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Square-Enix fabricates journalist for good reviewsFollow

#1 Oct 30 2012 at 11:48 PM Rating: Sub-Default
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Ugh. This is pretty repugnant.

http://p4r.buzzleberry.com/?p=319

Recently, Eurogamer posted an article that condemned sponsorship in video game journalism and had briefly mentioned Wainwright. The article was eventually edited to remove her mention in the article. It sparked a firestorm that caused many to look for more information about Wainwright. A notable detail that was discovered is that she was once employed by Square Enix and has written extremely positive reviews about their games.

Today, a Square Enix representative has publicly admitted that Wainwright is not real and was created to promote Square Enix games. Robert Peeler, Square Enix community manager, responded to a series of posts on its forums asking about the employment of Wainwright.

“I don’t think I have permission to post this, but I will do so anyway. Lauren is not a real person and is actually a character created by Square Enix’s marketing department. I deeply apologize for anyone who was swayed by her commentary or reviews.”

Many were in disbelief by this revelation, but Peeler continued to explain, “In the Eurogamer article, they mention she tweeted the following: ‘Urm… Trion were giving away PS3s to journalists at the GMAs. Not sure why that’s a bad thing?’. This was marketing’s way of convincing people that this was not bribery, but just something innocuous. In the marketing circles of many video game companies, they watch each other’s backs.”

“Her love of everything Tomb Raider, as evidenced by her Twitter account, was the real reason she was created,” Peeler explains, “Square Enix knew that Tomb Raider was dead and had to find a way to promote hype for the series again. Her love of Tomb Raider is not genuine and the actress who played her was coached on what to do say when going out to conventions and other public events.”

At this point, the thread was deleted by Square Enix and they have not officially commented on the situation. Robert Florence, the author behind the original Eurogamer article, has said on Twitter, “I knew it! **** Square. They haven’t made a good game since they merged.”
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#2 Oct 31 2012 at 2:08 AM Rating: Good
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hexaemeron wrote:
Ugh. This is pretty repugnant.

http://p4r.buzzleberry.com/?p=319

Recently, Eurogamer posted an article that condemned sponsorship in video game journalism and had briefly mentioned Wainwright. The article was eventually edited to remove her mention in the article. It sparked a firestorm that caused many to look for more information about Wainwright. A notable detail that was discovered is that she was once employed by Square Enix and has written extremely positive reviews about their games.

Today, a Square Enix representative has publicly admitted that Wainwright is not real and was created to promote Square Enix games. Robert Peeler, Square Enix community manager, responded to a series of posts on its forums asking about the employment of Wainwright.

“I don’t think I have permission to post this, but I will do so anyway. Lauren is not a real person and is actually a character created by Square Enix’s marketing department. I deeply apologize for anyone who was swayed by her commentary or reviews.”

Many were in disbelief by this revelation, but Peeler continued to explain, “In the Eurogamer article, they mention she tweeted the following: ‘Urm… Trion were giving away PS3s to journalists at the GMAs. Not sure why that’s a bad thing?’. This was marketing’s way of convincing people that this was not bribery, but just something innocuous. In the marketing circles of many video game companies, they watch each other’s backs.”

“Her love of everything Tomb Raider, as evidenced by her Twitter account, was the real reason she was created,” Peeler explains, “Square Enix knew that Tomb Raider was dead and had to find a way to promote hype for the series again. Her love of Tomb Raider is not genuine and the actress who played her was coached on what to do say when going out to conventions and other public events.”

At this point, the thread was deleted by Square Enix and they have not officially commented on the situation. Robert Florence, the author behind the original Eurogamer article, has said on Twitter, “I knew it! @#%^ Square. They haven’t made a good game since they merged.”



I will put on my "At least they're marketing" hat lol
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#3 Oct 31 2012 at 4:44 AM Rating: Good
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#4 Oct 31 2012 at 6:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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I never put much stock in reviews anyway. Too often I enjoy games that are not widely received, and some of the most popular games I think are crap. SE is not the first, nor will they be the last, to do something like this.
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#5 Oct 31 2012 at 7:40 AM Rating: Excellent
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I don't see any respectable sources listing the bit about Robert Peeler "admitting" that Lauren Wainwright was made up. According to the latest updates, Wainwright is a real person, not fabricated. For all we know, he was being sarcastic. She is however making herself look really bad by suing other journalists to censor their articles, despite how hypocritical that is:

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Wainwright knew that she could pay a lawyer to get criticisms of her removed from the story, and her attempts were successful. It’s damning that in the decade or so I’ve written about games I’m aware of only one case of a publisher using legal threats to get a story edited, and now a reporter is abusing the legal systems to quiet criticism of their actions.

That’s not how the press should work, and Wainwright has learned the hard way that the Internet hates it when content is removed or hidden. Her Twitter account is still locked down, references to her work with Square Enix have been removed from her Journalisted account, and screenshots of past tweets indicate that she stated that she never reviewed Square Enix games, a claim that only a cursory Google search proved wrong. This is a case of someone going out of their way to destroy their own writing career by trying to hide what was, at the time, a very innocuous bit of criticism.


http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/mcvs-lauren-wainwright-english-libel-law-and-the-gaming-press-why-this-stor

EDIT: The article that OP linked to is satire. Square Enix never admitted to creating Wainwright. Wainwright is however a real journalist making herself look really bad.


Edited, Oct 31st 2012 10:04am by OnyxFFXI
#6 Oct 31 2012 at 7:44 AM Rating: Decent
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Personally it doesn't matter if she was a actor hired or not. Lebron James just did a Galaxy SIII commercial for Samsung. Do you really think he used that phone before the commercial; or did all that nice money get him to act on it?

Almost every company does this from mascots to paid actors. It won't sway my dual hate/love for SE. ^^
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#7 Oct 31 2012 at 7:53 AM Rating: Good
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There's a marked difference between a mutual agreement of funds for services for celebrity advertising (which I think is stupid in the first place), and outright fabricating a "journalist" to give good reviews to only that company's games.

If S-E wants better reviews, make better games.
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#8 Oct 31 2012 at 8:01 AM Rating: Good
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The article that the OP linked to is actually a satirical website like the Onion. Even I thought it was real for a moment. We've all been trolled.:

http://p4r.buzzleberry.com/?p=315

The Wainwright story IS real though, but it's more damning to the game journalism industry, not just Square Enix.



Edited, Oct 31st 2012 10:02am by OnyxFFXI
#9 Oct 31 2012 at 8:17 AM Rating: Good
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OnyxFFXI wrote:
The article that the OP linked to is actually a satirical website like the Onion. Even I thought it was real for a moment. We've all been trolled.:

http://p4r.buzzleberry.com/?p=315

The Wainwright story IS real though, but it's more damning to the game journalism industry, not just Square Enix.



Edited, Oct 31st 2012 10:02am by OnyxFFXI



I'm actually relieved. It would have been exceptionally shady to do something like this.
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#10 Oct 31 2012 at 8:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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I think the only site I even halfway believe is Metacritic. Even then though you're getting a limited number of reviews, and as we see here those could be artificial. I usually try to find gameplay footage on YouTube first to see if it looks fun first, then look around at a variety of reviews, usually tossing the most hateful/praiseful to get some kind of baseline.
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#11 Oct 31 2012 at 2:42 PM Rating: Default
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hexaemeron wrote:
There's a marked difference between a mutual agreement of funds for services for celebrity advertising (which I think is stupid in the first place), and outright fabricating a "journalist" to give good reviews to only that company's games.

If S-E wants better reviews, make better games.


You don't think other companies does this? Is every movie really "the scariest movie of the year" or the "best drama EVER". No, these companies all either fabricate things or they find some off-beat real reviewer and use that. This whole thread is so stupid. The entire world we live in is full of fabrications...


