The Truth About Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So I’m a louse. A big fat RPS louse.

Want some more questions answered? Ask away.


  1. Lars Westergren says:

    I read this on the Internet, so it must be true! Especially since it validates my prejudices.

  2. starclaws says:

    *yawn* Please get back to gaming. No one cares about your spin-off of someone’s rant. Even if it is about a terrible company that pumps out games just for profit while bringing nothing spectacularly new to gaming.

  3. Skusey says:

    Does this mean that John isn’t a professional adventure gamer? Did he just get his minions to put on weight and wear an American Base-to-ball cap in what I presume is some sort of ironic gesture before sending them in to win his tournaments for him? What a shame.

  4. ynamite says:

    RPS Louse WINS!

    Flawless Victory!

  5. Muzman says:

    Shit just got real.

  6. Sir Digby says:

    It’s a RUSE!

  7. SquareWheel says:

    One would assume this is a part of the “industry rant” meme, although I tl;dr’d it so I have no idea.

    • Delusibeta says:

      There’s an influx of “I am employed by *insert developer here* and I have some dirt on *insert management staff here*” blogs lately. Aside from the EA Louise one that this post is sending up, there’s also another one QQing about IceFrog, and there’s a few more I haven’t paid much attention to.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      For the record, I’m pretty sure that the Icefrog one isn’t from someone at Valve, and just some fanboy with a grudge. There’s no internal details from Valve at all. If you’re choosing to insult the project lead, someone internally at valve wouldn’t have used the jokey about page as their only ammunition.


    • Delusibeta says:

      Hence the use of the phrase “QQing”.

    • Delusibeta says:

      Addition: (since I can’t find the post on the forums to edit it).

      I wouldn’t be too surprised if it wound up that the EA Lousie post wound up being, at best, exaggeration, or at worst a total fabrication.

    • Rinox says:

      I dunno. He (Louse) just about described a normal office politics situation, really. For some reason people in the gaming industry go off blog rants and others just cry when they are put on dole. Maybe a lot of game industry peeps have romanticized ideas of the industry?

    • Easydog says:

      What does “QQing” mean?

    • Wang Tang says:

      QQ nowadays has the meaning of “cry”, as it depicts two crying eyes. (However, after reading urbandictionary on this one, it is of Warcraft 2 decent, though broadly having had a similiar meaning there).
      So, “QQing” = “crying”.

    • Delusibeta says:

      I was more thinking of in terms of “whinging”, but “crying” or “quit (going on about it) already” works too.

    • Easydog says:

      Thanks :)

    • Lukasz says:

      Quit some more?

  8. teo says:

    Well played :D

  9. Ricc says:

    Anybody who still supports these bastards is so far up their asses, they can’t even feel their own ears anymore, I tell ya! This has been known for years, and all the big talent is now working for the free2read sites anyways… Open your eyes, damn fabois!

  10. Jacques says:

    There’re too many RPS viral marketers here!

  11. Lobotomist says:

    Well played @Louse
    Power to the little people I say!

    And the 300 million $ for CAPTCHA that does not even work right!

    What a fail !

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Fail? Hardly. It’s working perfectly as designed. You just have to realise it’s designed to be so annoying that you are forced into signing up and logging in. Then they slowly con you into getting a Gravatar, hit you up to become a subscriber to help out the little struggling independent publishers. The next thing you know you’ve signed over your firstborn and your stuck down a mineshaft prospecting for diamonds and obsidian so they can build a monument to the Hivemind.

    • Bret says:

      To be fair, it is a very nice statue.

  12. Danny says:

    How can anyone take this seriously? Read Sander’s comment about this being inspired by an angry EA/Mythic employee and his rant about Warhammer’s failing.

  13. Pobblepop says:

    Henry Particle zoomed into his third Malverian trinket wondering why Brenda had decided against the house move because the curtains didn’t match her personality.

  14. Mickiscoole says:

    Louse, I have lots of money and dirt on the right people. Can you let me know more detailed information on how to be on the RPS board?

  15. Dawngreeter says:

    I used to work for RPS, but they had a psychic in HR so he fired me before I got hired. I can verify that this is all true.

  16. terry says:

    The RPS staff are actually sentient Luis Vuitton shoes, handbags and ectoplasmic NFL jerseys. Truth.

  17. Dave Toulouse says:

    So many people falling for it… funny…


    • Brumisator says:

      I’m pretty it’s you who missed the sarcasm in all the replies.

    • The Colonel says:

      Never underestimate the dryness of middle-England.

  18. TheInsider says:

    ROFL :D

  19. Warduke says:

    @Gunnar – Thanks, I lol’d

  20. matt says:

    Dear Rock Paper Shotgun,

    I have been a loyal reader of your publication for many years, enjoying it’s unique ability to blend the informative with the humane and the humorous.

