Konami Shuns Kotaku Japan Over Corruption Comments

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Konami Shuns Kotaku Japan Over Corruption Comments

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Konami has revoked Kotaku Japan's invitation to the launch event for Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker after it published an article suggesting that there was something fishy about its perfect score in Famitsu.

A perfect forty out of forty in Famitsu is pretty rare, so rare in fact there have only been 13 in the magazine's 24 year history. The recent 40 handed to Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker takes the total up to fourteen, but not everyone is convinced that the game came by such an accolade entirely honestly.

In an editorial, Kotaku's Brian Ashcraft pointed out that Hirokazu Hamamura, the former Famitsu editor-in-chief, and the current president of Enterbrain had appeared in a number of ads for Peace Walker and that the magazine actually appeared in the game, and suggested that there might be a conflict of interests.

Kotaku Japan published a translated version of the article, and in response Konami and Famitsu both contacted the site and Konami revoked its invitation to Peace Walker's launch event. This isn't proof of any shady or underhanded goings-on, but doesn't really help either Konami or Famitsu one bit, especially not when you consider how often the gaming media gets accused of being on the take on a good day.

Source: 1up

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Famitsu gave it a 40/40?!

Hell, I'm shocked. Now I wish my PSP hadn't broken.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famitsu#Perfect_scores

For those wondering.

I get the feeling that Evil Inc. is somehow involved... Devious...

Diffrent people likes diffrent things.
People have been giving HALO and Call of Duty series a string of near perfect scores since years back when they aren't better than good old DooM.

I'd get it if only to clear that image up.

Is that Solid Snake? Unless that's not Big Boss strangling that guy back there. Confusing.

LOLOLOL banhammered. That'll teach them to backsass Hideo "The Iron Fist" Kojima.

This is getting hilarious. Ashcraft writes an hot headed (and hypocritical) ranting post against a competing publication, a post that really borders libel and might easily have legal implications and he gets bent out of shape when he gets called on it?

I have to reiterate my opinion about the matter: http://classygamer.blogspot.com/2010/04/famitsu-controversy.html

This is the point where a professional journalist should swallow his pride, understand that he thrown accusations without a shred of proof, admit he was wrong and move on.

But no, he grasps at straws so desperately that it isn't even funny anymore: "waaaaah they responded on the same day! They must have decided together to bully Kotaku! Waaaaah!"
Good morning, Mr Ashcraft, publishers and journalists TALK to each other. You probably talk to publishers daily. When one of the two parties saw that libel article, it's pretty obvious that they called the other to let them know that some site was slandering them. There's really nothing weird or conspirationalist in that. So it's pretty obvious that a response was issued on the same day and, surprise surprise, arrived on the same day. Postage in Japan still works.

Maybe it's really time for Ashcraft to swallow his pride, admit that he did something stupid (and ethically very wrong), bow down and step back, instead of trying (and failing) to beef his accusations with more smoky conspiracy theories.

As for "shooting the messenger", Kotaku Japan isn't a "messenger". Kotaku Japan willingly published a libelous article, no matter where it was originally written. They did so under their responsibility. If you publish a libelous article, you're just as liable as if you wrote it. It's probable that they didn't even notice that the article was just a translation of what it appeared on Kotaku. The two sites being owned by different companies is no matter. They have the same name, and Kotaku Japan lives mostly on articles translated from Kotaku. To an external observer they are the same entity, so it's natural that they just wrote to them.

Seriously, Bashcraft did something hypocritical, morally and professionally wrong, and probably even bordering on the legally wrong, he's been called on it. he should it up, apologize and move on.

Zeithri:
Diffrent people likes diffrent things.
People have been giving HALO and Call of Duty series a string of near perfect scores since years back when they aren't better than good old DooM.

And like our gaming review sources aren't any less bought out? Anyone that trusts review scores is a dunderhead.

Kotaku Japan published a translated version of the article, and in response Konami and Famitsu both contacted the site and Konami revoked its invitation to Peace Walker's launch event.

This is pretty damning. Either A) Those two companies are a bunch of butthurt, whiny fuckheads or B) They really did have some shady shit going on and the review scores were bought out.

Isn't it peculiar how half of Famitsu's perfect scores occured within just the past two years? C'mon now, that's just damned odd for a mag that's been around for 24.

chstens:
I get the feeling that Evil Inc. is somehow involved... Devious...

Indeed...and it seems they have been caught out

TOGSolid:

This is pretty damning. Either A) Those two companies are a bunch of butthurt, whiny fuckheads or B) They really did have some shady shit going on and the review scores were bought out.

Excuse me, but this is a pretty farfetched argument. When someone writes a quite clearly libelous article against a publisher AND a developer without the smallest shred of proof (and accuse a publication of corruption is plenty between the boundaries of libel), there's nothing surprising if the ones on the receiving end of the libel (both the publisher and the developer) retaliate.

Blacklisting Kotaku would be actually a very mild reaction. They could have easily reacted with a lawsuit.

Looks like Ashcraft thinks he can write whatever the hell he wants without any consequence, no matter the fact that he doesn't have any kind of proof or solid argument. Well, he's just been proven wrong. Good lesson that everyone in his line of business should learn.

Abriael:
This is getting hilarious. Ashcraft writes an hot headed (and hypocritical) ranting post against a competing publication, a post that really borders libel and might easily have legal implications and he gets bent out of shape when he gets called on it?

I have to reiterate my opinion about the matter: http://classygamer.blogspot.com/2010/04/famitsu-controversy.html

This is the point where a professional journalist should swallow his pride, understand that he thrown accusations without a shred of proof, admit he was wrong and move on.

But no, he grasps at straws so desperately that it isn't even funny anymore: "waaaaah they responded on the same day! They must have decided together to bully Kotaku! Waaaaah!"
Good morning, Mr Ashcraft, publishers and journalists TALK to each other. You probably talk to publishers daily. When one of the two parties saw that libel article, it's pretty obvious that they called the other to let them know that some site was slandering them. There's really nothing weird or conspirationalist in that. So it's pretty obvious that a response was issued on the same day and, surprise surprise, arrived on the same day. Postage in Japan still works.

Maybe it's really time for Ashcraft to swallow his pride, admit that he did something stupid (and ethically very wrong), bow down and step back, instead of trying (and failing) to beef his accusations with more smoky conspiracy theories.

As for "shooting the messenger", Kotaku Japan isn't a "messenger". Kotaku Japan willingly published a libelous article, no matter where it was originally written. They did so under their responsibility. If you publish a libelous article, you're just as liable as if you wrote it. It's probable that they didn't even notice that the article was just a translation of what it appeared on Kotaku. The two sites being owned by different companies is no matter. They have the same name, and Kotaku Japan lives mostly on articles translated from Kotaku. To an external observer they are the same entity, so it's natural that they just wrote to them.

Seriously, Bashcraft did something hypocritical, morally and professionally wrong, and probably even bordering on the legally wrong, he's been called on it. he should it up, apologize and move on.

Do you really think that pointing out that a magazine gave a perfect score to a game that its founder has been involved in promoting - a magazine that is included in the game itself, no less - without any disclosure of this fact is, indeed, libelous?

Abriael:
Condense

I agree, after reading Ashcraft's article it was basically just random accusations of some conspiracies and basically insulting them with baseless claims before the game had even come out for them to decide if the game was warranted a "perfect" score.

And really, "The review appears bought. It needlessly dirties up what could very well be a great game"? A perfect score dirtying up a game? What the hell is he talking about?

I won't deny that something may be fishy about it, but frankly I don't care. A review is a review is a review, whether bought or not, if everyone else hates it then that's what they think. I wouldn't invite him to my birthday party if he was slandering conspiracies about how I invited a girl that apparently I "boned" yesterday, would I?

While I don't really think tat anything fishy is going on, I think this is the reason why advertisement deals should be made after the review is done to make sure their is no conflict of interests or the illusion of such.

Though banning that pass was proboly the stupidest mistake that Konami could make in this situation.

John Funk:

Abriael:
This is getting hilarious. Ashcraft writes an hot headed (and hypocritical) ranting post against a competing publication, a post that really borders libel and might easily have legal implications and he gets bent out of shape when he gets called on it?

