

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  • 13 Hide
    HSuke , June 24, 2011 5:09 PM
    Oh come on. His actual tweet wasn't that bad. This has been completely overblown.
Other Comments
  • 9 Hide
    cloakster , June 24, 2011 4:36 PM
    A good game will get good reviews, a bad game will get bad reviews. Why does Jim Redner think otherwise? It sucks that there were threats, but the bad rep he has now is well deserved, he can't get mad for reviewers giving a bad review to a game they believe is bad.
  • 7 Hide
    mobrocket , June 24, 2011 4:41 PM
    he is a moron...he is the face of the company, dont be saying stuff on twitter like that

    very poor choice of words... makes gearbox, take two and 2k look really bad...
  • 13 Hide
    HSuke , June 24, 2011 5:09 PM
    Oh come on. His actual tweet wasn't that bad. This has been completely overblown.
  • 0 Hide
    Niva , June 24, 2011 5:34 PM
    Tweet was perfectly logical, the guy's an egomaniac though and a complete retard to post it in the first place. Time for another PR firm to do DNF promos.
  • 0 Hide
    LORD_ORION , June 24, 2011 5:34 PM
    Penny-arcade got it right... what he said is how it works, what is odd is that he brought attention to this fact.

    Regardless, warning or no warning... those sites are going to get major retaliation from the publisher.
  • 0 Hide
    LORD_ORION , June 24, 2011 5:36 PM
    Forgot to post the link
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/2011/6/17/

    Glance down to the 4th paragraph starting with "There was a tempest"
  • 4 Hide
    demonhorde665 , June 24, 2011 5:39 PM
    cloaksterA good game will get good reviews, a bad game will get bad reviews. Why does Jim Redner think otherwise? It sucks that there were threats, but the bad rep he has now is well deserved, he can't get mad for reviewers giving a bad review to a game they believe is bad.



    hoenstly in the case of DNF , i think the bad reviews were given quite unfairly , in my opinion , most he bad reviews seem overly focused on teh older graphics , and the the older game mechanics ,which i hoenslty think is a BS reason to give abad reveiw , so what teh game , palys old school ? does every new shooter need to reinvent the wheel , to get agood review? i'd say definitly NOT sicne crappy repetivtive series like Call of Duty keep having even crappier sequels made for it that always get great reviews. no one slags that series for "not doing any thing new" infact it gets great reveiws despite me and many others hating the more reccent CoD games. (i stopped playing CoD after 4 )

    but back to the question at hand, i dotn think DNF is a bad game , infact i think it is a great romp through the past , with some good gaming momen'ts sure it's nothign new , but why does it have to be ? i got what i expected from it , a good duke nukem game.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , June 24, 2011 5:42 PM
    most "reviews " are screened i never trust em, hell even on forums and question sites you have people paid by companies to pucsh thier products over another. makes it hard to tell the difference between fanboys and payed shells sometimes

    that said I liked DNF, its a fun game, if there is a sequel i will buy it and play it. but i know there is somethign wrogn with reviews when they said DNF was unrealistic and the character had no depth... I was like... srsly... its frickin duke nukem he's got less depth than a blank sheet of paper and just kicks alien tail while getting tail its what i was expecting completely
  • 0 Hide
    RazberyBandit , June 24, 2011 5:43 PM
    As harsh as some of the early reviews were, I don't think his initial reaction was surprising, nor did it contain any attacks or insulting remarks. While it could have been said more professionally, the content itself was truthful. Publishers (and/or their PR reps) often reconsider their relationships with reviewers based on the reviews their titles receive. Governments do the same thing - leaking stories to members of the Press whom they believe will cover it favorably. It's called marketing.
  • -1 Hide
    dalethepcman , June 24, 2011 6:46 PM
    jacekring(8.3/10 and B) to Dungeon Siege III PC version. Which is a awful game. Gamespot gave the 6/10 which I though was generous, I would have given them a 4/10.



    metacritic.com will take all the guesswork out of reviews for games movies whatever. Its the best.

    "The Witcher 2" 88/100 based on 62 critics, 8.7 based on 1521 user reviews. "Dungeon siege 3" for pc 4.1 based on 88 user reviews.
  • 1 Hide
    clonazepam , June 24, 2011 7:45 PM
    You have to compare a game against whats on the shelves or released at the same time. If they'd specifically requested that all reviewers play through Duke Nukem first, and then play DNF, scores would have been better all around. Clearly, DNF is the exception given the history and is probably one of a very very few that should have been reviewed under a different set of rules.

    I don't have a problem at all with what the guy said, just where he said it. Any reasonable person in his position would've felt similarly I believe.
  • 1 Hide
    frozentundra123456 , June 24, 2011 8:17 PM
    Where did he get the part about feeling so sorry for celebrities?? My heart breaks for Jennifer Annisotn or the Kardashians. Young, rich, and beautiful (well relatively depending on your opinion). The rest of us should have such problems. If you dont want public scrutiny, dont be an actress or reality TV "star".

