advocacy games industry

Nathan Brown: Grow a pair, or stop reporting, please

Any journalist who continues to not only re-hash the self-aggrandizing bull**** of greedy and abusive games-industry managers, but goes further and writes about these people and their behaviour in unquestioning, positive terms … is open-season for ridicule right now. We’ve had enough; developers are starting to get really pissed at journalists who kow-tow to the rich and the powerful, while ignoring the people who actually, you know, *make* the games they’re supposed to care about.

By no means the worst example, but Nathan’s recent pieces on Michael Pachter were the last straw for me, personally.

Nathan, a writer for EDGE online, could perhaps benefit from the following observations. I’m not a researcher, I’m not a journalist, but I think there’s more than enough circumstantial info here to suggest that Nathan should have been a lot more careful about presenting Michael’s comments in such a positive, accepting, unquestioning, light.

  1. Michael Pachter is not necessarily a “member” of the Games Industry. A cursory examination suggests he’s a financial-analyst, with little or no experience of game design, development, production, publishing, etc
  2. Michael said some grossly offensive things, and industry professionals are – quite rightly – rather upset
  3. Michael appears to have blessed the continued, deliberate, abuse of employees; this is dangerous stuff – he’s potentially aiding and abetting the ruining of people’s lives
  4. He apparently makes a large amount of money because people trust him to advise them on the industry; the reaction to his appalling commentary is in danger of costing him tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars
  5. Any claim from him that he’s been taken “out of context” needs some serious examination; it does NOT deserve to be simply published without critique. Are you a journalist, or an outsourced PR assistant?
  6. Everyone in the games industry is well aware that “unpaid overtime” exists in many other industries
  7. The claim that Pachter “give[s] informed industry advice to investors” needs some substantiation; a quick Google suggests a lot of people would disagree; beyond the financial predictions (which he’s veered away from here), where’s his “informed” advice coming from? There’s even a satire blog about him: “My word is Money, Bitch. Listen Up”
  8. Much of the ire is based on the video itself; many sites chose to re-quote each other simply because that’s faster than doing a manual transcription. That doesn’t mean we were all too lazy to watch the actual video

One reply on “Nathan Brown: Grow a pair, or stop reporting, please”

I have to sadly agree to this. I learned the hard way while attempting to market our upcoming game title that the mentions in the popular publications are dominated by the publishers that pay the most.

We were told by writers that our game looked great, but no time in the schedule to write about it because of scheduled review, mentions, or announcements.

You look back later at the same publication just to realize those important mentions were “Angry Birds Update” announcements or “Cut the Rope Added a Level”. I’m fortunately not bitter about it, because it actually inspires me to work much harder, but the reality of this article is sadly true.

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