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2K Games Fires PR Group After DNF Review Fiasco

Remember, in such cases, it's very often the PR people who are to blame. Don't go after the game publisher immediately.

Earlier today, a post on The Redner Group's Twitter page hinted that the firm might blacklist sources and sites that give the recently released Duke Nukem Forever a particularly low score. The post read:

"Too many went too far with their reviews...we are reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn't based on today's venom."

A second post went on to say- "bad scores are fine. Venom filled reviews...that's completely different." Obviously, gamers quickly latched on and publisher 2K Games caught wind of the mess. The company has announced they won't be doing business with Redner in the future, and they don't condone such comments. You can find 2K's responses at their own Twitter feed.

"2K Games does not endorse or condone the comments made by @TheRednerGroup and confirm they no longer represent our products."

And:

"We maintain a mutually respectful relationship with the press and will continue to do so. We don't condone @The RednerGroup's actions at all."

Since then, Redner has apologized profusely but it seems the damage is already done. Stay tuned for PSXE's review, which will go up later tonight.

Related Game(s): Duke Nukem Forever

Tags: duke nukem forever, dnf, dnf reviews, 2k games

6/15/2011 2:52:30 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (33 posts)

Beamboom
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 3:05:01 PM
Reply

A very clever move by 2K indeed.
Nice to see, especially after the reception DNF has received.

Last edited by Beamboom on 6/15/2011 3:09:28 PM

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Alienange
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 3:12:38 PM
Reply

I understand a reviewer not liking a game or seeing some flaws in it, but this idea of reviews laden with "venom" has me thinking certain sites deserve a good thrashing. Regardless of The Redner Groups foolish comments, I think ANY publisher should look over the writing style of a site's reviews before sending them off a free copy of their game. Far too many yahoo gamer "writers" are getting their bread and butter off of the misery of publishers.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 3:50:34 PM

I'm of the opinion that publishers need to be more careful with respect to the kinds of site/organization doing reviews of games. There are plenty of gaming sites around that claim to be professional and claim journalist status. But in fact, they are nothing more than opinionated blogs written by people with less vocabulary than your average 5th graders. Seriously though, when you look at Metacritic, there are invariably reviews for games that differ drastically from the norm, when you look closer, these reviews are from people, you kind of look at and go Huh? How did *they* get to review this.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 5:00:24 PM

Highlander, metacritic may look bad, but you'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than on the N4G network.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 5:23:18 PM

Temjin - Been to Mos Eisley, eh?

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FatherSun
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 8:56:48 PM

I have made this same statement many times. If we accept poor service and information then it will be shoved down our throats. People need to exercise there power and call offenders out on their bullshit.

Twisted Jaffe just called out one site on Twitter for spinning a wicked web about Sony not supporting Twisted Metal. Needless to say, he let them have it.

@Highlander, I agree, there is no standard when these so called reviews are posted. It's a shoot first ask questions later type situation. All for the HITS!!! That is a very important factor in these negative articles and reviews.

Last edited by FatherSun on 6/15/2011 9:00:07 PM

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Victor321
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 3:33:51 PM
Reply

Ouch to Redner, and looking forward to your review! So far, many of the other ones have had the same message, PSX's should be fresh, as always ;)

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Sancho
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 3:47:32 PM
Reply

I have yet to pick up DNF although I fully intend to regardless of the reviews. I loved the Duke franchise in the 90's and would like a game that doesn't take itself seriously these days. Its always a nice change of pace. And I'm not even a FPS fan.

And while the PR company is probably right about some sites just being plain nasty in its reviews, but certainly tweeting stuff like that would need to be cleared with the people who pay you I would think. Regardless if 2k feels the same they know better than to piss off the people that advertise all your games and have a huge podium to your target audience for bad press towards your future releases. Good for them.

Its getting hard for me to read news anywhere these days. So many sites stating opinions and rumors as facts without sources and going back to edit the posts after being called out on it instead of acknowledging the error and apologizing. And then the little snide comments they make pertaining to certain companies. You can just feel the fanboy in the posts.

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Danny007
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 4:03:20 PM
Reply

If they didn't want low scores, they should have maybe spent more time developing the game.

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jimmyhandsome
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 4:21:20 PM

another 10 years perhaps?

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Temjin001
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 5:21:39 PM

Dang it, beat me to it ;)

Agree with this comment 4 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Excelsior1
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 4:23:19 PM
Reply

threatening who and who will not get a review copy is not cool. it's trying engineer review scores.

dnf is sitting on metacritic with a barely over 50 rating so it looks like it's a real stinker except for maybe hardcore duke fans. the publisher should just take its lumps and move on. calling out review scores is just plain dumb in this day and age. it always backfires on them.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 6/15/2011 4:24:47 PM

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Claire C
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 4:47:46 PM
Reply

Tis the world we live in. No surprise here. :P

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556pineapple
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 5:07:34 PM
Reply

Good for them. If Arrested Development has taught me nothing else, it's that PR people are not to be trusted. This just proves it.

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jaybiv
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 9:53:09 PM

As a PR pro, I take some offense to that. Sure we have folks that will do anything to get publicity, but the vast majority of us operate with high ethical standards. Yeah, we have to employ some spin at times to frame the story in the best possible light. Shading the truth, which we all do at times, is different than lying.

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556pineapple
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:49:55 PM

Don't worry, I'm just joking around. Obviously there are good and bad people in any profession. It's just that some get a worse reputation than others (lawyers, for example.) In the episode of Arrested Development I'm referring to, the PR woman is a bit psychopathic, and that has to do with her, not the PR business.

