Home > 'Journalistic' Malpractice, Video Games > Gee, It’s Almost Like It’s A Coordinated PR Event

Gee, It’s Almost Like It’s A Coordinated PR Event

angry!
Sackboy shows his less endearing, more burlapy, side

For a game that has gotten, at best, mixed reviews1, it’s amazing the big gaming sites have basically gone all Little Big Planet 2, all the time, today:

Little Big Planet 2 is in production and the gaming sites want you to know it.

Currently the front page of Edge has four LBP2 related stories running, including the top article:

*An announcement of the game
*A news piece on how it is not just an expansion
*An article detailing the newest Edge issue, featuring a LBP2 cover story
*A story on the new features

1Up is also a little LBP2 crazy, with five stories on the game including the top article:

*An announcement of the game
*A news piece on how it is not just an expansion
*“Six Levels I’d Love To Create Using Little Big Planet 2’s New Features and Themes”
*A LBP2 music announcements piece
*And the LBP2 debut trailer

Oh, there’s much more at the link, but it’s almost like, I dunno, Sony PR called in some favors to get this sort of saturation-bombing coverage all on the same day, dontcha think?

And notice how a lot of the stories appear to be dupes of one another (e.g. a news piece on how it is not just an expansion, because that was the first thing that leapt to anyone’s mind??), no doubt purely coincidental, even across sites that don’t share any connection at all, except…Sony PR.

Hell, I bet they didn’t even get lots of advance notice to have pieces like “Six Levels I’d Love To Create Using Little Big Planet 2’s New Features and Themes” ready to go just in the nick of time! Right?2

(Yeah, yeah: “slow news day” except that legitimately huge/universally-loved/mega-selling games don’t get this kind of ‘we’re caught in a tractor beam’-level coverage all in one day–a day that’s not even close to being over yet, so there’s still time for more!)

Note: if you haven’t gotten it yet, this is a coordinated PR event. The problem is that the allegedly independent gaming ‘journos’ are part and parcel of the hype machine that’s trying to sell the game to you, their readers, when they should be viewing such things with at least a semi-jaundiced, un-compromised by noxious spin, eye.3

Meanwhile, this story labors in complete obscurity, probably because shining a light on it would tick off the hand that feeds them and that’s a huge no-no in game ‘journo’ circles. Oh, and of course LITTLE BIG PLANET 2 (BUY IT THIS YEAR)! is much more important than prison labor/sweatshops/child labor in China. Naturally.


1 Not in the gaming media, but in general, by the end-users who were a great deal more circumspect in their praise/adulation than the absolutely hysterical (in the crazy, not so much funny, sense) worship given to a game most people have concluded has a kinda cool tool set wrapped around a game w/ pretty lousy controls.
2 This is standard op for game journos: they’ll get packages of materials before the big reveal (which is, of course, a coordinated PR effort) so they can have plenty of unbiased, original, content for the gullible fools that think all of this stuff comes from their ‘scoop’ and ‘from the heart’ or in the heat of the ‘ZOMG this is awesome’ moment.
3 There are no jaundiced eyes in the world of game ‘journalism’, as credulity carries the day when there’s money to be made.

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  1. kog3100_edw
    05/10/2010 at 20:56

    Though there is often a critical versus mainstream opinion disconnect, this is actually a really great… almost hilarious example. I remember all the ‘its gonna be aMAZing’ hubbub about LBP when it was first previewed. It was going to change the face of gaming. Then when it came out? Blep. Hardly a ripple.

    Do you recall any mags or sites that actually said ‘well? We goofed. It isn’t really all that good.’. Did anyone that lauded this thing (with their hands in Sony’s fly) actually retract that? Or was it all ‘WE the critics know a good game, the public is just misguided’?

    • ECM
      05/11/2010 at 06:22

      If I had to go out on a limb, I’d wager that all the sites that gave that game ‘gift from God’ status, haven’t even turned it on for a minute in the time since it’s been released, which kinda aggravates me given this kind of absolutely uncalled for, near-lunatic, over-coverage for a game most people have also consigned to the ‘neat toy but that’s about it’ pile.

  2. Joshelplex
    05/11/2010 at 21:59

    You two are probably the only people out there who dont like LBP, just sayin.

    • ECM
      05/11/2010 at 22:01

      Hey, Truster of All Things Review-Related: the USER Metacritic score for LBP is 6.8!! That means A LOT of people didn’t care for it, slick, and mirror my opinion that it’s a kinda-cool toy but not a very good game, chief! Capiche, kemosabe?

      (Plus, you’re a deluded Sony fanboy, so there’s that.)

      P.S. But I love you anyway, you Kratos’ knob-polishing sycophant. 😀

  1. 05/11/2010 at 12:02

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