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Wonderdog
Member
(09-26-2008, 04:15 PM)
Joystick Division has up an awesome story about Triplepoint PR, a video game industry PR agency that for quite awhile has been running a video game editorial site. They interview the owner of the PR company and in the course of trying to explain himself, pretty much just digs himself a deeper and deeper hole.

Is this a common thing in the gaming industry on the pr agency side?

http://www.joystickdivision.com/2008...sters.php#more

Not only does he implicated himself as basically running two companies together that have a huge conflict of interest, he also manages to insult the journalists his company is targeting. Good show. Triplepoint for the fail.

Some memorable quotes from Kain:

"Quite honestly, we had not given it that much thought, but we are, you know, we are thinking about doing that as we speak."

On disclosing TriplePoint and GameCyte's relationship to GameCyte's readers.

"The frustration with the game (journalism) websites is the quality level. The quality level was... pretty poor in many respects."
On why games journalism has a bad reputation.

"I think people are responding to the high quality of work they see there."
Explaining GameCyte's remarkable access to game companies.
Last edited by Wonderdog; 09-26-2008 at 04:50 PM.
dionysus
Yaldog
(09-26-2008, 04:17 PM)
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Real games journalism? Imagine that.
rjcc
Member
(09-26-2008, 04:17 PM)
has anyone ever heard of, or care about, triplepointpr or gamecyte?


I've never heard of joystick division either, although the joystick / joyst*q confusion in the article is hilarious.
davepoobond
you can't put a price on sparks
(09-26-2008, 04:18 PM)
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ok, i dont know what the huge deal here is on account i've never even heard of TriplePoint and I don't know what "GameCyte" is, nor do i think most people do.

its probably interesting that a PR company runs a gaming site as well, but its not exactly illegal, even if there is a conflict of interest.


but then you have to ask yourself which companies/games does TriplePoint even represent that would result in a conflict of interest?
Danj
Member
(09-26-2008, 04:20 PM)
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If it was a major well-respected site then I guess it'd be more of a big deal but frankly like others in this thread I have never heard of "GameCyte". Knowing that it's a PR mouthpiece just means I'm even less likely to go there than I was before.
The Faceless Master
(09-26-2008, 04:29 PM)
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'gamecyte'

:lol :lol :lol

videogame journalism...
Phthisis
Member
(09-26-2008, 04:46 PM)
TriplePoint PR represents Natural Motion (makers of Euphoria engine and Backbreaker), EA, Nyko, Yuke's, Vicious Cycle Software, and D3 among others.

They're pretty well-known around the industry.
cnc137
Member
(09-26-2008, 04:48 PM)
I have never heard of GameCyte or Joystick Division until this post. I have heard of TriplePoint PR and they have sent press releases to us for inclusion on our site.

This whole thing reminds me of the PSP blog that Sony setup a year or two ago.

Does GameCyte only review and talk about the games that TriplePoint PR are promoting?

Do the games they are promoting conveniently get higher scores on GameCyte?

If either of the above are the case, then this would look very bad, but if they cover everything and give fair reviews of all products then I guess it isn't too bad. I probably won't go back to either of those sites, but hopefully the people that do visit are getting accurate information that has not been tweaked to help TriplePoint PR's clients.
bryehn
Member
(09-26-2008, 04:55 PM)
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What's a GameCyte?
Wonderdog
Member
(09-26-2008, 05:03 PM)

Originally Posted by bryehn

What's a GameCyte?

I suggest you read the story to find out. :)
brandonnn
BEAUTY&SEXY
(09-26-2008, 05:21 PM)
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This is essentially much ado about nothing, and seems to only really highlight incredulous naivete on the part of the interviewer (I'm not entirely clear what points he's trying to make re: getting into Nintendo/EA events -- they're not as exclusive as he's making it sound), and he damns himself at the end by openly admitting he can't find any evidence of untoward behavior (but god-dammit he really wants his scoop!).