    And as far as Redner goes, he is a professional, maybe he SHOULD think before he posts something on the internet. He had to sit down and type it out and then post it; it's not like some verbal comment that slipped out witout thinking.
  • 0 Hide
    robochump , June 24, 2011 8:51 PM
    Funny how people will vent on twitter. I hear DNF has dated graphics and rehashed the same ole story. Of course games take allot of time and resources but that alone does not make it good. Next time dont delay a game so long that it is out dated!!! lol
  • 0 Hide
    Apple Troll Master , June 24, 2011 10:24 PM
    I played for 30mins and got bored....I should of bought a snuggie instead.

    As for this a$$clown he should try and hype up the snuggie.
  • 1 Hide
    alidan , June 24, 2011 11:42 PM
    TO EVERYONE SAYING GOOD GETS GOOD BAD GETS BAD READ THIS PLEASE

    the message he sent was because SO many places were "offended" but the sexist personality that is duke, that they rammed the game down to a 40-50% lower score, seemingly only because of that.

    they never expected gods gift to people, we all knew the game wouldnt be a 100% score, and the game inst, its closer to a 70-80% (depending on if you like the type of game it is) but most of the reviews that they are talking to rammed the game as a 1/10 or similar and sited that its sexist as one of the key reasons.

    i hope you understand that its not because the game wasnt getting 10/10 that he posted that, but it was getting 1/10 for no reason but shock value and hopefully getting a few more hits on their site because of it.
  • 1 Hide
    kastraelie , June 25, 2011 12:07 AM
    Like many others have said, this has been overblown.

    This wouldn't have been news if ANYTHING about NNF was frontpage news. Redner's twitter wasn't really bad at all--nothing like a Christian Bale or Mel Gibson rant.

  • 2 Hide
    demonhorde665 , June 25, 2011 12:40 AM
    clonazepamYou have to compare a game against whats on the shelves or released at the same time. If they'd specifically requested that all reviewers play through Duke Nukem first, and then play DNF, scores would have been better all around. Clearly, DNF is the exception given the history and is probably one of a very very few that should have been reviewed under a different set of rules.I don't have a problem at all with what the guy said, just where he said it. Any reasonable person in his position would've felt similarly I believe.

    that sir is what i think is wrong with game reviews , i think it is grossly wrong to compare every new game to current games and mark a game down for not being "modern". it's the equivilant of saying ALL game of the past suck becuase they arnt modern , which this is clearly a skewed way to look at things becasue there is a massive market for retro gaming , no one ever says "retro gaming" sucks. but if a dev releaseds a game that plays like games of old , reviewers all say it sucks cos it's old feeling , which is jsut retarded. i dont ther shoudl be exceptions , games should not be compared to other games in terms of "moderness" you wouldn't comre a xbox live reimaging of a classic game to modern games would you?. i think games should be souly rated on rather or not they are fun not rather or not they meet modern play mechanic standards.

    another example i use to illustrate my point , is the resident evil series , MANY resident evil fans really dislike the "modernization" of the series and would rather capcom , go back to the cinematic camera angles and old school exploration of the original resident evil games.

    but given how poorly DNF got rated by many reviewers, i assume any effort capcom makes to retro the RE series would probably be viewed as sucking.


    again i think games should jsut be rated on their fun factor , not thier moderness , such things should be only a foot note of any review in todays gaming landscape , not 50 % of thier grade.
  • 0 Hide
    randomizer , June 25, 2011 3:07 AM
    Quote:
    But as we pointed out, this practice isn't uncommon unless the reviews are seemingly stamped with IGN, Gamespot or another highly-commercialized site.

    Those sites aren't too bad for the actual reviews that they post as long as you ignore the final scores, because they almost always have no connection to the rest of the review. I've seen IGN post reviews of a game that they thought was mediocre, only to give it 8/10. Game reviewers generally only have scales that go from (at best) 5-10/10, and in some cases 7-10/10.
  • 0 Hide
    Kileak , June 25, 2011 5:14 PM
    I knew DNF was going to be poop before I was done installing it. I saw the DirectX 9.0c installer come up and knew it was going to be another poorly shit out console port.

    Sad, for a game that was so long in development, I thought the bar would have been pretty high for it to hit the shelves but nope, 6 years ago specs and gameplay feel is apparently all they could muster for the King.

    Gearbox went "Balls of steel"-deep in every and any respectable PC gamer with this one, and most of them just bent over and took it and paid for the game...

    The King is dead, long live the King.
  • 0 Hide
    dark_lord69 , June 26, 2011 4:33 PM
    7.2 out of 10
    I don't know what all the other critics are whining about. Its a good game. Not revolutionary and not the best graphics ever but still a good game.
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