I'm truly sorry if I caused offense. It was just a joke.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 5:12:07 PM
Reply

My bro emailed me to say that with what he had played thus far there's no way Duke is like a 2 or 3 out of 10. Instead he was feeling it more as a 75% as of how far he was.

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Lotusflow3r
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 5:19:08 PM

I think that is of popular opinion, what your bro says. Although, really positive reviews are appearing now. Lots of 8's.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 6:50:18 PM

My review is coming soon, so far I'm roving around in the 7+ area

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 5:20:33 PM
Reply

I honestly believe that reviewers should have accountability.

Whether or not a review host or author will admit it, but some reviews have cost people jobs. In my book, that means that professionalism should priority one. If it was up to me, the tabloid sites would lose all perks associated with reviewing.

Certain reviews lack professionalism and a fair viewpoint on video games. It's almost as if some websites can't offer an unbiased opinion. That's one of the reasons I came here, and post nowhere else (outside of GTPlanet) and visit only N4G for the headlines.

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Lotusflow3r
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 5:23:22 PM
Reply

They have a point. I don't know whether to applaud them for stepping up or feel bad for them!

Many reviews have been disgraceful. It's like they have a hate for everyone who's involved with Duke. I think the age of humour is dying, though. Some of the stuff criticised, is why many want it back. Destructiods was the most embarrassing thing i have ever read, topping off IGNs. It was self satire, im sure of it!

Got a lot to talk about in my review. You might be surprised, if you're interested that is.

Looking forward to Ben's though, good or bad. I'll link it to Gearbox again.

Last edited by Lotusflow3r on 6/15/2011 5:25:49 PM

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nilos95
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 6:36:53 PM
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Guess these guys need to change the company's name. Bad precedence will really threaten their appeal.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 6:52:31 PM
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I suppose that's the best move for 2K but I think some bastards need to be taken to task for clearly being douchebags. The game has problems but not the kind you find in really low scores like broken mechanics or massive glitches.

That said, Duke is awesome. Love it.

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Geobaldi
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 9:39:47 PM

I've been really enjoying it as well just as I knew I would. Though the level design isn't as smooth as Duke 3D was, it's still a blast to play.

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sha4dowknight05
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 6:53:11 PM
Reply

OWNED.

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Teddie9
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 7:56:14 PM
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The scores for DNF have been upsetting :(. On a positive note I just finished inFamous 2 good karma. That ending was fantastic...

Last edited by Teddie9 on 6/15/2011 7:56:23 PM

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NoSmokingBandit
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 9:00:05 PM
Reply

I know devs and publishers want to get as much press as possible, but if i were sending out review copies i'd mail them to only the top few sites. Sure you can't stop pathetic amateur sites from buying a copy on launch day, but if you are confident in your game you can send out review copies a month before release and hold the reviews until a week prior to release. Then the professional scores will get out before the amateurs.

That said, if a game scores low for being awful then the devs need to make a better game instead of withholding review copies. I recall that when Other M was released Nintendo didnt like G4's review and they didnt get the next few first-party games from Ninty on time.

If you only send copies to respected sources then you know if you need to make a better game or not very easily.

I havent played DNF yet (i'm getting it after i finish DiRT 3), so i dont know who is at fault here, but its a lesson that can be learned easily.

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FatherSun
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 9:03:36 PM
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There is no such thing as bad publicity! Funny how that does not work in the game industry.

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Qubex
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 9:08:41 PM
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I don't know where the story blew up from, I have never heard of or followed the Redner Group reports before. Can someone explain to me in simple terms exactly what happened? Did the Redner Group say something they should not have, or promoted DNF in a bad light?

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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jaybiv
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 9:48:32 PM

You won't be familiar with them unless you follow the press wires or go to 2K's site to read their press releases. Essentially, they tried to bully reviewers into favorable stirrups on the game. If the reviewers didn't give good reviews the agency would not send them anymore free games.

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Scarecrow
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 1:58:15 AM
Reply

Man if I nothing to worry about I would make a "VGsiteTrust.whatever" site.

Where I would dedicate myself to proving, with facts, which sites are misinforming you and which sites are not.

Of course, crap like Eurogamer would be one of those sites I would love to decipher and expose.

Sad that the company 2K hired for PR did this crap though. Basically telling reviewers to give Duke Nukem Forever good scores is not the way to go.

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___________
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 5:17:17 AM
Reply

this is just pathetic!
i could understand if the game was getting unfair reviews, but most ive read have been pretty accurate.
the games a F*CKING MESS!
it feels like they rummaged through a garbage can and stuck everything together with saliva.
it stinks, its messy, and its falling apart!
i mean everytime i re load a level it takes freaking forever to load and when it finally does load i press x to continue and i get greeted by a black screen for another 15+ seconds.
i swear to god theres no freaking way they could of play tested this, i mean its broken in so many ways, in so many areas!

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Mornelithe
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 8:23:58 AM
Reply

As has pretty much always been my standpoint, do your own research, don't let other people make your decisions for you.

Until you find a reviewer that you _know_ you can trust to deliver an unbiased assessment of a game, it's pointless to take what they have to say at face value.

DNF is a niche game, with a Niche following. Most of the younger generation of gamers, will simply have no idea who he is, where he came from, and what it's all about. And you know what? That's freekin OK. Not everyone has to buy the damn game. Those who've been waiting patiently for nearly 2 decades, those are the people who'll buy it, and that's that.

If developers and publishers seek too wide an audience with every single IP, gaming _will_ die. Plain and simple. Gamers aren't just younger folks anymore, and they aren't just older folks either. It's a huge spectrum of people, all with differing tastes. Deal with it.

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