For what it's worth, the -Cytes came onto my radar several months ago via some smart link-blagging-emails to other journos, and to their credit the content was a half tick above a lot of other industry coverage, enough for me to make note of the names.

Also -- full disclosure!!1 -- while I have no formal ties to any parties involved, they did mention me by name once, so be sure to view this through your Illuminati-tinted glasses.
cedric69
Member
(09-26-2008, 05:27 PM)
There's no need for finding proof of bad behaviour. This is something that should not be.

The majority of readers won't know about the conflict of interests and won't be equipped to properly judge if what they read is or is not bad behaviour.
Ryuukan
Member
(09-26-2008, 05:53 PM)
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This article is just sensationalist BS.

From said article:
'Richard Kain, TriplePoint PR’s General Manager and Founder, in fact formed a new company – Pantheon Labs – under TriplePoint’s roof to create GameCyte, as a way to bring “quality journalism” to the gaming media – and then deliberately concealed his ownership of Pantheon and GameCyte.com using domain privacy services like Domains By Proxy, a Joystick Division investigation indicates.'

I went to gamecyte.com and clicked 'ABOUT':
'Richard Kain, Publisher: Richard Kain is the lead investor of Pantheon Labs, LLC, TriplePoint PR, and various technology and video game companies “including Telltale, Unknown Worlds, and Mindfuse.'

This took me all of 10 seconds to 'investigate'. This joystickdivision should be joining the blocked list here.
Wonderdog
Member
(09-26-2008, 06:07 PM)

Originally Posted by Ryuukan

This article is just sensationalist BS.

From said article:
'Richard Kain, TriplePoint PR’s General Manager and Founder, in fact formed a new company – Pantheon Labs – under TriplePoint’s roof to create GameCyte, as a way to bring “quality journalism” to the gaming media – and then deliberately concealed his ownership of Pantheon and GameCyte.com using domain privacy services like Domains By Proxy, a Joystick Division investigation indicates.'

I went to gamecyte.com and clicked 'ABOUT':
'Richard Kain, Publisher: Richard Kain is the lead investor of Pantheon Labs, LLC, TriplePoint PR, and various technology and video game companies “including Telltale, Unknown Worlds, and Mindfuse.'

This took me all of 10 seconds to 'investigate'. This joystickdivision should be joining the blocked list here.

did you actually read the entire story? they added that part in AFTER they were interviewed.
davepoobond
you can't put a price on sparks
(09-26-2008, 06:14 PM)
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so who is Joystick Division owned by?
Wonderdog
Member
(09-26-2008, 08:09 PM)
apparently by The Village Voice. and here I thought it would be a rival PR agency.
GPsych
Member
(09-26-2008, 08:15 PM)
Whatever, isn't Neogaf just a PR firm secretly owned by Sega in an effort to raise awareness about the impending release of the ultimate console, Dreamcast 2: The Revenge? :)

-G
texmex113
Banned
(09-26-2008, 08:16 PM)
This is so slimey. Sony did a blog that was supposed to be legit a couple years ago, and it was a PR shitstorm. What a moron, this Kain. Say bye bye to your clients!
Justin Bailey
------ ------
(09-26-2008, 08:18 PM)
Gamecyte sounds like a name for a tumor.
Wonderdog
Member
(09-26-2008, 09:28 PM)
gets better. guy who owns the company posts a comment, digging the hole deeper.
Jme
Member
(09-26-2008, 09:31 PM)
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Almost as funny as ReviewRantsAndRandomness (aka The Three R's apparently, I've never heard of them) trying to sell good reviews.

http://blog.forumwarz.com/2008/9/18/...ame-journalism
GDJustin
stuck my tongue deep inside Atlus' cookies
(09-26-2008, 09:39 PM)
I don't have anything to add to this really.

Just wanted to say that TriplePoint is one of the better-known gaming-focused PR agencies. They used to be Kohnke Communications, and they rep Yukes, D3, and others.

