Sony: PR is where we only interact with uncritical people, right?

Infamous comes out this week. I had hoped to post an interview with one of the developers from Sucker Punch today, but I got stood up. Sony later informed me that an interview wasn’t appropriate considering last week’s coverage of the game here and specifically here. So rather than reading my conversation with designer Nate Fox about how they came up with the various powers, what lessons they were able to carry over from their excellent Sly Cooper games, and what they’re thinking about for DLC, I can only leave you with a middling recommendation that it’s pretty good as an open-world action game.

Also, I recommend you make back-up plans next time Sony offers to meet you somewhere. Or at least don’t say anything bad about them.

I wish I knew why Fidgit and my work computer didn’t get along. I go there and it just slows me down like crazy.

Also, that’s too bad, but it’s hardly surprising.

It does make me wonder if Sony Defense Force has their review up, though!

I have a very similar issue - it chugs something fierce when the page first loads and nearly locks the browser. It seems to be something to do with the digg buttons.

On topic, obviously they’re free to talk to whoever they want, whenever they want (though standing Tom up and then telling him after the fact that it was pre-meditated seems a bit rude, to say the least). Enough companies have done it before. That said, I do sometimes think that this sort of thing kind of misses the wood for the trees. Tom’s look at inFamous had a lot of positives, and a chat with him might have cast them in an even better light and maybe allowed the designer to address the “stupid” stuff. It wasn’t like he outright savaged it, he just raised some concerns.

It’d be the sort of interesting discussion that would drive what I’d tentatively call the Qt3 demographic towards the game more, whilst probably being ignored by the clamouring teenage morons who can’t string a sentence together. So what harm could it really do? Conversely, by doing this, the kids and the fanboys are saved from reading an interview that they wouldn’t give a shit about in terms of influencing their purchase either way, whereas the guys like us just think, wow, way to be unprofessional and domineering asshats, guys. Saying no seems to play worse in every way.

This is far from the first example of Sony’s corporate pettiness.

Oddly, it seems to be getting worse the further they fall from the number one place they thought they owned for life.

You’re all missing the steaming refuse pile for the hovels. This could be the big one. This could finally knock the Killzone review off the top of the heap. I await with bated breath the response of internets.

Edit: Never mind.

As someone whom is still on the fence regarding Infamous, even after playing the demo, an interview such as this could have had potential to win me over. A real chance to engage criticisms and possibly bring a perspective that may even earn some unexpected appeal.

Shameful on behalf of Sony.

I can somewhat understand them not wanting to do an interview with Tom if they were stung by his criticisms of the game. It seems cowardly, but at a human level, I can understand them not feeling particularly interested in spending time with Tom. It’s total horseshit that no one called to cancel the interview and that Tom wasted his time going to an appointment that no one meant to keep. That’s absolutely classless and shameful.

I thought these childish tactics were a thing of the past…

So exactly how common practice is this? I still remember that Gamespot dude getting fired over the Kayne & Lynch review.

This isn’t on quite the same level as that.

Anyway, if that had never happened, we wouldn’t have now.


“You trashed our game, we won’t allow the ad campaign we had planned”…

The funny thing is this is being done for a very low score in a formal review, it was just some impressions written with 10 good points and 10 bad points about the game. is that so unacceptable in Sony’s eyes to cancel an interview?

The article wasn’t 100% clear. Tom, did you already have the interview completed and ready to post or were you really turned away from the door?

It implies that the game is 50% good and 50% bad, ergo a score of 50%. That is soooo unacceptable.

My experience is that most companies who up and decide they don’t like you for whatever reason will just decline to schedule time with you in the first place. If time is somehow scheduled, you’ll usually be treated professionally. Getting blown off like this is unusual enough that this is the first time I’ve ever heard of it happening.

Difference being that Tom didn’t outright disparage the game, Sony, or Sucker Punch in his analysis. Gleaming a list of notes that held true in his eyes of what worked and didn’t work should have been a pure invitation for Sony PR to make light of his critique, to provide perspective.

Sure, but it still seems unusual compared to other industries. If a your local paper’s movie reviewer pans Star Trek, they still get to see the studio’s next blockbuster early.

My knee-jerk reaction is that this means gamers pay more attention to gamer journalism than cinema-goers to to cinema journalism. Or maybe the industry is just young enough / has low enough barriers to entry / has been like this long enough that the attitude of game studios is just different.

Sort of. I would rephrase this to read:

“There are more people who go to the movies and do not care about cinema journalism than there are people who buy games and do not care about game journalism.”

Then I would rephrase it again so as not to offend all of my literary sensibilities. But you get the point - the situation you’re pointing at is more indicative of the fact that a lot of people watch movies than that gamers are a particular kind of elitist jerk.

That said, Sony, in this case, seems to be mostly acting like a jerk. I might have reversed the order in which those Top 10 lists went up if I were Tom (I can conceive of a person who would think that he was mostly preemptively taking a dump on the game because the Bad List went up first), but even assuming a misunderstanding, it’s not a very good reason to refuse to do an interview. I’ve actually defended some of these decisions on a theoretical basis (the UbiSoft decision to blockade Ziff access to pre-release stuff, for example), but putting the kaibash on a post-release interview fails every one of my logical tests. I just can’t grasp why anybody would want to do a thing like that.