The Truth About Rock, Paper, Shotgun

By RPS Louse on October 14th, 2010 at 12:38 pm.

Let's see how long it takes them to even read the site to get rid of this!

I cannot maintain my silence any longer. As someone who has been working behind the scenes at Rock, Paper, Shotgun since it launched, and seen what’s really been going on here, I have to reveal the truth of this company. How am I supposed to sit back and watch as the website is adulated across the internet, bestowed with numerous awards for the supposed success of its “four main writers”, and celebrated as the site that invented good games journalism. I have recently found out I’m to be dismissed in the next round of lay-offs at RPS, as the company once again fires the “little people” who actually run the site, while the ego of the Big Four grows. So I’ve started this blog, and I’m using the login details I’ve got for RPS until they figure out how to stop me. Like those idiots ever could.

Working for Rock, Paper, Shotgun basically means pretending you don’t exist, and giving the credit for all your work to Jim, Alec, John or Quintin. Their names go at the top of the posts, their names go on the comments below, their names go on the awards after. Anyone who speaks up, who suggests that more credit should go to the actual authors, is very quickly out of work.

So if you want to know what really goes on at RPS, I’ll tell you right now.

First, the Big Four don’t know what they’re doing. Quintin Smith is the cruellest man I’ve ever encountered. All he does is sit in his palatial London apartment, sucking up to the right people. You want to know how he got the job on RPS? It wasn’t because of his writing talent. Let’s just say that with enough money, and enough dirt on the right people, it’s very easy to get a position on the RPS board. He’s never written a single word of copy in his entire career, and instantly fits right in to the “team”.

Alec Meer used to be the decent one. When the company started, he was the one who would talk to the staff writers, the art production teams, and so on. He didn’t actually do anything, of course, but would at least be courteous to those who did. That all changed with time. Now he’s rarely to be seen outside of his offices. No one knows what he does in there, but the stories of screams and crying animals are rife.

John Walker – “The Funny One” as they so hilariously call him – is the biggest arsehole of them all. By far the least funny person I’ve ever encountered, his lack of a sense of humour leads to his misunderstanding anything anyone says to him. The endless rages are legendary in the office, inevitably because he doesn’t get a joke on the site, and starts screaming the place down. I could tell you about the out-of-court settlement that prevented one of his victims bringing to light the incident with the chair. Maybe another time. But let’s just say that he’s got enough money to make sure people don’t need to hear about his violent tendencies.

And as for Jim Rossignol, who thinks he’s the boss of the whole enterprise. It’s pretty sad really. The delusional old man sits in his luxury country cottage, banging away on a keyboard that’s not plugged into anything, while barking orders at his staff to build him ever-more improbable robots. You should see what they have to do, dressing up in tin foil-wrapped cardboard to appease his insane ranting, as he picks up and slams down a disconnected phone. It’s hard to hate such a tragic figure. But it’s also pretty hard to see him receive credit for the book he pretends he wrote.

Want to know more? Keep reading. I can keep ranting.

You’re probably wondering about Kieron Gillen, and the coup that led to his getting fired. Oh, he left voluntarily you say? No, he was fired. The other four, with Quintin the “brains” of the operation, plotted to get rid of him so they could split his salary between them. Quintin saw an opportunity to replace Kieron in the Big Four, and within a couple of months KG was gone and “Quinns” (as he likes to pretend we want to call him) settled in to his position and salary. I bet Quintin is enjoying the sweet new chicken and ham pie he bought after leaving the knife in the man who mentored him.

Kieron was no saint. Promoted far beyond his ability he had to rely on so many underlings to get anything done. And the sycophancy of Jim, John and Alec. It wasn’t until Quintin joined the team that any of them had the guts to try to launch the coup, and blame Kieron for all of RPS’s many failings. Sure, their audience figures may be climbing all the time, but what you’ve got to wonder is where that audience is coming from. There’s only so much money that can come in from all their shady deals with various publishers to pay for those South Korean sweatshops to keep refreshing the front page. Or keep clicking on Alec’s features, as he insists they do.

And what do they all have in common? All of them have barely written a word on the site. The content is generated by faceless drones, trawling the net for stories to copy off of Kotaku, inevitably bawled out by John or Quintin for whatever the write, no matter how many hits it may get. Don’t get enough hits, and you’re gone. Oh, and repeat a post that someone else has already posted, even months ago, and the bollocking you receive is never forgotten.

And you know what they’re most proud of? This is the kicker. They are most proud of their Captcha system. They boast about how effective it is, its ease of use, and how it’s changed the site for the better. They spent $300m on it. It’s the only thing the four of them have done on the site in at least a year.

So there it is. Firing the competent. Rewarding the incontinent.

I say it anonymously so I can keep my next few pay cheques coming.

So I’m a louse. A big fat RPS louse.