    I have however been most disturbed by recent revelations about how staff are mistreated. I cannot continue to support such moral turpitude and, with regret, shall be cancelling my subscription forthwith.

  21. Warduke says:

    Damn reply fails…

  22. Meat Circus says:

    Hello RPS Louse.

    Which is the biggest leaf? ANSWER ME.

  23. Unaco says:

    I don’t know what’s funnier… the post itself, or some of the comments from people who don’t seem to have got the joke.

  24. Tom Camfield says:

    Can we have pictures of Jim dressed in tin foil?

  25. Barts says:

    Was this supposed to be funny? Or did Tim Rogers write this?

  26. Jonfitt says:

    Tei is a program written to try and pass the Turing test. It runs on the RPS server and no one can work out how to disable it.

  27. Toyoch says:

    TL; DR

    But y’all need more hats!!!11one

  28. razorblade79 says:

    you guys must be fucking bored. that article was hardly worth that effort IMO

  29. demonarm says:

    Wat? Kieron is IceFrog? No wai!

    (I did lol).

  30. MXZ says:

    1. google EA Louse
    2. open mouth, insert .45 ACP

  31. Risingson says:

    Ok, ego trip. Please stop that.

  32. mod the world says:

    This totally confirms the rumours i heard about the RPS – “Big Four”. Although RPS Louse is probably just an angry former lower-level employee and is prone to exageration, someone can’t just make all those things up in detail. I knew that they couldn’t cover up their problems much longer when they fired Kieron. Mr. Gillen was the good guy in RPS, all the ghostwriters, webdesigners and the 200-men IT-Department in India looked up to him. But he stood no chance against J. Walker’s perfidious plot to replace him with his simple-hearted puppet Quintin.

    RPS could have been a revolutionary new kind of online games mag, but the incompetence and the insatiable thirst for blood and money by John Walker and the rest of the gang made it the biggest failure since 1873.

    A former RPS intern.

  33. awkward says:

    Thanks for posting that!
    I hadn’t heard about EA Louse. I only skimmed this article and managed to skip the parts that hinted “satire”, so yea, I was pretty darn confused.

    • awkward says:

      My last comment should have been in reply to whomever posted the link to the EA Louse blog.

  34. Flaringo says:

    And this is why RPS is pretty cool.

  35. DuckSauce says:

    “barking orders at his staff to build him ever-more improbable robots”

    Though it seemed serious. That part was just silly though :P
    Is it 1st of april or something? o.0

  36. dissentience says:

    This is stupid, I come here to read about PC games, not the whining of some degenerate who can’t accept that he does a crappy job and his employer wants to get rid of him because of it. QQ, Louse.

  37. rocketman71 says:

    This meme is stupid.

  38. Rickdt says:

    What is Rock paper shotgun??

  39. skinlo says:

    The problem with the internet is that without smileys, its almost impossible to tell whether someone is serious or not. Of course the post isn’t serious, but its hard to tell whether some of the comments have believed it and taken offence to it.

    • Delusibeta says:

      I’m assuming that everyone’s either playing along or is off-topic. Anyone who would have read the last paragraph should have copped what was going on.

  40. the_fanciest_of_pants says:

    Heh. I was wondering if you guys were going to cover this.

    I like it.

  41. deanimate says:

    HAHAHAHA! I don’t know who wrote that but it is bloody brilliant! I was actually laughing out loud.

  42. utharda says:

    I thought this was an homage to the revco song linger ficken good.

    I’m going to keep pretending thats true.

  43. Ginger Yellow says:

    I’m surprised the RPS Louse didn’t mention the biggest scandal of all: despite his protestations, Quinns actually has lots of iron!

  44. jd.c says:

    I’d have done RPS Grouse, to continue the rhyming but with a new word.

  45. sysadmin says:

    login to server via ssh
    sudo bash
    rm -rf /

    will fix all problems

    ps your capcha blows

  46. Lukasz says:

    serious question;

    is WAR doing that bad?

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Not sure. From what I last heard (yes, hearsay, I know) there aren’t that many servers left. The Korean servers have all closed and there’s only what.. nine servers left for the combined US and EU regions.

      Could be enough to keep on going, if they manage to what players they have. But it’s definitely not as planned, to say the least.

  47. Pijama says:

    This stuff is Encyclopedia Dramatica-worthy, hehe. Soon enough this new trend of “I AM EMPLOYD IN COMAPNEH X AND I R RANTING” will be baptized and bring loads of lulz for everyone to enjoy!


  48. chesh says:

    I’m going to call it now: RPSLouse is Nick Mailer.

  49. ManofMuchManliness says:

    Someone from one of the “cool” gaming studios should make a vlog of him in one of them headsackswithholes that robbers use QQing about the studio. So much freaking potential :)