Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of Gameblog

February 18, 2012 -

Yesterday, we reported that French gaming site Gameblog had apparently been blacklisted by Activision for reporting that Amazon’s French portal had briefly posted a listing for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

Gameblog editor Grégory Szriftgiser spoke to Kotaku about what happened:

“Our article was posted at 1:05 p.m. French time (that's CET). Activision first tried to call me at 2:16 p.m., but I couldn't answer, then sent an email (subject : "Pulling of a newspiece - URGENT") to both Julien [Chièze, co-founder of Gameblog and author of the article in question] and myself at 2:24 p.m., asking to "please take down the newspiece now", that "Activision didn't make any announcement", that "Amazon took upon themselves to publish this information without consulting [Activision]" and that it was "asked as a favor". I returned the phone call at 2:30 p.m., during which Activision asked the same thing, as a favor, insisting that this was a very serious matter to them for internal reasons they couldn't elaborate on and that the other major web outlets had already taken down their piece.

I explained that I couldn't do this and why (mainly, that Activision didn't have any right to intervene in our editorial, that it was newsworthy to us, that our job was first and foremost to inform our readers, that the newspiece didn't argue that it was anything official on Activision's end, and was correctly phrased to reflect it, notably, with the question mark)…”

The article stayed up and the following morning Szriftgiser spoke to Activision on the phone and was informed that there would be no more advertising, no more review copies, and all event invitations, including next week’s Transformers: Fall of Cybertron event, would be cancelled.

As he informed Activision would happen, Gameblog posted a story later that afternoon about the blacklisting.

For his part, Szriftgiser maintains that the Activision rep he spoke to remained professional throughout the various communications and assures readers that Gameblog will be busting open its piggy bank to purchase future Activision games for review.

Update: Activision has issued a response to Gameblog's blacklisting claim:

"Activision doesn't blacklist journalists. We believe this was a misunderstanding and are working towards a resolution."

Source: Kotaku, Joystiq

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

It's pretty simple to figure out why Activision is so sensitive on COD franchise news/announcements right now. They are in court with West and Zampella right now over the COD Intellectual Property and its future with Activision.

Personally I hope West and Zampella win but only time will tell.

(Yes I am aware that Black ops was Treyarch and not IW but its still in the COD franchise.)

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

Could we then perhaps hope that this creates at least one site which does more than echo the propaganda-esque hand-outs from publishers? 

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

Wow. It's only February and already Activision has been nominated for the Biggest Fucking Overreaction in the Game Industry of 2012.

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

If Activision is so damn pious then they won't mind Gameblog reposting their email exchange then eh?

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

Would GP get blacklisted if I "reveal" Madden NFL 14 here and you don't remove my post?  Let's find out!

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

Great Guns! Activision is releasing another Call of Duty game?! Stop the presses! Call back the newsboys! Halt the broadcast!  This news must be spread about the town forthwith!

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

Sounds fair to me. Any reputable news source (even if a blog) cannot accept "gifts" or anything of that nature from the parties they write about.

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

A review copy of the game is just for that, review, it isn't really a gift.

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

"Activision doesn't blacklist journalists. We believe this was a misunderstanding and are working towards a resolution."

Bullshit. The kind of threats displayed, and the way they got multiple sites to take down the news, show that this was clear blackmail. Calling it a misunderstanding is the weakest coverup I can imagine. Either fire someone or shut it.

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

Ahm.. this word 'blackmail', I do not think it means what you think it means....

It is a threat, it is pressure, but not blackmail.  Blackmail is when you have done something wrong and someone threatens to reveal that something to interested parties if you do not do something.  It is a specific form of pressure, and this really does not sound like a case of that.

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

blacklist or blackmail? you seem to be getting the two mixed up there, tiger...

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

Not at all. Threatening to cut them off is blackmail. Cutting them off is blacklisting.

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

I think what you are referring to is extortion. Very different from blackmail.

 

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

Well, no, usually blackmail is used FOR extortion, so they're not so far one from the other. Still, I agree with you that he doesn't seem to understand the meaning of the term.

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

Black mail is the threat of revealing harmful information in exchange for money or other compensation.

Extortion is the threat of violence or other harm in exchange for money or other compensation.

Very different things.

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extortion

Indeed. Oh well, the more you know...

Re: Updated: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of ...

Activision being dicks. And unimaginative. Hardly news.

Re: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of Gameblog

You'd think that "Activision has a new Call of Duty in the works" is about as newsworthy as "Electronic Arts has a new Madden in the works" and not worth getting worked up over, but Activision is currently run by egomanaical dickheads, so such is to be expected, I suppose.

Re: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of Gameblog

"no more review copies,"

As if you need one. all you need to do is play Black Ops again.

Re: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of Gameblog

"there would be no more advertising, no more review copies, and all event invitations"

There is a god.

Re: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of Gameblog

Is there a video game where the aim is to literally convert a molehill into a mountain?

Re: Editor Comments on Activision’s Blacklisting of Gameblog

World of Goo comes to mind =)

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will Code Avarice's Paranautical Activity make its way back onto Steam?:
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician