If you know the name Jim Redner, there's a good chance you know him for the single Duke Nukem Forever tweet that caused a brief public relations shitstorm last week. If you don't, Jim Redner will tell you all about the "brain fart" that caused Duke Nukem Forever's publisher to drop him like a bad habit.
The source of Redner's frustration that ultimately lead to that heated-then-deleted tweet, he writes, was one review in particular.
"It was a scathing diatribe masked as a review," Redner says. "Hate is a strong word, but I believe after reading his review it is fair to say that the reviewer hated the game."
"I overreacted when I read the review and I vented on Twitter," he continues. "It was an act of passion on my part that lacked objectivity. In my opinion, someone had gone over the top to attack the game and those who spent their lives trying to make it. Ultimately, I committed a cardinal sin in marketing."
(Gearbox Software founder Randy Pitchford recently offered more measured defenses of Duke Nukem Forever, which he likened to other guilty pleasures.)
Redner goes on to explain the process by which he fields what he says are hundreds (or more) requests for preview and review copies of games, a process that is largely governed by Metacritic weight and an outlet's coverage of the game before consumer interest peaks, right around launch day.
The man behind The Redner Group goes on to explain more about the thought process behind which media outlet often gets which games for reviews, noting that he never used the word "blacklisting" in his original lashing out on Twitter.
"Publishers are under no obligation to send out copies of their game for review," Redner writes. "They reserve the right to pick and choose who they want to send their game too, just like writers have the right to publish a review in any manner they choose. It's call[ed] selection. It's a choice. [...] I personally have sent first person shooter games to one editor knowing that he likes FPS games, but then not sent him a copy of a game based on our national pastime because I know he finds baseball boring. That's not blacklisting. It's a selection process."
There's a lot more where that came from, so if you're interested in some behind-the-scenes details on reviews and the people who control them, head to Wired.