The manufacturer of the long-awaited Duke Nukem Forever game has sacked its PR agency, after the agency's founder lost his rag online and started threatening journalists for printing bad reviews.
Duke Nukem Forever spent longer in development than any computer game in history before finally hitting the shops this week. Work started in 1997, and stalled and restarted through many changes of ownership.
The game has rocketed to the top of most sales charts, driven we suspect by middle-aged men on a nostalgic trip back to the days of their youth. But games reviewers, many of whom were still in short pants when the original game was a hit, have been less than impressed.
Duke Nukem Forever's mix of soft porn, terrible one-liners and odd dress sense have not translated well into the 21st century, it seems, and the game is reportedly sorely lacking technically, with jerky graphics and bad lip syncing.
Reviews have ranged from bad to truly awful, and the pressure apparently became too much for Jim Redner, founder of the PR agency handling the launch for distributor 2K Games, who posted a now-removed tweet.
"Too many went too far with their reviews ... We are reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn't based on today's venom."
Redner quickly apologised and said that no-one would be blacklisted, but it did not save his scalp. His agency was let go, something 2K Games also announced on Twitter.
"2K Games does not endorse or condone the comments made by @TheRednerGroup and confirm they no longer represent our products," the company said.
Any journalist in the technology industry is familiar with blacklists. If a product gets a poor review the manufacturer may decide to delay sending out more kit, and a bad article about Apple is enough to get you off its press list in seconds. But to go public is almost unheard of.
There was only one other case of this we can think of, when Hexus got Alienware to admit to similar policies. Remember this the next time you check an unfamiliar gaming site.
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