When PR Dictates to Media: Grand Theft Auto IV

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[Grand Theft Auto IV screen shot (image cred)]

It can sometimes seem as if it is always PR people that are begging the media to feature their client. In most exchanges it is. However, when that exchange is between a video game editor and the PR manager for Grand Theft Auto IV, the scenario changes a bit.

Rockstar Games, which created the wildly popular video game, is known to be extremely conservative with their publicity, according to PRWeek.

Writes Frank Washkuch:

Often, producers send copies of new video games to multiple publications under embargo, or invite reviewers to play the game at a centralized location. Rockstar granted gaming Web site IGN an exclusive review of the game, which angered reviewers at other gaming sites. IGN gave the game a 10. Some called into question the practice of granting exclusives to one publication, saying that it gives the manufacturer undue influence over the score.

The “some” referenced above include mostly rival video game editors.

“They’re in the enviable position of being, kind of like their name – rock stars… they can basically tell the press what to do, because everyone wants a piece of it,” said Jeff Green, editor-in-chief of online PC gaming magazine 1Up.com.