...have you ever seen a Mcdonald's Hamburger that looks like the commercial? No, because they pay people lots of money to craft a perfect looking (and often times fake) product for the commercial. Do you think the companies that you like to visit really house the type of employees shown in commercials, billboards, and magazines? **** no. Look at Pictures or commercials for tech support call centers or restaurants. Then go visit a real one. You'll find the most motley crew of misfits ever to walk the earth that are nothing like what the company presents to you.

In short, this is nothing new, different, exciting, or relevant. Advertising is totally fake from end to end. Get used to it.
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#12 Oct 31 2012 at 2:53 PM Rating: Decent
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Yeah, I can't imagine that Blizzard does not pay off reviewers and journalists to promote their interests. Eh... that's how life goes I suppose lol
#13 Oct 31 2012 at 3:46 PM Rating: Good
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electromagnet83 wrote:
hexaemeron wrote:
There's a marked difference between a mutual agreement of funds for services for celebrity advertising (which I think is stupid in the first place), and outright fabricating a "journalist" to give good reviews to only that company's games.

If S-E wants better reviews, make better games.


You don't think other companies does this? Is every movie really "the scariest movie of the year" or the "best drama EVER". No, these companies all either fabricate things or they find some off-beat real reviewer and use that. This whole thread is so stupid. The entire world we live in is full of fabrications...


...have you ever seen a Mcdonald's Hamburger that looks like the commercial? No, because they pay people lots of money to craft a perfect looking (and often times fake) product for the commercial. Do you think the companies that you like to visit really house the type of employees shown in commercials, billboards, and magazines? **** no. Look at Pictures or commercials for tech support call centers or restaurants. Then go visit a real one. You'll find the most motley crew of misfits ever to walk the earth that are nothing like what the company presents to you.

In short, this is nothing new, different, exciting, or relevant. Advertising is totally fake from end to end. Get used to it.



Wait, are you saying Norris and Ozzie Osbourne don't really play WoW?! I'm stunned.

Edited, Oct 31st 2012 5:51pm by ShindaUsagi
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#14 Oct 31 2012 at 9:34 PM Rating: Decent
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its like when you go to download an app on your phone and you look at the reviews of the app, and its all a bunch of bs posted by obvious marketing drones.

its like that but worse.

also, for a satirical, onionesque site to work, it realllllly helps if the articles are like, funny. i mean, i get it, he's going for subtle, but; there's subtle and then there's just making **** up.

i didn't know wtf to believe until i read more of the articles on the site.


so yeah, fake story, but obviously this stuff happens (hello Playing FFXIV With the Japanese Stars scandal of 2010)

Edited, Oct 31st 2012 11:38pm by Llester
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#15 Nov 01 2012 at 4:39 AM Rating: Excellent
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Just goes to show, whether it's about reviews or reviewers, always check your sources.

Myself, I just follow ZeroPunction, because he finds the flaw in every **** game worth reviewing no matter how good it is. In fact, I'd be too afraid of a game he actually wholeheartedly liked because I'd be convinced it must have brainwashing powers and ZP was its next victim.
#16 Nov 01 2012 at 6:01 AM Rating: Decent
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Xoie wrote:
Just goes to show, whether it's about reviews or reviewers, always check your sources.

Myself, I just follow ZeroPunction, because he finds the flaw in every **** game worth reviewing no matter how good it is. In fact, I'd be too afraid of a game he actually wholeheartedly liked because I'd be convinced it must have brainwashing powers and ZP was its next victim.


A legit reviewer will ALWAYS have a flaw in a game in my opinion. Because, no game is perfect. I could critique most games out there now and say that as we move towards more realism, the terrible story writing, and voice acting is becoming much more obvious. If games are going to continue down this path of cinemaction they really need to start bringing in cinema style writers and directions. Every game out there is ultimately a terrible movie that you would NEVER pay your money to go see.
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