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Christian Allen Interview—The State of #GamerGate and the Video Games Industry

middle-earth shadow of mordor 01-10-15-1

Previously, we interviewed Christian Allen of Halo: Reach, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter fame for his thoughts on the ongoing debate of ethics in games journalism that is part of the #GamerGate discussion.

One interview wasn’t enough, so in this second we’ve decided to focus a bit more on the current state of #GamerGate, and the gaming industry by extension. Where should #GamerGate focus its efforts? What should it improve on?


Niche Gamer: I’m curious what kind of reactions, both public and private, you received after doing our previous interview? Were there people condemning you?

Christian Allen: Well, my twitter definitely blew up the first night, so much so I had to turn my phone off! In general I’d say the response was generally positive. There were a few folks who said some nasty things, and a few comments that said I had been “weaponized,” although I don’t really understand what that means.

Privately, my game dev friends thought the interview went well and didn’t really see what I said that was controversial, although a few expressed concern that I would “engage the internet”. We’ve all had colleagues swatted or with hacked live accounts, etc., so there is always a concern.

NG: Has this changed your perception on GamerGate at all?

CA: Well, I definitely learned a whole lot more about it, that’s for sure, both what advocates and detractors label it as. I’ve also learned that Twitter is a very poor communication device. Things are easily taken out of context or confused, and a lot of the time it just feels like people standing in a room screaming insults at each other.

NG: Do you feel like GamerGate is a leaderless resistance to corrupt, rabid, ideologues? If not, what is it?

CA: I think one of the challenges in discussing GamerGate is that is seems that somehow the discussion has become polarized along conservative/progressive lines, and that is never a good thing. I think part of the issue that many gamers are acting out on is that they may feel disenfranchised from a traditionally liberal games media (similar to the Kotaku article I wrote on games and guns), and that is fine, but a red/blue divide is not something that gaming needs, it isn’t healthy. The games industry, and by extension, the games media, has always been a more liberal scene, that’s fine, but when people start blasting away at each other as if this is an MSNBC “debate”, that does nothing to promote games as a medium.

Because of this, instead of rationally discussing issues, people take ideological sides that often don’t seem rational, or lump everyone together on the “other side”. Also, because of the closed loop echo chamber that social media can become if you actively block everyone who says anything you disagree with (I’ve only blocked a few folks who actually sent threats, or were over-the-top racist), things aren’t communicated well in the debate. I got blocked by a few prominent folks just for responding to a post that I was Facebook friends with an “anti” GamerGater. They obviously didn’t read what I said, they just preemptively blocked me. That is not a discussion.

NG: As we mentioned in our previous interview, many GamerGate-detractors like to associate GamerGate with harassment and misogyny. To eliminate this, should GamerGate elect some form of spokesperson, and define a set list of goals/stipulations?

CA: I don’t necessarily think an individual spokesperson, that would be tough, but I do think a list of goals or stipulations would be helpful, and a consistent message that rejects hate. I know a lot of people disagreed with my take on rebranding, but when the coverage you are getting mainly revolves around doxing and swatting people, then you have a problem. I think Gamergate, if it is a leaderless movement, faces the same challenges that Anonymous, Occupy, Ferguson, etc. faced. When you have no core group representing an activist idea, anyone can say they represent it, or anyone against it can pin actions to it.

Look at it from another angle. If I go out tomorrow and swat the head of Fox News, and post #nationaldemocraticcommitte, no journalist is going to blame the democratic party, or at least they will email the democratic party and ask for their opinion. But if I do the same thing from an “Anon”-named twitter account, the headline will read “Online hacktivists Anonymous swat head of Fox News.”

NG: On the subject of censorship, the game Hatred has been getting a lot of … well, hatred. Do you feel that game goes too far, or are people simply looking for a scapegoat?

CA: I think the game is designed to elicit outrage as a marketing move, and it worked. But, I support the devs’ right create it and sell it, regardless of whether I like it or not. At the time of the outrage, I compared it to the Uwe Bolle movie, Rampage. It is the exact same type of content, only interactive. And it’s downright tame compared to something like the Saw sequels (from what I’ve seen). It’s a bit amusing to me that I reserve my moral outrage for actions that repress people’s individual rights and freedoms, not at the equivalent of a teenage boy doodling on his school book cover. I am more offended that we, as a human race, keep paying money to see Transformers movies.

That being said, I also support Steam’s ability to decide what goes in their marketplace, just like Microsoft and Sony do. I’m not going to boycott Walmart for not selling hardcore pornography. Steam is a business, and makes business decisions. But, of course, I’m not going to let my 8-year-old download whatever she wants off Steam without supervision.

NG: You mentioned the only game that should be censored is one that steals copyrighted content. Do you still hold firm in that statement, in regards to sexual/titillating games, ultra violent ones (like Hatred), etc?

CA: Absolutely. Censorship is poison, regardless of the target. Of course, that also applies to people voicing their opinion. If someone wants to declare that a particular piece of content is racist, sexist, etc., they can do that all they want. But I get to decide what kind of content I get to experience. Not someone else. It they want to make a game that looks like some schizophrenics sick fantasy, have at it. I’m not gonna buy it, but a lot more people will because of the “controversy”.

NG: So gamers have the inkling that review scores are literally negotiated for, and you confirmed it previously. Could you give us an example of this, how it goes down?

CA: I do want to clarify a bit. It’s normally not as blatant as “we will give you money if we get an eighty”, it’s a bit more subtle than that. More along the lines of “Hey, before we talk about this exclusive, I got word that X game was trending in the high seventies with your guys. I know there were some issues, but you gave Y game an eighty, and we firmly believe this is an eighty title. We REALLY need this one to be an eighty. OK, let’s talk about exclusive assets now.” And bam, eighty.

There is also the practice of paying game reviewers for what are called “mock reviews.” A journalist will come in and play the game, and write a review for the publisher, with their projected score. This helps the publisher in focusing on last minute problems, as well as what features stand out for them to focus the press talking points on (as well as marketing spend). Now, from what I know, none of those reviewers ACTUALLY then went and reviewed the specific game they were paid to “mock review”, but someone else from their organization did, and to my knowledge they weren’t banned from reviewing that publisher’s future titles (although I could be wrong on that one).

I’ve also heard of publishers putting heat on Metacritic to remove outlying review scores that drag the numbers down, although the specific case I know of I don’t believe they were successful.

NG: If you were to guess, how often does this happen? Does this happen mostly at the AAA level with big marketing budgets, at the indie level, or both?

CA: It happens all the time at the AAA level. There is a whole raft of pressure, both positive and negative, that PR and Marketing folks, even legal, can bring to bear. It’s their job.

One time, I was doing press for a game, and I got seriously ill. I was hospitalized for a few weeks. When I get back, I open up a gaming magazine to read a two-page interview with my name on it. Only I didn’t write it. The PR folks didn’t want to hint that I was sick, so they wrote the interview for me, without my knowledge. That’s not the magazine’s fault, as I don’t think they knew about it, but it’s an example of the kind of things that are not divulged to the public.

On the indie level, it’s more about who you know. Indies are basically at the mercy of journalists, so the situation is reversed.

NG: Could you divulge a game this has happened with?

CA: No. Anything like that would be covered by a Non-Disclosure Agreement, in games we are NDAd out the yin yang. I will say it did not involve games I worked on, I just happened to be in the room to demo my game.

NG: How often do situations like the Jeff Gerstmann fiasco happen, i.e. a big, bloated marketing campaign from a dev/pub pressuring an outlet to silence or fire a writer?

CA: The pressure is always there, although I think the Gerstmann fiasco, targeting a specific writer, is more rare than an overall strategy to pressure publications for higher review scores, or suppressing bad ones. I have heard marketing and PR folks talking about “getting back” at certain publications for “fucking us”, and if I heard things like that I’m sure the pressure is there. Also, if you notice, a lot of times some games don’t seem to get any day one reviews, and then a week or two after release, you’ll see a flood of bad reviews. This is because often times if a game is expected to have bad reviews, the publisher will simply hold it and not send out review copies until after launch. The publications have to know this, but you never see reporting on it.

NG: Do you feel the reason GamerGate hasn’t been successful with engaging the AAA devs is because they, like you, are legally bound to numerous NDAs?

CA: Oh, definitely that is one reason. If I worked at a AAA developer right now, I would never have been able to weigh in. Interviews are tightly controlled and reviewed by PR, and oftentimes even legal. Social media policies usually restrict what devs can say related to pretty much anything. One company had legal come to brief us on their social media policy, and it was so restrictive, that by the letter of the code, we couldn’t say ANYTHING regarding any of the company’s (and parent company’s) products. Period.

Also, I’m sure some do not want to have anything to do with GamerGate because of the perception of a group of doxing trolls. Regardless of the reality either way, this is how many perceive GG, and it doesn’t help that things like the attempted swatting of a critic happens literally while I am writing this interview response. You gotta figure out a way, somehow, to separate your issues from what these trolls are doing (from what I read, for “the lulz”) that are being associated with GG.

NG: Percentage wise, through your experiences, how many of the major gaming websites are “bought” when it comes to coverage?

CA: All of the big sites are subject to it. If they are big enough to matter, they are big enough to warrant advertising and junkets. If they are big enough to warrant junkets and advertising, they are susceptible to pressure. It’s the nature of the industry. It’s the same with any fan/user based press, no different than the car industry or the firearms industry. Look up the Remington R51 and Shooting Times magazine. Same shit. Until we have a games “Consumer Reports” you will be putting up with this, and need to do due diligence get the true story.

That isn’t to say that all games journalists are bought and paid for. I consider many games journalists my friends. But there is no realistic separation from game publishers and the gaming press. If a gaming site consistently writes bad reviews of a publisher’s title, that publisher is not going to invite that site to its events or send them early copies of the game. It’s simple. That is one reason why you see such disparity in review scores between titles from major publishers and smaller titles. It’s for a easy for a reviewer to give a title a 2/10 when there are no repercussions, but if you don’t like it and there can be repercussions, best to go with a 6.5/10. It sends the same message but you have wiggle room the next time PR comes calling.

NG: There are a few, noticeable reports of inhumane working conditions in the video games industry. Is this a common thing? Only in the AAA scene?

CA: I wouldn’t use the word “inhumane”. When I think inhumane I think of Thai sweatshops or Indian shipyards. Us game developers don’t work 18 hours a day in sweltering heat sewing or cutting up old ships while sucking in poison gas.

That being said, game devs do work long hours and deal with tons of stress, often only to be laid off after a project ships and makes millions of dollars for a publisher. Because game development is such a desirable occupation, there are hundreds of people lined up for every job, and work/life balance is often an issue. However, lots of that failure of work/life balance is voluntary.

You definitely give things up if you want to succeed. The guy or gal who puts in more hours often can move beyond the parent who works 8-5. The “stars” are the ones there at midnight, and after a decade, it’s easy to find yourself realizing you have neglected your family and are suffering the consequences.

Indie or AAA, I don’t think it matters on the work load. I worked a metric shit-ton more hours on TAKEDOWN than when I was working on what would become Shadow of Mordor. I worked more and harder because it was my own project, and I was dedicated to it. So did my crew. Working until one or two in the morning was commonplace. We had a small team and we did what we could. If anything, AAA dev is trying to change it into a more normal job, because they don’t want to get sued, and staff burnout is a real issue. As many of us get older, it often becomes a choice between a family and a career. Such is life.

NG: Would you say developers themselves, big and small, tend to go through revolving doors?

CA: Yes, I’m seeing it more and more. As a dev, you often hit a wall, or are pigeon-holed into a position, and the only way to move up is to move. Alternatively, many low- and mid-level devs get stuck in a rotation of layoffs or short-term contract work, some working years without ever getting a full dev cycle under their belt. It’s a tough situation, and one of the reasons our industry has such a high burn rate.

NG: What are your thoughts on extremely strict/debilitating DRM? Is it necessary?

CA: DRM is stupid. It doesn’t do anything good, and only burns paying customers. Pirates will pirate. That being said, I’ve had my own run-ins with DRM when I said TAKEDOWN would be DRM-free, but then it was released on Steam. I didn’t know that some people consider Steam to be DRM. I then spent considerable resources trying to make the game run without Steam, so the anti-DRM’s would be happy. In the end, it bit me in the ass. Some Steam features were not available at launch because of my insistence that the game run without it, but this affected regular Steam users adversely. The whole thing sucks for a game dev.

DRM sucks, and pirates suck. Fuck DRM, and double-fuck pirates. Pirates are people that break into your house and steal your money, and DRM is a trap on your street that slams down on passersby’s ankles. Neither is a good thing.

NG: Where do you see the industry in ten years? Are we approaching an all-digital standard any time soon?

CA: Honestly, I would have thought we would be there by now. A few years ago I honestly believed that the next/current gen consoles would be digital only. Unfortunately, the power of GameShit prevented that. In ten years, we will be a fully digital industry. What role the consoles (if any) play in that will be up to them, but we should closely watch the evolution of the TV/movie media industry and how users consume and access that content.

NG: Will there be another set of home consoles from the big three?

CA: I think we will continue to see infiltration into digital gaming from outside sources, like Roku, Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. It will be really interesting to see who the “big three” in gaming are in ten years. I suspect it will not be Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. As to another set of consoles, yes, I do think there will be at least one more generation. Publishers like consoles. It makes games much easier to develop and market for, as well as knowing the installed user base, and prices are fixed. I think Onlive scared folks away for a bit, but the future is all digital. You may be buying gift cards with download codes, but you won’t be sticking a disk into a box.

NG: What is Serellan working on now? Anything you’d care to bump?

CA: At Serellan, we have just started a new indie project, code-named Epsilon. We haven’t released anything about it yet, but I hope that folks that support indie devs will swing by www.serellan.com or follow me on @serellan to keep an eye on what we are doing. I hope to announce the project soon.

NG: For the people still out there supporting GamerGate, what advice do you have for them?

CA: Be nice. You can disagree while still being nice. Tell people who are not nice to go away. We should all be nice to each other.


I’d like to thank Christian Allen for taking part in this interview with us, as we cover #GamerGate and issues concerning ethics in the gaming industry. If you’re a game developer, big or small, please consider reaching out to us and giving us your story! We’ll even keep you anonymous, if requested.

,
Brandon Orselli

About

Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive.



62 comments
  1. [CU]MadKnight Hatter
    [CU]MadKnight Hatter
    January 10, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Noice.

  2. plasmacutter
    plasmacutter
    January 10, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    I appreciate the insider look, and i’m not at all surprised.nngamergate is fighting the powerfully intrenched human vice of greed. The concept of “victory” is hard to pin when dealing with something like this, but it’s obvious the disconnect between audience experience and journalistic presentation has reached a breaking point.nnI work in saas. Thankfully our clients have the capacity to hire people whose sole purpose is to research the software for themselves.

