In a remarkable public outburst, one US PR agency has threatened to withhold review code of upcoming game from media outlets who were particularly harsh on Duke Nukem Forever.
Following the lifting of the US reviews embargo last night, the game’s Xbox 360 average on Metacritic has fallen to 48 per cent.
"Too many went too far with their reviews," The Redner Group said in a now deleted comment on Twitter. "We are reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn’t based on today’s venom.
"Bad scores are fine. Venom filled reviews – that’s completely different."
The agency has since gone on to stress that Duke Nukem Forever publisher 2K Games had nothing to do with the outburst, adding: "I have to apologise to the community. I acted out of pure emotion.
"I want everyone to know that I was acting on my own. 2K had nothing to do with this. I am so very sorry for what I said."
Of course, the shadier sides of the games business will be not shock to those involved within it. Every sector has its less desirable elements.
For a fascinating insight into the darker side of the relationship between the media and PR, read Ars Technica’s brutally honest editorial on the subject.