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DNF Shunned PR Guy Received Death Threats

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."

  • cloakster
    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.
    Reply
  • mobrocket
    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...
    Reply
  • HSuke
    Oh come on. His actual tweet wasn't that bad. This has been completely overblown.
    Reply
  • Niva
    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.
    Reply
  • LORD_ORION
    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.
    Reply
  • LORD_ORION
    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"
    Reply
  • demonhorde665
    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.
    Reply
  • g00fysmiley
    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
    Reply
  • RazberyBandit
    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.
    Reply
  • dalethepcman
    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.
    Reply