  3. Fenrir007
    Fenrir007
    January 10, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    Rebranding happened before, twice already – it didn’t help, because we are going against the very ones who craft and spread the narrative. There is nothing we can do that will stop the media from hammering us, which is exactly why we should stop worrying about PR at all.nnA good example is the baph board. We have NOTHING to do with them. Their board preceded GG and our exodus to 8chan, and they always did that kind of thing AFAIK. However, the media and our detractors still link them to us, despite the fact that their own spray-and-pray actions resulted in baph getting caught in the fire and deciding to pay back the favor. Big surprise – you attack 8chan itself, every single board is affected, and some may not take that very kindly, especially when they weren’t even a part of this controversy to begin with.nnWe should keep watching the media like hawks and exposing their misdeeds, as well as reaching out with our rebuild initiatives and supporting the places, old and new, that abide to ethical standards like nichegamer. A new, alternative media is rising, and we should keep supporting that. More websites are on the way to give gamers back the tools to be properly informed on what matters (like metacritic alternatives and the like). This is far from over.

  4. Gristle
    Gristle
    January 11, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Someone did an interview in his name without telling him. WHAT? And it’s not an isolated case. How many fake interviews do you think you’ve read over the years?

  5. AAAgamedevActivision
    AAAgamedevActivision
    January 11, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Nice Interview. We can try and distance ourselves but we always do that. It’s the whole we condemn harassment image that I believe total biscuit has posted and even said on air and many have retweeted, agreed with, also recited by many people on streams. We had and maybe still do? Have the Gamergate harassment patrol. Which reported people being idiots. But no matter how far Gamergate distances itself those opposed to us will not let that be so. They will desperately try to pin everything and anything on Gamergate because it’s the stick they can use to try and beat the consumer revolt with. I respect you Mr Allen but on the other side of this some people are disingenuously miss representing Gamergate on purpose.nnESPN recently did a hit piece on Gamergate for example and it comes out that the guy who does it is friends with all the people Gamergate is fighting with. I mean that’s clearly a conflict of interest. Vox Media, Gawker Media places that Gamergate has cost money also will never be anything but biased on purpose. A lot of these groups have publications that use different names and if someone strays across them they might not know x y and z is actually under the Umbrella of Vox and Gawker. nnThe Developer from X box who had the problems with Xbro again who started writing shit about Gamergate because “mah friends” another person who will not be anything but disingenuous. No matter what evidence is presented.nnI’m glad Gamergate has gone on this long and even though it’s like herding cats sometimes I’m thankful Gamers are standing up.nnI’m not sold on this is being a left vs right issue either. All polls done always have Gamergate coming out as left wing majority with some conservatives and libertarians scatted through it. I’d say it’s normal people vs pro censorship and identity politics radicals.nnIn the end that’s why I support Gamergate. Gamergate will let me create whatever the hell I want good or bad they don’t give a fuck as long as it’s good, the other side? Anti-Gamergate? They’ll piss, moan send me death threats and most definably try and censor works if it offends their sensibilities. Forget that.nnGood luck on your next project. :)

  6. DM7
    DM7
    January 11, 2015 at 12:21 am

    pirates goes into your house and steal your money huh ?nnnwell.. i always try before i buy, because of a few reason :n1. i want to make sure that i like the game, and i don’t have infinite money, to just throws it around.n2. i want to know if my PC can handle it.n3. because i’ve been burned a lot, by dev abandoning a game that still needs fixing, and other similar thingsnnni never heard of your game, but i guess from now on, i wont bother with it, and i’ll make sure not to try or buy any of your games…nnnnice going, labeling all pirates as theft…nnnps : i have 700+ games on steam, and i also have hundreds of others on my multiple consoles….

  7. Alex Murdoc
    Alex Murdoc
    January 11, 2015 at 12:24 am

    Good stuff.nnnI didn’t agree with everything (re-branding, for example, which would be a useless endeavor, and was already done before), but I really enjoy hearing what actual devs think about #GamerGate, regardless of whether or not I completely agree.

  8. Notagoodname
    Notagoodname
    January 11, 2015 at 12:47 am

    “Iu2019ve also heard of publishers putting heatn on Metacritic to remove outlying review scores that drag the numbers ndown, although the specific case I know of I donu2019t believe they were nsuccessful.”nnnI would support that. Anything that hurts Metacritic’s credibility even more is a good thing.

  9. BlueLight
    BlueLight
    January 11, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Well that statement helps their credibility. nWhat it says is that MetaCritic doesn’t care about publishers bullying them.nnI to wish Meta Critic would roll up and die.

  10. BlueLight
    BlueLight
    January 11, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Ya that hyperbolic statement really does feel off target.

  11. Nin
    Nin
    January 11, 2015 at 2:23 am

    While all piracy is technically stealing, it’s not like the alternative is the person buying the game whether it be to money issues or the game just being shit. The issue is more complicated than if someone steals a physical car, especially since you don’t need money to replace said item no matter how many people steal it. Many people who do pirate do in fact end up buying the game when possible because they had the opportunity to try and enjoy it. Honestly, the best way to counteract this is to lower the prices significantly (which is why Steam and it’s frequent Steam sales are so successful). If that doesn’t help, then arguably, piracy wasn’t affecting sales as much as you thought.

  12. Nin
    Nin
    January 11, 2015 at 2:29 am

    The sad thing is that the longer gamergate absorbs the heat for baph’s actions, the more bold baph will get in their actions. That only hurts their clique more than it helps.

  13. Billy
    Billy
    January 11, 2015 at 2:37 am

    Big surprise – you attack 8chan itself, every single board is affected, and some may not take that very kindly, especially when they weren’t even a part of this controversy to begin with.

    nnThis right here. WTF were they thinking taking down 8chan? nnThere are a good number of boards who outright despise any mention of GG, but the anti-GG crowd made enemies out of neutrals. That’s the dumbest thing in the world. nnThese people and their silly actions are creating allies for #GamerGate (not always the best allies, but allies nonetheless). There’s nothing really anyone can do about it but keep pressing forward, and as you mention, support good websites like Niche Gamer and continue to expose impropriety by gaming media.

  14. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    January 11, 2015 at 2:41 am

    “seems that somehow the discussion has become polarized along conservative/progressive lines, and that is never a good thing.n I think part of the issue that many ngamers are acting out on is that they may feel disenfranchised from a ntraditionally liberal games media…”nnI disagree here. Back in the day when Jack Thompson came after violent games it wasn’t an issue of right against left. It was a battle for a gaming without censorship. The situation today isn’t much different, but the people who viciously attack our hobby are on the other side of the political spectrum. How ironic is it that they want the same thing – ban games they disapprove of and paint a picture of a gamer as a hyperconservative white basement dweller. If I recall the political chart correctly most GG-ers are libertarians, but the problem is that the gaming media is using progressiveness and diversity as a shield against valid criticisms (hence #notyourshield).

  15. Zanard Bell
    Zanard Bell
    January 11, 2015 at 4:10 am

    I don’t think anyone’s making this into a progressive vs conservative argument. Hell, I consider myself a Tea Party (far right to others, but considering I’m only for the taxation part, middle) guy, and I’m visibly surprised at the people I’m standing with claiming they are socialists. Good thing about GG is that it actually crosses ideological lines, and I’d really rather refer to Milo’s image about a majority of GGers being anarchist-leftists.

  16. Camarouge
    Camarouge
    January 11, 2015 at 4:38 am

    Awesome follow up, guys! Tremendously helpful interview.nnWe may have lost the PR battle but we honestly never intended to win it. Image and reputation are not important, the outcomes and changes to the games media that happen are. Those are what I focus on. Never will I say that GG is some sort of Justice League; we’re more like the Watchmen.

  17. BasedWolf
    BasedWolf
    January 11, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Honestly I wonder if there is some strategy not tried. Not rebranding but a message that’s hard to dismiss. nnSome kinda change that makes gg’a message easy to relay and concrete. If it’s not charity, thunderclaps, or infographics, what’s left?

  18. BasedWolf
    BasedWolf
    January 11, 2015 at 4:46 am

    I think the best thing about gg is its inclination to accepting diversity. So long as you’re not just lying to get your way you’re accepted.nnI appreciate the honesty of the people here even if it’s not always ideal.

  19. Holyfox25
    Holyfox25
    January 11, 2015 at 5:10 am

    Indeed. Coming from a right-libertarian, I see this as a Libertarian vs Authoritarian issue. We are pretty much tired of the “journalists” telling us how to feel, what is okay to play, and saying why we are terrible people because we like something different.nn But, the journalists are doing it for our own good apparently, because um…patriarchy.

  20. BasedWolf
    BasedWolf
    January 11, 2015 at 5:38 am

    Also I just want to say it’s sad that it’s our responsibilty for the media to be honest about reporting #GamerGate .nnWe’ve unfortunately given them an Avenue to manipulate and they took it to ignore the truth.

  21. R0CKY
    R0CKY
    January 11, 2015 at 5:46 am

    Are there still people really still trying to peddle this BS as justification for stealing games without paying for them? Tell it to the judge; tell the judge that yes you downloaded games without paying for them but you also buy a lot of games, see how far it gets you.nnDo you extend that BS philosophy to other parts of your life?nnDo you steal books and read a few chapters before deciding whether to buy it or not?nnDo you steal food products before deciding to buy just in case it is not to your taste?nnBut you think it’s okay to steal games? Games are not try-before-you-shareware and you know it.nnAnyone who has enough disposable income to have hundreds of games in steam does not NEED to steal games to try first. If you have HUNDREDS of games on steam, you most definitely DO have money to throw around, and you have NO excuse for piracy.nnIts a BS argument and I thought it dies out a decade ago, shame on you, as a gamer, for continuing to justify game piracy.

  22. Tech Stegosaurus
    Tech Stegosaurus
    January 11, 2015 at 6:00 am

    An absolute pleasure to read. Thank you Niche Gamer and Christian Allen. nnOne thing I do disagree with is the use of the term “red/blue” divide. I think that there is a divide, and everything you said to criticise it was reasonable, but it’s not “red/blue”, it’s two different subcategories of blue. Some have described it as “grey/blue” though. nnChristian, if you’re reading this comment you might find these articles from gamepolitics interesting: http://www.gamepolitics.com/2014/12/29/editorial-gamergate-political-attitudes-part-1-movement-right-wingnnhttp://www.gamepolitics.com/2014/12/30/gamergate-political-attitudes-part-two-old-liberals-vs-new-progressives

  23. Brandon Orselli
    Brandon Orselli
    January 11, 2015 at 9:44 am

    We’re probably going to do an audio/live interview soon – I’ll make sure to ask him.

  24. MaidKillua
    MaidKillua
    January 11, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Oh god digital only is gonna suck. I still dont get how people are so willing to hand over their money for something they really wont even own

  25. NuclearCherries
    NuclearCherries
    January 11, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Digital only isn’t happening yet because of people like me. I like to own a physical copy of a game. I then feel like I actually own something.

  26. Max Headroom
    Max Headroom
    January 11, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    I love how utterly pissy you are, R0CKY.

  27. Notagoodname
    Notagoodname
    January 11, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    “Hi, my name is NDA. I will render your questions absolutely pointless and very frustrating. Sucks to be you!”nnGood luck with that. I hope you’re not an optimist.

  28. Agamo
    Agamo
    January 11, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    “Do you steal books and read a few chapters before deciding whether to buy it or not?”nnYou don’t have to steal a book to read it, unless it’s in shrink wrap or something. Even if you’re buying from Amazon, they usually let you read the first one or two chapters.nn”Do you steal food products before deciding to buy just in case it is not to your taste?”nnI don’t think this example is really comparable. With a book, you don’t have to consume the item to sample it. Unless the store you’re at offers samples, you have to take at least one bite of the product you want to sample to get the information you want, e.g. taste, texture, spiciness, etc., and that’s assuming you don’t have to cook it first.nnThe fundamental issue with videogames is that, for most of them, there isn’t a way to sample them directly without pirating. If only there were some way you could do that. Maybe like how Amazon treats books, you could play the first one or two hours for free. A demonstration of how the game plays, you might say.

  29. Fenrir007
    Fenrir007
    January 11, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    The best strategy (and probably the only one left) is to never stop. Their lies keep being deconstructed daily. They can’t keep up the facade indefinitely. Like all liars, they inevitably end up contradicting themselves.

  30. Fenrir007
    Fenrir007
    January 11, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    A cursory look at the anti-consumer practises on the PC of Ubisoft is all you need to justify piracy in a “try-before-you-buy” sort of way.

  31. Nate Halbert
    Nate Halbert
    January 11, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    I love the smell of logic in the morning. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that anti-gg is out of it’s mind. I especially like the part about censorship being POISON. Nobody tells me what media I can and cannot consume. NOBODY.

  32. Nate Halbert
    Nate Halbert
    January 11, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    There are people from the left and right that support Gamergate. However, at times, it might seem like there can be more right-wingers because of the hate towards radical feminism. I mean, the president DID parrot the debunked gender wage gap and also the bullshit rape statistics that were DESTROYED by the DOJ report last month. BTW, I am actually more of a democrat myself. But GG now has me sitting more in the middle now.

  33. dsadsada
    dsadsada
    January 11, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    No picture this time? I was wondering if he’s still as cute as he was before.nnAnd I’m still not sure if that’s something he’d appreciate hearing from a straight man.nnJokes aside, I’m glad to hear his opinions on a lot of things. I still don’t agree with some of course, particularly digital only releases for the usual reasons. Unless it becomes law that I can continue to download something I’ve already payed for even if I were to have my account blocked, locked, or deleted by the distributor, I’m not looking forward to that future. Not that I plan on doing anything to get blocked, locked or deleted of course. It’s all about ownership really.nnAlso, “Do you feel like GamerGate is a leaderless resistance to corrupt, rabid, ideologues?” sounds like a loaded question if not for the “If not, what is it?” part. By the way, don’t we have things like a wiki that outlines GG’s goals or something?

  34. Nate Halbert
    Nate Halbert
    January 11, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    OMFG. Battlefield 4 launch made me lose my mind. F’ing EA.

  35. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    January 11, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Until you actually make a product and have it pirated, I don’t think you’re qualified to tell him how he should feel about it.

  36. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    January 11, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Metacritic is a review aggregator. It doesn’t have or not have credibility. It’s a collection of links and a mathematic formula.

  37. BlueLight
    BlueLight
    January 11, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Well it’s a aggregator site that literally fiddles around with the numbers it gets which i believe means it has the ability to have or have not creditability.

  38. BlueLight
    BlueLight
    January 11, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    The stream is non sense to me for sure. nI’d say GoG.com is digital done right. Basically you buy your game and it’s yours to own. You then download the games “Installer” which you can burn to any CD and install on any computer. It adds an extra step but even if the game is removed from your library you do own it assuming you took steps to secure it.

  39. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    January 12, 2015 at 12:32 am

    It *barely* fiddles. I’ve done straight calculations and the fiddling might move the score at maximum 1 or 2 points. Not anything to get uppity about.