So for those that haven't heard of them... do you work in games? Do you know Golin/Harris or Gonzo Communications or Edelman... etc?
x3sphere
Member
(09-26-2008, 09:52 PM)
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Does GameCyte only review and talk about the games that TriplePoint PR are promoting?

Do the games they are promoting conveniently get higher scores on GameCyte?

I haven't checked their review section personally, but on the news side, definitely not. I know the assistance editor at GameCyte and honestly, I think they run a good site. They've put up some interesting interviews in the past, too, this one with Flagship Studios is a prime example:

http://www.gamecyte.com/captaining-t...travis-baldree
Dali
(09-26-2008, 09:55 PM)
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Originally Posted by Danj

If it was a major well-respected site then I guess it'd be more of a big deal but frankly like others in this thread I have never heard of "GameCyte". Knowing that it's a PR mouthpiece just means I'm even less likely to go there than I was before.

Aren't most all gaming sites just PR mouthpieces though? Seems like they are just cutting out the middle man.
Wonderdog
Member
(09-26-2008, 09:59 PM)

Originally Posted by x3sphere

I haven't checked their review section personally, but on the news side, definitely not. I know the assistance editor at GameCyte and honestly, I think they run a good site. They've put up some interesting interviews in the past, too, this one with Flagship Studios is a prime example:

http://www.gamecyte.com/captaining-t...travis-baldree

Way to pick the worst example of non-bias ever.

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/con...ractor_id=5282

Seems TriplePoint (Kohnke) did PR work for Flagship Studios.
Wonderdog
Member
(09-26-2008, 11:50 PM)
Sorry for the double post, but I'm really curious to see if any folks here (who happen to be in gaming PR) find this kind of situation a problem.

Anyone?
davepoobond
you can't put a price on sparks
(09-27-2008, 02:12 AM)
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Originally Posted by GDJustin

I don't have anything to add to this really.

Just wanted to say that TriplePoint is one of the better-known gaming-focused PR agencies. They used to be Kohnke Communications, and they rep Yukes, D3, and others.

So for those that haven't heard of them... do you work in games? Do you know Golin/Harris or Gonzo Communications or Edelman... etc?


OOOOHHH....i was wondering what happened to them...

the reason I don't know about them is because I've had trouble with them over a couple...things...and I was probably not put on their new PR lists when they changed their name

and of course i know Golin/Harris, Gonzo, and Edelman. I just had no idea Kohnke changed into TriplePoint, nor did i even hear anything from them...

edit: actually, now that i search my gmail for the company, i always thought that "VerticalWire" was the one that was sending out emails for the companies, just didnt realize it was TriplePoint that is in charge of VerticalWire/GameWire thing.
Last edited by davepoobond; 09-27-2008 at 02:15 AM.
Wonderdog
Member
(09-29-2008, 05:07 PM)
For folks who missed it ealier:

Link: http://www.joystickdivision.com/2008...wo_masters.php

Seems there are more pieces to this puzzle than earlire thought, including ANOTHER shady PR agency that's being run by Rich Kain - Odyssey Labs PR. Same physical address as TriplePoint AND Gamecyte, still with only the most minimal of disclosure.

Given how every one is on edge post Gertsmann-gate, I don't see how this story isn't a pretty major beat in terms of journallism and the gaming industry. As a gamer, and someone who's visited Gamecyte before (mostly due to links from other blogs and sites to it), I feel cheated about the relationship between TriplePoint PR and Gamecyte. They may be a tiny gaming site, but this sort of thing sets precedent for other shady companies to od the same thing themselves.
NintendoGal
Member
(09-29-2008, 05:10 PM)
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Just out of curiosity, why are you bumping this so much? Do you work for Joystick Division?
borghe
Loves the Greater Toronto Area
(09-29-2008, 05:10 PM)
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I remember when there was such a thing as gaming journalism. It started with EGM back in '88 and ended with NextGen in the late '90s.

edit - to be fair, computer gaming world was awesome and existed well before '88.
Mario
Sidhe / PikPok
(09-29-2008, 08:39 PM)
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Originally Posted by Wonderdog

Seems there are more pieces to this puzzle than earlire thought, including ANOTHER shady PR agency that's being run by Rich Kain - Odyssey Labs PR. Same physical address as TriplePoint AND Gamecyte, still with only the most minimal of disclosure.

