There was a big story doing the rounds yesterday about a gaming editor being forced out of his job in Australia thanks to apparent pressure from the PR department of Rockstar.
As the story goes, Toby McCasker ex-entertainment editor for Zoo magazine was fired after posting up an email apparently received from Rockstar up on his Facebook page.
The email read as follows.
“This is the biggest game we’ve done since GTA IV, and is already receiving Game of the Year 2010 nominations from specialists all around the world,”
“Can you please ensure Toby’s article reflects this â€” he needs to respect the huge achievement he’s writing about here.”
There are three parts to this story in my opinion, firstly and most importantly.
Posting up a private email on Facebook is possibly the stupidest way to commit career suicide. He wasn’t even fired before he did this and now he is unemployed and it is highly unlikely that anyone else is going to be hiring him as a games editor anytime soon.
Next up is whether publishers (not specifically Rockstar) ever attempt to pressure people like this, unfortunately I have seen similar things happening before and they will continue to happen. The gaming industry is worth billions of dollars and every so often you will come across an overly enthusiastic PR person who oversteps the line while pitching a product.
This doesn’t happen often and so I am yet to find a PR person who attempts to keep on pushing once you respond professionally.
And lastly, I had a few drinks with a few Australian gaming journalists yesterday and this topic came up. The overwhelming opinion is that this isn’t the standard Rockstar reaction and there is a healthy amount of distrust over whether the email in question is entirely accurate or even 100% legit.
Last Updated: April 8, 2010