Want some more questions answered? Ask away.

, , .

258 Comments »

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  1. pipman3000 says:

    cool story bro

  2. John Walker says:

    Does anyone know how to remove this?

  3. mondomau says:

    Yes, but unfortunately it involves using the Captcha system.

  4. Jestocost says:

    Satire!

  5. netsukemonkey says:

    @mondomau – don’t you mean permanently removing the CAPTCHA system. But that’s the best thing about the website!

  6. Gunnar says:

    How is this about minecraft?

    • Sander Bos says:

      Hey, you stole my question!

      Well, let me then just say: Louse, farewell, thanks for all you have done for this site, you will be missed

      (and I actually thoroughly enjoyed the rant until it went into the ridiculous in the last few paragraphs, it would have been funnier if it had been unclear whether it was legit or not until the end. Is this parody based on something real that happened elsewhere in the gaming industry, because if that angle exists I have missed it)

    • Premium User Badge

      RaveTurned says:

      Will lice be in the next update?

    • randomnine says:

      @Sander Bos: Hit Google for “EA Louse”.

    • frymaster says:

      sander: link in the first sentence goes to a news article about this

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Just close your eyes and think of Minecraft. It will be over quickly.

  7. Premium User Badge

    sonofsanta says:

    How many pies does John really eat? And does he do his own healing, or are his minions also terrible?

    • Premium User Badge

      sonofsanta says:

      Also, is this possibly related to the new flattr buttons?

  8. Varcynal says:

    Cry some moar?
    If this shit is even true, who cares? You’ll find this whereever you look in society. Losing your job is just a common thing, so is trying to get even with your “evil” bosses.

    Go drink some cement, you need to harden the fuck up son.

    • Nihohit says:

      Very well done, sir.
      That’s telling him.

    • Barman1942 says:

      Somebody doesn’t understand parody, it would seem.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Except that he’s playing along. Probably.

      This is the problem with trolling now. Trolls troll trolls until everyone is trying too hard. There’s no wit, no puns, no intelligence at all. Just meme spam and idiots thinking they got the upper hand. This guy http://www.27bslash6.com/index.html is doing it right.

      (Post modded -1 for offtopic)

    • Cronstintein says:

      Holy crap I got a few good laughs out of that, thanks for the link. That guy brings trolling to the level of artform, bravo sir!

  9. Rinox says:

    I tried to contact this ‘Louse’ for an interview but it seems that the fascists that are RPS have changed his contact e-mail into a spam address. THE TRUTH MOST BE TOLD!!!

  10. RiptoR says:

    @John: Open up a commandprompt, type in “format c:”, press ENTER, wait a couple of minutes…

    I’m sure you won’t see this post anymore after doing that succesfully.

  11. Debaser says:

    Oh, dear

  12. Auspex says:

    Hello Louse.

    What’s the deal with horrid Walker’s hat?

  13. TOOTR says:

    Very very funny :) I still think it’s Alec though!

    Or perhaps some disgruntled game industry investment analyst that thinks RPS is DOOMED.

    I can’t believe you’ve all blown $300 million on the RPS mmo though….. you crazy kids!

  14. whaleloever says:

    Curious as to why there seem to be so much distance put between RPS and PC Gamer? As a long time reader of PCG, I found RPS was modelled after another site. Certain aspects of RPS seemed to honestly be a less polished version of PC Gamer, almost as if the current writers had never experienced PCG and what made it such a success for Future. Was there a decision to not model their new blog after PCG and more curiously, why? Reason I am asking is during the early days, RPS had asked people not to post about PCG comparison and if they did, they would find their forum account closed.

  15. Will says:

    Hey what about that community manager, Metal Circus, that got fired?

  16. Temple to Tei says:

    I would comment but Captcha says ‘DONT’

    Reply Fail!
    That was supposed to be at another website.

    Kieron posted about this Months ago

  17. BaronWR says:

    Quick, tell us about how Alec lied about his past, and actually worked for many competing companies…

  18. The Rust Belt says:

    Great stuff :-)

  19. Diziet says:

    and it was all going along so swimmingly until he dropped the biggest clanger, he mentioned being paid! Now we all now it’s a lie as the RPS staff work off of caffeine and belly button lint.

    • Colthor says:

      @Diziet:
      That’s just what they want you to think, to guilt-trip even more subscribers so they can add a 114th story to their gold and platinum tower!

  20. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    Dear RPS,

    Who is Tei? Really?

    • Severian says:

      Don’t you see? Tei *is* the louse. *He’s* the one who’s been doing all the writing for these deadbeats.

  21. Alexander Norris says:

    What can you tell us about Quinns’ facial hair, and why is Phil Cameron so obsessed with penises?

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Addendum: when did the stupid social media stuff start appearing under post titles, and what the hell is flattr?

