Full Disclosure

We have not, do not and will not accept free product, subscriptions, advertising, or any related items from any game company. We feel that any payment of any sort creates doubt in the readers’ minds about our opinions being honest. Rest assured that all opinions stated on this site are our own opinions, no influence will be accepted or tolerated.

– Ethic

Ethic turns down money all the time. I’ve seen the e-mails. I’m just not important enough to be bribed. [Update: someone once offered me an exclusive screenshot.]

: Zubon

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Ethic

I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I’m more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

21 thoughts on “Full Disclosure”

  1. I have been offered free accounts for two mainstream MMOs, one of them even offered an account for each person here at KTR. No I will not name them out of respect to the companies. And no, I have not been offered a free sub to Warhammer. If I did get an offer, I would turn it down. Can I prove that? no. However, the cost of the game is not enough to concern me, so it would be easy enough to turn them down. I currently pay for 2 WoW accounts, 1 AoC account, 3 Wizard101 accounts and the lifetime LotRO account. I’ll have 2 WAR accounts to add in there shortly. If WAR wants to give me a free account, I’d be happy to give it away to one of our readers.

    We are simply gamers here, not press. There is no reason for anyone to give us free stuff. We aren’t trying to get gigs in the game industry, so we don’t care if we piss them off either.

  2. wow. what a bold declaration. Finally a MMO blogger who doesn’t eat out of big MMO corporate palms! Not one of the ‘Good Ol’ MMO Boys’! A MMO blogger who finally cares. A real champion for the blogee. You are so strong. Presidency? 2012? So strong.

  3. That’s cool. I support your decision, but in my opinion bloggers, in general, are more proactive with rewards. Whether those rewards are ad revenue, MMO subs, press passes, or simply readership numbers, it matters not.

    Now this blanket statement surely doesn’t apply to all… but Zubon was the only one active for quite some time. What if your other posters had nice little carrots to get them active?

  4. @russ: It’s more likely the other way around. I’m weak. I don’t trust myself enough to take a gift and still remain unbiased. There, I said it.

    @Ravious: Yeah, it would be nice to be able to offer something to the contributors, but the more this starts feeling like a business, the less I will enjoy it.

  5. “There is no reason for anyone to give us free stuff.” Talk about looking a gift hors in the mouth. Who cares if you get a free MMO account?

    The company is ensuring is that the blogger is more likely to talk about their company’s work, being more familiar with it.

    If you’re not being asked to sign anything which compromises your integrity – NDA, assigning IP for your work, vetting posts past their marketing department – then where is the ethical compromise?

  6. @Krieg Baby: I care, it’s how I’m wired. This site is mainly for discussion about the games we are playing and the ones we want to play, nothing more. I don’t feel any need to write about a popular game unless I am playing it. I don’t have any obligations to give my impressions on any game unless I feel like it. It’s a sort of simple freedom and I crave it. If someone gave me a free account I know I’d look at it in a different light and I’d certainly feel pressured to write about it. That’s just how I function. Hell, I still give Turbine a lot of slack simply because Asheron’s Call was my first MMO.

  7. I’d just like to say that any MMOs out there with an abundance of phat lewt to give out, feel free to send it my way. I will gladly accept bribes, free accounts, and also food. Also also, all of the above. Oh! And N3 now also accepts gift certificates as legitimate bribes.

  8. When I’m wearing my Professional Hat, I offer free accounts to people who write about my game… not because I expect you to be nice to me, but because I want you to write about me. And paying for a gazillion MMO subscriptions is a hardship for most of the indie bloggers, especially if they get laid off or worse.

    I mean, from “my” POV (the studio’s) it’s fifteen dollars. It’s not big enough to be a bribe. If you have ten readers, and half of them play my game for ONE month past the free trial, I have made 75 dollars for a profit of sixty bucks.

    I appreciate your stance, and as a REPORTER I think you are entirely correct – even something small like a subscription will make a rant, however well deserved, feel awkward. But switching back to my studio hat, I’m gonna spend way more money on you if you ever come to one of my press events. If you have just two drinks at the hotel bar when I’m paying, you’ll have cost me more than a month’s sub.

    Man, I could talk myself in circles like a terrier on meth.

  9. Sanya really needs to post more…the Eating Bees blog is one of my favorites. I’m big on being blunt, ask my employees.

    I totally understand Ethic’s stance on this, and agree. Although honestly, I’d probably be harder on a game that gave me a free subscription because I’d feel that I needed to give them the feedback. Although, what I would prefer to do is have an open line with a dev, such as with other such people, in the interest of making a game better. I was in such a “club” long long ago, along with a few other writers of popular blogs (although at this time, I wasn’t writing here), and we had tons of private conversations that really helped that game. What was funny, at least to me, is the fact that we could not talk about it, and one of them, a very prominent writer at the time, would frequently bash mercilessly the game she was helping to fix. When asked about it, she said that she had no problem wearing two hats – she loved the game, and the free subscription did not change that, and that was why she bashed the wrongs and then tried to fix them.

    Fun dance if you can do it.

  10. I offer free accounts to people who write about my game… not because I expect you to be nice to me, but because I want you to write about me.

    This might be why I’m not getting offers. They’ve seen what I write about games. Those bloggers’ll turn on ya.’

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