Duke Nukem PR Firm Reacts to Reviewer “Venom”

June 15th, 2011 at 3:14 am · 6 Comments

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.”

He's writing these all down

Although these tweets are no longer up on the TheRednerGroup’s Twitter, here are some more statements they made about the reviews
(via DualShockers):

  • “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.

Related posts:

  1. PAX East: Duke Nukem Forever
  2. World reels in horror as Duke Nukem Forever is delayed again
  3. Duke Nukem Forever Delayed Again!
  4. Duke Nukem Forever to be PS3 exclusive!
  5. Krelith’s Klassics #2 – Duke Nukem 3D

Tags: · · · · ·
Categories: News

  • http://www.arhn.eu Dark Archon

    I’m disappointed. Was hoping to click on the article link and see a big flashing:

    “Blow it out your ass.
    - TheRednerGroup”

    quote as the only content of this page.

    • http://twitter.com/esmeraldasg Esmeralda

      They said it in “nicer” words by hitting them where it hurts…. no more free games!

  • http://www.thesystemaddicts.com/ Robert-James

    Duke is a failure in every sense of the word. The only silver lining there could have been was that the game finally got released…but 2K shuttered that possible glint of hope by charging full price for a game that clearly does not deserve it.

    I think the games worst crime – is that it doesn’t ‘get it’ anymore. It doesn’t realize it’s a joke, it thinks it’s funny. Had even just one character in the game looked at Duke as a pathetic has-been the whole idea could have had that fresh breath it so clearly needs.

    If it has any hope going forward it will be in redefining what Duke means now.

    The PR team should be focusing their efforts on making this a story about 15 years of hard work and personal satisfaction for seeing it finished – not making this an issue about people not liking the game.

  • http://www.sarcasticgamer.com Lono

    Jim emailed me, and I’m sure many, many other outlets last night profusely apologizing for his comment. Jim is one of the very few PR agencies that has always treated SG very well. Given his track record in giving us a ton of games and absolutely not giving a shit about some of our bad reviews, coupled with his immediate apology, Jim is square with me and I’m not going to beat him up over one ill advised tweet.

  • Blaze

    And sometimes people wonder if reviews are being influenced by the game developers. This right here shows the kind of bull shit that I’m sure game reviewers put up with more often then is ever made public. Duke Nukem Forever fucking blows, and I’m glad reviews are letting people know that. If you don’t want people to shit on your game then don’t put out 12 year old crap and expect people to pay $60 for it.

  • timewarp

    I can see why something like this was bound to happen. Tons of reviewers who’ve been waiting years for a game, tons of games designers who’ve spent years making the game.