Australian journalist fired for outing Rockstar email

red dead redemption

It looks like Rockstar is at it again in the field of mismanaged human resources, but this time through an Australian journalist at lad mag Zoo Weekly.  According to, Toby McCasker, former deputy entertainment editor at the magazine, was fired for publicly posting an email from Rockstar on his Facebook that smells a little like trying to buy positive press for their upcoming title Red Dead Redemption.  Decide for yourself; here’s the alleged text of the email from Rockstar:

"This is the biggest game we’ve done since GTA IV, and is already receiving Game of the Year 2010 nominations from specialists all around the world.
Can you please ensure Toby’s article reflects this – he needs to respect the huge achievement he’s writing about here."

Shortly after McCasker posted this email online, he got the boot from the magazine, and swiftly made his way to where he reportedly said, "I did not sign up to become a journalist to write advertorials masquerading as editorial. This ‘cash for comment’ culture that is fast becoming the status quo within print media bothers me a lot."

Not surprisingly, Rockstar Australia hasn’t responded to this issue yet, but Zoo Magazine editor Paul Merrill did, regarding the reason for firing McCasker:

"I would like to make it clear that at no time has Rockstar EVER sought a preferential review in return for advertising. In fact no games company has ever suggested this. And Zoo would never give a positive review to a game we didn’t rate in return for ad dollars.
Toby McCasker was sacked for a number of reasons, one of which was his decision to post a private email on his Facebook page. This email was not referring to a game review. He should not be considered a credible source of information on this matter."

Yikes. Looks like Rockstar might be in some hot water on this one, especially with the amount of press McCasker has garnered for the "bribemail". More news to come, so stay tuned.



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Author: Dan Crabtree View all posts by
Dan is Managing Editor for GamerNode and a freelance gaming writer. His dog is pretty great. Check him out on Twitter @DanRCrabtree.

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