Summary: Basically what happened is that Joystiq wrote a negative Conduit 2 review. Joystiq rated the game a 1/5, which would usually be the end of the story. But not with High Voltage. The writer for Joystiq, who happens to have a published book, all of a sudden just got a ton of negative spam reviews on Amazon.com for the book. After people accused High Voltage Software of writing them, the company has finally confessed that they did come from someone in the studio.
“Matt Corso did indeed write that internal email, however if you read the email he encourages folks to read Mike’s book and then write their own review in a ‘turn-about is fairplay’ sort of way” wrote Nofsinger in an official explanation. The email went to 70+ people on the list contains nothing slanderous or inflammatory; I believe people took it as such (the fact that there aren’t 70 negative reviews would support that assumption). Sure, it’s a tad unprofessional but if you knew Matt personally as I do, you would know it was nothing more than a tongue-in-cheek jibe at most. And for that, I apologise on behalf of High Voltage Software.” – Eric Nofsinger, Chief Creative Officer at High Voltage
So what does the writer for the inflammatory review have to say? What about the Joystiq writer who wrote the review?
“My mind really wasn’t in that dark of a place when I wrote that. In fact I seriously considered buying the book myself. I wanted to know how good it really was that this guy felt so in the right to trash our game and give away the ending like he did. And then post a plug to his book at the end, implying that we suck and he is totally great. Then I forgot about it, and got busy with other stuff. But I can see why some people might try to read more into this. But I did mention that people should read the book before giving a review.” – Matt Corso, writer of negative review.
Sorry Matt Carso, just because you tell people to read a person’s book before you completely trash his work doesn’t make it OK. Its not that you gave the book a negative review, it’s that you gave the book a negative review for revenge. If you actually hated the book and it wasn’t a ‘joke’ or out of hate for the writer, I would have backed you up.
Michael Murdoc, the writer for the Joystiq review and book in question doesn’t seem to accept his apology at all. I don’t blame him, seems that he is sorry for being caught, not that he did it.
“They don’t honestly care about what happened. They’re trying to get their hands out of the cookie jar before they get smacked. They simply have no remorse for what they’ve done, and they think the industry and everyone else will just laugh it off. I hope that doesn’t happen. A game company shouldn’t just keep shooting themselves in the foot, hoping their limp goes away.” – Michael Murdoc, Joystiq writer
About our own review, we will have it up in the upcoming weeks. The review is being written by Nuckles87 and thankfully he doesn’t have a published book for High Voltage to review.
10 responses to “Drama: High Voltage & Joystiq won’t get along”
I am confused with the summary.
I'll try to dumb it down: Joystiq gives Conduit 2 a negative review. The writer for the review has a published book, which gets negative reviews on Amazon.com. Someone accused High Voltage and now they admitted that it was a worker at HV that did the negative review and they apologized for getting caught. Simple dimple?
I guess, thanks.
Sounds like lots of people left negative reviews because the HV guy asked them to. I haven't played the game, but based on videos and video reviews I've seen, I'm not going too. If anything because of using the Duke Nukem voice acting as basically Duke Nukem. His one liners/dialogue was driving me insane.
I see where you're coming from george, as you have a neutral stance.
If you ask me however the game does not deserve the 1/5… like at all and joystiq can suck a dinkey dong
I agree that Joystiq's review seemes to me to be unusually harsh. But either way, that doesn't excuse a developer jumping online and spamming the reviewer's Amazon.com product page, that's just immature and unprofessional. Someone from High Voltage could have commented on the review and made his thoughts known to the critic directly instead of just trashing a book he had written.
I recall something similar happening with BioWare and Dragon Age II.
While the employee in question was indeed out of line, I can't say I blame him for lashing out at someone who viciously attacked something he/she worked very hard on. I tend to ignore professional reviews but I guess it's harder to do that when they directly affect a product you developed.
The book in question has likely picked up a few sales from this, I'll bet.
Same thing happened with that woman who was a commentator on Fox News during the Mass Effect "Sex Box" topic. The next day, reviews on Amazon completely trashed her book 'cause she was talking shit on a game she admitted to have never touched or saw more than 15 minutes of.
Kind of a lame attempt to "get back" on someone through Amazonbombing someone's book, but in this case… Conduit 2 hasn't made any waves, and I haven't even heard of this Murdock foo', so I couldn't give a shit either way, personally. I ain't touching either of these knucklehead's products so whatever.
What's interesting is that game companies are kind of pushing back at negative press. Whether that's warranted criticism or not, who knows, but seeing that it has gotten to that in the gaming industry is pretty sad. Games are too expensive, reviews are taken too seriously – what this tells me is that the world needs more Tonetta:
All press is good press, infact this is probably the best thing that could have happened to that guys book… People will now rush and defend it.
Still, I think Sega need to stop working with High Voltage…
A western developed Sega game got bad reviews? Again?! No way! :-O