At the end of last week I had a source tell me a great little snippet of news: Portal 2 will feature co-op between PC and PS3 players. I posted this news to PXOD, submitted it to a few sites, and then stuck it up on N4G.
Very quickly this became a big hitter for PXOD as it soon spread to Gametrailers, NeoGAF and eventually reddit. WordPress offers up a list of all the links that folks have clicked to get to your story, so I was browsing through them, having a look at the reaction to the news, and one thing I picked up on a few times was this “who are these people? Should we believe this?” vibe. At least when folks weren’t arguing over PC or PS3 gamers being better.
It’s something that kind of got to me. We didn’t have an official source, or maybe a picture or video of this in action (I don’t think our source would of even been able to get those), but it was true. I couldn’t really say that, I guess it all hung on our word. But it wasn’t unless a “big site” posted it that it’d be verified. Or until EA posted the inevitable press release. We too could of waited on the press release, but why sit on this news? I trusted my source 100% on this information. 150% when I had another writer have his Valve source also confirm the news. But it was worth nothing to anyone else out there. I wanted to scream from the rooftops “Believe this news, it’s fucking true you dolts” but I couldn’t.
It’s kind of annoying the way the VG media is structured, that unless you’re a big guy you don’t have as much credibility (which is funny considering some of the stories the big guys run). But also unless you’re a big guy you don’t have as much access to the developers and publishers to query such things or get told this news. I have a feeling if EA wasn’t as big and if I didn’t know the source personally, we’d of never had this news until it was already posted by the big guys. The small blogger can do nothing but primarily feed on secondary news. We’ve only had one review code up to now (though plenty of beta codes), yet the big sites get thrown copies left right n centre. I get that low hits mean there’s not much point giving this info to the smaller sites, but it’s a kind of vicious circle where with no content to post about, we’re gonna have low hits, which means we don’t get access to the stuff we can report about.
I was suggested to stick “Rumour” on the start. Despite my dislike of doing so I was eventually convinced it was the ‘proper’ way to do things. It was kind of frustrating to know that what I was writing was true, but until EA or Valve came out and publicly declared this news true, until we waited on their watch, it meant naught. The publishers and developers have gotten such a sway in the industry that the news only exists on their own watch. the media is fed a drip feed of press release, screenshots, press only trade shows. It’s kind of sad the way things work at the moment, and I’m unsure if anything will change in the future.
Eventually it was all shown to be true when just as the article promised the press release hit today brining news that it’s also featuring SteamPlay. And I do kind of wonder if that puts a good mark on our site as “hey, they’re actually trustworthy”, or if it’ll all be forgotten by those who doubted our news. I guess the nice bonus is that because none of the big sites trusted us enough to bet an article on the news we had it as our own little exclusive for a few days. As it stands now I think we’ve been forgotten but the day is young.
Oh a call out to VGchartz Gamerfeed who took a chance on the little guys and reported on the news. Sure they stuck rumour on the start and suggested it could be a hoax, but they took a chance regardless. Thanks 😀