The Silence: An Update

By John Walker on August 19th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

Hello, and welcome to an irregular update on The Silence. The technique publishers use when they want a story to go away. Rather than responding to press enquiries, they instead pretend they haven’t happened, or send prevaricating nonsense which ultimately goes nowhere. So, RPS figures, let’s not let that work. Let’s keep bringing stuff back up, reminding people about it, and letting their silence be a thorn in the publishers’ sides. Today it’s EA, Ubisoft and Deep Silver.

EA And The SimCity Fiasco

2013′s most famous deployment of The Silence has to be EA with SimCity. They didn’t tell the truth. They bold-faced didn’t tell the truth about the game in previews, and they continued to talk bollocks about the game after release. They announced it required a permanent internet connection to run “server-side calculations” on which the simulation depended. It wasn’t true. It was demonstrated as not true by hackers, then journalists, and yet amazingly, EA continued to maintain their bullshit story. And they still to this day haven’t explained it. They haven’t explained how Lucy Bradshaw repeatedly told the press things that weren’t the case. They haven’t explained how their story kept changing throughout development. Maxis and EA have instead stuck their heads in the sand, while somehow also shouting “LA LA LA CAN’T HEAR YOU!”, and then rushing back to the press and asking them to excitedly report how many copies they sold. Most of the press duly did, and didn’t think to mention that they’d been ignored when trying to find out why they’d not had the truth told to them earlier. You can read much more about this here.

Deep Silver And Torsogate

You’ll notice how I so cleverly avoided the word “lied” in the EA entry above. Because while we know they didn’t tell the truth, and we know they spread bullshit, we can’t prove that any individual knowingly lied. With Deep Silver and the mucky mess that was Dead Island: Riptide’s promotional material, it’s even more ambiguous. They didn’t technically lie about anything – instead they heavily manipulated the press into believing they were going to do something that they had no intention of doing. It was in response to the reaction to their unpleasant torso statue – a mutilated female corpse, arms and legs bloodily removed, but remarkably the large, balloon-like breasts pristine and barely hung in a bikini. It was to be given away with a special edition. We, along with many others, suggested that doing so was pretty disgusting. Deep Silver implied that they agreed, issued a profuse apology, and explained that they were rethinking strategies, and that they “sincerely regretted” the choice. They didn’t. Quietly, and without drawing the press’s attention to it, they just released the torso special edition anyway. So we asked them how come? We asked why they suggested they wouldn’t, and did it anyway. Why something they sincerely regretted was something they went ahead with. They didn’t reply. They wouldn’t even issue a “no comment”. Just silence. Because that makes it go away, right?

It’s also worth noting that at a recent Deep Silver preview event for Saints Row IV, to which RPS did not attend, scantily clad pole dancers appeared on stage and writhed around the assembled journalists. Deep Silver: keeping it tacky in 2013.

Ubisoft And The Assassin’s Creed IV PC Mystery

A new entry to The Silence charts, this little nugget occurred back in June. An interview with a developer for Ubisoft’s jumpy-stabby series mentioned that the PC version would appear “a few weeks” after the console versions. It had been the habit of Ubisoft to pretend that a game was coming out on all platforms simultaneously, and then with as little as a week to go, suddenly declare the PC version was another month or two away. Routinely. Something Ubisoft promised to try to stop doing to PC customers when we spoke to them about it last September. And it seems like they’re going to do it all over again. Or are they? We don’t know, because no matter how often we ask, we don’t hear anything back. Clearly the developer spoke off the PR script, and has likely caused all manner of consternation at Ubi as they try to figure out what to do about it internally. But as is so painfully often the case, they’ve failed to say anything externally. So instead we’re just getting The Silence, and PC customers might once again get screwed over on release day.

To all three publishers – we’d still love to hear from you about these matters. Any time you like.

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229 Comments »

Top comments

  1. Lewie Procter says:

    Deep SIlver have also refused to acknowledge any of my questions about their extremely excessive region locking and regional pricing discrimination. This is pretty common practice (although Deep Silver do it more aggressively than most other publishers), but it’s compounded by the fact that they cancelled the retail release of SR4 in the UK (which was available to preorder for £25) and are now only releasing it digitally (digital version is not available for less than £35 though licensed distributors).

    Extremely consumer hostile action, and they refuse to answer any questions about it, other than claiming that they are not responsible for these policies, which is a total cop out:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1jyitb/i_am_guido_eickmeyer_creative_director_at_deep/cbjjf5j

  1. grechzoo says:

    I’m glad RPS is trying to keep these issues in the light of day.

    But it’s all inevitably an exercise in futility.

    The consumers decide what issues actually make an impact in the long run, the same average consumers that forget and throw money at the people they were angry at a few months earlier.

    • faelnor says:

      I don’t think it’s as clear-cut as you think. Journalists can be influential and RPS are, as was demonstrated several times. By putting forth an entity (developer, publisher) in a negative light with enough persistence, they can effectively influence the general perception of that entity through popular media. That includes a subset of the consumers themselves, but also internal parties within the entity, from PR and marketing people to writers and studio leads.

      Deep Silver promised they wouldn’t put the controversial special edition out. Of course they did, and they are liars for that, but other publishers would have honored their promise because of the journalists’ influence.

      Same goes for the Xbox One “debacle”.

      Anyway, Deep Silver have truly made an awful move. I’d have been fine with them openly ignoring journalists’ appeal to censorship of a distasteful trinket, but promising to do something and then disappearing altogether is a terribly dishonest form of damage control.

      • MasterDex says:

        Did they actually promise anything though? Swear to their gods that they wouldn’t release the busty bust? I don’t recall that they did.

        The way I see it, Deep Silver went back to the drawing board after hearing the outrage then, after realizing that they’ve got boxes upon boxes of quartered busts that were already probably paid for, decided to release the special edition so as to offload all that stock and make back some return.

        As for SR4 and strippers, well, it’s kind of expected for that game, no?

        • S Jay says:

          Maybe a mix of female and male strippers of all body sizes would be expected of that game.

        • valz says:

          So you’re saying you don’t appreciate it when people say the truth without a promise? So when someone asks you to lunch, you always ask “Do you promise to actually plan to meet me?” I couldn’t live like that. I’d just stop paying attention to people.

          • Shuck says:

            “I’d like to meet you for lunch on Tuesday, at noon.”
            Tuesday at 2:00pm: “Hey, where are you, I’ve been waiting for two hours!”
            “I said I’d like to meet you for lunch. I never said I would…”
            Being friends with a game publisher is not much fun.

          • MasterDex says:

            I appreciate the comparison but it’s not very apt in this context. Deep Silver aren’t buddies with RPS or anyone else. The games media is just another outlet for PR.

            If Deep Silver had come out and said “We promise we’ll remove the bust from the special edition” or something similar, I’d believe there was a point to holding them to task but what they said was this:
            http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/04/25/the-silence-deep-silver-hiding-from-torsogate/

            “…We sincerely regret this choice. We are collecting feedback continuously from the Dead Island community, as well as the international gaming community at large, for ongoing internal meetings with Deep Silver’s entire international team today. For now, we want to reiterate to the community, fans and industry how deeply sorry we are, and that we are committed to making sure this will never happen again.”

            So, unless Deep Silver release another special edition featuring an ample, dismembered female corpse, I see no evidence of any broken promise, any lie, or any reason they should still be held to task.

            It was a misstep for sure and certainly not in the best of taste but there are far better reasons to hold a developer/publisher to task than this.

        • Baines says:

          No, Deep Silver did not make such a promise.

          It was John Walker who decided that Deep Silver promised it, even though they didn’t.

        • Flopper says:

          I agree with the Sim City debacle and getting them to answer for what they did…

          The white knighting of women’s rights to Deep Silver is a little over the top. If women are offended let them object. Seems a little pathetic to me every time I come on this site and see a bunch of men getting all worked up over women’s rights when the women aren’t even that upset by it.

          Strippers at the Saints Row IV show?! GTFO! That doesn’t fit with the theme of the game at all! Oh wait…

          • The Random One says:

            *Man complains about unfair treatment of women*
            “Stop white-knighting, women don’t even care!”
            *Woman complains about unfair treatment of women*
            “Ugh, can’t you stop throwing your gender in our faces?”
            *Blllzx, an alien being with no concept of gender, complains about unfair treatment of women*
            “Well you just don’t understand how these things work and you should respect Earth culture.

          • JarinArenos says:

            “a bunch of men getting all worked up over women’s rights when the women aren’t even that upset by it” Because you know a couple women who aren’t upset by sexism so that makes everything alright. Pro tip: this isn’t how logic works. I happen to know tons of women who are talking about being upset by this sort of thing *all the damn time*. A male pointing it out isn’t “white knighting” any more than a white person talking about race relations is.

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            darkChozo says:

            That’s a pretty laughable criticism, considering that there are very highly visible examples of women in gaming complaining about the portrayal of women in gaming, including at least one who writes semi-regularly for this very site.

            Also I appear to have opened up the male RPS writers to an easy joke, probably John moreso than the rest. Oh dear.

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            Stellar Duck says:

            Thing is, I don’t care all that much if women are upset by the torso atrocity. I haven’t got any statistics. But I know that some women I care about found it rather lacking in taste, so that’s good enough for me. I, however, was upset, on multiple fronts. That’s enough for me.

            They offended my sensibilities by saying it was in the tradition of Roman portraiture, which means they haven’t the faintest clue about anything, they offended my sense of aesthetics by making a hideous piece of pandering crap, they also make it clear that they had no clue it might be seen as a strange thing to do and then they finally offended me with double speak of the highest order.

            All of which they’re of course free to do and I shan’t stop them, nor would I like to stop them. They can do as they like. But I can also not buy their games. Which I don’t. I still kick myself for buying the new Metro game as I’d forgotten it was a Deep Silver. For some reason my brain still thought it was THQ, despite everything I’ve read. So that’s on me, of course. But other than that, I won’t be buying their games.

            The strippers are just icing on that particular shit cake.

    • finalfanatik says:

      We’ll probably never get answers to these questions, and the ‘issues’ may never be resolved. But at least the publishers know we’re still watching them.
      Maybe they’ll never do something like this again now. Right? Right guys…?

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      I disagree. “Good will” is a valuable commodity.

      • varangian says:

        Indeed, if you were to buy a going concern, anything from fish and chip shop to an oil company, the goodwill inherent to that business will be part of the cost. Companies don’t like having a reputation as being a bunch of liars and their shareholders even less so, by holding their feet to the fire RPS will have an effect, albeit rather slowly.

        And on a very local scale getting this news out also has an effect. Haven’t played a Sim City game in more than a decade, was thinking about shelling out until I a read about the crap EA were pulling and decided to pass. Ditto with Riptide, bought, played and enjoyed Dead Island enough to perhaps be tempted by a sequel but the whole statue thing was just tacky and their weasel response to that more so, another chunk of money went elsewhere.

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          Malibu Stacey says:

          Ditto with Riptide, bought, played and enjoyed Dead Island enough to perhaps be tempted by a sequel but the whole statue thing was just tacky and their weasel response to that more so, another chunk of money went elsewhere.

          I was tempted by Dead Island (not Riptide) during the recent sales & declined due to Torsogate. Chalk up another lost sale. Well that should be sales plural as I’m not going to buy anything else they make or any DLC for said titles.

          And no I didn’t pirate the fucking thing either before someone chimes in, I have enough games I’ve paid for to keep me entertained without needing to flit from one fad to the next like a hummingbird with ADHD.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            FWIW, you didn’t miss a whole lot. I played it and eventually beat it, but it’s nothing to crow about. An okay romp that’s more fun with people than on its own, but still decent enough to play solo. Its quests are rather tedious and the weapon crafting seems pretty robust at first, but the veneer wears off soon and you find yourself only using a few of the more powerful mods over and over again.

            A fun play if you like stomping and hacking up zombies, but I think Dead Rising 2 and its expanded re-imagining, DR2:OTR, are much better in nearly every respect than Dead Island. The only advantage for DI, perhaps, is that it has 4-player co-op over DR2′s 2-player co-op.

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            Malibu Stacey says:

            I do quite fancy Dead Rising 2 (and OTR) but I hate playing a sequel without having played the original even in cases like this where it’s a whole different game. Hence why I haven’t even looked at buying Dark Souls as I haven’t finished Demon’s Souls on PS3 yet.
            Guess I’ll have to give Dead Rising 1 a miss since it was Xbox 360 only it appears.

    • ZeDestructor says:

      > The consumers decide what issues actually make an impact in the long run, the same average consumers that forget and throw money at the people they were angry at a few months earlier.

      /me checks past purchase history…

      Nope, not a single cent given to Deep Silver, EA or Ubisoft in the past 6months. The previous game from those publishers I bought was FarCry 3, and I was recently gifted BF3 (friends gonna be friends, okay?), so not even in the Humble Bundle.

      If enough people vote with their wallets, things change. Some of us remember, and we will not stand for this crap until stuff changes!

      • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

        Same here. I’d been really interested in SR4, but Deep Silver gets none of my money until there’s some sign they’re changing their ways.

      • SayNoToDRM says:

        Haven’t bought anything EA for over two years since they insist on Origin malware for everything(last thing I bought was a Sims 3 EP which was broken as all hell); haven’t bought anything Ubisoft since they tried to ram always-online DRM down our throats and it looks like Deep Silver can now make themselves at home on my anti-consumer publisher blacklist too.

        I’m not paying £40 for Saints Row 3.5 and crass tat aside, I refuse to be treated like a common criminal by these publishers. Region locking (yeah, fell for that one in SR3), anti-consumer DRM and sequelitis are making so-called AAA gaming unappealing to me these days.

      • ScubaMonster says:

        Never going to happen. As long as EA has blockbusters like Battlefield and Ubisoft has hits like Assassin’s Creed, people will buy them. And you know what? I really don’t give a crap about publisher politics and PR. If a game is fun I’m going to play it. Origin really isn’t that much worse than Steam on the DRM side (layout and interface is another story).

    • Sir Buildbot Winslave says:

      Some articles and comment debates on RPS have definitely influenced my behaviour. On issues like always on-DRM coming here helped strengthen and sustain my resolve not to put up with such nonsense.

      Many gaming sites have a tendency to downplay or quickly drop negative issues and accept publisher silence tactics. As a result, I believe you’re far less likely to get the feeling that you can have any influence as a customer. I also get the impression that the comments on such sites tend more towards the “Get over it and move on” and “Stop whining!1″ style of debate.

      So, even though we might never be able to trace even one single change directly back to such an article, I’d say they’re far from futile.

  2. hjarg says:

    Hey, thanks for not forgetting!

  3. lordcooper says:

    In the split second between glancing at the title and main image and actually starting to read the article, there was a moment of sublime happiness at the thought of a possibly decent Doctor Who game.

    You bastard.

    Also, this article was a Good Idea.

    • Jeroen D Stout says:

      There is something very strange about that image. I keep looking at it but I never really… strange. What is the image of? I cannot seem to … hm.

      Perhaps I should get a nap, I feel very tired.

  4. Tei says:

    The torsogate is a no-history. Some journalist got his jimmies rustles, because he did not like a torso.

    EA Sim City fiasco. The quicker we forget about that, the better. I am ashamed to have bought that no-game. Sims has killed Maxis, now everything must be cute and shallow. They tried to make some nerdy agent based sim, really cool tech, but made too much concesions to be able to do that. And in the end, the game did not deserve a second look. Period.

    Ubisoft gets me every time. Is the game company that in TWO occasions have distributed stuff downloaded from The Pirate Bay with a torrent client. Is the company that always mysteriously delay the PC version, and always lie about it. They invent lies that end as titulars, and is a bit embarrassing. I hope they learn to invent boring lies that don’t get to the news. Th0se crazy frenchs :D

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      > Some journalist got his jimmies rustles, because he did not like a torso.

      There were plenty of us who didn’t like it, as the discussions from the time clearly show.

      • greg_ritter says:

        Yes there were, and all of you, in my opinion, overreacted.

        • Premium User Badge

          Lars Westergren says:

          I’m totally fine with not bringing up the original discussion again. But claiming that it is “no-history” and that it was only one journalist that reacted, is disrespectful of other people’s opinions. In my opinion.

        • Grey Poupon says:

          There’s plenty of guys like you too. And plenty of guys who come to gaming sites to read about games rather than how wrong sexism is. How it’s alright to beat up a kid with a baseball bat in a game but dear lord if there’s a stripper in a modern game or if someone calls a woman names. This really isn’t the place I come for articles about that sort of stuff.

          The SimCity crap shouldn’t be forgotten though. That was just horrible from a gaming point of view. As for late PC ports, I’d rather get a good port later than a bad one a week after the console versions come out.

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            Lars Westergren says:

            > And plenty of guys who come to gaming sites to read about games rather than how wrong sexism is.

            There are quite a lot of other game sites that choose not to write about sexism. But this does, and I applaud them for it.

            > How it’s alright to beat up a kid with a baseball bat in a game but dear lord if there’s a stripper in a modern game or if someone calls a woman names.

            Can’t say I’ve ever seen kids being beaten up with baseball bats in any game I’ve played. One can be upset about both though. No problem there.

          • Grey Poupon says:

            Well, it is good that someone talks about that stuff. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’d prefer if it wasn’t the site I otherwise like the most. I wouldn’t even bother to whine if this site was just one among many to me. Maybe they could have a separate section for that sort of things. Though I don’t think there’s no room for it in games as it makes the world I’m playing in feel different, a more hostile environment, so I still wouldn’t advocate getting rid of it all.

            Also, I’ve hit children with all sorts of blunt objects in quite a few games.

          • John Walker says:

            Oh for the love of God, buy a mouse with a scroll wheel and stop moaning.

          • Superabound says:

            “Can’t say I’ve ever seen kids being beaten up with baseball bats in any game I’ve played.”

            Um, what about all of the actual bikini clad zombie women in the ACTUAL GAME that you literally beat up with baseball bats, hack up with machetes, and bloodily dismember a thousand different times throughout the course of the game? You know, that thing literally no one ever complained about? So why is it all of a sudden sexism when its translated to some stupid Collectors Edition figurine?

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            DrScuttles says:

            Because there’s a disconnect between the game and its advertising. It’s entirely possible to create a work in which NPCs are equally observed through every possible variety of the female, male, cis, trans, homo, hetero gaze, but to then sell it with an offensively crude, base piece of tat.

          • The Random One says:

            Because we can punch both women and men in the game but can’t buy a bloody male crotch in speedos.

    • John Walker says:

      The issue isn’t the torso here. It’s the saying they’d not release it, then releasing it, that’s being discussed.

      • Grey Poupon says:

        Well, mentioning the pole dancers didn’t make much sense in that case. Or did they also promise not to do those either? That kinda took the attention away from the lying part. Or not telling the truth part.

        • bateleur says:

          It’s important context, because it strongly suggests that the reason they lied is because they didn’t agree with the criticism in the first place, but lacked the courage to say so. Reasons matter.

        • Ninja Foodstuff says:

          Well it suggests they have absolutely no intention of changing the way they are seen by the public.

          • Superabound says:

            Yeah, wouldnt want the company that made a game based on dismembering zombie women to give people the wrong idea about dismembered zombie women. Remember, zombies are people too!

        • Jerakal says:

          It’s because a certain unnamed journalist has been bitten by the sexism bug, so he’ll feel the need to draw connections between two perceived sexist things even if they aren’t directly related.

      • Tei says:

        You have a point here. Anyway maybe they have really think about it. Thats a victory at itself, for the sexism war crusaders.
        They released it, because, you don’t always win, and maybe they needed to make money out of it, and it was too late to remove the torso.

      • harbinger says:

        Misrepresentation of facts:
        In this piece your very own John Walker admits that he doesn’t know if they’ll pull the special edition: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/01/16/deep-silver-issue-apology-over-dead-island-torso-debacle/
        I quoteth:
        “Whether this means the special edition will be pulled remains to be seen. Deep Silver told Poly that they are now “collecting feedback from the Dead Island community, as well as the international gaming community at large, for ongoing internal meetings with Deep Silver’s entire international team today.”

        All they have said was that they were committed to making sure “this will never happen again”:
        “For now, we want to reiterate to the community, fans and industry how deeply sorry we are, and that we are committed to making sure this will never happen again.”

        Merely a few months later, yours truly John Walker forgets about said statement that he himself made and outright claims that they lied and somehow they now owe him an explanation: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/04/25/the-silence-deep-silver-hiding-from-torsogate/
        “what did they mean? Because right now it looks like it was just a lie to make the story go away.”

        Of course the correct approach by the publisher would have been to ignore the nutters that complained in the first place and let their customers do the talking and not offer any more target for attack with statements that certain people will certainly misconstrue to push their more than somewhat obvious agenda, that was a failure in their PR department, but can’t really fault them for that over all the noise that was generated.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          “Can’t fault them for that”

          Dude, that is WHY they have a PR department.

        • FurryLippedSquid says:

          I was about to say, nowhere did Deep Silver say they wouldn’t be selling the special edition in question.

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          Vergilius says:

          You are really missing the point here. Forget for a moment the people who reacted to the news of the bikini bust, and your vehement disregard for them.

          Deep Silver acted as though the idea of anyone being offended by it was a huge surprise, and said that they regretted their actions. Further, they told the press they would work to avoid offending people this way in the future. No, they did not say that they wouldn’t release the bust anyway, which is a fair point. Yet, as Mr. Walker points out, their first thought for entertaining gaming journalists is to hire pole dancers.

          Can you really not see the problem here? Do they REALLY regret using SEX to sell their games? Or are they too dense to see the contradiction between what they say and do? What do you think?

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            I think it’s a mistake to describe a torso cadaver as “using sex to sell”. There are plenty of european television adverts that use blatant sexual scenarios to sell things. I don’t think a dismembered corpse with boobs would fly, however.

            Now, obviously there’s some context of a zombie game here, but I still don’t think it would fly.

            The pole dancers are just more mainline objectification. However, they seem awkward at a press release.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          The one comment in the thread that actually needs a John Walker reply…

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          darkChozo says:

          Here’s a rough sequence of events.

          A) Deep Silver issues apology in response to Polygon, using language that strongly implies that they’re pulling the torso.
          B) RPS reports on this apology, stating that they consider it to be a positive move but noting that the apology technically doesn’t say they’re recalling the torso. At this point it’s merely a hypothetical note and therefore isn’t expounded upon.
          C) Deep Silver sends out the torsos anyway.
          D) RPS reports on this move, feeling that it conflicts with the spirit of their previous apology and using more sensationalist (and I mean that neutrally, sensationalism in itself is fine if it fits the story) language because the situation is now no longer hypothetical.

          Honestly, I can see where people that say that this never was an issue are coming from (I kinda-sorta agree, at least to some degree), but the suggestion that Deep Silver didn’t do anything wrong in reneging on their apology is baffling to me. Word-lawyering like that is almost always something to be criticized, not defended, particularly when we’re talking about something that’s a bit of communication and not a contract.

      • Agnol117 says:

        As I recall, they never actually said they weren’t going to release it. They said they were sorry, and that it wouldn’t happen again, but at no point in the press release did they say that it wasn’t still coming out. It’s semantics, and frankly, it’s a dick move, but they didn’t actually “lie” as such, and accusing them of it is a bit dishonest.

    • cunningmunki says:

      Phew, I’m so glad you were able to set the records straight on behalf of the studios involved in these stories. You’ve saved me from a few sleepless nights, I can tell you!

      Your lets-just-forget-about-it-because-it-doesn’t-matter attitude is a credit to you, and I’m sure that any studio attempting to deceive and mislead all of us overreacting gamers are very glad there are people like you around, speaking on all our behalf. Thank you, Tei.

      (By the way, that little dot that usually appears at the end of sentences is called a ‘period’, so you don’t have to actually write ‘period’ at the end of the sentence, you just put the full-stop at the end of the sentence. Writing ‘period’ just makes you sound like a condescending little prick, and you wouldn’t want that, would you? Just a little tip for future reference)

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Writing period makes you sound like a condescending prick?
        What does that parenthesized paragraph make you sound like?

        • cunningmunki says:

          Ironic?

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Hmm perhaps you mean sarcastic? Ironic is losing it’s meaning lately, huh? So you could mean that, I guess.

          • cunningmunki says:

            I was going for sarcasm in the first part and irony in the second, are you telling me I’ve been getting them the wrong way round my whole life? OH CHRIST WHAT HAVE I DONE?

  5. Branthog says:

    So brave.

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      Lars Westergren says:

      As publishers are rumoured to have punished game journalists before by withholding information, advertising and early review copies, I’d say they are braver than you, sarcastic anonymous forum poster.

      • Branthog says:

        Taking on an issue and not letting it pass as soon as the next shiny bobble crosses your eyes is about as primary an element of journalistic integrity as it can get. With the possible exception of “torsogate”, nothing said is disagreed with by press, consumers, or the audience. The only adversarial position would be that of some of those in the industry these points are aimed at and taking them to task for these things is less “bravery” and more “doing your job”. If risking not being on the Christmas card list of the people you cover (gaming industry, automotive industry, technology sectors, financial industry, political beat, whitehouse press corps) is bravery, then those being honest and tenaciously investigating at said risk are performing the basic functions of their profession and those not willing to do so should go be someone’s personal-assistant and yes-men.

        • Ninja Foodstuff says:

          The very first reply to the article is that it’s an exercise in futility. Now, I’m not arguing your point here, but what, in your mind, should Mr Walker and/or RPS do to try and combat this?

        • John Walker says:

          I’m trying to fathom what your problem is. You posted a sarcastic and dismissive remark on an article you think it should be on the site? You recognise that not letting these things go should be a basic part of the job (I agree), and you say that it’s not brave to do so (I agree), and yet you appear to condemn this piece for, er, doing it.

          You realise there was nothing in the post that even vaguely implied we were being “brave” or whatever for posting it, right? Because that would be *insane*. It’s just a list of the shitty things publishers are currently ignoring the press about. No one else in the industry bothers to do this, but you have a go at the one that is? It’s all very confusing.

          Edit: Oh, I just read your comment further down, and you’re one of them. Never mind.

          • alteSocke says:

            “….you’re one of them. Never mind”

            Our John in a nutshell.

          • Amakir says:

            “You are either with us or you are against us”.

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            Given the comment that he’s probably referring to, I’m assuming “them” is roughly “people who use hyperbolic arguments against issues they either misunderstand or misrepresent”, rather than “people who disagree with me”.

          • Romh says:

            Judging by the below comment in question, I’d say that “them” is referring to “those strange men who believe that misandry is a real thing that exists”

          • Jerakal says:

            “You’re one of them.”
            Stay classy John. Stay classy.

          • Premium User Badge

            Martel says:

            I assumed “one of them” was in reference to somebody on my block list, as that is clearly the case.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          I find it kind of strange that you think “doing your job”, and being “brave” are mutually exclusive. I wonder what firefighters would make of that.

          Still, John never said he was being brave, he just decided to write a post about some companies that are stonewalling this and other outlets following poor decisions. And you chose to make a snide remark about it on the internet for no reason. So brave.

  6. Lewie Procter says:

    Deep SIlver have also refused to acknowledge any of my questions about their extremely excessive region locking and regional pricing discrimination. This is pretty common practice (although Deep Silver do it more aggressively than most other publishers), but it’s compounded by the fact that they cancelled the retail release of SR4 in the UK (which was available to preorder for £25) and are now only releasing it digitally (digital version is not available for less than £35 though licensed distributors).

    Extremely consumer hostile action, and they refuse to answer any questions about it, other than claiming that they are not responsible for these policies, which is a total cop out:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1jyitb/i_am_guido_eickmeyer_creative_director_at_deep/cbjjf5j

    • Premium User Badge

      TRS-80 says:

      It’s definitely a cop out, although the person replying appears to be on the creative side, and isn’t involved in distribution.

    • Cyberpope says:

      It seems you can preorder it physically from GAME still for full price so I’m wondering if they had a hand in it. Having said that it says “release date TBC” so they might just be trying to make the best of a bad situation. Disappointment all round either way, especially when you can preorder it cheapy cheap on the consoleboxes

      • neems says:

        I was asking about it in my local Game yesterday and they had no listing for a PCDVD version, only download codes which you can buy in-store.

    • ColdSpiral says:

      Not to mention that Deep Silver have been shifting the release date for Saints Row IV’s more-expensive, multiplayer-locked, cut-back, Super Special Gimped Australian Edition wildly between the end of August and as far as the 20th of September (it seems to presently be resting on the 12th) with absolutely no word to the community at any stage.

      They appear also to have coordinated with Steam to automatically apply these restrictions to any copy of SRIV run in Australia, regardless of where it was purchased. Again, the only information on this matter comes from Steam Support, not Deep Silver.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Not to defend Deep Silver, but that business is the Aussie government’s fault.

        • ColdSpiral says:

          Well yeah, I get that I live in a backwards nanny-state and that the Classification Board are a bunch of pedantic tools, so I’m not blaming Deep Silver for the delay; rather, for their complete lack of communication on the issue. Is it so hard for them to get a random intern to just send out a brief post on their twitter, forum, or facebook page?

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            I didn’t mean to imply anything negative about Australia, just their government. Any government is guilty of all sorts of things.

      • Premium User Badge

        drewski says:

        I seem to recall our German friends indicating that Steam hard regionlocks low-violence versions in their country, too. Which doesn’t make it any easier to take, but at least it’s not an anti-Australian thing…

        You can always import a consoletoy version I guess.

        • ColdSpiral says:

          I really feel sympathy for German gamers, having to deal with this rubbish all the time. Just occasionally is frustrating enough for me.
          And yeah, if I had a consoletoy I’d probably be playing in the next day or two. Though I hear the console versions wheeze a bit trying to keep everything loaded as you zoom across the city.
          Thumb dex was kind of my dump stat, so I’m not that great with controllers, anyway.

      • limimi says:

        Yeah, I write for an Aussie games site and we’ve sent Deep Silver several emails asking for clarification on a number of SRIV issues like the delay, the region locking (which has gone so far as to revert gifted copies from outside AU to the neutered AU copy, something never before done by Steam) and our wonderful Australia Tax. So far we have heard… you guessed it! Nothing!

        And while the main issue with SRIV was caused by our idiotic classification board, the continuing drama is pretty much just Deep Silver, who – at the very least – could allay some fears by actually communicating with the public.

    • neems says:

      Yeah this has been getting my goat. I don’t normally do SR games, but all the reviews make SR4 sound pretty appealing. As I have absolutely no intention of paying £40 for a digital download, I shopped around… only to discover that there is no physical release.

      I’ll just wait, I’m sure it won’t be long before it reaches a price point I find acceptable.

    • Schiraman says:

      I find their SR4 price-fixing shenanigans pretty puzzling TBH – surely it’s just going to cost them sales and ultimately hurt their profits?

    • Vinraith says:

      This is the vastly more important story regarding Deep Silver. It’s disappointing that it’s being ignored over the RPS’s silly “torsogate” campaign. Trashy games have trashy collector’s editions, full stop.

    • Sami H says:

      Thank you for this Lewie. I was going to be ordering it tonight to play over the bank holiday weekend, but Deep Silver can go fuck themselves if they think I’m paying £40 for it.

      Volition are now owned by Koch Media (Deep Silver is their video game publishing arm). Kochs indeed.

      • neems says:

        For what it’s worth you can get it for £32 from GreenManGaming using this 20% off voucher –

        GMG20-4B9NY-L4FEN

        They are advertising a 25% off voucher on the site, but sadly it doesn’t work with SR4.

    • try_lee says:

      Thank you. I was kinda going out of my head a little wondering why nobody else seemed to think that this behaviour was even slightly concerning, and that no gaming website had reported on it at all.

      Of course, now there’s no physical copy for retail stores to pine over, at least we’ll get SR4 released at the same time as… Oh, wait…

  7. JoeGuy says:

    I hope not too many people are planning to pay full price launch day for another AC game anyway?

    • Branthog says:

      I still have Assassin’s Creed Revelations sitting on my shelf, with only an hour of play ever put onto it. Also, Assassin’s Creed III on the same shelf, still enshrouded in shrinkwrap. I just can’t bring myself to bother with the “leaping around, fighting the controls” gameplay for sixty more hours . . . not even counting Black Flag.

      I’m sure we’re going to feel the same way about Watch Dogs in two or three years, too.

  8. Lewie Procter says:

    Whilst we’re talking about Ubisoft, would be nice to find out why the Ubiart framework hasn’t been made open source as they originally promised.

    The FAQ promising such was originally here, but it’s been since taken down:
    http://raymanorigins.uk.ubi.com/2010/07/02/about-the-game/

    • Premium User Badge

      JR says:

      Thank you!
      From what I remember it was Michel Ancel who really wanted to bring Ubiart to the community, but that even on his statement ubisoft were still figuring out “licensing”.

      I would hope that if it wasn’t for the fact that ubisoft seems to be holding so tightly onto the trademarks for his games that he would have left some time ago.

  9. faelnor says:

    And *you* have ignored my request to investigate why Cryostasis disappeared from the surface of earth and can’t be bought on download from anywhere >:[

    • Bostec says:

      I have been looking for Rise of Nations too on a download service, No such luck.

  10. A Bunny says:

    All of this is like saying bunnies are not the true masters of the Earth.

    Nonsense!

  11. benjamin says:

    I too thought that a new Dr Who game was being announced or that RPS was branching out into Doctor Who news. Sad times that it wasn’t and RPS isn’t.

    On the plus side, it was good to be reminded about these companies refusal to answer basic questions and tell the truth.

  12. Lemming says:

    Good article. I assume that when RPS has an interview with any of these developers about a game, they’ll be bringing this up as one of the questions then?

    • lordcooper says:

      Hopefully only if the person they’re interviewing actually has any input on these kinds of decisions.

  13. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    I would like to add that for Mac users, the EA situation is even worse. The Sims 3 doesn’t run for a significant proportion of users, and there’s no response from EA at all. Then there was complete silence as to the release of the Mac version of SimCity (until a few days ago) despite being advertised as though it already existed on Origin UK.

    If you look at their twitter feed to see what they reply to versus what they don’t it’s laughable.

    It’s a similar story with Ubisoft as well. None of the Mac versions of their games have been updated to run on an OS above 10.6 (hello, 2010!), despite still selling them on Steam, and in any case every time there’s an update to Uplay, the Mac versions of all games are unplayable for at least two weeks. No response, just silence.

    Edit: I feel it’s also prudent, by way of contrast, to point out that there are many publishers who are quite the opposite, and will respond to questions, even if they know the answer won’t make you happy.

  14. Noodlemonk says:

    Speaking of silence, I’m also looking forward to a session with Randy Pitchfork in the warm chair, explaining in what way A:CM is magic.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      You know, I think Randy Pitchford would do well to actually employ some silence on occasion. That guys has said some really stupid things the last couple of years.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    Out of interest, how does Saints Row IV deal with gender compared to The Third? Despite it having fairly strong female characters, it still had plenty of “rescue tied up women” missions, strip clubs, sexist language, the omnipresence of “hos”, etc. Then again, the whole setting has a fairly mercenary attitude to everything, including straight-up murder, so I guess it’s part of the package, whether or not it successfully escapes its roots through parody.

    • Premium User Badge

      basilisk says:

      Quoth John Walker:

      It’s gross, too. But at the same time, remarkably sophisticated. If you look to Saints Row’s beginnings, it started as a fairly repulsive game. A pathetic GTA rip-off of little merit, packed with deeply unpleasant portrayals of women. But SR4, even with its inclusion of a strip club, large-exposed-breasted characters, and numerous sexual innuendos, feels a million miles from this. Not least because of its ludicrously fantasised and sexualised men, and absolutely equal-opportunity offensiveness. This is a game where women are as strong as men, not under their ultimate authority, and give as good as they get.

      • Premium User Badge

        Gap Gen says:

        Yeah, was just curious how it compared to the previous game (given that John criticised it more in his SR3 WIT, was curious whether this was because he’s grown used to the way the series works or because it has improved since the last game).

        • John Walker says:

          I think it’s improved. Not perfect, certainly. But improved.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            OK, thanks. I’ll give it a go sometime when I have time to burn on an open world game again.

          • Phantom_Renegade says:

            I feel like progression is slightly undone when you then proceed to hold stripper parties. Was that just Deep Silver, or did Volition have a hand in it too? If it was only DS it’s kind of sad that you make a stride forwards and your publisher pushes you back while saying “No no no, not enough sexism in the game itself, what we need is a stripper launch party for journalists to even things out”

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          It occurred to me while playing SR3 that it’d feel much less progressive if I were playing a male character (what with the PC being, essentially, the king/queen of the world). Not a complaint, I just think it says something rather interesting about games. Totally off topic, sorry.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            I played a female character with the male cockney voice (think Dr Girlfriend from the Venture Bros, except a 39-year-old Hispanic with moderate body fat in a bowler hat and suit). So I have no idea how the game dealt with gender there. Actually, SR3 does character generation very well, avoiding the Mass Effect 3 “there are no skin colours darker than slightly tanned” approach.

          • Premium User Badge

            basilisk says:

            That’s actually a really good point. I could very easily look past the frankly quite icky “Ho Boat” in SR3, simply because my main character was an extremely strong woman and the idea that anyone would dare to oppose or criticise her just because of her gender was so utterly preposterous in the game’s fiction. Which is a pretty damn strong counterbalance to anything the game can throw at you that could be otherwise easily interpreted as sexist (and there’s rather a lot of that). It probably looks and feels quite different with a male boss.

            Then again, the game really was going for equal opportunity even when it came to objectification. The “chariot” bit comes to mind. So who knows.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            Yes, the boat level was particularly nasty because you weren’t even rescuing trafficked women, you were simply stealing them for your own pimping ring. Still, I guess if you buy a gangster sim, you get a gangster sim.

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            I guess I kind of respected how amoral SR3 was. I mean, there was no Robin Hood morality at all, just make money and protect your friends. Kind of refreshing in a way. But I did not want to be stealing those women.

            Although they probably did have a better time of it than all those people I ran over/immolated/punched in the groin/punchsploded/lasered etc.

    • Branthog says:

      I deal with it by slamming my dick in a drawer after every two hours of gameplay and constantly flagellation myself for being a man and enjoying the game, while playing it. Then before I go to bed, I make sure to read at least one chapter of any number of women’s lib books and praying to gaia.

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        And how’s that working out for you?

      • Premium User Badge

        Gap Gen says:

        I was asking because I care, not because you do.

      • Jeroen D Stout says:

        You do seem like the type of person who has had his ‘dick’ slammed in a drawer quite a few times.

      • nindustrial says:

        For every one of you, there’s five of us. Enjoy wailing and gnashing your teeth as you’re slowly relegated to the dustbin of history.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          Slamming your dick in a drawer does have quite… darwinist effects, I’d imagine.

        • SD says:

          Number five here, reporting for duty. Turns out that misogyny in general has worsened my enjoyment of games far more than inclusiveness, but his mileage clearly varies. Sensible, normal adult males have no need for the “Dick Drawer of Doom”. We can simply play games with a larger peer group, now; the industry, and the games that come from it, will be better for it.

    • Superabound says:

      If Political Correctness is something that is near and dear to your heart, you might want to uh…..avoid…playing any past, present, or future game in the Saints Row or GTA series. In fact, stay away from open, crime-based sandbox games in general. Stick to indie art games.

      • Premium User Badge

        Gap Gen says:

        Granted, although my impression was that SR4 had become largely a parody of open-world gangster games, although obviously in order to be a parody you still have to be one, unless you’re so ridiculously over the top that any connection to the original material is lost. That said, I still enjoyed SR3, even if it lives in an idealised world of gangster violence despite the parody (and frankly, GTA also includes heavy parody elements).

  16. tellrov says:

    Publishers have you by the balls John. If they’d even read this article they’d get a good laugh and that’s it. They’re the life blood of sites like this so they ain’t got to reply to shit. Maybe that could change, but it won’t since Thief, Splinter Cell: Blacklist or Assassin’s Creed IV will come out and get 8/10′s minimum. RPS is among the better ones actually, but as long as big game sites are dependent on devs for interviews, exclusives and demos they won’t give a fuck.

    • cunningmunki says:

      Still, it’s nice to have principles.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Bullshit. Publishers and developers are just as dependent on the media.

      This whole comments thread is really starting to remind me of the episode of The Newsroom with the Romney campaign bus.

      • cunningmunki says:

        You’re right! God I love The Newsroom.

        “Are you really OK with not doing any reporting?”

    • Grape Flavor says:

      Here’s a thought: Maybe, just maybe, other publications will give 8/10s to the likes of new-Thief, Blacklist, or AssCreed IV, because they enjoy those games and feel that’s the score they deserve? I know that like many other “AAA” games, the RPS crowd has chosen to despise those titles from literally the moment they were announced, and will never consider otherwise, but RPS is not the center of the universe.

      People around here love to come up with all sorts of fantastical theories on why these games get made, review well, and sell well (conspiracy, corruption, brainwashing, etc.), when the answer is staring us straight in the face – because people like these games. They enjoy them and that’s why they buy them.

      Now, I hesitated when I typed that, because I know that’s going to instantly feed some people’s already out of control egos. This does not mean that you are the chosen ones, able with your vastly superior intellect and sense of taste to discern true art from the slop all those smelly plebians shovel in their big dumb faces.

      It means different individuals enjoy different kinds of things, and, this being a wide, crazy world, there exist quite a number of people who like different things than you do, quite possibly even outnumbering those who like the things YOU do. And that’s okay. That shouldn’t be threatening to you. It’s not a sickness that must be cured, a crusade that must be won, a demonic darkness that must be purged from the land. In fact, it’s quite possible for many different people to like different things simultaneously, without turning it into a holy war of elimination. To co-exist. Peacefully, even! I know, right? Amazing! And nothing bad will happen.

      So take the sticks out of your asses, get off your high horses, and stop pretending you’re some poor beleaguered victim and the world is an horrible evil place because publishers make games to appeal to people who aren’t you. In this golden age of innumerable indies and crowdfunded wonders, I bet you can find more than enough games that fit your tastes to occupy your free time. Go play those games instead of whining about other games that no one’s forcing you to play, and how the whole world is evil, crooked and/or completely stupid for enjoying games that you don’t.

      This is not to any one person, but to all the people around here who need to get a life. You know all that time you save by not playing AssCreed and Call of Dooty? That time you can devote towards interests you DO find pleasurable? Well, imagine how much MORE of that time you’d have if you didn’t put so much effort into smug circlejerking about how terrible it is that those games exist.

    • Josh W says:

      They have him by the balls? You think he would have noticed!

  17. Shazbut says:

    No matter how badly a company behaves, if the next game they release is great, people will buy it.

    I would love not to believe this, but I do. Can someone show me some proof that, say, Ubisoft has suffered financially because of their reputation – and strictly their reputation and not their policies?

    • Premium User Badge

      basilisk says:

      Of course we will. I don’t know about you, but I play great games because I like great games, and I buy great games because I want them to sell well, if only for the people who made them and also because the better a game I like sells, the bigger the probability more games like that will be made.

      I do not play games because of the men in suits who sit on the money and make the big and occasionally very stupid decisions. I do not care about these men; they are just investors.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      It’s difficult to prove cause and effect on this, and maybe that’s the problem.

      Speaking for myself as a consumer though, I don’t buy Nestle products ever. That must have some microscopic impact on some spreadsheet somewhere, even if no-one knows it (or knows why).

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        Infant formula? Something more recent in specific?

        The sad thing is all the major food companies have blood on their hands. It can be very hard to be a conscientious buyer.

      • godgoo says:

        Jesus, what do you eat/ drink?!

      • KikiJiki says:

        Well the Milkybars certainly aren’t on you then

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      It’s proof of nothing, but interesting that Ubi dropped their crazy DRM scheme when there was enough backlash. I doubt it was due to angry gamers ranting on the internet, but likely due to loss of revenue, presumably aided by a culture of “Ubi DRM bad” perpetuated by sites like RPS.
      So, yeah a stretch of a theory, but I believe it’s sound.

    • derbefrier says:

      I think it depends on the issue really. Take Ubis DRM. EVERYONE hates that crap so it was probably in their best interest to do something about it. Now take the torso thing with deep silver. I would bet most customers didn’t care at the end of the day. It seemed to an an issue led by the press more than by the consumers(as opposed to things like DRM which everyone has an interest in). So Deep Silver probably wont hurt to much in not responding as the customers for that type of game probably don’t see a big problem with the torso to begin with. I mean if I am honest I can say the torso thing didnt bother me, so by extension neither does their lack of response, in fact if i put myself in their shoes I would probably do the same thing(from a PR perspective). Its a case of “Its better to remain silent and appear a fool then open your mouth and remove all doubt”. These companies just know better then to respond to these accusations as nothing good will come of it. Cant really blame them for that but its still good to see it brought up again even if its all for nothing its nice knowing someone out there gives a damn.

  18. Deano2099 says:

    I’d note that despite the premise of the article, all three of these stories come from the people involved not being Silent. Ubi made false claims about Sim City, rather than shutting up about it. Deep Silver expressed remorse over the torso, rather than shutting up about it. UbiSoft had a developer say something instead of just keeping quite about it.

    One of the worst companies for The Silence in PC gaming is Valve, but they get away with it by never saying *anything* thus providing sites like this with nothing to hang them with. Greenlight is still seen as pretty broken for a start.

    It sounds silly to bring up but this is also exactly what Valve are doing with Half Life Episode 3. They promised a three-part episodic series with an over-arching plot concluding in the third episode. They didn’t deliver it. They’ve offered no public statement on the state of the project – not even an “it’s been cancelled”.

    People have moved on to speculate that it’s dead and they’re working on HL3 instead, because that’s what they would rather believe. But they’ll probably get a pass because they’re Valve.

    • cunningmunki says:

      Heh, I was almost going to mention HL2:Ep3 until I realised it’s a different beast entirely. Yes, Valve said there would be three episodes, but so far they haven’t gone back on that. They haven’t actively sought to deceive anyone, and as far as I’m aware, they haven’t yet made any promises they didn’t keep. The deception isn’t implicit simply because of the addition of time, and just because it’s something of constant frustration to fans, doesn’t mean they’re in the wrong. I seem to remember they were hoping to have Ep3 done by 2007, but I don’t think that they absolutely guaranteed it.

      The examples in the article are all cases where a studio has, apparently, deliberately deceived the press and public. I say ‘apparently’ because they have yet to present evidence to the contrary. Valve have just kept us hanging for a very long time, and although that’s annoying, it’s not a deception nor a case of ‘not telling the truth’.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      While I do agree that perhaps Valve also adopts this tactic when it suits them, I don’t agree that the problems John is referring to are equivalent to not talking about an unannounced game/the roadmap for a current project.

      • Deano2099 says:

        Episode 3 was a silly example but the most obvious one.

        Greenlight and what Valve are doing with it is crucial to the entire future of PC indie development.

        There remain unanswered questions about Valve’s policy for banning accounts, especially with international trading and what is and isn’t okay.

        I’m sure I could dig up other examples, but my point was that no, Valve aren’t in the same sort of trouble as these other companies. Why? Because they employ The Silence from day one. They never talk about stuff and so never get into trouble. None of the three stories featured above would be mentioned here had the companies involved just stuck their fingers in their ears from the start and not commented on it.

        Obviously it’s a good thing to call out lies and deception, but it risks sending the wrong message. The message of ‘say less’ rather than ‘say more’. Valve are the proof of that.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          You make good points, but is the article wrong about EA/Ubi/DS because it didn’t mention Valve?

        • MasterDex says:

          The difference, I think, with Valve, is that they’re a private company. They don’t have any shareholders they’re obliged to keep happy and as a result, have the privilege of saying nothing.

          EA, Deep Silver and Ubi, on the other hand, are answerable to shareholders so they don’t really have the privilege of staying quiet.

          • Premium User Badge

            RobF says:

            Also whilst they are terrible at dealing with the press sometimes (see habit of giving one statement out to one site), unlike Ubi, Deep Silver and EA they do both respond to people via email frequently and have fairly regular meet ups to chat with them about stuff.

            Not excusing the press gaffs but they’re not even remotely in the same league.

      • valz says:

        Many of their users have been experiencing the Silence for years after contacting support.

        • cunningmunki says:

          True dis. I contacted them several weeks ago about a conflict I’ve discovered with Steam and Logitech Gaming Software, which even Logitech support have verified. All I got from Steam support after three weeks was a template reply with lots of links to their troubleshooting pages!

    • almostDead says:

      I doubt RPS can afford to criticise valve. Being featured on steam put RPS on the map as a thing.

      • cunningmunki says:

        I’m pretty sure I’ve seen RPS writers criticise Greenlight several times.

  19. Bull0 says:

    It’s pretty clear that in all these cases, the organisations in question deliberately misled the public for commercial gain. There’s not really any question about it – you aren’t requesting clarification so much as asking them to admit their wrongdoing. I’m going to be very, very surprised indeed if they do that.

  20. Premium User Badge

    melnificent says:

    On the Simcity front, what happens when the servers are shut down?
    EA have form in shutting down servers as soon as possible in lots of cases.
    Despite not adding this years information in yet this spreadsheet is accurate on server timespans
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqD0wb_TVffWdE82bFhuUWtQSUVtUnAzaGNRWHhPWGc#gid=0
    Are we looking at Simcity closing down next year? Tomorrow? They’re already beyond their shortest server lifespan.

    Torso statue was never going to change, they had the better and nicer special edition for the US market and sent us the tacky and disgusting Torso edition. Way to alienate half your potential customers.

    • Superabound says:

      How does a dismembered female zombie torso “alienate” half of their customers anymore than the actual gameplay which consists almost entirely of dismembering zombies, half of them female?

      • Chris D says:

        Because the other half of the zombies were male. It’s equal opportunities dismemberment. There’s also at least plausible deniability that the female zombies weren’t in the game solely for the purpose of arousing male gamers. There’s no such defense for the torso.

        Edit: Oh, and also because context matters. Depicting dismembered body parts as the by product of a violent survival situation is not the same as saying “Here’s a desirable object you might like to display in your home”

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      The same thing that happens any time EA shut down the servers for a game – tough.

      Which is just one reason I never buy always online games from EA.

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      United States Prudishness Finally Good For Something.

  21. toasthaste says:

    I really appreciate you folks keeping after publishers that do this. Even moreso because, as many commenters are keen to postulate on, in the end it might not have an effect. It’s a lot harder to try to make a difference when people insist that your efforts are a waste, but good on ya for sticking with it.

  22. fish99 says:

    Since we’re on the subject of silence, how about Rockstar and GTAV PC, we’ll all know it’s coming but they’re gonna pretend it isn’t again until we’ve all bought the console version (why probably won’t look anything like as good as those movies they put out, which were presumably running on high end PCs).

  23. Premium User Badge

    AlwaysRight says:

    John you press sneak fuck!

    • Chris D says:

      Coincidentally “Press sneak, fuck!” is also the entire tutorial for the upcoming Thief game. They don’t believe in coddling players, apparently.

      • Premium User Badge

        AlwaysRight says:

        It reminds me of “tactical espionage action” you get above Metal Gear Solid games, like;

        press sneak fuck
        J O H N W A L K E R

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          The term “sneak fuck” is really disturbing. Stop it!

  24. harbinger says:

    “The technique publishers use when they want a story to go away. Rather than responding to press enquiries, they instead pretend they haven’t happened, or send prevaricating nonsense which ultimately goes nowhere.”
    Oh look, it’s that thing again where you are pretending you are “press”.

    Every time a dear reader criticizes something about glorious publication or argues an unpopular opinion the defense is:
    “This is my private Blog, I can post anything I want.”
    “There’s no freedom of speech because this is my private Blog you see.”
    “Journalistic integrity, lol what is that? This is my private Blog and I can post news about anything I want with headlines even The Sun would be ashamed of.”
    “Ethics and standards? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalism_ethics_and_standards Never heard of it, this is my private Blog.”

    But when it comes to something like this you are suddenly the coveted “press”.

    They have every right to ignore an annoying blogger, at least decide what you want to be before banging on about this.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      From your Wikipedia link: “truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability”

      I can’t think of many mainstream journalistic sources that strive for many of these. Most newspapers have a heavy editorial slant, whether it’s the Economist’s openly free-market liberal position or the Daily Mail’s tits-’n'-fascism niche.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      I think you might be confused. There’s not some magic distinction between “press” and “blog”.

      And the owners of a private website – be it a blog, a newspaper, a magazine, a tv network or a collection of lentil recipes – have every right to censor their content, including reader poster content, in *any way they please*.

      Again – not some magic distinction between “press” where you can post anything and “blog” where you are subject to the banhammer.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Noticed how all these newspapers are crying about losing profits?
        Yeah, that’s because of blogs.
        The new press.

      • Sir Buildbot Winslave says:

        Couldn’t agree more, drewski.

    • John Walker says:

      Oh you poor confused dear. We’re part of the gaming press, and we publish articles on this website we privately own. AT THE SAME TIME!

    • iucounu says:

      Yes, so:

      First, as has been explained, there’s no clear distinction between ‘Press’ and ‘Blog.’ In the old days, the Press were literally the orgs who owned printing presses, and were thus able to publish stuff. Now that distinction has disappeared, and we are beginning to see squabbles over, say, whether Wikileaks is a journalistic org, or whether individual bloggers should be regulated like newspapers. You can’t claim to clearly understand the distinction because nobody does and it’s still an ongoing debate.

      Second, your main complaint seems to be that RPS censors your comments, in exactly the same way as any newspaper comment thread does. You’re making a distinction without a difference, and saying asinine things about freedom of speech that you don’t seem to understand. So you’re having a debate that proceeds from a completely false premise, and as a consequence, sound like a bit of a chump.

      Third, RPS is a business owned and staffed by full-time games journalists, who all came up through the traditional Games Press, and who certainly appear to be doing journalism, in that games publishers and devs send them press releases and give them interviews and pay for ad space on their sites and may even answer awkward questions from them (or not.) They get treated as press, ergo they are press.

      Fourth, what do you think comprises the gaming press these days? How many print publications are still relevant and influential, especially in PC gaming? I would certainly expect the likes of RPS and Eurogamer et al to reach way more eyes than what remains of print these days.

      • harbinger says:

        “Press” implies some degree of professionalism and standards. God knows that the classic “press” often doesn’t hold up to what it promises and there are many tabloids in every country that make money deliberately by selling misrepresentation or outright lies, but when I look at something like The New York Times, the BBC, Al Jazeera or similar publications I place a lot more value and respect into what they have to offer and they hold a certain influence within the media world because of reader/viewership and said respect.

        Professional journalists should also be held up to a certain standard in regards to their reporting: http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

        A “Blog” is literally just someone (any one random person) setting up a Webpage or using an existing one like Blogspot and typing out what he thinks: http://botherer.org/ and not much more. There isn’t any inherent credibility, amount of fact checking, truth-telling or any other criteria involved in that.

        The problem with RPS is that every time they are criticized for not upholding to journalistic ideals and ethics, instead of looking at said criticism they brush it off and tell people that it is their “personal Blog” on which they can do as they please.
        When it comes to more serious matters though or allegations that they aren’t “getting the respect they deserve” they suddenly claim to be a reputable media site, part of the so-called “press” and they deserve an answer.

        There are different standards one holds either of these two to and RPS lately seems to decidedly fall more and more into that “Blog” category.

        I’ve seen them do any number of things, from misrepresenting, not citing sources, citing unreliable sources or not testing the accuracy of the information reported upon, using inaccurate headlines for maximum effect and/or outrage, distorting facts, aggressively trying to push their values unto others (to the point that they intermix advocacy with news reporting, something which even Wikipedia looks down upon and prohibits), being biased to the point that they only examine one side of any one argument, intermixing news with advertising, writing utter nonsense articles that are just one word being repeated over and over to turning articles about certain things into blog posts about their personal lives or outright vitriolic rants.

        My main complaint isn’t that they delete comments that often point any number of these things out – they deleted at least one further down the page I could see in this very article (in fact they might as well close them off entirely), but that any number of these things seem to happen over and over in the first place.

        I’m sure calling themselves “journalists” over “men of strong opinion with a popular Blog” is very stimulating, but that has long since ceased representing the matter of fact of the content being presented here.

        And not only has their readership seemed to notice this more lately, but apparently also the game companies and publishers they have to deal with that don’t owe random people with a Blog (however popular) any answers.

        • stvornikus says:

          I don’t understand you. Are you saying that the real press does not editorialize its content?

          If New York Times posts something you disagree with you can send letter/mail to the editor and maybe they will publish it. It’s up to the editor. If they have comments enabled on particular story (they don’t have them enabled on all of them) they can also remove them if they feel like it.

          Press was always about editorial oversight in fact that is probably the difference between serious news organization and amateur bloggers.

          RPS removing comments is just them exercising their editorial oversight of their publication (this site).

        • iucounu says:

          Some thoughts, in various states of disconnection:

          I find it weird that you mention Wikipedia in this context. They have policies eight feet deep about the tone and content of articles, with the ideal being that literally everything has to be sourced to some kind of credible publication, and nothing is original research. This is because Wikipedia is attempting to be a crowdsourced encyclopedia, not a crowdsourced newspaper.

          The thing Wikipedia runs in to a lot, and argues about at length, is what constitutes a credible source. What publications do we actually lend our credence to? The fact is: this is not easy to determine. Part of it is about how the org behind it is constituted. One guy in a basement? Not super-credible. The Times? The paper of record in the UK. In between? We can edit war for years about that if need be.

          You look at those SPJ ethics guidelines. Over here we have the Press Complaints Commission, an entirely voluntary regulating body which (a) utterly failed to quash rampant abuses by the press, including bribery, voicemail and email hacking (including the voicemail of a teenage murder victim, and of victims of the 7/7 and 9/11 atrocities), and perverting the course of justice; and (b) fails to include the newspaper group run by Richard Desmond, which includes some of the scummiest tabloids we have, including the strikingly racist Daily Express. I mean, yellow journalism is not unknown among the traditional Fourth Estate.

          In the US, the worst excesses of this kind of thing are, I concede, largely confined to TV journalism. American papers are stultifyingly dull compared to UK papers, while the TV news is far more febrile. If you look at the actual Press doing actual journalism, you will find every one of those SPJ or PCC strictures being violated somewhere. I guess we could say, well, they aren’t really doing journalism; but we start to get into the territory of the no-true-Scotsman fallacy.

          Fox News and the Daily Mail are clearly The Press, and we clearly read or watch them in the full knowledge that they are pushing an agenda without feeling the need to pretend that they aren’t news orgs doing journalism the way it’s always been. This is, in fact, the norm. Newspapers have campaigned for stuff overtly and covertly for ever. They do it in editorials and opinion pieces, and they do it by carefully manipulating the news order and by selectively reporting stuff that tends to bear on their case.

          Even in something that feels really objective, where the facts are sifted obsessively, and where the separation between editorial and news content is maintained zealously, there are still subjective judgements being made. Every newspaper and website has to choose which stories to cover and how much space to give each one. Choosing not to cover something, or to put it on the front page, is just as subjective an editorial opinion as, say, a news reporter letting his bias leak in to what is intended to be pure reportage. There’s no perfect objectivity, just a spectrum that runs from the Associated Press to, I dunno, Perez Hilton. (The main difference between a successful gossip blog and the Celebrity News Journalists employed by News Agencies to do Journalism about celebrities is that your Perez Hiltons break a hell of a lot more stories.)

