It’s a rare situation, but one that it’s always sad to see. We’ve received word from a trusted source within games journalism that the PR team of Topware Interactive, publisher of Two Worlds II, is blacklisting publications who have awarded the game a middling or low score.
According to our source, an email to one British games journalist said that the company was “disappointed” with the response from UK critics, and described the publication’s middling score as “insulting”.
Our source was told that unless the score was upped to a 7 out of 10 – which the PR rep believed should signal an “average” game – the publication would be removed from Topware’s press list – meaning no press releases, assets, preview code or review copies would be sent their way in the future.
A second source told us that this isn’t the first time Topware have engaged in such behaviour – though we’ve not got the details on that one yet.
I have emailed our own PR contact at Topware to try to straighten things out. For the record, despite awarding the game 5.4 out of 10 in our review, we received no such email from the company or any of its representatives.
Added 20:30 on 18th Feb
We’ve not heard back from TopWare yet, but we have just received an email from a UK-based editor who has informed us of similar goings-on at CVG.
The editor, who asked to remain anonymous but is not from CVG, said that TopWare had threatened to pull out of a very lucrative advertising deal with the website as a result of the review – a deal that the publication’s ad department say they knew nothing of.
The PR rep allegedly told a CVG editor that the review was “mean-spirited”, and asked for a re-write.
CVG is not the publication the original story referred to, so sounds like this isn’t just an isolated incident.
More info as we get it.
Added 22:38 on 18th Feb: