Fired Duke Nukem Forever PR rep gives his side

The fired third party public relations rep for Duke Nukem Forever has written an extensive response to the incident that got him dismissed by 2K Games. Jim Redner, the head of The Redner Group, gives his side of the story in a guest column on the Wired web site. Redner's PR firm handled some of the public relation duties for the recently released first person shooter for developer Gearbox Software and publisher 2K Games. After the game's release Redner posted up a message on his Twitter page last week that threatened to pull future review copies from media outlets based on some particularly hard reviews of the game. While he later apologized via Twitter, 2K Games decided to fire the PR firm, saying, "We have always maintained a mutually-respectful working relationship with the press and do not condone his actions in any way."

In his guest column Redner states that the Twitter post that caused his firing came about because of a particular review of Duke Nukem Forever from an unnamed outlet that was pointed out to him by 2K Games. He states, "It was a scathing diatribe masked as a review. Hate is a strong word, but I believe after reading his review it is fair to say that the reviewer hated the game." He added, "The reviewer’s story was downright mean spirited. It’s as if the reviewer had a grudge and finally found an outlet to unleash his hostile brand of negativity. The review goes so far as to disparage the people who poured thousands of irreplaceable hours of their life, spent absent from families and loved ones, into the creation of this game."

He admits to having "overreacted" in his response to the review on Twitter saying, "It was an act of passion on my part that lacked objectivity. In my opinion, someone had gone over the top to attack the game and those who spent their lives trying to make it. Ultimately, I committed a cardinal sin in marketing."

Redner then goes over his own history in PR and marketing, saying that The Redner Group is just a one-man operation for the most part. He also goes over his selection process for which media outlets get games for review from his clients. He states, "For Duke Nukem Forever, I received even more requests that normal. That means I turned down hundreds of requests. Originally, before we had to push the launch from May to June, I recommended only sending a few copies out for review. We knew the game would receive a wide array of scores, from low to high. I recommended sending no more than 10 percent of what eventually went out."

He also points out that media outlets are not under any obligation to get a free review copy of the game from a publisher, saying "You are entitled to publish your review in any way you see fit, just as publishers have the same right to pick and choose who receives the game to review. Please remember, there are other ways to get a copy of the game for review. You can always buy it."

Finally he praises the many media outlets and journalists he has worked with over the years, saying, "There are always going to be a few people out there who are not fair and who work outside the lines of ethical behavior. To the countless number of honest and fair working journalists I respect your opinions. They are never wrong."

Image via 2K Games

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