Lewis Denby is a freelance videogames journalist and critic. As well as HonestGamers, he has written for PC Gamer, Eurogamer, The Escapist, Gamasutra and BeefJack.
Title: JUST PHONE THEM!!! Posted: September 14, 2008 (07:22 AM)
Maintaining professionalism by not mentioning any names:
When sending out review code to publications, it's usually a good idea to provide everything required to play the game from the outset. You know - things like activation codes.
What happens is that us freelance writers plan our time. So when we know we're being sent a game on Tuesday, we'll probably plan to spend two or three days playing it, then another writing the review. If, upon receiving the game, we can't play it, this throws everything up in the air a little.
To combat this, we might do something like phoning the PR company working for the publisher, explaining that no CD key was provided with the review copy, even though it is required to play the game. And they might say something like, "Sorry about this. We sent out all the UK review copies of the game on request from the publisher, but it would seem they haven't provided us with any CD keys. I'll get in touch with one ASAP."
Which is fine, and we sit about waiting for a while for the phone to ring or for an email to come through. And then it gets to the next day, and we've still not heard from them, so we may fire off a polite email reminding them of the fact that we still can't review their game because we still can't play it. And all this time, we're having to put off any new work because, ultimately, this remains number one priority because we're already supposed to be playing it.
But then what, bizarrely, could happen, is that we don't hear back for another 48 hours, and suddenly it's 4:30pm on Friday and you know the PR house will be closing for the weekend in half an hour. So we might phone up again, politely reminding them that we STILL can't play the game.
And they might say "I'm really sorry this is taking so long. We're still waiting to hear back from the US publishers about this."
And we might think something like, HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A BLOODY PHONE CALL TO THE PEOPLE THAT CLEARLY ALREADY HAVE AN ACTIVATION CODE?! AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THEM TO HAND IT OVER?!
And then we decide, almost a week later and having wasted a load of time sitting about doing nothing, that this game is by no means a priority any more, we can make them wait for their review as long as they can make us wait to play the thing, and we probably don't even care about writing a fair and honest piece any more* because we find them really annoying.
*Obviously we still will. We're obliged to. But still.
User: EmP Title: Posted: September 14, 2008 (08:48 AM)
Could be worse. The game in question might be a bloated version of a title already released and universally panned.
I'll make it up to you with another title. Check your e-mail shortly.
User: Lewis Title: Posted: September 15, 2008 (01:06 AM)
Not your fault, mate, clearly.
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