    • qrter says:

      And why are you so obsessed with why Phil Cameron is so obsessed with penises?

      (And so on, ad infinitum..)

    • Levictus says:

      I’ll second that, WTF is flattr?

    • Premium User Badge

      KindredPhantom says:

      Flattr seems to be a service where you give money to people who make things you like. Flattr takes all the money you want to give to people who make things you like and at the end of the month they then divide it out between them all.

    • CMaster says:

      Lewie P started using it a while back and explained it. Basically it’s a form of limited spending internet-based tipping.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Flattr is a (yet another) micropayments thing, basically for giving tips. If you have a flattr account, you sign up to tip £X/month (you choose the amount). If you read an article you like or something like that, you click the flattr button. At the end of the month, everyone you flattr’d gets an equal share of your tip.

      For example, if I signed up to tip £5 a month, and only clicked one RPS flattr button and one SavyGamer flattr button, RPS and SavyGamer would get £2.50 each. But if I’d clicked 8 other flattr buttons, they’d all get £0.50 each.

      Make sense?

    • Alexander Norris says:

      @qrter — because it’s unnatural and highly suspicious, is what it is. It’s almost as if Phil Cameron exists only to draw attention away from Quinns’ shovel-shaped shlong by mentioning other dicks, but then that makes RPS all about the penises, thereby explaining Karen Gillan’s interest in Hey Baby!.

      I’m not sure where Jom Rissignol fits in all this, but you can rest assured that I will find out.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      (Also, thanks, CMaster.)

  22. Bascule42 says:

    No doubt this RPS Louse turned up at Jims dressed as Metal Mickey. Should have gone wit hthe old Cylon option methinks.

    Thursday just got a little bit of extra cheer.

    Huzzah for the Louse.

  23. Brumisator says:

    :o
    I had no idea RPS was such a slave-labour camp run by douchebags!

    I am morally outraged and will never visit the internet again!

  24. Inigo says:

    I’m still not convinced “Quintin” is an actual name.

  25. asdf says:

    Just… no.

  26. bonjovi says:

    Not funny, reminds me of GOG stunt

    • mondomau says:

      Oh hush.

    • subedii says:

      It’s basically a satire of how random blogs will crop up on the net claiming to be “tell all exposé’s” from a disgruntled insides who knows THE TRUTH, and must tell all.

      The most recent being with the “EA Louse” claiming to tell all about how The Old Republic is crap and going to fail (due to terrible management), and Valve “louse” claiming to be a Valve employee talking about how Icefrog is evil and ruining Valve.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Humour is subjective.

      Go look up subjective.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Communism is subjective!

      Did I do that right?

  27. Dave says:

    This is why I love this blog.

    • Premium User Badge

      harvb says:

      Gotta love Big Train :)

      This is just amazing satire, love it. Almost sincere.

      Thing is, even IF (big if) it were real, we’d never take it seriously.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      I miss Big Train.

      Burnistoun is like a Scottish Big Train (if you can find it, it was unfortunately only shown in Scotland)

    • Premium User Badge

      Flimgoblin says:

      Saw that and thought “that looks a bit like Robert Florence”, and that’s because it is. Burnistoun = RPS required viewing now.

  28. Snall says:

    So wait, someone put effort into this site somewhere? Shock

  29. Okami says:

    While this satire is quite funny, I’m only to ready to accept the truth of the EA LOUSE forum post this is supposed to make fun off. The upper echelons of game development companies and especially publishers really are full of incompetent, infighting jackasses.

    • Okami says:

      Of course this doesn’t change the fact that writing an anonymous forum post and insulting people on the internet is a jackass move as well. And it shouldn’t be forgotten that a lot of game developers themselves are ungrateful, whiney little bitches who often lack the big picutre.

  30. Rosti says:

    “Rewarding the incontinent.” – It’s the RPS way! Good work that Louse :)

  31. Tei says:

    this is the post of a angry men that is soo down in the hierarchy that he don’t know the big picture.

    note:
    TRWTF is the forum.

  32. RPS Louse says:

    If people want to ask questions, keep them on the other blog. They keep changing everyone’s passwords here, trying to figure out which one I am.

    • Sander Bos says:

      Dear Mr Louse,

      since you are no longer working for RPS but still have full access to the site, could you please fix the comment reply system.

      Oh wait, it appears to be working now…

  33. Ernheim says:

    This feels similar to the valve guy complaining about icefrog… (http://icefrogtruth.blogspot.com/)
    Satire, perhaps. Seems too coincidental to be true

  34. J.P says:

    Oh… i see what you did there!

  35. Spatula says:

    rolfcopters.

    man i love satire.

    Also, i have it on good authority that quinns does very bad things indeed with bourbon biscuits… let’s just say he’s not called ‘crusty’ for nothing…..