  40. Steve Creampeen
    Steve Creampeen
    January 12, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Imagine if the PS4 and X1 were digital only. People would have had to go days/weeks without being able to buy or download anything because of Lizard Squad’s attacks. If console makers want a digital only future then they better start beefing up their infrastructures.

  41. plasmacutter
    plasmacutter
    January 12, 2015 at 12:48 am

    I have one word for you that destroys your entire argument and vindicates his:nn

    Destiny

    nnThat is all.

  42. Sam
    Sam
    January 12, 2015 at 1:57 am

    I disagree that #gamergate has anything to do with a right/left narrative. If anything, it’s authoritarian vs libertarian outlooks. Basically, we don’t want people all up in our shit.

  43. Heat
    Heat
    January 12, 2015 at 1:59 am

    good interview nice to see someone whos views on censorship mirror my own, it is poison whether you like the product in question or not. Glad he is anti-DRM though I don’t agree with the hating on pirates but at least he sees that DRM and more restrictions are not the answer.

  44. Heat
    Heat
    January 12, 2015 at 2:10 am

    kinda reminds me of sherlock holmes: game of shadows moriarty saying that holmes stopping him from profiteering off what would become WW1 was pointless that war on an industrial scale is inevitable cause we all subconsciously crave conflict all he had to do was wait till the time came for the war to start and for him to profit off of it. Some things like human nature can never be fully overcome but it is still a worthwhile fight, trying to stop their corruption from getting worse, maybe we won’t change the world but maybe just our small piece of it

  45. Notagoodname
    Notagoodname
    January 12, 2015 at 4:31 am

    I am using credibility to mean usefulness in purchasing decisions. When people visit Metacritic, they are looking for two things. The press coverage of the game, and the user feedback. If those who visit it start finding those stats less useful or honest, Metacritic loses credibility.nnMetacritic accurately represents the press coverage and also the user feedback. >> It gains credibility.nnMetacritic does not include the score of a prominent outlet. >> It loses credibility.nnMetacritic gets brigaded by players. >> It loses credibility.nnMetacritic puts one score for a review from an outlet, while the outlet itself puts another score. >> It loses credibility.nnMetacritic fiddles with numbers n such a way that the users notice the disparity. >> It loses credibility.nnMetacritic gets bought off. >> It loses credibility.nnPeople stop looking at scores. (A pipe dream, I know.) >> It becomes irrelevant, thereby losing all credibility.

  46. Maniate
    Maniate
    January 12, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    There have been two surveys to find where those who consider themselves part of the consumer revolt fall politically. The results for both put the vast majority squarely to the left. Wherever you got the idea this is a left/right or liberal/conservative thing, stop looking to them for information on this.

  47. Johnathon Tieman
    Johnathon Tieman
    January 12, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    If you get a chance to ask him, I would like to know what he thinks GamerGate can/should do to change its coverage in the media when one of GamerGate’s main complaints is with media bias? It seems like most of the people being interviewed think that if GamerGate did “X” (what “X” might be), all of a sudden the major news sites would start acknowledging the concern with bias and ethical lapses, and I am really interested in understanding why they think that.

  48. Austin
    Austin
    January 12, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    It’s like reading a check list of all the anti-#gamergate talking points.nnHe talks about rebranding, a list of goals, and even mentions that we should have a consistent message that rejects hate? We’ve been doing that for months, but we’re still terrorist neckbeards. He even acknowledges that the trolls, doxxing, and swatting might not be us, but still attributes it to #gamergate. Seriously? nn”but when the coverage you are getting mainly revolves around doxing and swatting people, then you have a problem”nWe’re getting that coverage because, surprisingly, media doesn’t want to talk about how they’re getting rightfully called out and would rather villainize #gamergate like it’s some kind of new internet boogeyman.

  49. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    January 12, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    What the hell can metacritic be “bought off” about? Your other complaints are fairly ridiculous also.nnRemember, “prominent outlets” can only get their score on metacritic if they submit it. Sounds like metacritic wasn’t to blame.

  50. Wrathful
    Wrathful
    January 12, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    The opposition I think had the most powerful weapon to easily win against this movement. With the media, you can control the majority and mislead them to believe any false lies. Thus, rebranding wouldn’t have worked neither having a leader in the movement yet the fact SJW are actually in the unfavourable position means they didn’t even need any help destroying themselves. Sooner or later, they will have to go whether they like it or not.nnnAnd I liked the interview for staying neutral but leaning towards GamerGate. I dislike it when any interview gets heavily biased towards either side. It was in depth and fully explained the developer’s position why they in general are reluctant to siding with this movement. It made a lot of sense. And he came off hell of a lot respectful than David Jaffe.

  51. Notagoodname
    Notagoodname
    January 13, 2015 at 12:17 am

    They weren’t complaints, they were hypotheticals. Each and every one of those hypotheticals can technically happen, or have happened in the past.nnRegarding the “bought off” hypothetical:nnAre the people working at Metacritic human? Yes.nDo they have the capability to change the numbers for a particular game if they desire to do so? Yes.nAre there people willing to pay for that? Yes.nHas it or will it ever happen? Probably not.nnDo you believe that game publishers do make these deals with Metacritic? No.nDo I believe that game publisher make these deals with Metacritic? No, I don’t believe that either.nWhy doesn’t Metacritic make such deals with the publishers? Because it doesn’t want to do stuff that will make it lose credibility.nnAs far as I personally am concerned, the Metacritic has credibility as far as to not be bought off by publishers, and no further. To you, Metacritic might have more or less credibility depending on how shady you believe the company to be.nnI am not sure as to why the concept of credibility is such a difficult thing. The exact amounts of credibility that Metacritic might or might not currently have is completely irrelevant to the idea of credibility as a whole.