I have to reiterate my opinion about the matter: http://classygamer.blogspot.com/2010/04/famitsu-controversy.html

This is the point where a professional journalist should swallow his pride, understand that he thrown accusations without a shred of proof, admit he was wrong and move on.

But no, he grasps at straws so desperately that it isn't even funny anymore: "waaaaah they responded on the same day! They must have decided together to bully Kotaku! Waaaaah!"
Good morning, Mr Ashcraft, publishers and journalists TALK to each other. You probably talk to publishers daily. When one of the two parties saw that libel article, it's pretty obvious that they called the other to let them know that some site was slandering them. There's really nothing weird or conspirationalist in that. So it's pretty obvious that a response was issued on the same day and, surprise surprise, arrived on the same day. Postage in Japan still works.

Maybe it's really time for Ashcraft to swallow his pride, admit that he did something stupid (and ethically very wrong), bow down and step back, instead of trying (and failing) to beef his accusations with more smoky conspiracy theories.

As for "shooting the messenger", Kotaku Japan isn't a "messenger". Kotaku Japan willingly published a libelous article, no matter where it was originally written. They did so under their responsibility. If you publish a libelous article, you're just as liable as if you wrote it. It's probable that they didn't even notice that the article was just a translation of what it appeared on Kotaku. The two sites being owned by different companies is no matter. They have the same name, and Kotaku Japan lives mostly on articles translated from Kotaku. To an external observer they are the same entity, so it's natural that they just wrote to them.

Seriously, Bashcraft did something hypocritical, morally and professionally wrong, and probably even bordering on the legally wrong, he's been called on it. he should it up, apologize and move on.

Do you really think that pointing out that a magazine gave a perfect score to a game that its founder has been involved in promoting - a magazine that is included in the game itself, no less - without any disclosure of this fact is, indeed, libelous?

I find his comments about Ashcraft being libelous very libelous! I demand legal reparations!

OT: I smell some fishy shit here too. Granted the game might be that good but Im guessing it might have gone from a 39 to a 40 from the conflict of interests.

John Funk:

Do you really think that pointing out that a magazine gave a perfect score to a game that its founder has been involved in promoting - a magazine that is included in the game itself, no less - without any disclosure of this fact is, indeed, libelous?

If you read the article that originated the whole mess, you'll notice that he didn't just point out the fact, he also drew personal conclusions and insinuated some quite clear accusations. That's most definitely libelous.
He concluded that Famitsu "is not to be trusted" without a shred of proof(so much that he put it in the title), if that's not defamatory, I don't know what it is.

If I write on a newspaper "The politician X has his niece working for the corporation Y, the corporation Y got this project from the government" those are facts.
If i write "the politician X has his niece working for the corporation Y, the corporation Y got this job from the government, hence the politician X is not to be truested, because we suspect that he underhandedly favored corporation Y in the competitiojn for the project" and I don't have any kind of solid proof to back that up, that's most decidedly libelous.

This without even mentioning that other than being libelous Ashcraft's article is absolutely hypocritical. Ascraft's salary comes from game publishers that pay Kotaku with advertisement deals. He receives tons of swag and favors from publishers basically daily. Why should we not trust Famitsu and trust him? It's not like he has no relationships with game publishers, quite the contrary.

Also, What disclosure? What is there to be disclosed? The deal for the appearence of Famitsu in MGS:PW is in everyone's face. They even went on stage on a press conference to announce it with every possible frill. Nothing of it is secret or hidden, so there's nothing to be disclosed.

When the rest of the gaming press will go out and "disclose" every single advertisement deal they have related to a game or publisher, when they will send back to the sender all the swag, favors and little giveaways they receive from publishers, then they'll have the ground to single out Famitsu on a similar thing. Kotaku for sure isn't clean, so Mr ashcraft should look into his own camp instead of slandering another publication.

Not G. Ivingname:
While I don't really think tat anything fishy is going on, I think this is the reason why advertisement deals should be made after the review is done to make sure their is no conflict of interests or the illusion of such.

Great. I'm all for that. But tell it to the gaming press as a WHOLE, because you know, every single gaming publication out there has advertisement deals with publishers before the review is published. Famitsu is not the first, not the last, ergo another gaming publication that lives on advertisement deals just as much (actually more, since Kotaku lives exclusively on advertisement having no other revenue) singling famitsu out is so hypocritica, unprofessional, and ultimately disgusting.

Though banning that pass was proboly the stupidest mistake that Konami could make in this situation.

It's actually a quite mild reaction to a defamatory post.

Makes you wonder, if this review was indeed bought, then how many othe MGS reviews were bought as well? Perhaps Hideo's belief that he is a good game maker isn't built on as a solid foundation as he thought.

TOGSolid:
Isn't it peculiar how half of Famitsu's perfect scores occured within just the past two years? C'mon now, that's just damned odd for a mag that's been around for 24.

I'm curious about that, too. I have a hard time believing that the past two years has seen that huge an upswing in the ability of people to make 'perfect' games. At this point, I'm not sure how reliably I can count any of those recent 'perfect' scores to be.

Perhaps this is the real story here. Maybe someone should look into it and write a story about that.

Abriael:

John Funk:

Do you really think that pointing out that a magazine gave a perfect score to a game that its founder has been involved in promoting - a magazine that is included in the game itself, no less - without any disclosure of this fact is, indeed, libelous?

If you read the article that originated the whole mess, you'll notice that he didn't just point out the fact, he also drew personal conclusions and insinuated some quite clear accusations. That's most definitely libelous.
He concluded that Famitsu "is not to be trusted" without a shred of proof(so much that he put it in the title), if that's not defamatory, I don't know what it is.

If I write on a newspaper "The politician X has his niece working for the corporation Y, the corporation Y got this project from the government" those are facts.
If i write "the politician X has his niece working for the corporation Y, the corporation Y got this job from the government, hence the politician X is not to be truested, because we suspect that he underhandedly favored corporation Y in the competitiojn for the project" and I don't have any kind of solid proof to back that up, that's most decidedly libelous.

This without even mentioning that other than being libelous Ashcraft's article is absolutely hypocritical. Ascraft's salary comes from game publishers that pay Kotaku with advertisement deals. He receives tons of swag and favors from publishers basically daily. Why should we not trust Famitsu and trust him? It's not like he has no relationships with game publishers, quite the contrary.

Also, What disclosure? What is there to be disclosed? The deal for the appearence of Famitsu in MGS:PW is in everyone's face. They even went on stage on a press conference to announce it with every possible frill. Nothing of it is secret or hidden, so there's nothing to be disclosed.

Not G. Ivingname:
While I don't really think tat anything fishy is going on, I think this is the reason why advertisement deals should be made after the review is done to make sure their is no conflict of interests or the illusion of such.

Great. I'm all for that. But tell it to the gaming press as a WHOLE, because you know, every single gaming publication out there has advertisement deals with publishers before the review is published. Famitsu is not the first, not the last, ergo another gaming publication that lives on advertisement deals just as much (actually more, since Kotaku lives exclusively on advertisement having no other revenue) singling famitsu out is so hypocritica, unprofessional, and ultimately disgusting.

Though banning that pass was proboly the stupidest mistake that Konami could make in this situation.

It's actually a quite mild reaction to a defamatory post.

Okay, you are familiar with the idea of an opinion editorial, yes? There is a difference between news reporting and an opinion piece.

The expectation is that if Kotaku were similarly involved with the promotion of a game (and if Kotaku reviews were so influential as those of Famitsu), it would have to disclose such a thing in its review.

Space Jawa:

Perhaps this is the real story here. Maybe someone should look into it and write a story about that.

Or perhapse they simply have a new generation of reviewers and journalists that are more enthusiastic about games and more free in giving high scores?

Look around the world-wide press. How many perfect scores did you use to see in the nineties and early 2000s? Lately there's tons of 10s dropped around. God of War III, Uncharted 2, Metal Gear Solid 4. Lots of examples out there. Why?
Simply because gaming journalism, as a whole, has changed.
Once upon a time an 8/10 was a great score. Now if a game gets 9.2 instead of 9.5-10, then it's a failure and a trainwreck ensues.

It's most definitely not a matter of Famitsu.

John Funk:

Okay, you are familiar with the idea of an opinion editorial, yes? There is a difference between news reporting and an opinion piece.

Opinion pieces don't allow you to say whatever the hell crosses your mind, mate. You're still subject to laws and regulations, and if you write something that potentially damages someone's public image and credibility, you better have your proof well lined up, and much more solid than your own little conjectures.

The expectation is that if Kotaku were similarly involved with the promotion of a game (and if Kotaku reviews were so influential as those of Famitsu), it would have to disclose such a thing in its review.

Kotaku are similarly involved in the promotion of a ton of games. They splatter their whole site with full blown themes that basically turn the whole site into an ad (and the same is done by Kotaku Japan).
How influential they are is irrelevant. And they disclose nothing.
The same goes for all the other publications that receive tens of thousands dollars (not to mention all the freebies) from publishers to advertise games.

John Funk:
Okay, you are familiar with the idea of an opinion editorial, yes? There is a difference between news reporting and an opinion piece.

The expectation is that if Kotaku were similarly involved with the promotion of a game (and if Kotaku reviews were so influential as those of Famitsu), it would have to disclose such a thing in its review.

And you don't have to invite guests who insult you to your party, either.

This totally doesn't make them seem more suspicious or look like massive pricks... oh wait.

TOGSolid:

Zeithri:
Diffrent people likes diffrent things.
People have been giving HALO and Call of Duty series a string of near perfect scores since years back when they aren't better than good old DooM.

And like our gaming review sources aren't any less bought out? Anyone that trusts review scores is a dunderhead.

I wouldn't say "Bought out", I'd say: Saying what the Mainstreem wants to hear in order to make more money.

Space Jawa:

TOGSolid:
Isn't it peculiar how half of Famitsu's perfect scores occured within just the past two years? C'mon now, that's just damned odd for a mag that's been around for 24.

I'm curious about that, too. I have a hard time believing that the past two years has seen that huge an upswing in the ability of people to make 'perfect' games. At this point, I'm not sure how reliably I can count any of those recent 'perfect' scores to be.

Perhaps this is the real story here. Maybe someone should look into it and write a story about that.

It could be because the staff has changed around abit (as it does happen, just ask Activision) and the newer journo's are prone to be less critical.

SilverKyo:
This totally doesn't make them seem more suspicious or look like massive pricks... oh wait.

"This site has posted a libelous post on us, sir"
"Write them a letter with a formal protest and don't invite them to our launch party"

yes, TOTALLY suspicious. One needs to be a "massive prick" to retaliate very mildly against open libel.

Abriael:

John Funk:

Okay, you are familiar with the idea of an opinion editorial, yes? There is a difference between news reporting and an opinion piece.

Opinion pieces don't allow you to say whatever the hell crosses your mind, mate. You're still subject to laws and regulations, and if you write something that potentially damages someone's public image and credibility, you better have your proof well lined up, and much more solid than your own little conjectures.

The expectation is that if Kotaku were similarly involved with the promotion of a game (and if Kotaku reviews were so influential as those of Famitsu), it would have to disclose such a thing in its review.

Kotaku are similarly involved in the promotion of a ton of games. They splatter their whole site with full blown themes that basically turn the whole site into an ad.
How influential they are is irrelevant. And they disclose nothing.
The same goes for all the other publications that receive tens of thousands dollars (not to mention all the freebies) from publishers to advertise games.

As long as the site makes it clear that they are the opinions of the particular writer, they... kind of do, actually. Have you LOOKED at the internet lately? Political blogs - or the op-ed sections of any given newspaper - are full with the sort of thing you describe.

How is it any different from Susan drawing her conclusion that the presentation for the Move is muddying the PS3's image? Couldn't that potentially be seen as endangering someone's job? Or, on the positive side, my own conclusion that the SC2 payment model for Russia is one of the best ideas I've ever seen? These are all opinion pieces, as was Brian Ashcraft's saying that "I don't think we should trust Famitsu's reviews anymore."

Pointing out that Famitsu and Peace Walker have a very close business relationship that runs well beyond ads isn't beyond the pale, dude. And yes, I think the scope of the matter absolutely separates it from standard advertising dollars and freebies.

There is a definite potential conflict of interest here, and he wasn't wrong in pointing it out. He certainly wasn't libelous.

