Ubisoft gave journalists a free Nexus 7 at a Watchdogs Preview event.

#4
It is shady as hell. Not pure bribery (would need to be put on paper... and pretty sure that'd be illegal), but it's close enough.
 
#5
I don't see the issue. These highly regarded professionals are simply being showered with gifts as a result of their groundbreaking achievements in the brutally competitive world of intellectual video game journalism
 
#9
So very, very dodgy. If they wanted to show off second screen functionality they just needed devices for the event, to have handed them out as gifts is simply an attempt to influence the reviewer. If you respect the people involved you don't put them in this position by offering them gifts when they are supposed to be offering opinions on your product.

Highly unethical behaviour by Ubisoft for offering them, anyone who attended failing to mention this program is tarred by association.
 
#14
Free goodies! Videogame journalism! Objective reviews! Truthful opinions!


Fucking absurd. Nothing tops the Batman batarang phone though, that shit was just beyond crazy. What other insane goodies have journalists gotten over the years?
 

Fezzan

Unconfirmed Member
#16
Did anyone refuse it? because that's what they should have done, looks to me like the reviews are going to be swayed to one side now.
 
#20
Free goodies! Videogame journalism! Objective reviews! Truthful opinions!


Fucking absurd. Nothing tops the Batman batarang phone though, that shit was just beyond crazy. What other insane goodies have journalists gotten over the years?
Batarang phone? can't seem to find any article about it
 
#21
I thought everyone standing and applauding the free 360 Slims at E3 was the single most embarrassing moment in game 'journalism' history.

It's a difficult line to draw though, they also get very valuable exclusive special editions of games, and get flown around to press events by publishers.

Ideally the press would have no interaction with the publishers, they would pay for the retail game, play it on normal consoles, and review them, but that's not practical, so they'll always be under the thumb.
 
#22
I don't see the problem. I'd accept the phone and give their shitty game a bad score.
Just because you 'ignored' the gift doesn't mean that your integrity isn't still compromised. Accepting anything like this is a slippery slope and is highly ethically dubious.

Cannot see how anyone is unable to realise how shady this makes everyone look, regardless of final scores. Every piece of content you now write on the game will be seen to have been influenced by this, whether or not that's true. Doesn't matter if you don't feel affected - perception is key.
 
#23
Copying over my comments from the previous thread:

Ridiculous sure, but something about this payoff tells me wii u owners wont be missing out on much if they need to sweeten the deal for good coverage.

Sub-par game incoming.
I'm getting the vibe Ubisoft isn't exceedingly confident about Watchdogs' critical reception.
I suspect it's sort-of the opposite: Not that they're not confident about the reception, but their business plans for the future are dependent on it being dominant; it needs to sell in accordance with the expenditure used to make it, and they're scared it won't.

It may, of course, still be shit, but I think the key here is that they cannot afford for the reception to be merely okay-to-good.


No wonder game budgets are out of control.
As I suggested up there: I suspect this is more *because* budgets are out of control, rather than a *reason* budgets are out of control.
 
#30
Did anyone refuse it? because that's what they should have done, looks to me like the reviews are going to be swayed to one side now.
A few did. From what I'm seeing on Twitter french journos got nothing (well, they got a T-shirt).

I actually sent a mail to my contact at Ubisoft to hear their take. We'll see if they respond.

It's kind of funny that those things never happen to me (not that I'd accept them). The biggest freebie I received in 16 years of writing on games is a 1000 piece puzzle of Geralt of Rivia.

I did accept that one though...
 
#33
I'm glad this thread is back from the dead. I was recently listening to a bunch of Steve Gaynor's Tone Control podcasts that I had missed out on through being too busy at work. It was weird, two different podcasts with separate guests mentioned in passing this 'icky' thing that some journalists would do during press events, and how this behaviour coloured their own attempted transition from writing about games to getting involved in their production.

The thing in question was to openly solicit for jobs with a studio, in translation / writing stuff was the impression I was left with, while conducting their normal media interview/preview coverage. The two podcasts it was mentioned in was 11-Ryan Payton, and I think 5-Tom Bissel. Just to say again, it was neither of those guys doing it. It was something that happened that they found unpleasant, and I was left with the impression that it was a regular enough occurrence that it was notable.

Is this really a thing? Are some journalists covering studios openly hustling for jobs? I was pretty amazed this was something that happened without a huge amount of public fuss being made of it.

Now I'm not sure if this was the same connection that troushers was talking about but i found this to be equally interesting in regards to what he posted:

Wasn't there a guy from IGN openly asking someone from Xbox on twitter if he could help host the Xbox E3 this year?

I can't get it off the top of my head exactly, but wouldn't that constitute as openly applying for a job?

This topic never stops being interesting.
And i found the image:

 
#34
So they gave $200 worth of tech to journalists.
Let's say 100 got a nexus that's $20,000 spent on journalists. Just mull that over, fucking shameful.

Cmon, let's be fair here. AAA games cannot possibly make back what they spend on being made unless they sell CoD numbers! More day one DLC and raising the price of games is the answer!
 

Fezzan

Unconfirmed Member
#37
I'm sorry but every job has its perks, or should. Good on them. No problem here.
Are you serious? You really think that the journalists are going to do their job honestly with Ubisoft giving them gifts? And even if they did how would you know it?
This is a "perk" they should have refused.
 
#39
Gross. But sounds like this was a European thing? Worth noting. European press and US press seem to have totally different standards, rules, and practices. All that free PS3 stuff a couple years ago was also in the UK.
 
#40
I stopped getting outraged or up in arms ages ago, to me bribery in videogame jurrrrrnalizm is just how things are and that people just have to live with it.

Much like herpes.
 
#41
Common guys, Ubi obviously did this to make the journalists feel like hackers, right?

...Bad joke aside, I find this a bit odd; I don't fully see this as bribery, but its still iffy that Ubi gave out (what I assume to be over 60+) people expensive tablets for nothing.

Its nice, but now we have to worry whenever or not the Watch Dogs reviews are bias (or in better terms, more bias than they original would have been :(.
 
#42
Sucks if everyone through them out without realising they have super cool Watch Dogs like spyware on it which can hack stuff.

I mean yeah how shame less of Ubisoft. :|
 
#46
I'm sorry but every job has its perks, or should. Good on them. No problem here.
This is a deeply, deeply questionable attitude to take. Might as well claim the same thing when MPs claim expenses on personal goods.

How can you not see that such a gesture might affect an outlets coverage of a game? It's not just the review that's in question, but every piece they write from now on could be seen to have been influenced by this. Whether that's intentional or not, it doesn't matter. This is simply not OK.

Being flown out to a press event, with food/travel/lodging paid for is one thing. As long as you're transparent about who paid for what, that's fine. But actual gifts? Come on dude, that's bribery and you know it. Don't be so naive.
 
#47
Heh, that's pretty meta. I just hope this DOESN'T mean that even after the delay, Ubi still doesn't have a lot of faith in the game and are hedging their bets...
 
#48
Interesting way of bribing journalists, I now expect to see the more popular websites such as IGN, GameSpot, etc to provide a review score of 9.9999999999 or above.