Activision screenshot -faking job

Anyone spotted this?

Position Responsibilities and Duties:
• Perform advanced retouching of screenshots and teach skills to others as needed

L33t. So we have finally given up all pretence that the screenshots on the web of new games are anything other than artistic impressions touched up, filtered, airburshed and photoshopped until they bear zero representation to the actual game.

It’s bad enough that you have to play “guess what the UI looks like” with screenshots. Why is this not false advertising?

Because it’s not advertising? It’s preview coverage, which is at least theoretically intended to inform and not to sell. I think that the last time anybody did that in actual advertisements, there WAS a lawsuit, unless I’m misremembering.

Screenshots are used for a lot more than web previews.

What about for the back of the box, where they print at super high resolution (300dpi) and Wii screenshots are 480p at best? Those screens have to be touched up or they’re going to be micro-sized on the back of the game box.

Probably best not to hyperventalate about this, but it is the internet after all.

Probably best not to hyperventalate about this, but it is the internet after all.

Hey, cliffski is back!

That sounds like a real cushy job.

It is still dishonest, insomuch as the object of the information is the eventual object of a sale.

This could be for a new Katie Couric videogame. You heard it here first.

I assumed all advertising was fundamentally dishonest. Those screens you see on the pretty cell phones/tvs in the ads arent real, the food in the resteraunt commercials is fake.

The only real one is the ads for the male enhancement creams. I put a jar of that stuff on my goldfish and now he sporting a johnson so large he cant get off the bottom of the bowl. It looks like hes trying to hump the little castle.

I remember when they would show ads for N64 games before movies at the theater. Pixels the size of pumpkins. If a game won’t hold up in a certain context, maybe you should avoid that context?

Couldn’t you also be using touched up screenshots as art assets on a website (i.e. not call them screenshots)? There are probably many legitimate uses for someone with those skills.

I’m with Menzo. Mostly they are probably talking about fixing up screenshots for print work where you’ve got much higher DPI to worry about and web work where you’ve got much lower DPI (which often requires retouching of its own, sharpening, web-safe profile coloring, etc). Nothing here to get all worked up about.

Do you really think anyone is going to choose to buy or not buy a game based on a “retouched screenshot”? This is nothing like the whole “passing off target renders as gameplay” issue (ala KillZone, etc) which IS terrible and should be slammed.

I guess Atari shouldn’t have run 2600 ads in movie theaters then.

its not the only factor in a purchasing decision, of course, but if screenshots have no value in getting attention for the game, why bother making them?
I dont care if people want to pad their games with FMV, and stick renders on the box. But when a company is ending out ‘screenshots’ to the press, and those screenshots are heavily touched up, then that’s dodgy.
I would much rather games journalists labeled bullshots as bullshots, and only labelled representative images as screenshots.
Screenshots implies the print screen button was pushed, not a dedicated artist was employed to tart it up.

I thought I was tripping my balls off for a moment.

It certainly puts “Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!” in perspective.

Sony could learn a thing or two from Atari when it comes to making your console easy to develop for. That dude made 3 subsequently iconic games in like 2 minutes just waving his hands around and talking.

This kind of thing is going to continue to be business as usual as long as there’s not a universally accepted critical establishement that’s seperate from the promotional establishment. Sure, some individual critics have mad cred based on their work, like a certain someone who moderates this board, but there’s no real way for the masses to differentiate them from yahoos other then by reading a lot of reviews with a very critical eye. The publishing/marketing folks have jumped all over this flaw in the system and they pump exclusives, advertising dollars, and previews into sites/publications that will give them good spin.

When the majority of games press is a thinly veiled extension of the marketing process without the regulation associated with it, what’s to stop this kind of behavior? Airbrushing pre-alpha screenshots to resemble target renders is a mild symptom of a greater problem.

Until there’s a well recognized core of the critical establishment who are not dependant on the publishers in any meaningful way other than to produce games, I honestly question weather this false-advertising-that-isn’t-technically-advertising will do anything other than get worse.

Epic apparently already has a guy like this hired… remember those early UT2007 screenshots?

Ahh, memories.

I can’t remember the last time I looked at a screen shot except in passing. Retouched or not, a still frame of something that is always in motion seems like a pretty lame way to make any sort of judgement.