The story of Dead Space 4’s supposed cancellation has taken an unwelcome turn with EA COO Peter Moore launching a personal attack on the journalist who broke the story.
For those who missed it, a report on Videogamer on Tuesday claimed that poor sales of Dead Space 3 had led EA to cancel development of a fourth title and abandon the series.
The site cited a “trusted source”.
As the day progressed various voices came out to deny the report, including two anonymous EA sources and a Visceral Games designer.
But last night none other than EA COO and former Xbox man Peter Moore took to the comments section of GamesIndustry not to deny the reports, but instead to attack the site that published them.
“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 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.”
We presume Moore sees the irony of accusing a website of deliberate lying and spreading misinformation whilst making wholly unsubstantiated claims about them?
A statement on Videogamer defended its source and detailed the process it had followed with EA to try and obtain satisfactory answers.
“The information was provided to us by a trusted source: an individual whose identity we agreed to protect, but whose background and statements gave us valid reason to trust their claims,” it retorted.
“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.”
Readers are now left with a judgement call. MCV does not accept for one moment that Videogamer fabricated anything – they’re a good team with some good journalists.
So either the site’s source was incorrect, which does happen, or EA isn’t being completely honest. And let’s face it – in an age where publisher responses are on occasion PR’d to death, readers cannot be blamed for remaining sceptical of EA’s assurances.