In a statement just released, N-Control, maker of the "Avenger" accessory linked to the infamous marketer Paul Christoforo, has promised a $10 discount coupon for all who pre-ordered the device, as an apology for Christoforo's conduct toward a customer, which drew the wrath of the global video gaming community earlier this week.
N-Control's lengthy statement disavowed all contact with Christoforo, announcing that the accessory maker had retained a new "independent consultant" to "field press inquiries and oversee sales and marketing operations," in light of Christoforo and Ocean Marketing's disastrous handling of a consumer complaint regarding a product delay. The fallout, which rocketed to top-of-the-mind awareness thanks to Penny Arcade, became both the Internet's newest meme and top public relations scandal on Tuesday.
"I can't worry about the fact that there isn't a bus big enough for me to throw Paul Christoforo under" said," Moisés Chiulian, the Austin, Texas-based consultant now retained by N-Control to oversee its sales and marketing. "The Internet did that for me. I think they set him on fire, too."
Christoforo, a third-party publicist, was already known to have been fired by the maker of the Avenger, billed as a means of giving gamers—particularly first-person shooter players—a fast-response advantage. It released this summer for Xbox 360 but its PS3 configuration was delayed past Dec. 15, promulgating this embarrassing conflict when a dissatisfied customer wrote to complain and Christoforo responded with arrogance and condescension.
Wednesday night's statement from N-Control is comprehensive in its severance from Christoforo and his Ocean Marketing business, whose titular misspellings (and misspelled reincarnations) on Twitter have become a subject of lampoon.
"N-Control would like to publicly apologize to existing and potential customers, as well as the gaming community at large, for allowing Mr. Christoforo to abuse his power so unforgivably," the company said. "The Avenger was invented to provide greater accessibility to disabled gamers, and bullying tactics are the last thing that should be associated with this product."
N-Control promised that "All existing orders will be honored, and PS3 Avenger pre-order customers will all be extended the same $10 discount that some have already received.
"N-Control agrees with 'Customer Dave'"—to whom Christoforo originally replied, initiating this fiasco—"that all of our PS3 early adopters deserve to be rewarded for their trust in the Avenger."
The statement goes on to "publicly apologize to existing and potential customers, as well as the gaming community at large, for allowing Mr. Christoforo to abuse his power so unforgivably."
Indeed, much of the statement is devoted to separating N-Control from the online identities associated with Ocean Marketing, even spoof ones set up in the wake of the scandal. The company's official Twitter handle is @AvengerControl, it said; all other Twitter handles and representatives are nonofficial.
Further, "N-Control requests that customers discontinue use of the toll-free phone number displayed on the AvengerController.com website, as well as any other means of contact found there. Instead, customers should direct communication to AvengerDefender@gmail.com. They ask for patience due to the events of the last two days."
Regarding the actual product, "All PS3 Avenger pre-orders are currently slated to ship by January 15th at the latest," N-Control said.