It’s not an uncommon occurrence for a gaming news outlet to be blacklisted by a publisher. You can hear Jim Sterling talk about blacklisted regularly on The Jimquisition. Destructoid was blacklisted by Konami. At one time or another, EGM was reportedly blacklisted by numerous companies including Sony, Midway and Ubisoft. Jeff Gerstmann infamously lost his job at GameSpot over a poor review of Kane & Lynch that resulted in Eidos Interactive threatening to pull ads from the site.
The latest publication to take their blacklisting public is Kotaku. Editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo took to the site to reveal that the company had been cut off by the PR branches of both Ubisoft and Bethesda. While some in games media are standing up for Kotaku, those content consumers that Kotaku are supposed to be producing content for aren’t on their side. When you’re as divisive as Kotaku, there isn’t much sympathy for the devil.
In a fourth year human resources course, we were posed a question about what we would do if an employee was sleeping with someone from a customer business. I responded with the old Trudeau-ism of “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” What is personal is personal and it stays that way as long as it doesn’t affect my business.
That was the wrong answer according to the professor and whole rest of the class. The implication of the scenario was that my hypothetical employee was sleeping that person to make sales. They couldn’t be using each other just to use each other. She was obviously using him to reach another end.
Gaming is going through this same scenario right now. Zoe Quinn, the developer behind Depression Quest, is mired in scandal after her ex-boyfriend outed her as sleeping with a number of people in the industry, including a writer for Kotaku, which blew up into accusations of Quinn using sex to get positive coverage from the gaming press.