Print 32 comment(s) - last by Aikouka.. on Jun 23 at 11:52 AM


Jim Redner explains what led to the tweet that got him fired from 2K Games

"Duke Nukem" fans waited nearly two decades for the follow up to "Duke Nukem 3D," which was released in 1996. Now that its successor, "Duke Nukem Forever," is finally here, many are wishing it would go back where it came from and stay there.

Such negative reviews did not sit well with the Redner Group, which is a video game PR company founded by Jim Redner in April 2009. Until recently, 2K Games was a client of the Redner Group, and the PR company was responsible for promoting and marketing "Duke Nukem Forever." But after Redner read a particularly nasty review of the game, he used Twitter to vent his frustration and 2K Games fired the Redner Group.

"Too many went too far with their reviews...we r reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn't based on today's venom," said Redner's tweet.

This comment stirred the journalistic community, who saw Redner's tweet as a threat that whoever gives 2K Games' titles a bad review will be blacklisted from receiving video games for review in the future.

Now, Redner has appeared as a guest columnist on to give a lengthy explanation of why he said what he said, and to clarify a few points. He described the particular review as being hateful and negative instead of fair, which led him to write the tweet.

"Opinions are never wrong," said Redner. "Reviews, when backed by fact, are always correct regardless of the score. The reviewer's story was downright mean spirited. It's as if the reviewer had a grudge and finally found an outlet to unleash his hostile brand of negativity. The review goes so far as to disparage the people who poured thousands of irreplaceable hours of their life, spent absent from families and loved ones, into the creation of this game."

While he did say that his actions were inappropriate and that he overreacted, Redner also defended his act by saying it was done out of an "act of passion." He explained that he was particularly tired and frustrated that evening, and made a rash decision to vent on Twitter where 15 million people can see what he says.

"It was a brain fart of epic proportions that registered on the social media Richter scale," said Redner.

"First and foremost, I do not support the McCarthy era notion of blacklisting. My tweet was not some social media form of the Waldorf Statement. I never used the word blacklist in my tweet. The term appeared in a story on I said that there were some reviews that had gone too far and that I was going to re-evaluate our reviews process (it was just one review and it wasn't even the lowest scored review). I have already apologized for my blunder and I will not do so again."

Redner went on to describe what it took to promote "Duke Nukem Forever," such as traveling from writer to writer to spread the word, hunting for clips, sending copies of the game to reviewers and meeting all client needs.

"'Duke Nukem Forever' was a labor of love for me,'" said Redner.

Redner also described the selection process when mailing copies of the game to writers. He noted that publishers do not have to send copies of games to reviewers. They have the right to select who they want to send it to just like writers have the right to write any review they please. He mentioned that the selection process is based on past coverage, past dealings and personal information gathered from certain writers, like their likes and dislikes as far as gaming goes. This selection process was not "blacklisting" certain writers, as other reports have pointed out.

"It is my job to generate consumer awareness and excitement through positive media attention in order to drive sales," said Redner. "I had handpicked certain key editors that I felt would enjoy the game for what it is. I based my selections on previous coverage and personal conversations. It is a selection process. The idea was to generate the highest possible cumulative scores for the game at launch."

Overall, Redner believes a particular review (which remains unnamed by Redner) had gone too far in regards to the poor review given to "Duke Nukem Forever." He believes writers can write poor reviews, but not to the extent of the anonymous review he speaks of. He mentioned that he still respects the honest and fair journalists he has worked with over the years, and wishes he had gone about this a different way.

"In hindsight, what I should have done was contact that writer directly and had an adult conversation about the issue, as I have done in the past," said Redner. 

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Who cares?
By Omega215D on 6/22/2011 3:02:23 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, the PR guy probably shouldn't have done that but you gotta admit many reviewers sounded as if they had sticks up their butts as well.

Now is the game worth $50 (PC) or should I wait till it drops into $30 - 40 territory? I'll get the game as I always enjoyed the Duke Nukem franchise just wondering the price point.

RE: Who cares?
By Hieyeck on 6/22/2011 3:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
Notch has an excellent review as deep as the game is.

RE: Who cares?
By rburnham on 6/22/2011 4:25:31 PM , Rating: 2
I bought the game for 45 dollars on Steam. I would say it is no more than a 40 dollar game. I really enjoyed it, but I feel that fans of Duke will like it at 40 dollars. Non-fans who just want a fun shooter will probably be better served when it hits 30 dollars.

The funny thing about the game is that the things that I found wrong with it are the same things I find wrong in modern shooters (frustrating boss battles, you can only carry two guns, puzzles that take away from the shooting). Is it possible that some people gave Duke a poor review because it mirrors the flaws in a lot of modern shooters? Maybe on a subconscious level that made some people mad?

Anyway, Duke is fun.

RE: Who cares?
By Jedi2155 on 6/23/2011 4:32:37 AM , Rating: 4
I blame Halo for ruining the shooter genre.

RE: Who cares?
By BZDTemp on 6/22/2011 5:50:11 PM , Rating: 2
Check the demo or let me just put it this way - this is the first Duke game I'm not gonna buy. There are two reasons for that:

1. I'm clearly not the target audience.
2. If the demo is anything to go by it is the huge disappointment the reviews also tell it is.

As for the 1. then let me elaborate. It's like they have taken the humor "formula" of the old games and let someone without humor doing the writing. Imagine someone that does not get South Park be ordered to write an episode - they will tick all the boxes but Kenny's death will be from natural causes. In other words the humor is for like a 8 year old that think a dirty word is fun to say.

RE: Who cares?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/22/2011 6:32:30 PM , Rating: 3
I think the guy is dead on. Clearly they blew it when selecting reviewers. Most of the Duke Nukem Forever reviews were extremely off base, unprofessional, and clearly biased. Also they never looked at the game for what it was, their entire perceptions seems skewed about what they were reviewing. I wonder if half of them actually played the game or the original.

RE: Who cares?
By B3an on 6/23/2011 1:33:08 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I think DNF got the scores it deserves, but most of the reviewers seem plain hateful and immature.
A lot of the reviewers seem to be politically correct nazi's as well. If duke offends there tiny minds then they should stick to reviewing rehashed Nintendo sh*t.

RE: Who cares?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/23/2011 8:36:49 AM , Rating: 2
The problem I have with game scores is that it automatically assumes there is some standard for video games. A concept I reject.

Games should be reviewed on how "fun" they are for their target audience.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki