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Kotaku has been blacklisted by Bethesda Softworks and Ubisoft

It's also interesting to see which publishers aren't listed.

For example, they've leaked a zillion EA and Activision things, but they're not listed here.

Kotaku said:
A Price Of Games Journalism
Stephen Totilo

For the past two years, Kotaku has been blacklisted by Bethesda, the publisher of the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series. For the past year, we have also been, to a lesser degree, ostracized by Ubisoft, publisher of Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and more.

In those periods of time, the PR and marketing wings of those two gaming giants have chosen to act as if Kotaku doesn’t exist. They’ve cut off our access to their games and creators, omitted us from their widespread mailings of early review copies and, most galling, ignored all of our requests for comment on any news stories.


Neither company has officially told us that we’ve been cut off. For a time, it was possible to make a good-faith assumption that this was just a short-term disagreement. Maybe their spam filters were misplacing our emails. Maybe they’d get over it. Or perhaps they feared a repeat of 2007, when then-Kotaku editor-in-chief Brian Crecente embarrassed Sony out of blacklisting this outlet for reporting the existence of then-unannounced PlayStation projects.

...
In recent weeks, readers have asked questions. They’ve wondered why I, someone who has enthusiastically covered Assassin’s Creed games for years, didn’t review the most recent one. They’ve wondered why we didn’t seem to be subject to Fallout 4 embargoes of embargoes and why we didn’t have a review of that game on the day it came out. In both cases, we managed some timely coverage because Ubisoft and Bethesda did send review copies of their games to one of our remote freelancers, presumably with the hope he’d cover them for the other main outlet he writes for, The New York Times. Make no mistake, though, their efforts to shut out Kotaku have been unambiguous. Our colleagues across the world in Australia and the UK have been met with the same stony silence. Representatives from both publishers did not reply to requests to share their perspective for this story. Points for consistency.
Source: http://kotaku.com/a-price-of-games-journalism-1743526293

Updates:

Kotaku:

To be clear, we've been blacklisted by both companies. Because we do real reporting and refuse to act as publishers' marketing arms. If anyone has any questions, let me know.
Let's be clear about a few things. For one, the stories I'm most proud of writing are not stories about leaked Fallout 4 scripts or even the Prey 2 "press sneak fuck" e-mails. The stories I'm most proud of writing are real investigations, the type that reveal information nobody would have learned otherwise, whether it involves horrible working conditions, behind-the-scenes stories of how a game like Destiny turned out the way it did, or an explanation about what a highly-anticipated cancelled game like Titan actually was. You've all seen and hopefully appreciated those stories, so you know where I'm coming from here.

All that said, it is my responsibility as a reporter to serve my readers by reporting news about the gaming world, whether or not that's news that game companies are ready to announce. Kotaku does not work around publisher marketing plans. If someone sends me a tip that a studio has been shut down, I will investigate, assess the news value, and report. If someone sends me a leaked video, I will investigate, assess the news value, and report. Same with a script, screenshots, or whatever else people decide to pass my way, whether it's because they're mad at their employers or because they believe, as I do, that the video game industry's obsession with secrecy is irrational and misguided.

That doesn't mean I have or will publish every piece of information I get. But if something has news value, it's my responsibility to share it. The Fallout 4 scripts, for example, had news value in the wake of the Survivor 2299 hoax and frantic questioning about what Bethesda was actually working on. In the interest of serving readers, we chose not to post the pages that spoil what happens at the beginning of Fallout 4, and instead we just shared the two or three that we felt told the complete story -- that amidst all the hoaxes and rumors, it's true: Fallout 4 is real.

Other bits and pieces of information I've heard over the years, I've decided not to share, usually because it didn't have enough news value in our eyes. We have no interest in reporting on leaked games just for the sake of reporting on leaked games.

When publishers like Bethesda and Ubisoft decide to blacklist us for how we report, that's totally their prerogative. They have the right to work with whichever outlets they prefer, and I think it's been clear to anyone who reads Kotaku that their decisions have not affected our coverage of them or their games over the past two years. Nor will those decisions affect how we approach reporting on leaks in the future.

Polygon:

We were in a similar situation with one of those publishers for the past year, and it appears we just got a soft blacklisting from another major publisher. Typically what it does is make you double down on digging into them, coming away with a Fuck It attitude and rarely does it have the desired impact from publishers.
 

King Tubby

Member
Feb 22, 2013
6,000
0
385
Nothing of value was lost as far as I'm concerned.

Makes it that much more laughable that people championing ethics in games journalism focus on indie developers with no power or influence rather than AAA publishers.
 

Xater

Member
Jul 28, 2007
48,003
4
0
I think that's petty and also now the Streisand effect will do it's job. Good job publishers?
 

Lime

Member
Apr 27, 2008
26,894
0
0
Shows how rotten the games journalism business is with publishers wielding so much power in trying to control the message that will sell them the most copies.
 

OEM

Member
Nov 28, 2014
971
0
0
what the fuck. You are not allowed to criticise the game in professional manner?
 

Shenmue

Banned
Jul 23, 2015
2,468
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Interesting that its two publishers who have made some very high profile but horrible performing games.
 

firehawk12

Subete no aware
Sep 10, 2007
61,792
0
1,160
Toronto/Guelph
I wonder if people will care about this like they did with the older revelations like Ubi blacklisting EGM. The climate for games journalism has changed completely, it seems.
 

Averon

Member
Aug 27, 2008
10,062
0
1,080
Wasn't it Kotaku that first showed Ass Creed Syndicate artwork and the general premise of the game?
 

jschreier

Member
Jan 6, 2011
4,045
0
0
www.twitter.com
To be clear, we've been blacklisted by both companies. Because we do real reporting and refuse to act as publishers' marketing arms. If anyone has any questions, let me know.
 
Jun 27, 2015
12,541
2
345
Well stop fucking leaking things then. If you're privy to information that you know will be officially announced soon, then why damage your relationship with that company by leaking it earlier? Leaks aren't doing some "public good" or bringing to light anything games need to know and can't wait a while to find out
 

Bossun

Member
Jun 13, 2011
1,827
0
0
Once again the gaming industry goes out of its way to show how petty and unprofessional it is.
 

Geek

Ninny Prancer
Feb 2, 2005
4,240
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We were in a similar situation with one of those publishers for the past year, and it appears we just got a soft blacklisting from another major publisher. Typically what it does is make you double down on digging into them, coming away with a Fuck It attitude and rarely does it have the desired impact from publishers.

Well stop fucking leaking things then. If you're privy to information that you know will be officially announced soon, then why damage your relationship with that company by leaking it earlier? Leaks aren't doing some "public good" or bringing to light anything games need to know and can't wait a while to find out

So you don't want there to be anything remotely resembling journalism for video games
 

5taquitos

Member
Apr 8, 2014
6,860
6
0
Is the Ubisoft thing because of the Assassins Creed leak a few years back? From the plane? I can't remember which one it was.
 

Machina

Banned
Jun 11, 2015
6,610
5
0
what the fuck. You are not allowed to criticise the game in professional manner?

They weren't blacklisted for criticizing, they were blacklisted for revealing the existence of a game that hadn't been Announced yet.
 

Emperor_Uriel

Member
Jun 4, 2011
2,557
0
0
Does anyone go to Kotaku for publisher-approved news and previews? I only ever visit with the desire to get in on some dark and seedy industry dirt. If they're being cut off, they're doing something right.
 

Jb

Member
Oct 2, 2009
8,350
1
0
"A Price Of Games Journalism"

The horror. You mean now they'll have to do their job without the blessing and support of these big corporations? Like real journalists?
 

Krappadizzle

Member
Oct 4, 2011
14,709
5,420
1,255
Publishers want hype journalism, not game journalism. I'm not surprised by this, it's stupid as shit though.
 

entremet

Member
Dec 6, 2008
85,717
380
1,455
what the fuck. You are not allowed to criticise the game in professional manner?

There's always been a strange and incentious relationship with publishers and hobbyist publications.

Even back to the magazine days when as publishers provided a good amount ad revenue to magazines.
 

Lime

Member
Apr 27, 2008
26,894
0
0
This made me smile. Good to hear.

Why do you want publishers to have as much power as possible so they can lie through their teeth to exploit their employees as much as possible and sell as many copies of their games as possible?
 

LouisaFerre

Member
Sep 25, 2013
1,685
0
0
I don't know if I'm a fan of Kotaku but I remember liking their Watch_Dogs review because I thought it was actually comparatively honest about how flawed the game was.

Pretty shitty.
 

windsostrange

Member
Mar 8, 2015
71
0
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In forums, I tend to immediately assume that people with Kotaku-related problems have Gamergate sympathies.

I find I'm doing it with developers, too.

(Not that this is a shock, given that one of the developers is responsible for this protagonist, who looks like a bro taking up too much room on a subway.)
 

5taquitos

Member
Apr 8, 2014
6,860
6
0
In forums, I tend to immediately assume that people with Kotaku-related problems have Gamergate sympathies.

I find I'm doing it with developers, too.

(Not that this is a shock, given that one of the developers is responsible for this protagonist, who looks like a bro taking up too much room on a subway.)

Haha what?
 

Fracas

#fuckonami
Aug 31, 2011
17,642
2
835
The south
I'm not too surprised. Kotaku does a lot of investigative/leak centric reporting. Good on them for sticking to it despite the resistance from publishers.
 

iNvid02

Member
Aug 16, 2009
18,398
236
1,200
keep up the good work you press sneak fucks, i would like to know if next year's AC is taking place in Japan
 

Chase17

Member
Jun 4, 2014
11,419
0
0
I hope Kotaku keeps up the good work. I appreciate the work they do there and that they do things differently then some of the other media outlets.
 

Otnopolit

Member
Nov 22, 2012
1,122
0
0
Massachusetts
I'm so sorry so many of you have been personally offended/hurt by this games journalism site.

Come on guys, quit being petty. Drive by Kotaku hate is boring and unproductive.
 

NeOak

Member
Sep 14, 2006
16,078
2
0
TX
To be clear, we've been blacklisted by both companies. Because we do real reporting and refuse to act as publishers' marketing arms. If anyone has any questions, let me know.
That sucks. I may not visit daily anymore, but I did appreciate and read the reporting of things like what happened to Destiny.
 

Lime

Member
Apr 27, 2008
26,894
0
0
Kotaku is more of a tabloid than actual journalism.

Strongly disagree. Their features are really good and no one else in the mainstream games media has reported as much as them on working conditions, failed projects, and so on.

If anything, more sites should be like Kotaku with the way they've been running things.
 

Real Hero

Member
Jul 31, 2012
9,611
0
0
Well stop fucking leaking things then. If you're privy to information that you know will be officially announced soon, then why damage your relationship with that company by leaking it earlier? Leaks aren't doing some "public good" or bringing to light anything games need to know and can't wait a while to find out

They aren't a marketing arm of these companies, at least they shouldn't be