Publisher 2K Games has officially dropped The Redner Group PR firm from representing its products after founder Jim Redner publicly threatened to blackball journalists that wrote negative reviews of Duke Nukem Forever
"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 posted last night in a since-deleted tweet. "Bad scores are fine. Venom filled reviews...that's completely different," he said in another deleted tweet.
Redner has since apologized both publicly
and privately for his tweets, saying he "acted out of pure emotion" and clarifying that he was not speaking on the orders of 2K Games.
But despite the apologies, 2K Games has confirmed
that Redner no longer represents the company's products, ending a years-long relationship; Redner had previously covered another Gearbox-developed, 2K-published game: Borderlands
Duke Nukem Forever
has received overwhelmingly negative reviews
from critics that chastised it for everything from crude, misogynistic humor to dated, linear gameplay and technical glitches.
Public relations companies often officially or unofficially deny access to interviews, early review products and even advertising
for journalists that publish negative reviews, but such behind-the-scenes squabbles are rarely, if ever, aired publicly by the PR firm.
In a widely publicized 2007 flap
, Sony Computer Entertainment threatened to halt its cooperation with gaming weblog Kotaku after the site published early, rumored details of what would turn out to be PlayStation Home. Sony later backed down after Kotaku publicized the issue.