SaintWaldo:

John Funk:
Okay, you are familiar with the idea of an opinion editorial, yes? There is a difference between news reporting and an opinion piece.

The expectation is that if Kotaku were similarly involved with the promotion of a game (and if Kotaku reviews were so influential as those of Famitsu), it would have to disclose such a thing in its review.

And you don't have to invite guests who insult you to your party, either.

That's the interesting part. Bashcraft wasn't insulting Konami or Peace Walker - far from it. His concerns were solely focused on Famitsu. That Konami would then turn around and blacklist him is interesting enough on its own.

Abriael:
Or perhapse they simply have a new generation of reviewers and journalists that are more enthusiastic about games and more free in giving high scores?

Look around the world-wide press. How many perfect scores did you use to see in the nineties and early 2000s? Lately there's tons of 10s dropped around. God of War III, Uncharted 2, Metal Gear Solid 4. Lots of examples out there. Why?
Simply because gaming journalism, as a whole, has changed.
Once upon a time an 8/10 was a great score. Now if a game gets 9.2 instead of 9.5-10, then it's a failure and a trainwreck ensues.

It's most definitely not a matter of Famitsu.

I disagree. Enthusiasm about and 'feeling free' to give out high scores is a very bad thing. It makes those scores worthless and unreliable. If those scores are unreliable, what's the point of using them to determine if a game is worth playing?

The way you mention game journalism? Yeah, the way you put it, it is changing. And it's changing for the worse. When 9.5 is considered a terrible score, it's time to readjust the grading scale and start retooling those 9.5s into run of the mill 5s.

And if Famitsu is beginning to follow the trend, their scores, including their perfect scores, are no longer worth the page it's printed on.

So yeah. It is most definitely a matter of Famitsu.

ColdStorage:
It could be because the staff has changed around abit (as it does happen, just ask Activision) and the newer journo's are prone to be less critical.

Isn't being 'critical' part of the job of a game 'critic'? I would think that having journalists who are less critical (in either the positive or negative sense of the word) in their reviews is a bad thing.

Space Jawa:
And if Famitsu is beginning to follow the trend, their scores, including their perfect scores, are no longer worth the page it's printed on.

So yeah. It is most definitely a matter of Famitsu.

None of their perfect scores has ever been given to a game on which that perfect score didn't make sense. Even Nintendogs (and mind you, i HATE nintendogs with an absolute, flaming passion), can easily be defined a perfect game for it's target and audience.

When Famitsu will give a perfect score to an objectively bad or mediocre game, then it'll be a matter of Famitsu. 'till then, it's a non-issue.

Space Jawa:

Isn't being 'critical' part of the job of a game 'critic'? I would think that having journalists who are less critical (in either the positive or negative sense of the word) in their reviews is a bad thing.

being "critical" doesn't mean not giving a perfect score when you think it's warranted. If you don't ever give perfect scores just for the sake of being "critical" then you're the one doing a disservice to your readers.

Abriael:
This is getting hilarious. Ashcraft writes an hot headed (and hypocritical) ranting post against a competing publication, a post that really borders libel and might easily have legal implications and he gets bent out of shape when he gets called on it?

This is the point where a professional journalist should swallow his pride, understand that he thrown accusations without a shred of proof, admit he was wrong and move on.

But no, he grasps at straws so desperately that it isn't even funny anymore: "waaaaah they responded on the same day!

Ashcraft and Kotaku hasn't been punished in anyway shape or form, so he's not going to swallow his pride he's just going to run with it, you see Konami "uninvited" the Japanese site "Kotaku" which isn't owned by the same company as the american arm.

Basically his caustic tongue and greasy hair has got a company not affiliated with him in any way in hot water with Konami.

The guy is clearly a jerk since he's banging the same drum.

Space Jawa:

Isn't being 'critical' part of the job of a game 'critic'? I would think that having journalists who are less critical (in either the positive or negative sense of the word) in their reviews is a bad thing.

Well yeah but disliking one aspect of a game wont stop it getting the allusive perfect 10, a perfect score doesn't actually mean perfection because everyone knows perfection is unattainable.

I give you my "Michael Winner" argument;
If it was their job to advertise every little fault and broadcast it to the world then you wouldn't respect their opinions because their moany little shit bags.