          So, look: I don’t think you can make a sharp distinction like that. I think what’s happening is that you tend to only notice the strong flavour of opinions you disagree with. My maxim is ‘the media is biased against you’. Because of confirmation bias, you will tend to nod along with stuff that is clearly biased in your favour, and fail to notice it. But you will become irate when the media you are consuming disagrees with you, and you will assign far more significance to this.

          I spent ten minutes or so paging back in my RSS feed the last time someone complained that RPS was all feminist advocacy, and calculated that posts with the faintest whiff of activism comprised less than five percent of six months’ output. I didn’t check, but I suspect they generated a disproportionate amount of comments.

          When you look at RPS, what you see is:

          (a) An org which is treated as gaming press by pretty much every developer and publisher

          (b) A focus that is more about games criticism and writing about games than it is about pure reportage. I do not come here expecting the PC gaming equivalent of my own trade journal, The Bookseller, where 70% of the articles are rewritten press releases. I come here because there is really good criticism and writing about games.

          (c) Personality. Because, actually, news devoid of personality is practically a free commodity at this point, and all the interest is in people with interesting takes on things. I would much rather have this sort of thing than some kind of impossible quest for the view from nowhere.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      WordPress.

    • valz says:

      It’s strange how often people argue about the meaning of a term with no clue what the term means.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        That’s not strange. It’s been going on since spoken language existed. That is how language evolves. You can memorize your dictionary, but it has no authority. We decide, collectively, what words will mean. It’s much like natural selection, only a lot faster.

        • valz says:

          I’m not talking about the dictionary. I’m saying that it’s strange when people don’t understand any agreed-upon definition of a term before arguing about it – for example this crazy definition of press that doesn’t accept the Internet as being involved.

          A dictionary is just a record of what the collective has agreed upon, which is why dictionaries are constantly updated but still always a bit behind.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Well, it’s true that RPS has criticized in the past other media outlets that don’t correspond to their ideal of journalism. It’s also true that they themselves do not embody perfectly that ideal and sometimes hide behind this websites’ supposed blog status to avoid criticism.

      I still enjoy reading them though (most of the time).

  25. pantognost says:

    You see! This is why I like RPS! Because they do in game journalism, what is (or at least was) a prerequisite in the mainstream journalism: Follow up on a story and stir up things when the culprits thing that they got away with it!
    You dawgs! You almost redeemed yourselves from the Space Hulk review thingie here!

    …See, I am helping with your integrity memory thing myself :D

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      In game journalism!

      RPS: So EA, what about SimCity’s online DRM?
      EA: I’m getting fucked in the ass over here!

  26. Premium User Badge

    Alabaster Crippens says:

    I just wish someone had reminded me of the name Deep Silver and the torsogate thing just before I bought their bundle recently. Quite grumpy with myself for not having the memory to realise I’d probably want to go ‘all charity’ on that one.

  27. Dozer says:

    All I ever wanted – all I ever needed – is here, in my arms.

    Words are very unnecessary. They can only do harm.

    (I love my elbow joints.)

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      always thought that song said “him in my arms”

      • Dozer says:

        Nope, “here in my arms” is correct – his veins. He’s a heroin addict.

  28. Reapy says:

    Kind of enjoying johns slow decent into a frothing ranter this year.

    But for seriouse I’ll be lazy and not look up the link, but search the procworld blog (guy behind voxel farm and the tech in eqnext for that part of it) for his star peace article. He was the designer of that game all those years ago and it’s amazing how similar sim city 4 tried to be in their design, except his worked, over 10 years ago.

    Finally I mean we are all mostly older here. Why ask the question? Money and proper PR management is the answer. But yeah, the only way to hit back is to keep on calling them out, though I only think the sim city 4 debacle is woth remembering.

    The torso was just one more case of catering to the mostly male wallet power in the core gaming audience, nothing stands out more than that point, which makes it no worse than 90% of the products coming out, if you are of the stance that it is a problem for you.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Just to be clear: Sim City 4 is an awesome game and there was no debacle with it. This online-DRM-for-no-reason game is simply titled SimCity, colloquially known as SimCity 5.

    • Banana_Republic says:

      For me, a male torso would have been a quickly forgotten curiosity. But it was female, which actually evoked feelings of sympathy and anger. I can’t stand feminist propaganda, but I’m just as subject to that old patriarchal motivation to protect our womenfolk, so the image actually reached me.

      Maybe Deep Silver planned it that way, I don’t know. That’s probably giving them too much credit. But it did strike an emotional tone with me that is generally off limits to anything, ANYTHING, zombie related. Too bad they tucked their tail between their legs when the social outrage squad lost their shit over it. A better response would have been an unapologetic F-U to set the ground rules for any further hypersensitive whining.

      By the way, I still never bought the game. My reaction to the image was visceral. With later reflection, I realized I still wanted nothing to do with another frickin’ zomfest.

  29. MobileAssaultDuck says:

    Keep throwing money at crowd funding and avoid buying publisher titles.

    Only we can drive a blade into the heart of these companies and end them forever.

    The publishers are non-artists in an artistic medium and, as such, diminish the medium by existing. Hence their destruction is an goal worth pursuing.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      This.
      Not only should we help fund some games, but be sure to buy kickstarted games that interest you!

    • LukeNukem says:

      What if we like publisher titles? What if people would rather pay a bit extra and get a “published” game instead of taking the risk that their money will be frittered away and they don’t get what they were promised in the Kickstarter?

      • MobileAssaultDuck says:

        Then you facilitate the existence of non-artists within an artistic medium who, by existing, diminish that medium by making it about profit and not about art.

        Those who act only to be paid diminish whatever they do by doing it.

        • Premium User Badge

          FriendlyFire says:

          Because obviously nobody’s ever worked on a publisher-backed game for the enjoyment and “art” of it as opposed to profit. Every single developer over there is a drone working for money.

          • MobileAssaultDuck says:

            Do not confuse the developers who work under publishers with the publishers.

            Without publishers, those developers would simply move into the indie space.

            I am speaking exclusively of the publishers. The people who cannot program, don’t know dick about game design, don’t give a shit about games, and only show up to work in their expensive suits for a paycheque.

            Those people are completely unnecessary.

            Like music labels and managers, they diminish the artistic integrity of the work because they are not artists, they are business people.

            The business people, or as I call them “joy leeches”, give nothing to the art. They exist as leeches whom suck value out of the art of those under them.

          • Upper Class Twit says:

            “Those people are completely unnecessary”

            I wouldn’t be so sure about that dude. In spite of the fact that AAA is pretty much a dirty word around these parts, there are plenty of gamers out there, me included, who really enjoy shiny, slick, high budget videogames with lots of expensive explosions and voice acting in them. And those kinds of games need lots of money, the kind of money that you can’t just get from the internet. Publishers exist to suit the needs of people like me, the people who like AAA games. You may not like them, and you may not like those games, and you may not care about slick graphics and voice acting, and that’s fine, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss that type of game and all the people who allow for their existence.

          • MobileAssaultDuck says:

            The issue is that those AAA titles are all flash and no substance.

            Look at Bioshock Infinite. I liked the game, but it had rudimentary gameplay and shooting mechanics that was far less than satisfying. We got flash, and bombast, but we missed out on the substance.

            A good game is good if it’s ugly or pretty. If you strip the pretty off a game and it’s not good without it, then it’s not a good game.

            A well designed game can be ugly as balls and it’s still a well designed game. A badly designed game can be flashy as fuck, and it’s still a badly designed game.

            AAA titles are badly designed games with flash and glitz and their existence is bad for the artistry of gaming.

            They’re Michael Bay movies. Fun to look at by artistically bankrupt.

          • Premium User Badge

            basilisk says:

            That’s just, like, your opinion, man.

            I mean sure, what you say has some merit, but sweeping generalisations always make very silly arguments. Let’s not pretend every single AAA game is the same, okay? Because they are not.

          • MobileAssaultDuck says:

            The point I am making is that those AAA titles that are not all flash would have been good games without the big budget.

            Somewhat uglier, sure, and maybe less voice acted and more reading, but if they were well designed at the fundamental level they would have been good with a shoe-string budget.

            If the game needs a big budget to be good, it’s a bad game on the fundamental level.

            If your game wouldn’t be fun as stick people in a white, featureless room, it’s not a well designed game.

          • Premium User Badge

            basilisk says:

            No. For proof, just look at any big open world game that has exploration and plain old sightseeing as one of its core elements: all the Elder Scrolls, the AssCreeds, the GTAs, the Far Cries, what have you. You simply can’t make that kind of experience without pouring a lot of money into it.

          • MobileAssaultDuck says:

            The Witcher games, especially the newest one coming, has a giant open world and required no publisher.

            They’re a small team working out of Poland who got their start doing localization of Bioware games for Eastern Europe and they rose to create the greatest RPGs of our generation without the help of publishers.

            Even when they ported to Xbox, they only got WB involved for distribution.

            Publishers are unnecessary.

          • Premium User Badge

            basilisk says:

            Yeah, but with the budget they’ve got, The Witcher 2 and 3 definitely are triple-A titles. Or would you argue that Valve’s games aren’t AAA simply because they are self-published?

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            Idle Wikipediaing suggests that both The Witcher and The Witcher 2 were published by Atari (Namco in the EU for 2), and that 3 is to be published by Warner. Can you clarify what you mean by no publisher involvement?

          • Premium User Badge

            Stellar Duck says:

            @darkChozo

            That CDPR makes the game on their own dime and then hires a publisher for the actual distribution, because, that’s what publishers are good at? At least that’s how I’ve understood it.

            The gog.com version of TW2 certainly didn’t come from either Atari or Namco.

          • aircool says:

            You should look at the history of ‘Factory Records’ as to what happens when you put artistic integrity before profit.

            Then again, without Factory, there would have been no Joy Division, New Order or Happy Mondays.

            As for both ends of the spectrum, from artistic integrity to making money, look at Pete Waterman’s career, he’s done it all.

            Finally, I played Bioshock Infinite last week. I thought it was brilliant. It was exactly what I expect out of a AAA title. Now I shall be going back to Wargame: Airland Battle and Resonance.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Just purchase Kickstarted games. Purchase them, you don’t have to fund them. Purchasing means after the game is finished and released.
        And anyway, this movement is for those involved with it, not for those who don’t want to be. I guess that goes without saying, but your questions seem to assume that it was a commandment or something.

  30. oatmeal2k says:

    Props for doing this – publishers like EA will continue to bone consumers as hard as they think they can get away with, shaming them for their shameful moves is an important role for the gaming press. It takes nerve to bring this up out of the blue again, because its unorthodox and you’ll get ridiculous haters, but its the only way to hold companies accountable.

  31. Premium User Badge

    RobF says:

    They’ve got one of those torsos in one of my local-ish CEX and aside from the obvious and often mentioned idiocy of the thing in question, it looks like a cheap piece of shit to boot. A gross cheap piece of shit but definitely a cheap piece of shit.

    Everything about it shows how few fucks Deep Silver give. Seems only right and proper to remind people of this on a regular basis.

    Keep it up, John,

  32. Premium User Badge

    alexheretic says:

    This is great! Although I think we could package it in a slightly lighter way, perhaps somewhat appeasing the erm “John Walker Fanclub” shall we call them. You may have already said it best:

    “The Silence Charts” or maybe the “Bullshit Billboard”

    And wow EA are looking tough to beat in the top slot!

  33. Upper Class Twit says:

    @MAD

    Dude, this is still a matter of opinion. Some people like flash. I like flash. You don’t. That doesn’t mean that your preferred form of entertainment is objectively superior to mine.

    Edit: Well, my reply seems to have failed. Never mind then. Basilisk said it better anyway.

  34. muelnet says:

    I really love that you are doing this John. Personally I’d love it if this was like a monthly thing that RPS put up.

  35. The Random One says:

    Aye, keeping them irregular only means you’ll forget them. Make it a monthly feature or something.

    Edit: er, this should’ve been a reply to muelnet. I’m so embarrassed

  36. waltC says:

    It’s perpetually baffling why EA has a difficult time understanding simple concepts like:

    “It’s great that you sold xMillion copies of SimCity. Good for you. But you know, you might have sold xMillion x2 copies had your spokespersons tried telling the truth about the software, instead of some dumb malarkey that was so patently and transparently false! The truth will work wonders if only you develop the good sense to let it.”

    But I don’t know…considering EA’s ill-advised public positions on matters that actually have nothing whatsoever to do with games but are instead transient, controversial social issues, perhaps “being honest” is simply outside of EA’s public-relations capabilities. Sure seems that way. EA is one confused company.

    Also, “gamers” is such a condescending word–it’s like calling these people “our customers” instead is something EA PR tries to avoid like the plague because it confers too much stature! “Gamers” is just so trite and trivial a label–who cares if “gamers” are lied to and led around by the nose/short hairs, right? But try the same tricks on your “customers” and suddenly the issue looms large. Doesn’t it, EA?

    • The Random One says:

      EA would rather have 1 million sales in an environment they control completely than 10 million in DRM-free exe’s they can’t use to push new content or get user data.

    • Premium User Badge

      mpk says:

      This.

      EA do not care about gaming. Games are the means by which they make profit, and it is profit that they care about.

  37. realitysconcierge says:

    Stick it to the man RPS!

  38. thehollowman says:

    These comments are a confusing shitstorm. Usually I don’t comment, but I just wanted to say thank you for this. It may be futile and these companies will probably just ignore it, but it was a nice reminder of things I had honestly forgotten. Well not a nice reminder.

    So yeah, maybe this particular article won’t send shockwaves through these companies. But it will remind and reinforce these events in my personal memory, and effect my purchasing habits in the future.

    Ignore the haters, they remind me of the console wars, but instead of being kids that bought xbox trying to justify their expenditure over PS3, they’re people who’ve chosen to do nothing and justify doing nothing by attacking those that try to do something as either being ineffective or dumb or with an ulterior motive. To those people, I ain’t madatcha. I’m sadatcha. Try and have a reflective moment and realise what you’re doing.

  39. Liudeius says:

    It’s funny how RPS is accusing publishers of acting like children, when they have continuously whined about not being responded too at every opportunity possible (at least for Deep Silver).

    Sure, I agree that, for example, the whole Sim City thing was badly handled by EA, but all this article does for me is show RPS in a bad light for being so immature.

    • Premium User Badge

      Grey Cap says:

      I have no idea what you’re talking about. Whining? Childish? These companies are doing bad things (not BP bad, they’re just selling tasteless products, or broken products, or whatever). And RPS are just saying: “Look at these terrible business practices. The companies refuse to talk about them, but we still remember.”

      How is this childish? How is this whining? The most important bit of this piece is not “Deep Silver won’t return my calls.” The most important bit is “Deep Silver won’t stop peddling this disgusting fucking torso thing.”

      • Liudeius says:

        Every SR4 related post I’ve read has mentioned Deep Silver not replying.
        They are not obligated to respond, especially not to RPS (who I take it is not considered a major gaming site like Kotaku, IGN, and PC gamer).

        I already know all these stories, whining about them more isn’t going to make me think any differently.
        It’s just juvenile on RPS’s part complaining about (mostly) minor things in every single article related to the subject.

        The torso sculpture has NOTHING to do with SR4. Yet they always mention it to add sensationalism and controversy.
        If they had an article about an SR4 torso statue, sure, mention it. Or about a new always online EA title, but otherwise it’s just trying to get more hits.

        • Premium User Badge

          darkChozo says:

          A quick search through the SR4 tag suggests that the torso thing has only been mentioned sparingly, and out of the two examples I found, neither were talking about Deep Silver’s lack of response (and one was an editor’s note for context on a joke). The only significant mention in the first page of results is in an article talking about potential SR4 collector’s edition trinkets; IMO, that’s justified, but I’ll leave the ultimate judgement up to the reader.

          Also, it’s not like this is an RPS-only issue. A quick Google search suggests that several other sites covered it (IGN and Kotaku included), and as far as I can tell none of them got any clarification from Deep Silver either.

        • Premium User Badge

          Hanban says:

          “They are not obligated to respond, especially not to RPS (who I take it is not considered a major gaming site like Kotaku, IGN, and PC gamer).”

          And yet Deep Silver* chose to use a quote from RPS on their SR4 Steam page.

          “RPS, just a blog.”

          *Edit: I assume Deep Silver as publishers decide what’s on the steam storefront.

  40. aircool says:

    It does not matter whether I agree with Mr Walkers opinions or not. At least he’s still asking the questions and should keep at it until he either gets a satisfactory answer (regardless of whether he agrees with it or not) or is assassinated to prevent him exposing ‘the truth’.

    Seriously, it’s articles like these which makes RPS a significant cut above the rest.

    • Liudeius says:

      If these mattered, I would agree with you. But the only one of future consequence is the EA always online.
      The torso thing and AssCreed on PC were just PR flubs.
      (Well the torso was a bad decision they realized too late.)

  41. Deviija says:

    I really like this. Often I will think to myself, “What about that ? What ever came of it?” Follow up is something that I do no see much of in gaming journalism, so I think this is very neat. I hope The Silence becomes an ongoing series.

  42. ts061282 says:

    [Adblock deactivated on RPS]

  43. Nick says:

    I just assumed they had already ordered a bunch of torsos to be made for the special editions and would likely lose a chunk of cash scrapping them after the fact. Not a big deal if it doesn’t happen again, really.

  44. PopeRatzo says:

    There is no limit to the petulance of a game journalist upon learning his actual importance to the gaming world does not match his vast self-regard.

  45. Jerakal says:

    Pole dancers! At a Saints Row event!
    Perish the thought!

    It’s almost as though that’s perfectly in line with Saints Row’s over-the-top antics or something.

    Remember that time John Walker couldn’t take a joke?

  46. cbayley says:

    Long time reader, but found myself compelled to register for THIS of all things.

    Someone mentioned how Valve gets a free pass at this stuff, and I gotta say, I was really hoping that the Greenlight debacle would be brought up here. GabeN has claimed they’re going to be looking into fixing it, but the process is riotously unfair, and really broken. Paranautical Activity is STILL not greenlit, and something like Deadly Premonition had to go through Greenlight at all? Why? What about the things that get released onto Steam, without Greenlight, which are the first titles from small publishers? rumor has it that some things are getting greenlit, but Valve is turning them down anyway, or making them jump through additional hoops, and then there are the projects that have been greenlit already which are nothing more than vaporware at this point (Yogventures, anyone?).

    It’s great that things like UnEpic FINALLY got onto Steam because of Greenlight, as well as Greenlight getting stuff like Shelter on the service, but the fact that there are no actual rules, and Valve is consistently giving mixed messages, treating two different games with two different sets of standards, just aggravates me. I mean, I love Gone Home, thought it was the best game I played this year, but why didn’t IT have to go through Greenlight? Valve needs to flesh out Greenlight’s rules and stop dicking indies around. And I think we PC gamers need to stop giving Valve a pass on everything because of Steam sales.

  47. MellowKrogoth says:

    Good job bringing back up issues #1 and #3 to the surface.

    Regarding the torso (which I find pretty disgusting personally), I can’t help but think that if it was a male torso there wouldn’t be any outrage at all. Violence done to women makes me cringe, but since you’re champions of gender equality and dismembered guys feature in so many games, shouldn’t you be clamoring for equal dismemberment too?

    Also, I don’t enjoy zombie movies, but don’t they always have some kind of necrophiliac vibe to them? All these women in decomposed clothes and semi-decomposed breasts shambling towards you, definitely turn on some people. So maybe you should get offended at the whole genre, not only at this statue.

    Really though, as they hinted, they probably go their inspiration from greek statues like this one, and then themed it appropriately for their game. (They actually hid the breasts more on the Dead Island one :P .) They probably thought it was a good joke or a clever twist and in the euphoria (and the non-negligible effect of group thought) failed to notice that it looked more like some necrophiliac fantasy.