Atari blasts website because of low review score

atomic blastIt sounds as if Atari is playing its own version of its classic game, Missile Command, by trying to blast a German gaming website for publishing an advanced review of Alone in the Dark.

The controversy surrounds 4Players. The site gave the game a dismal 68% in its review of the game.

How did Atari react? It immediately withdrew an advertising deal with the site and also accused the German website of piracy because it reviewed a pre-release copy of the game.

Atari lawyers told 4Players, "With this [review] you are breaking the law and violate the rights of our client [Atari]."

It seems that 4Players has an insider source that releases games ahead of time to the gaming website for review purposes. 4Player says it does this because of the "surprising lack of distribution channels" for the retail versions of games but Atari doesn’t see this practice as proper.

From a translation of the German, Atari says:

"The only conceivable explanation would be that your ‘test’ on an illegally downloaded version is based. At the same time [you] ignore the standards for the tests. Tests must be objective and expert research is based."

4Players responded to the actions and comments of Atari by saying:

"This all [gave us a] really hearty laugh…our boss, our marketing department, our janitors and even our pets. Are the lords of Atari blind [that] printed magazines…have long been ahead of us [in printing the reviews?]…"

Strong-arm tactics such as threatening to pull ads from websites, which do not perform as ordered to, is a serious problem that gaming sites constantly face. Has the line that is supposed to separate review scores from ad dollars finally been erased or made more indistinct?

Halo 3 anyone?

[via 4Players


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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