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."
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen