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Publishers allegedly blackball EGM for negative coverage

Kyle Orland

UPDATE: The full text of the editorial is now available on Hsu's blog.

In his latest editorial, Electronic Gaming Monthly Editor-in-chief Dan "Shoe" Hsu publicly calls out three companies that are allegedly refusing to work with the magazine due to negative reviews of their games. According to Hsu, the members of Midway's Mortal Kombat team, Sony's sports division and Ubisoft as a whole are refusing to give EGM access to early preview or review builds of their games (in the case of Ubisoft, Hsu specifically says "it seems our coverage of Assassin's Creed was the last straw").

As a result, Hsu says EGM readers will get "little, late, or no coverage" of these companies' games. "We won't treat these products or companies any differently, and we'll just cover them to the best of our own abilities, with or without their support," Hsu writes. "Because, after all, we're writing for you, the reader -- not them."

These types of allegations aren't anything new around the game industry water cooler, and stories of publisher reprisals in the form of pulled advertising or blackballed journalists occasionally bubble up in the game press. But editors are usually reluctant to publicly name names in these situations, for fear of pissing off publishers further. Are we seeing the beginning of a new age in game journalism, where journalists aren't afraid of standing up to publishers that try to push them around?

We'll be following up with Hsu and the companies involved and let you know what we hear.

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