The Redner Group is a PR company that is currently working for 2K Games and Gearbox regarding their latest title Duke Nukem Forever. This tweet was a response to the harsh reviews the game seems to be receiving from a large number of outlets. It looks like someone skipped the first day of PR 101, because this is a great example of what NOT to do when handling PR for a game. “Hail to mediocrity baby!”
The game currently has a score of 48 for the Xbox 360, 57 for the PC, and 56 for the PS3 on Metacritic. If you actually care about the user scores, those are sitting at around 3.8 to 4.4.
Here are what some of the reviews had to say about the game:
- TheEscapist: “Duke Nukem Forever is a deeply flawed game that I would have stopped playing after five minutes were it not a requirement of my job to play longer. Although no amount of money could have convinced me to press on all the way to the end. Recommendation: If you are stuck on a deserted island with only this game to play, go fishing instead. Worth playing so that you may be able to say that you did, but otherwise imminently forgettable and not worth your time.”
- 1UP: “It’s not obvious they knew just how monumentally moronic the game they created is. That’s the key difference between the two titles: Bulletstorm is the funny guy at the party who has a bit too much to drink. DNF is the guy who gets plastered, runs around naked with a lampshade on his head and doesn’t understand that everyone is laughing at him, not with him.”
- Destructoid: “A festering irrelevance with nothing to offer the world. It’s a game with an odious personality, one that could only endear itself to the sociopathic and mentally maladjusted. There may be life in Duke yet, but not his current incarnation. Not while his developers legitimately think he’s cool and hilarious, rather than creepy and nauseating, and not while he’s starring in games that can’t even compete with budget titles.”
- VideoGameTalk: “Shame on Gearbox for wanting their name on this stinking pile of crap! If you do enjoy playing terrible games, please rent instead of purchasing as the publisher doesn’t deserve a reward for this.”
- GameSpot: “The bland and ugly Duke Nukem Forever turns a famous gaming icon into an embarrassment. Given its storied development history, you might be inclined to grab a copy of this train wreck. Avoid the temptation.”
- “It’s one thing to not like a game, it’s an entirely different thing to rate it a 2 & b completely mean spirited.”
- “Bad scores are fine. Venom filled reviews…that’s completely different.”
- “It’s cool to not like something…no need to be mean about it. But, it shows u…it’s easier to b funny when being mean.”
While I understand that some of the things mentioned in these reviews went a bit too far past sheer game critique, I do NOT agree with this practice of restricting games to certain outlets just because people are saying negative things about your game. Reviews help inform readers of a good game as well as warn readers of a bad one; they’re especially helpful during an economic period where every penny counts. If your game receives bad reviews, look at what they’re critiquing and build from there.
The reason why these reviewers are harsher about this particular title is because they’ve been waiting for this game for 14 years! Most of the reviewers are die-hard fans of the series, and despite putting up with all the delays and the teasing, they received a bland experience.
This also brings about a very important point for aspiring “game journalists” out there: Never give a game a good review simply because you received it for free or were given special perks (plane trips, swag, food, etc). It devalues the credibility of your review, which is the only thing a blogger has when trying to be heard over the big sites’ voices. Be honest with your readers and place a footnote that you got the game (or something else related to it) for free from the publisher or developer.
TheRednerGroup returned to Twitter to apologize for their unprofessional proclamations:
- I have to apologize to the community. I acted out of pure emotion. I will be sending each of you a private apology.
- I need to state for the record that 2K had nothing to do with this. I will be calling each of you tomorrow to apologize.
- Again, I want everyone to know that I was acting on my own. 2K had nothing to do with this. I am so very sorry for what I said.
The only good thing that came out of all of this is that at least their follower count finally went over the 1,000 mark.