  52. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    January 13, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Are you seriously suggesting they’re changing the score to nonsense not computable by the numbers displayed? That would be dumb. Really dumb.nnThese hypotheticals make you seem paranoid. Metacritic has NOTHING to gain by doing any of that.

  53. Notagoodname
    Notagoodname
    January 13, 2015 at 5:53 am

    “Are you seriously suggesting they’re changing the score to nonsense nnot computable by the numbers displayed? That would be dumb. Really ndumb.”nnNo, you can read it again. I said I do not believe that will ever happen. Because, as you said, it is really dumb. The reason it is dumb is because Metacritic would lose a lot of credibility if that ever happened.nn”These hypotheticals make you seem paranoid.”nThe purpose of a hypothetical is to illustrate a concept, in this case a concept of credibility, not to demonstrate how likely it is to happen. nn”Metacritic has NOTHING to gain by doing any of that.”nTechnically, if they were bought off, they would gain money. But if would have to take a lot of money before a deliberate sabotage of a company would start to make sense.

  54. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    January 13, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    So you’re saying metacritic has no credibility despite not doing things that would lose it credibility. What?

  55. Notagoodname
    Notagoodname
    January 13, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    I believe that Metacritic has credibility in that specific case of direct bribes. nI do not believe that Metacritic has very high credibility overall. I have not explained why I think that, and I am not going to because it is irrelevant to what I am arguing about.nnI am arguing against your statement that the idea of credibility does not apply to Metacritic. i.e.: “Metacritic is a review aggregator. It doesn’t have or not have credibility.”nAs a way to demonstrate that, I have used an example where Metacritic DOES have credibility. If you agree that Metacritic has credibility in that specific example, then you agree with me that the idea of credibility DOES apply to Metacritic.

  56. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    January 13, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    So metacritic doesn’t have credibility, but only if a bunch of very specific and extremely unlikely things occur!nnWhatever you say. I think you’re arguing just to argue at this point.

  57. Notagoodname
    Notagoodname
    January 14, 2015 at 6:11 am

    Eh, I’ll state this again.nnThe following assertion: “Metacritic is a review aggregator. It doesn’t have or not have credibility.” is wrong.nnnnWhether or not Metacritic currently has credibility is IRRELEVANT to disproving that.

  58. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    January 14, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Then I’ll state this again.nnnAssuming that metacritic is not inexplicably corrupt, it doesn’t have or not have credibility. It’s a simple review aggregator.

  59. Notagoodname
    Notagoodname
    January 14, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Ok then, I can work from there.nnCredibility is not simply based on (1) corruption,n(2) It is also dependent on the competence of the software used,n(3) And it is furthermore reliant on the credibility of the underlying numbers.nnnnI’ll elaborate on #3. If (Notice the IF statement!) Kotaku and IGN decide pull the review score out of their ass instead of looking at the merits of the game, then the scores of Kotaku and IGN for that game are useless to the consumer.nnnWherever those scores go now, they are still going to be completely and utterly useless to the consumer. If Metacritic now uses those scores, the total score number displayed will now ALSO be useless to the consumer. It is not Metacritic’s fault that the above-mentioned sites put bad scores out, but a review aggregate suffers if the scores it is relying on are tainted.nnnMetacritic would still have credibility of providing the total aggregate of all the scores!nBut would it be useful to the consumers? No. And Metacritic would lose credibility of being a place based on which people make judgements of where to buy their games from.

  60. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    January 14, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    So you agree metacritic’s credibility is based on that of their underlying numbers.nnnWhich is exactly what I said – metacritic does not have or not have credibility on its own.nnnYou agreed me with all along. It’s baffling that you argued for so long only to restate my opinion.

  61. Notagoodname
    Notagoodname
    January 15, 2015 at 11:35 am

    It’s not baffling if you keep adding keep adding conditionals to your statements.nnFirst you conceded that “if Metacritic is not inexplicably corrupt,” (Which as I already said I would love if it was, since it would sabotage its credibility.)nnNow you’re saying that “metacritic does not have or not have credibility on its own” which is DIFFERENT from “Metacritic is a review aggregator. It doesn’t have or not have credibility.”nnnBut the funny thing is, that STILL does not cover my (2) thing that I listed as the basis of credibility. The are a number of post existing and hypothetical problems with the structure of the site. I don’t know if you’re going to shift goalposts yet again, but should I elaborate on one of them, say cybermobs?

  62. GEhotpants101 .
    GEhotpants101 .
    January 15, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I think physical games will still be around in the future, if only for collectors. They could get even more money out of it because they’d be rare.