John Funk:

As long as the site makes it clear that they are the opinions of the particular writer, they... kind of do, actually. Have you LOOKED at the internet lately? Political blogs - or the op-ed sections of any given newspaper - are full with the sort of thing you describe.

The fact that not everyone gets called out on it doesn't mean that it's allowed, ethical or professional. It's so funny that internet wannabe writers nowadays have developed this delusion of immunity that makes them think they can slander and defame anyone they want and not face any consequence.

How is it any different from Susan drawing her conclusion that the presentation for the Move is muddying the PS3's image?

you're comparing apple to oranges.

If you tell "this thing done by X is bad". That's opinion, as long as the thing done by X is public knowledge. You're giving your opinion on something real and proved.

If you tell "I think X is doing this thing (even if I have no proof), and that thing is bad", then you're being libelous. Not only you're giving your opinion on something, but you're also throwing open accusations against another entity, and accusations on which you have no proof. Very, very different.

Pointing out that Famitsu and Peace Walker have a very close business relationship that runs well beyond ads isn't beyond the pale, dude. And yes, I think the scope of the matter absolutely separates it from standard advertising dollars and freebies.

"Standard advertising dollars"? How do you know what's the difference between that and standard advertising dollars? Do you know how much Famitsu has been paid for lending their image to a game? IF they have been paid at all besides the standard advertising rates for the publicity pages gone on the mag?
You have absoliutely no element, and "standard advertising dollar" are what allows sites like kotaku to survive. So no, I'm sorry, the scope isn't different at all.
Anything else is something that you (and Ascraft) suggest without any kind of proof. That's exactly the by the book definition of libel.

There is a definite potential conflict of interest here, and he wasn't wrong in pointing it out. He certainly wasn't libelous.

There's no more conflict of interest than the give and take relationship between any big publication (including Kotaku) and publishers. Ergo, he's an hypocrite, and yes, it's libel.

John Funk:

That's the interesting part. Bashcraft wasn't insulting Konami or Peace Walker - far from it. His concerns were solely focused on Famitsu. That Konami would then turn around and blacklist him is interesting enough on its own.

This is some serious straw grasping mate. he clearly accused Konami of having bought or otherwise encouraged an perfect score on a magazine. If that's directly attacking Konami, I don't know it is. The fact that he sweetened the pill with a few backhanded compliments afterwards doesn't make his piece less aimed towards Konami.

Zeithri:
Diffrent people likes diffrent things.
People have been giving HALO and Call of Duty series a string of near perfect scores since years back when they aren't better than good old Doom.

This. So fucking this.

So Konami got straight buster on Famitsu and won't let them in on the launch because of a dishonest 40/40?

*+1 faith in humanity*

ColdStorage:

Basically his caustic tongue and greasy hair has got a company not affiliated with him in any way in hot water with Konami.

Actually this is incorrect. Kotaku Japan chose to translate and publish his libelous article on their own accord. When you publish something, you take responsibility for it. So while Ascraft is definitely the origin of the problem, Kotaku Japan isn't innocent.
No one held them at a gunpoint to reiterate a libelous piece by publishing it. They freely decided to. Their bad.

Haha, serves them right. I hate underhanded business.

Abriael:

SilverKyo:
This totally doesn't make them seem more suspicious or look like massive pricks... oh wait.

"This site has posted a libelous post on us, sir"
"Write them a letter with a formal protest and don't invite them to our launch party"

yes, TOTALLY suspicious. One needs to be a "massive prick" to retaliate very mildly against open libel.

It's called man up and grow a pair. So some people don't like your game, big deal. The fact that the editor of a magazine such as that, and how rare that particular score is, with the relation he has to the company does still beg the question. Instead of acting like childish kids and lashing out at anyone who smells bullshit, why not be civil and try to prove your reasoning and logic behind your argument so such a score... you know, like adults. The fact that they wrote a letter at all is extremely suspicious. So they got a bad review, big deal, happens all the time. A letter complaining about it means they only want praise for their game, not an opinion, and will do what they want to get it, including revoke whatever they feel and giving gifts to those who do act the way the want. A bribe is a bribe no matter how you want to present it.

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