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Thread: Square-Enix Admits To Creating Fake Journalist To Promote Their Games [DEBUNKED - READ ENTIRE THREAD]

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    Default Square-Enix Admits To Creating Fake Journalist To Promote Their Games [DEBUNKED - READ ENTIRE THREAD]

    http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/73143979.html

    Pretty disgraceful. I suppose when almost every title you've released in the past 5-10 years has been mediocre at best, you've got to resort to shady shit like this to try and stimulate sales.
    Last edited by Frankie_Says_Relax; 11-28-2012 at 09:32 AM. Reason: Clarified misleading title.
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    CORRECTION: She is in fact a real person as proven by ONTDers who know her as well as another personal friend of hers who tweeted to me that she used to work with her at Destructoid. However according to a recent Destructoid article this whole thing is shady and a mess and I don't blame the corrupt game journalists for not covering it as it would uncover many of their shady doings.
    This reporting is pretty disgraceful.

    BREAKING NEWS: Thing is "shady and a mess".
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    It does make you wonder where their heads are when the solution to "people don't like our games" is "make up a journalist."

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    Now I know what Inafune was talking about when he said the Japanese games industry was in dire straits.

    I don't think the higher-ups are happy with performances after the merger, either.

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    Um. Before this thread becomes a roller-coaster of rage and disgust ...

    That's like, an Onion type article, right? Right.

    Ya'know - satire, parody, etc.

    If you need perspective, here's the site where the article originates. Look at the headlines. Look at the articles.

    http://www.p4rgaming.com/
    Last edited by Frankie_Says_Relax; 11-27-2012 at 08:12 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie_Says_Relax View Post
    Um. Before this thread becomes a roller-coaster of rage and disgust ...

    That's like, an Onion type article, right? Right.

    Ya'know - satire, parody, etc.

    If you need perspective, here's the site where the article originates. Look at the headlines. Look at the articles.

    http://www.p4rgaming.com/
    Umm, I don't think it's satire. The article references a Eurogamer piece written by Rab Florence about a month ago. You're saying that they just conjured up the name of Lauren Wainright and fabricated a story about her being a former SE employee and pawn of the company's marketing department?
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    Square Enix admitting that most of their releases over the last decade were shit?
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawksmoor View Post
    Umm, I don't think it's satire. The article references a Eurogamer piece written by Rab Florence about a month ago. You're saying that they just conjured up the name of Lauren Wainright and fabricated a story about her being a former SE employee and pawn of the company's marketing department?
    facepalm dot jpg

    No, DORITO-GATE happened. http://tinyurl.com/abfq6av

    But Lauren Wainright is NOT a "fabricated journalist" created by Square's marketing team and she's not an actor playing a person who does not exist.

    The site you link to is not the origin of that article, they picked it up thinking it was a real news piece because ... well, the author doesn't really push the joke far enough.

    But, seriously please take a moment and look at the source site.

    http://www.p4rgaming.com/

    and the article

    http://www.p4rgaming.com/?p=319

    Look at all of the articles. Like, really look at them. Read them.

    It's like a video game Onion news site, which, isn't a bad idea IMO, but the author has some hit/miss stuff that OBVIOUSLY has caused some confusion.

    Can somebody else help out here? I'm not sure what I can do to make this any clearer.
    Last edited by Frankie_Says_Relax; 11-27-2012 at 09:28 PM.
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    I read the piece, I just didn't notice the tiny link to the p4gaming site. Now that I've read up on the actual story, it's still pretty onerous. Not too surprising though; I was once a "gaming journalist" myself, albeit 10+ years ago. For those that don't know the backstory, here's a pretty detailed account:

    http://penny-arcade.com/report/edito...-why-this-stor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawksmoor View Post
    I read the piece, I just didn't notice the tiny link to the p4gaming site. Now that I've read up on the actual story, it's still pretty onerous. Not too surprising though; I was once a "gaming journalist" myself, albeit 10+ years ago. For those that don't know the backstory, here's a pretty detailed account:

    http://penny-arcade.com/report/edito...-why-this-stor
    Yeah, the whole Dorito-Gate thing was a clusterfuck.

    The guys at Giant Bomb had a really great discussion about it on their podcast a week or so after it came out.

    Before listening to that podcast I was unaware of the business practice of game companies paying for "mock reviews" that are written by freelance game journalists and only distributed internally in the company for the purpose of the game developers to see what the potential press criticisms are going to be (so that they can either adjust the game or prepare for the inevitable).

    Apparently the work for Square that Wainright did was "mock review" type contract work, and she tried to cover that up when the whole thing with Eurogamer went down.

    Fascinating stuff to read about, but again, she's very much a real person and not a fabrication.
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    That's kind of the beauty of forums, in that you can come here and get a range of opinions on something secure in the knowledge that those that provide them aren't in someone's pocket. Unless of course you stumble upon a fake account set up by a publisher to spread the word about how great their game is

    One of my favourite things about gaming journalism is the puzzlement I read after they've posted a bad review for a game, and yet it sells well regardless. As if (a) every possible consumer reads their stuff and just willfully ignored it and (b) as if after reading months of 'previews' where they never *really* say anything negative (just cautionary stuff like 'it's not polished yet but I expect they'll address that) they expect those that did read their stuff to forget everything that they had read previously and just concentrate on the review itself.

    To be honest we shouldn't ever call it journalism, as it is all part of the marketing machine. That's not a disparagement of any kind, I'm just calling it what it is. Maybe everything would run smoother if everyone just came out and admitted it was the case and stopped worrying about what people would think. I honestly don't think anyone would stop reading the stuff, as it's still entertaining and informative in it's own way.
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    It's no secret that we've seen at least a few instances of journalism lacking integrity or publishers blatantly trying to strong-arm journalists and/or punish them for doing their jobs. This satire is far too subtle to work because of that. It's very believable, and honestly even if it were true it wouldn't be the worst behavior we could cite.
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger; 11-28-2012 at 09:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    It's no secret that we've seen at least a few instances of journalism either lacking integrity or publishers blatantly trying to buy journalists and/or punish them for doing their jobs. This satire is far too subtle to work because of that. It's very believable, and honestly even if it were true it wouldn't be the worst behavior we could cite.
    Especially considering that a similar thing ACTUALLY happened with movie reviews, was exposed and Sony/Columbia Pictures got dragged through the mud for it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_M...ious_writer%29

    Interestingly, I reached out to Lauren Wainright last night to see if she was aware of the satirical article about her being a "fabrication".

    She wasn't and she was a bit troubled that it was potentially going to get picked up in RSS feeds as a legitimate news story.

    Per the conversation that we had I feel comfortable saying that she is in fact a real person.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie_Says_Relax View Post
    Especially considering that a similar thing ACTUALLY happened with movie reviews, was exposed and Sony/Columbia Pictures got dragged through the mud for it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_M...ious_writer%29
    "David Manning was a fictitious film critic created by a marketing executive working for Sony Corporation around July 2000 to give consistently good reviews for releases from Sony subsidiary Columbia Pictures. ... Newsweek reporter John Horn disclosed the truth about Manning in a June 2001 article, which emerged at around the same time as an announcement that Sony had used employees posing as moviegoers in television commercials to praise Mel Gibson's The Patriot."

    After Sony's fake movie reviewer debacle and fake moviegoer debacle, Sony got in trouble for the same thing yet again a few years after. Remember the blog that was gushing over the PSP that turned out to be a fraud? lol

    http://adage.com/article/small-agenc...fiasco/113945/

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology...1/newsonyviral

    I'd think companies would learn not to do this by now. What are they thinking??
    Last edited by Rob2600; 11-28-2012 at 09:55 AM.

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    Wow, the fallout and drama from this is ridiculous and hilarious. Great job essentially destroying your career in games journalism by overreacting, Ms. Wainright. Some people just have no common sense. Even if someone sees nothing wrong with that free PS3 contest, why would a journalist think it a good idea to say so publicly? Maybe you might get some flak for participating alone, but the more you say, the more attention you draw to yourself, especially if you're taking sides in a controversial issue. Just keep your opinions to yourself, for crying out loud. Either that, or be willing to accept a little chastising from the opposing side. What point is there in saying that there's nothing wrong with it than to argue against those who say there is? You can dish out a debating point but not take one back?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie_Says_Relax View Post
    Per the conversation that we had I feel comfortable saying that she is in fact a real person.
    That doesn't mean she isn't a fake journalist.

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    I've known Lauren for a long time (starting out when we were both hanging out on Destructoid back in ~2008), and this is fucking hilarious to me. The idea that the person I've known for 4 years is a made-up personality is ridiculous.

    Quote Originally Posted by kedawa View Post
    journalist

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    ...

    Someone saw ONTD as a reliable source?

    Oh god, I can't stop laughing
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    Regardless of who is in it, video game "journalism" is, was, and always will be a joke and a complete waste of time.

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    This whole situation reeks of astroturfing.

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