GameDaily’s ‘Media Coverage’ section has an interview up with Dan Hsu, 1UP’s editorial director, on the plight of game journalists and sites getting frozen out by companies as punishment. We recently mentioned Hsu’s blog entry that called out Ubisoft, Sony’s sports game division and Midway’s Mortal Kombat team for practicing this sort of freeze out of media outlets in punishment for ‘”candid reviews” and “less-than-totally-positive previews.”‘. Hsu hastens to point out that this isn’t a regular occurrence, but it does happen. What’s a blackballed media outlet to do?
When the occasional company does turn the screws, Hsu relies on advice from those that came before him. “The thing that always guides me is something my first editorial director [Joe Funk]told me on the day I interviewed at EGM [in 1996] ,” he said. “I brought up an old EGM editorial where the editor said that Capcom has pulled advertising, but EGM wouldn’t change its ways to win them back. I asked the editorial director about that, and how can EGM survive without advertising…how does the magazine deal with that pressure? He told me, ‘As long as you write for the readers and not the companies, the readership will come, and the advertisers will have no choice but to advertise with you.'”
Companies giveth, companies taketh away, but soldiering forward with some modicum of integrity will at least leave your reputation (and readership) intact. It’s an interesting look at some of the behind the scenes aspects of game journalism and the industry as the whole.
Media Coverage: Frozen Out [GameDaily]