TenTonHammer broke, and Shack News dug deeper into, recent news that public relations firm Kohnke Communications is suing Star Trek Online developer Perpetual Entertainment over a falling out two had over now moth-balled MMO Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising.
The seven count suit alleges breach of contract and fraud, among other things, and seeks up to $US 290,675 stemming from Perpetual's recent shift in ownership and decision to redirect their efforts from Gods to Star Trek.
More importantly, though, the suit offers a disturbing look at both the world of game development and the relationship between PR firms and game reviewers, or at least the relationship that Kohnke thinks exists. The suit lays out the fact that $US 70,000 of Kohnke's compensation was held back with the understanding they would receive that money, and as much as $US 280,000, based on the number of active subscribers to the game 90 days after shipment.
The incentive came to the PR firm if they were successful in creating pre-release "buzz" and in "convincing reviewers to write positive reviews about the game".
Funny, and I always thought it was the game that was supposed to do that.
I'm not naive enough to think that the success of a video game has nothing to do with the PR push, but it's disheartening to see that in this industry, reviews are see as something bought, not earned.