We all knew that when the allegations that the Dead Space franchise had been cancelled, that it was exactly that, “allegations.” The news may or may not have transpired to truth and awaited confirmation from the publisher.
At Zombiegamer we will only publish allegations based on “anonymous sources” if those are sources of highly respected publication, and VideoGamer happens to be one of those. Sources of major publications have often disclosed “yet-to-be-disclosed” information.
The saga has now exploded as EA has accused VideoGamer of fabricating the Dead Space cancellation story, but the publication is adamant that EA knew about the story in advance, and was given an opportunity to deny it prior to publication. VideoGamer reportedly say that it has a detailed account of its correspondence with EA prior to publishing the piece.
Eurogamer [the source of the updated information] report that EA COO Peter Moore left a comment on a GamesIndustry after the EA news surfaced saying:
“Standard, shoddy website journalism recipe, born out of a desperate need to increase click-thru rates to support advertising revenue,” he wrote. “Fabricate a story using an ‘unnamed source,’ post it first thing in the morning, add the letters ‘EA’ to the story (oh, and link it to micro-transactions – always a fan favourite) and then stand back and enjoy the vitriol which you turn into revenue. Rinse and repeat…”
“My comments were fairly and squarely aimed at Videogamer. My issue is not the rejection of community feedback (we get that in bucketloads all day long and we learn from it in real time), rather it was the fabrication of a story in order to generate controversy and ultimately readership.”
VideoGamer responded to these allegations claiming that proper steps were taken with EA prior to publishing the story, and that EA went from refusing to comment on rumours to calling them liars.
VideoGamer also maintains that it acquired the information from “a trusted source: an individual whose identity they agreed to protect.z” Videogamer claims that it followed up with EA to inquire about the validity of the information.
EA UK reportedly asked VideoGamer to hold on to the story until Tuesday while it checked in with its US team to coordinate a response, to which VideoGamer reluctantly agreed and held out on publishing.
On Tuesday EA responded by saying it “does not comment on rumour and speculation,” after which VideoGamer published the article.
Within hours many sites [including Zombiegamer] published the story with Videogamer as the source of the information. Gamasutra and Gamespot then claimed to have received a statement from EA claiming that the VideoGamer story was “patently false.”
In Eurogamer’s article on the saga, the publication asks why EA did not deny the allegations in the first place to VideoGamer.
VideoGamer concluded with the following statement:
“VideoGamer.com would never publish information from a source whose identity could not be verified, or that we do not believe to be accurate. We carried out internal checks to verify the validity of the comments made by our source – and while we have a duty of care to protect their identity – we stand by the comments made in the original story.
“We would also like to reiterate that we ran the story in good faith, taking the necessary steps with both EA and our source to ensure that the story was as accurate, fair, and well-represented as possible.
“We find it perplexing as to why EA changed its stance on its decision not to comment on rumours and speculation, especially given the opportunities that the publisher had to clarify the situation before and after VideoGamer.com published the story. We firmly deny any accusations of fabrication on our part.”