By John Walker on July 11th, 2011 at 7:10 pm.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun would like to address some of the serious issues raised with regard to phone hacking allegations made in recent days. We would like to wholeheartedly apologise for any wrongdoings that may or may not have taken place in the past by people who weren’t us. It is with the deepest regret that we recognise that a number of our stories may have involved the use of illegal phone hacking to gain information about pretend people’s lives, which none of us did. As a result Rock, Paper, Shotgun Ltd. has decided it is only appropriate to shut down The Sunday Papers, after 138 extraordinary years as the internet’s most popular round-up of games-related stories. While we were once proud and upstanding, we recognise that we have flopped and lost our way.
We would especially like to apologise to those affected by the stories obtained through what we now suspect were illegal means. Everyone at Rock, Paper, Shotgun is horrified to learn of the practises of former employees, and you may have noticed we recently let go Quintin Smith after his connection to the scandal was revealed.
We have learned that Mr Smith was responsible for stories such as our – shocking at the time – exposé of Max Payne’s drug problems, and his subsequent collapse into bearded misery.
It also seems illegal hacking was involved in our coverage of the affair between Gordon Freeman and Alyx, and we would like to apologise to both, who have not been seen since the story first ran in 2009.
However, the problem goes much further back. It is with the utmost regret that we confirm that people within the organisation were in fact responsible for commissioning the hacking of Modern Warfare soldiers’ communications with families, which led to our Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of the conflict. We have promised to give back what’s left of the prize.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun CEO Horace TEB gave a statement to press just a few minutes ago in which he made clear the severity with which this matter is being taken.
“That anything like this could go on in one of the companies within my organisation is just beyond belief, and I say that as someone for whom “beyond” is a complex concept. As a result of this, and in no way connected to my plans to purchase a controlling interest in G4TV, I am announcing that the world’s most popular round-up of games news, The Sunday Papers, is to close. This historic section was once one of the most revered and respected link round-ups in the world, at the front of great journalism and pioneering entertainment. But sadly it lost its way. I would like, at this stage, to express my support for Kieron Gillen, who despite being editor at the time of all the alleged offences, is in no way responsible for anything that happened, and I am proud to have him as the Chief Executive of my comics division. I stand by him absolutely, as strange as that may definitely appear since he obviously was involved. Thank you for your time.”
This Sunday’s The Sunday Papers will be the last ever, and all proceeds for the post will be given to a charity or similar. We will ensure that plenty of extra copies of the post will be available to meet what we expect to be extremely high demand for this historic occasion. Rumours of a new section coming to RPS called The Papers On Sunday are not confirmed.
Again, Rock, Paper, Shotgun would like to sincerely apologise for what Quintin did that none of the rest of us were a part of, especially to those affected by what were definitely only his actions.