Duke Nukem PR disaster chief: 'I won't apologise again'
21st Jun 2011 | 08:59
The boss of the US PR company that publicly slated reviews of Duke Nukem Forever has explained his actions in a defiant blog - in which he refuses to offer another apology for his outburst.
Jim Redner's one-man company, theRednerGroup, previously handled public relations duties for Duke Nukem Forever. However, following the exec's rant on Twitter last week, it was dropped by Duke publisher 2K - losing Redner a lucrative contract.
Rednerthreatened to stop sending review copies of games to critics who had written "venom-filled appraisals" of DNF - and was roundly turned on by journalists. He apologised to the Duke community and the press on Twitter shortly afterwards.
Writing in a new Wired blog (read the full thing through here), Redner said that he had "already apologized for my blunder and will not do so again", and revealed that it was a single review that provoked his moment of social media madness.
He added that he never used the specific word "blacklist" in his rant, and didn't support its notion - but defended a "a selection process" of choosing critics to review games using metrics such as Metacritic. He clarified that his anger was mainly directed at "just one review and it wasn't even the lowest scored review".
"I overreacted when I read the review and I vented on Twitter," he wrote. "It was an act of passion on my part that lacked objectivity. In my opinion, someone had gone over the top to attack the game and those who spent their lives trying to make it. Ultimately, I committed a cardinal sin in marketing.
He added: "Hardworking people, including myself, spent thousands of hours away from family and friends working on Duke Nukem Forever," he wrote. "The game is what it is, but we poured our hearts into bringing the game back from video game purgatory. That single story hurt and I acted rashly, vented my frustration and I am paying for my actions, more so than you know. Shouldn't the journalist have to pay for his? Should I continue to support him?"
Redner continued: "My tweet did not name names or point specific fingers. I made a blanket statement. My anger was directed at one story that had gone too far in my opinion, to which I am entitled. That story and the writer will remain nameless. I am not interested in shouting matches and I cannot compete with a large site with tens of thousands of followers. TheRednerGroup is only me, and that writer could bring another onslaught upon me with the click of the enter key on his computer. In hindsight, what I should have done was contact that writer directly and had an adult conversation about the issue, as I have done in the past...
"It is my opinion that when someone exceeds their journalistic integrity and publishes a scathing, derogatory, uncalled-for review, I have the right to question it. Integrity isn't a badge that can be waved around to suit your situation. It is a lifestyle. If you ask for a copy of the game for review, you have an ethical duty to provide a fair review of the game. You do not have to like the game. You do not have to publish a glowing review. However, you must be fair and accurate. You owe it to your audience, yourself and the video game community...
"Our job is to promote and protect the game. Why would I send out a product for review to someone who has previously shown that they unfairly write over-the-top stories? Let's look at this in a different context. If I walked up to you today, and you hit me in the face as a form of greeting, do you think that I should I approach you again tomorrow? Would you?"
Redner remained firm in his appraisal that: "We should not supply games to journalists who are capable of such hatred."
He commented: "As PR professionals, it is our job to protect the game we represent. We should not supply games to journalists who are capable of such hatred. Life is too short to surround ourselves in such baseless hatred. We should focus on the hundreds of other writers who are capable of being fair, even when writing a poor or low scoring review. Reviews are subjective but fairness should always be a constant."