  36. Ian says:

    Question for the Louse:
    Is it true that the “Hivemind” eat puppy sandwiches most days of the week?

    And that they LOVE UbiDRM?

    • Premium User Badge

      Thermal Ions says:

      Puppy sandwiches? Yeah that’s imagineable, but loving UbiDRM? Not even the Hivemind could be that offensively incompetent.

  37. Martin Coxall says:

    I’m glad the AWFUL TRUTH about John so-called Walker has finally come to light.
    NO more of his LIES.

  38. Fernando says:

    This is an alternate reality game – at the end of which RPS will unveil a new comment system.

  39. Premium User Badge

    VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Knowing nothing about the company or its writers, I’m in no position to comment on how true and valid all this is vs. how much it’s just a tantrum from someone who felt they should have been listened to but was not.

    I will comment on two things however:

    #1- RPSLouse- no one gives a shit if you or the others writers get to express yourselves IF in expressing yourself it breaks the fiction of RPS’s hivemind. It’s not a fucking creative writing class where everyone gets a chance to ‘show what’s inside them!’…it’s work. I don’t know much about the games journalism world but fuck man, seems a pretty spot on comment that if the whole site is about these four writers then having all these other writers getting fucking CREDIT is probably not going to fit into that. And the fact that you feel not giving the team credit- which was a good creative call in my mind- served to take away some of the team’s ability to express themselves does nothing but paint you as someone with out of touch, unrealistic expectations of what your job is supposed to do for you. Games journalism SHOULD allow for self expression by members of the team- that is FANTASTIC when that happens and something management should always try to offer up- but it’s gotta be within context of and in service to the product.

    #2- What the fuck is it about games journalism where it brings out the worst, most immature, most obnoxious sides of certain types of people on a team? Everyone thinks they always know better than the people in charge. On PC Zone I still remember a small group of hard core writers on the team that felt we were making the magazine ‘wrong’ because there was not all this deep, deep, characterisation and depth to the reviews. Never did it occur to them that we were going for something else…even tho I explained this to them over and over! But still, every few weeks I could count on this little contingency being up in the editor’s office pitching ‘their’ version of the magazine, with the goal being to have the head step in- which he never did- and shove their ideas into it. Fuck it annoys me! Am I the only one in games journalism who has experienced this?

    • Brumisator says:

      I can’t tell if Velvet fist is missing the sarcasm of the post or if it’s me missing the sarcasm in his reply…ARGH! brain-melt!

    • John Walker says:

      How the hell does Kieron still have a login?

    • mondomau says:

      Didn’t they fire you Gillen?

    • Baboonanza says:

      Gillen didn’t leave, he transcended. GILLEN is now a perfect, immortal machine. How can you challenge that eh?

      I mean really, a professional comic writer. Doesn’t that sound a bit far-fetched to you?

    • Gap Gen says:

      Did Quinns choose the ending where he merged with Kieron to become Horiace? I always assumed he chose the Quilluminati.

    • Rinox says:

      Of course, David Jaffe is something of a tool who thinks it’s normal to mow down unarmed innocents in a Russian airport, but absolutely can’t bring himself to kill American soldiers as a Taliban. Yeah…WTF? Indoctrinated much?

      http://gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2010/10/12/jaffe-moh-comments.aspx

    • Huggster says:

      Did someone mention Horace from “Horace goes skiing”?

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      @VelvetFistIronGlove
      I was so going to do this. Great minds think alike…

      OR DO THEY?!

      @Huggster, It’s Horace as in “Horace the Endless Bear”, The Infinite One who sits on his Infinite Throne, judging the games of christmas and your driving skills, surrounded by a choir of Angelbeaars.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I’m not sure two finite beings can merge to become infinite.

    • Bret says:

      I’m pretty sure the best ending is dropping atomic powered bears on everything to create a new dark age.

  40. Premium User Badge

    KindredPhantom says:

    RPS Louse is in fact Dave Tosser!

    • subedii says:

    • Unaco says:

      I miss that guy. He’s the sort of person this website, and the Industry as a whole, need. I heard that’s why Kieron left… he had that brief and wonderful moment working with Dave, and now his life is not the same. So, he has departed to try and regain that special, magical, ever-so-slightly erotic relationship, or find something equally as wonderful.

  41. pakoito says:

    What you did there…I see.

  42. Meat Circus says:

    Tei = Xenu in RPScientology.

    Learn the truth, and burn up your soul.

  43. Premium User Badge

    Nero says:

    What is your favorite colour?

  44. Max says:

    What’s RPS without a few screaming puppies?

  45. indirectx says:

    Jim’s old and incontinent?

  46. Meh says:

    lol… and the cake is a lie

  47. Alec Meer says:

    What the shit. I didn’t harm a hair on those cats.