Thoughts in re: Mark Kern, Ken Levine, and Peter Molyneux

Originally posted via Kotaku in Action, 17 Feb. 2015

I said this on Twitter, and I’ll say it here again for posterity’s and exposure’s sake.

The usual suspects are on the offensive against devs. Let this happen, stay on the sidelines, and most importantly support the devs, be civil with them, and let them judge us by our actions rather than journalists’ narrative. Don’t touch the poop. Remember, the devs are people too, and face severe professional backlash for voicing anything remotely resembling support for us, for whatever reason and by whatever method.

But…most importantly, the devs control access. Access for exclusive content, promos, interviews, preview copies, and the like. Access is a journalist’s, especially a beat journalist’s, lifeblood — without it, they can’t do their job. They piss off the devs by attacking them, they lose access which means the final nails in their coffins are in.

And, this isn’t like Ben Kuchera attacking Redner Group for threatening to blacklist reviewers who gave Duke Nukem Forever low scores. Kuchera had to rally his audience in backlash against Redner Group, and Gearbox for hiring them, to keep Redner Group from withdrawing access. Because, now, implicated journalists have lost their audience and have no leverage. They’re alone in this fight, especially with developers forging communication and marketing paths directly to the consumer without journalists as middlemen.

Win devs over by being better people. Be civil, but assertive. Verify your claims. Show yourselves, in contrast to “the narrative” to be the inclusive, diverse, and informed group of consumers you really are. Be the adults in the room, and let the implicated journalists have the rope to hang themselves.