inXile is doing a closed demo of TTON at Gamescom this month. Private invitations were sent out to certain RPG sites and the press, including RPG Codex, a website I frequent for its sophisticated reviews, analysis, and discussion of CRPGs. Included in the invitation, sent out sometime last month, was a note about the upcoming cross-platform release announcement, and a request not to prematurely divulge this information.
Now. Later in July, an RPG Codex staff member mentioned the upcoming Gamescom demo, the fact that Gamescom exists and that TTON would be there. (That was it. Not a word about the console release.) Based on this purported confidential leak, the Codex was notified by the booking agents (whose email included screenshots of the offending mention) that their invitation had been withdrawn, and their interview slot canceled.
Drama has ensued.
In my opinion the drama is justified. The requested confidential information was not revealed; therefore canceling the interview was blatantly out of line.
Is this a big deal? We can’t really know unless it’s understood why this happened. This could have been the work of a dumb intern, overzealous PR person, or harried scheduler desperate to free up a time slot.
Why else might this have happened? Does someone, somewhere, want to edge out RPG Codex’s hard-hitting reporting? Ridiculous, but hang on a second.
The announcement of TTON’s cross-platform release of TTON, and Techland taking over as publisher, was not well-received among the “harder core” elements of the community. There was a bit of pushback right here on the forums, and as you might imagine, much outcry and disappointment on the Codex itself.
After the reveal and during the ramp-up to Gamescom, the Codex interviewer asked the community for questions. Among the questions proposed for the Fargo interview included a tough look at the console releases. Is it possible that someone wanted to avoid this face-to-face indictment of “consolization”? Silly, right? OK, sure.
When contacted unofficially for comment, Brian Fargo reportedly replied,
OK, now even if everything before this paragraph is dumb conspiracy theory, this reply all by itself is disturbing. It reveals a Fargo beholden to his publisher in a way that fundamentally opposes the impetus behind inXile’s Kickstarter rebirth, the very foundation of everything we pledged for starting four years ago. Am I overstating the case a little? Maybe ... but it leaves a bad taste to see that Techland is calling the shots about who Brian will and will not interview with.Brian Fargo wrote:Sorry to hear about Gamescom but I am not in charge of my scheduling and Techland has me booked solid. I do know that breaking embargo is a felony for PR so I would definitely suggest the codex be careful. As for me, I didn't even know I was supposed to be afraid of being interviewed by the Codex. Aren't all their questions cynical?
So why am I posting all this? I don’t know. As a loyal member of both communities, I hate to see this kind of conflict. Basically I want to see Mommy and Daddy make up. I also felt that with the strength of the Codex’s reaction, this item deserved at least a mention on the official inXile forum.
What would I like to see happen? An apology from inXile may be too much to hope for - particularly as this may have been Techland’s decision in the first place, not theirs (which is a whole ‘nother conversation) - but it would be great to see an effort made to reinstate or reschedule the interview the Codex was screwed out of. A lot of hard work had already gone into developing it when the cancellation came ... and more to the point, I want to read the interview!
Full details and drama available here. Wear your protective goggles - looking directly at the Codex may be harmful to your health.