Odyssey Labs was set up seperately to do the PR for Age of Conan so as to avoid a conflict of interest with other games being represented by TriplePoint. Don't think the gig lasted long enough to set up in a seperate office, but it was the intent (the guy repping us at TriplePoint was moving across to Odyssey and wouldn't be able to rep us any more).

On a seperate note, TriplePoint helped us with the GripShift launch on XBLA last December. Can't see any coverage on GameCyte for it.

We aren't with them any more, but all the people we worked with at least were all above board and good people.
Ryuukan
Member
(09-29-2008, 08:41 PM)
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Good lord, just say you wrote the article and come clean already. You look ridiculous.

Originally Posted by Wonderdog

For folks who missed it ealier:

Link: http://www.joystickdivision.com/2008...wo_masters.php

Seems there are more pieces to this puzzle than earlire thought, including ANOTHER shady PR agency that's being run by Rich Kain - Odyssey Labs PR. Same physical address as TriplePoint AND Gamecyte, still with only the most minimal of disclosure.

Given how every one is on edge post Gertsmann-gate, I don't see how this story isn't a pretty major beat in terms of journallism and the gaming industry. As a gamer, and someone who's visited Gamecyte before (mostly due to links from other blogs and sites to it), I feel cheated about the relationship between TriplePoint PR and Gamecyte. They may be a tiny gaming site, but this sort of thing sets precedent for other shady companies to od the same thing themselves.

schild
Member
(09-29-2008, 08:43 PM)
Atlus uses Odyssey Labs also.

edit: Honestly, I can't really say any PR is really good in the industry. It's all a mess and frankly, the reason you're not seeing this Gamecyte shit anywhere is because no one cares. Like, not even one bit. It's sorta important for Triplepoint to not let this out but at the same time the entire existence of gaming journalism relies on PR recognizing they're an important part of the cycle - and vice versa. If developers actually hired their own PR people, the entire structure of PR in the gaming industry as we know it would cease to exist. Why? Because they _aren't_necessary_. In short, Gaming journalism does PR for the industry already but hey, we gotta put those Communications degrees to work somewhere.
davepoobond
you can't put a price on sparks
(09-29-2008, 09:52 PM)
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Originally Posted by schild

Atlus uses Odyssey Labs also.

edit: Honestly, I can't really say any PR is really good in the industry. It's all a mess and frankly, the reason you're not seeing this Gamecyte shit anywhere is because no one cares. Like, not even one bit. It's sorta important for Triplepoint to not let this out but at the same time the entire existence of gaming journalism relies on PR recognizing they're an important part of the cycle - and vice versa. If developers actually hired their own PR people, the entire structure of PR in the gaming industry as we know it would cease to exist. Why? Because they _aren't_necessary_. In short, Gaming journalism does PR for the industry already but hey, we gotta put those Communications degrees to work somewhere.


i have to agree that this is pretty much what it comes down to, but PR is still necessary. Game sites might do the majority of the "indirect" advertising for games and stuff but there still needs to be people that put information about the game out there, and sometimes its just cheaper to go with an agency that covers a lot of games.

gaming journalism doesn't do all of the PR for the industry. they couldn't. There needs to be people that disseminate assets, send out reviewables, and stuff that only people with some sort of access to that information can do, without it being some nerdy 15 year olds who think they can write. Not to mention other advertising/marketing things that are done for particular games...

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