Tabloid journalism seems to be the way of most video game websites on the internet these days. In a way it’s understandable as writers feel the pressure to get visitors to their websites, often using the most sensational of headlines to get them there, but at what cost?
Let’s take a look at a recent example, Yesterday, in an interview with TheSixthAxis, James from Futurlab, one of the developers behind the excellent PS mini title, Velocity, told the site that in his opinion, there are a few issues with the minis platform; such as a lack of trophies, networking features and demos specifically. This wasn’t meant as a dig at Sony or the service, it was in his opinion an honest assessment of what he feels is its shortcomings.
Unfortunately this quite innocent interview then spiralled into a rather negative story, first picked up by IGN, who wrongly included a statement that FuturLab thinks a lack of trophies is a major problem. As pointed out by James himself, this IGN post now has over 400 comments, which is far more than the incredibly positive Velocity review on their site. What’s even more bizarre is that IGN don’t even mention Velocity in the post once.
Interestingly, after being picked up by IGN, both Eurogamer and other sites have also run the story, with perhaps the most damning headline coming from CVG, which reads “Dev blasts Sony for lack of Minis Trophies, demos.” Quite a large step from what was originally said.
Having spoke to James quite a few times this week via Twitter, I can sense his frustration. Just before all of these negative headlines appeared, the developer was appealing to people to help get the word out so that sites such as Kotaku, Videogamer, 1Up and Gamespot would provide a review for the game. In fact I tried to help out by emailing each of these sites to tell them why I thought they should review the game, after all it is one of the best mini titles that money can buy.
It seems a shame really that a developer spends all this time and effort developing a game for us all to play, yet when it comes to the crunch, they struggle to have the major sites promote it. Yet on the flip site, if one of the major sites out there picks up on an innocent comment made by that very same developer and turns it into a negative headline, then within an hour we are reading it all over the internet about it.
“I’ve worked very hard to try and get content posted; positive content about our story – our success on minis, and how minis represents a really good choice for indie developers getting started,” says James of the whole situation.
Perhaps it’s time that these so-called bigger sites helped these hard working developers in promoting their games, rather than looking for stories where there are none.
Futurlab are the developers of Velocity. Read here why we feel it’s one of the best minis around.