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. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Not particularly witty or funny. Regardless of the EA louse thing. But that may just be my sense of humour. And, of course, I enjoy plenty of things on RPS, so take it as you will.

  2. stahlwerk says:

    Dear Louise,

    when I think back to what you said about the stones growing in my body, all I can say is that I am now in deep regrets about how all this ended. But I am willing to see it now for what it is, I will go to this place and it will be my Damascus. Maybe then you… or I… will be able to forgive me.

  3. Yargh says:

    I think I prefer this method of writing about the EA louse (probably)non-story

  4. Dagda says:

    I am apalled by the RPS community’s response to this controversy. There aren’t nearly enough crude metaphors involving fellatio.

  5. Dreamhacker says:

    About the EA-louse blog: IF some of that is true, Paul Barnett is one of the biggest scumbags in the industry <_<

  6. Lewis says:

    RPS doesn’t even feed and clothe its freelancers, you know.

  7. YOURMOTEHR says:


    Teh internets payback BIATACH

  8. Walker Texas Ranger says:

    Goodbye, Louise.

  9. Daniel Carvalho says:

    Interesting meme to say the least. Gonna be a bunch of expired blog sites after this all blows over lol.

  10. CDUB says:

    Ha! That’s funny that you would ask how to get rid of this blog after he just said what a moron you are.

    P.S. CAPTCHA was pretty cool.

  11. Mike Fahey says:

    *stands, slowly begins to applaud*

  12. GamerOfFreedom says:

    But no I dont know how to remove the post, isnt it just posted with WordPress? it should be easy enough

  13. C says:

    This is news?

  14. y3k-bug says:

    I *just* introduced my friend to this site. Thanks for posting something to explain why I’m on this site all the time.

  15. Gabbo says:

    Not a word on the money spent on the RPS MMO? That’s what I was hoping for.

  16. RKB says:

    Jim, Alec, John or Quintin to solve this problem all you need to do is post this guys details on 4chan and the 4chan snatch squad will take him away.

  17. CookieJar3rd says:

    Thanks for all your good work Louse, your biscuit ration will be shared out amongst the 4 hungry Titans.

  18. Azazel says:

    What a Lando.

  19. pupsikaso says:

    I don’t really understand satire very well, so could someone explain to me why this incident was parodied at RPS? Yeah, EA Louse doesn’t bring forth a lot of arguments to support his position in his rant, but he does tell us what some of us have known or suspected about the inner workings of these big, publisher-lead companies.

    This man got laid off, while the managers just keep getting raises and bonuses. And this man has seen the inside workings and knows that the managers are incompetent. This isn’t a joke to laugh at. This is more widespread in the industry than many suspect. So why does this RPS Parody seem like it’s mocking the whole situation?

    • Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox says:

      It’s not. It’s a warning. Because RPS is an industry leading….ummmm publisher? This is phase one to introduce captcha as a DRM mechanism in games. Yes soon you will be entering captcha when you start a game. KG’s idea. I called it!

    • Temple to Tei says:

      I’m giggling because you think incompetent managers only exist in the vg industry.

      And why shouldn’t it be parodied at RPS?
      Very often from the comments it is obvious we all have different ideas about what RPS is.
      I personally barely think of it as a gaming site.

    • Tei says:

      I think most people is somewhat angry about these “exposé” because of the style. Whatever is the position of the authors, exposing a real problem, create trouble, the way that was deliver was a big NO, NO. Game dev profesional already have enough crap to deal with, to add vengeful coworkers destroying reputations.

      I am angry at these blog articles, because of the uncivilized style.

      Adding to that, seems the RPS people think that the icefrog one is fake. The other one is soo light on information and is soo opinionative (is this a word) that is pretty ignorable. This two “expose” make all expose looks bad.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Making a bunch of unsupported claims is not “telling” us anything, it’s spouting bullshit. It only starts being “telling us what we already knew” when there’s actual proof that the claims have any kind of evidence backing them up.

  20. Temple to Tei says:

    I always knew RPS was a lie, with its fake ‘nice’ community and people seeming to get along.
    It must have took a lot of poorly paid employees to write all the pleasant comments.

    Makes me glad I spat in the pint I bought Kieron (I do that anyway, but at least this time there was a reason)

  21. Tim Ward says:

    what is going on in this thread

  22. deadpan says:

    The posts are interesting and often informative, but I really only come here for the CAPTCHAs.

    Would it be possible to set up a spin-off site of nothing but CAPTCHAs? Or simply an RSS feed or podcast? thanks in advance

  23. Rafael says:

    Next time include embarrassing photos for extra points. =)

  24. geldonyetich says:

    It’s shocking how easy it is to get ranked upon by disgruntled coworkers these days. I don’t own a small business myself and am busily testing the unfriendly waters of unemployment while living it up in my mom’s basement, but nonetheless it seems I am not immune.

    The other day I came down to “the dungeon,” as we like to call it, and discovered a number of tiny placards with very unflattering things written on it about my grueling work conditions and cruel docking of pay. After a prolonged investigation involving overturning countless stacks of my vintage comic books and games, I discovered a thriving cockroach colony which was up in arms about my decision to clean up last month’s pizza detritus. Literally up in arms, I think they were building a tiny tank out of discarded sardine cans and fireworks.

    The Internet just makes things several times worse. I considered calling an exterminator, and somehow the cockroaches caught wind of this, and now I’ve got 4chan spam-bombing me 24/7 out of protest. I never want to see another crude MS paint drawing of me burning in effigy again.

    Hang in there, RPG staff, these are hard times. Hard times.

  25. Michael O'Connor says:

    They’re proud of this captcha system? Seriously?

    Honestly though… the fact that nobody seems even remotely bothered by what was posted in this is a little sad.

    Louse, throw me an email.

  26. Inglourious Badger says:

    Haha. Even when Kieron returns pretending to be someone else he gets more comments than the other guys!

    (…It was Kieron, right?)

  27. Some Guy says:

    Just hit CTRL+Z, John.

  28. this was an awesome skitt says:

    I really enjoyed this bit.

  29. edosan says:

    I thought the big secret was going to be that RPS is a secret Christian group and not the evil clown-themed rap group we all know and love.

  30. Mike says:

    This is pretty meta. Well played. ;)

  31. theleif says:

    RPS: Rewarding the incontinent since 1873.

  32. The Sombrero Kid says:


  33. DanCardin says:

    @Nihohit – indeed, very much so sir!

  34. Nihilileth says:

    This explains why there were never any winners in the Chime contest!

  35. MD says:

    I love the image of Jim “[sitting] 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.”

  36. Jack says:

    I too am disgusted that no-one seems to be taking Jim Rossignols insane robot fetish seriously.

  37. Basil says:

    Who says RPS invented good game journalism?
    Somebody wasn’t around when Insert Credit existed…

    • Spacewalk says:

      Coincidentally, noone was around when Insert Credit ended.

  38. badvibration says:

    Oh RPS… How I love you so.

  39. oatish says:

    im just left here to pick up the little pieces of reality i have left

  40. Corrupt_Tiki says:

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

    ^ This for trolling =D

    Also go the uber captcha, it always captcha’s me, so therefore I have deduced that I must be a [P0DBOT]

  41. Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox says:

    Oh man, looks like I was late to the party on the blog.

    BUT I KNEW THIS FROM THE START! Poor Dave Tosser, he knew only what was reasonable, and what was right, and followed his moral compass to his sad, inevitable doom.

  42. M:E says:

    Lice! They’re all lice!

  43. DevilSShadoW says:


    also, well played

  44. awkward says:

    I wouldn’t be too surprised if a few people who simply didn’t get it cancel their subscriptions over this.

  45. Current RPS Employee says:

    Truth be told…
    We had a problem with this employee who posted this blog. Coming in late all the time. Leaving breadcrumbs in our keyboards. Caught playing minecraft on the job.

    Didn’t finish any of his articles on time, and when he did, they were all about robot chickens and iron.
    When we found out about the heroin habit we just had to let him go.

    He was lucky he was only laid off, and not tared and featherd. Now he is just gonna get the boot.

    Quinns, don’t come back into work anymore, you are NOT wanted.

  46. Ingenu says:

    Just LOL. :)

  47. Jakkar says:

    You’re getting self-indulgent to the point of wasting my time. This isn’t funny nor interesting – nor was the Valve email worth posting, and the Minecraft running joke was irritating from the start. Don’t let RPS fuck up, darlings – I rather like the place.

    It’s just getting a bit creepy now. Less journalism, more mad, bad jokes and running themes and trollfood.

    • lhzr says:

      dunno what bad jokes you’re going on about, my only gripe with rps is the lack of an ignore button, a lacking feature that your post reminded me about.

  48. Christ says:

    I was grinning through most of that but I completely lost it at dropping $300m on the Captcha system.