Sony 1, Kotaku 1
Or I guess depending on how you look at it, maybe Kotaku won. Who knows? But what I do know is that Brian Crecente has big brass balls and my blogger in arms stood up to Sony and seems to have gotten disinvited from every Sony event and basically stripped of his Sony manhood. Here’s the story that caused the drama and here’s what went down because of it:
When I responded that we were going forward with the story and that sometimes news doesn’t come from official sources I was told that if we published we would likely be blackballed by the company.
Specifically, they said we would be asked to return our debug PS3, uninvited from all meetings scheduled with Sony at GDC, including one on blogger relations and a one-on-one with Phil Harrison, and that they would no longer deal with us.
Well, not only that, but Crecente then went on to post Sony’s letter saying that they’d be shut out. Check out the entire soap opera after the jump.
Let me say this to Sony, though: You’ve got a PR problem out there, and picking on a popular gaming blog isn’t going to help things. You may want to reconsider this “ban” and realize that we and Kotaku are the present and future and what you’re going to have to deal with from now on. By doing this, you’re making your company look even worse and more out of touch with today’s gaming culture.
I will be meeting with Sony at this blogger event they’re holding at GDC. Hopefully, I’ll be able to bring their side of this whole mess and more. Stay tuned.
[Update: Sony and Kotaku are friends again. Crisis averted.]
From Sony’s Dave Karraker:
Brian, This is an email I was really hoping I would never have to write, but it is what it is. When I came on board here at Sony, I made every effort to be as inclusive as possible to media and the blogging community in an effort to improve previously damaged relationships. This included getting people access to executives, opening our events to more individuals and personally responding as quickly as possible to inquiries. This was done in good faith with the thought that the people I was working with would operate with the same integrity and courtesy I think I demonstrated when I was a reporter. Basically, I went out on a limb for a lot of people — people SCEA PR and SCEA management had written off. I caught a lot of flack for it from folks, but I felt strongly it was the right thing to do.
I am very disappointed that after trying to work with you as closely as possible and provide you and your team with access and information, you chose to report on this rumor…. I can’t defend outlets that can’t work cooperatively with us.
So, it is for this reason, that we will be canceling all further interviews for Kotaku staff at GDC and will be dis-inviting you to our media event next Tuesday. Until we can find a way to work better together, information provided to your site will only be that found in the public forum.
Again, I take absolutely no joy in sending you this note, but given the situation you have put me into, I have no choice.
Sr. Director, Corporate Communications
Sony Computer Entertainment America
Brian Crecente’s response:
Dave, Obviously I disagree with your decision, but it sounds like your mind is made up. I think this only highlights the differences that PR people and journalists have. My interest is not in making sure that Sony has positive news or that the timing of their news is correct, my job only is to inform the readers of news as quickly and accurately as I can. Hopefully, one day this dispute will settle down and you will reopen communication with us. Know this, while I disagree with this decision and think it is a monumental mistake, it will not effect our continuing coverage of Sony and the gaming software and hardware your company makes and supports. Take care, Brian