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T O P I C
PR from Hell
March 24th 2003, 14:28 CET by Speed

Several publishers work with local offices to make sure they can play the local market correctly. Not Infogrames though, they do it to make international-focused press' life miserable.
This is the story of what's been happening at Infogrames Benelux (Belgium - Netherlands - Luxembourg) lately.

In June, their new financial year started with a letter to the press stating that the budgets for reviewcopies had been drastically lowered and asking to lower the amount of requests for reviewcopies.

In August, all press in the Benelux are invited to spend a day in the Dutch and Belgian Six Flags theme parks to attend a presentation of Rollercoaster Tycoon 2.

In September, the word comes that their complete budget for reviewcopies is depleted (although the month before they had enough money to send everyone on a rollercoaster ride ? Talk about bad finance-keeping !)
That same month we also get a letter stating that we can still request reviewcopies but that we'll have to send them back to them at our own expense to them so that they can send it through to other journalists. (we react by requesting nothing at all anymore)

In November we get word that we won't receive anymore reviewcopies as our site is written in English (no more word about budgets being depleted though). When contacting Infogrames UK, Benelux replies that we aren't allowed to have contact with other offices as "Infogrames Benelux is responsible for ALL requests for press located in the Benelux". It seems they don't take into consideration that neither Luxembourg nor half of Belgium read Dutch but is French-speaking and thus would rather read English.

In December we start working together with an existing Dutch-written site which also takes over our branding.

When notifying Infogrames that the "problem of the English-written site" has been resolved, they start making up other "rules" which you need to comply to for receiving reviewcopies.
These include having a minimum amount of 75.000 visitors/month (we get loads more while sites that have less DO receive reviewcopies), having commercial advertising, and having a system a la DART (which Doubleclick uses and as we work with Adlink which has taken over DoubleClick Europe we have it aswell)

So, we've complied to about every stupid "rule" they've come up with but what do they do ? They suggest to send us demo's which we can review and after a couple of months they'll review the situation. (so are they actually suggesting we write final reviews based on demo's ???)

We've thanked them a lot and told them that we aren't interested as we have their demo's before they do (local offices tend to know less about their own products than the press it seems).

So, in summary, Infogrames has local offices which don't want to give material to web sites which use the number one language on the internet because it's not the native language of their area. One would think the internet was international, but it seems Infogrames Benelux has a different opinion on this.
And what's this rule that you HAVE to have advertising on your site ???

One note: although we're not allowed to, we've got contact with some people at Infogrames US and those are really helpfull towards our requests (except for reviewcopies which have to be sent by Benelux) so I hope for all journalists out there that it's only Infogrames Benelux office that's being such a pain in the ass.
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#1 by VeeSPIKE
2003-03-24 14:43:22
First post!

The media doesn't educate, it sensationalizes. That's why there's no learning curve, just repeated bouts of gross stupidity. Bailey
#2 by Bezzy
2003-03-24 15:01:42
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
Anyone got a link to the hi-larious infrogames theme tune? I want that playing while I read this article.

My only problem with Bezzy is, truly and honestly, about one third of his longer, passionate posts make no sense to me.  I don't necessarily agree or disagree, I just literally can't parse them.  - Hugin
#3 by Trolly McTroll
2003-03-24 15:10:45
Did I mention that Michael Moore is a cunt?  Well, he is.

"..and Trolly McTroll is the best name EVER. I laugh every time I see it."  - Wudi
#4 by WeeMadArthur
2003-03-24 15:11:21
smarteyman@interia.pl
Infogrames Rocks My World
#5 by jjohnsen
2003-03-24 15:14:56
http://www.johnsenclan.com
So long. The power to read all of this has left me.  Must depart for a while.

"I'd like an order of fries, a quarter-pounder with cheese,
I love the light in your eyes, will you go out with me please?"
#6 by WeeMadArthur
2003-03-24 15:17:09
smarteyman@interia.pl
BTW
#7 by Gunp01nt
2003-03-24 16:25:15
supersimon33@hotmail.com
I don't think there's much to say about this, unless Speed tells us what the English written site (Fragland?) and the Dutch written site are.

If the Dutch written site is either Powerweb.nl, Gamesen.nl, Gamers.nl, Gamequest.nl or GamerZ.nl, then rest assured that Infogrames is passing them up because they don't wish to be connected to any of those shitass sites.

Yo mama's so fat, all the restaurants in town have signs that says: "Maximum Occupancy: 240 Patrons OR Yo Mama"
#8 by Trolly McTroll
2003-03-24 16:46:38
Yes, the Oscars are over, and in case you missed them, here are the winners

For 'best' child molester: ROMAN POLANSKI
(sounds of hollywood audience cheering)

For 'best' pervert: PEE WEE HERMAN
(standing ovation)

For'Most Time Spent in Rehab':ROBERT DOWNEY JR.
(whistling & applause)

For 'Best Teen Naked Photo Shoot':JEFFERY JONES
(crowd cheers out of control)

For 'Best Shoplifter': WINONA RYDER
(5 standing ovations)

For 'Best DUI' : NICK NOLTE
(crowd goes wild)

For 'Best Assault on a Police Officer': ZSA ZSA GABOR
(crowd laughs then respectful applause)

For 'Biggest Cocaine Buy': CHARLIE SHEEN
(crowd yells SHARE SHARE)

For 'Biggest Overdose': JOHN BELUSHI
(heads down in a moment of silence)

For 'Most Prostitute Visits' : HUGH GRANT
(thundering applause)

For 'Ugliest Lesbian' : ELLEN DEGENERATE
(men cheer loudly and yell CAN WE WATCH)

For 'Best Murderer': ROBERT BLAKE
(yells for how much do u charge)

For 'Most Retarded' : SEAN PENN
(crowd goes wild)

"..and Trolly McTroll is the best name EVER. I laugh every time I see it."  - Wudi
#9 by Your Friend
2003-03-24 16:57:44
Infogrames doesn't send me reviewcopies either.  Despite the fact that I have some kind of website or something.

Dicks.

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#10 by Speed
2003-03-24 17:00:32
speed@crew.fragland.net http://www.fragland.net
I thought it would be obvious.

www.fragland.net
www.fragland.be

the point is the stupidity of Infogrames that an English-spoken site, located in a non-English country apparantly can't get review material.
I didn't know the internet was local

I never said I was healthy
#11 by Greg
2003-03-24 17:00:42
I've never heard mention of a review on the site about:blank.

blah blah bleh
#12 by Your Friend
2003-03-24 17:11:56
Sounds like a reasonable policy to me...

How many Belgians are going to buy the English-language version anyway?  

If, as I suspect, the answer is not very many, why should they spend resources giving you materials to promote the English version to Belgians?  They are a business....  If they thought giving you the materials would increase sales, they'd do it.. if they don't, well, you're free to NOT cover their game(s).

  Getting free 'reviewcopies' is a tit-for-tat thing, not some kind of charity hand out.

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#13 by Matt Davis
2003-03-24 17:14:16
http://looroll.com
I seem to remember reading that local language versions of PC Games don't sell well at all, and infact most people prefer the english versions as the voice overs and other stuff are more believable.

Ashiran can probably back me up here.

Troll, troll, troll your post, gently down the page...
#14 by Ashiran
2003-03-24 17:14:44
How many Belgians are going to buy the English-language version anyway?

The ones in the dutch speaking half of the country? All of them.

"This is Planetcrap, where we nuke everything from orbit." - Bailey
#15 by Xero
2003-03-24 17:15:57
http://novakometa.blogspot.com/
#8 Trolly McTroll
Yes, the Oscars are over, and in case you missed them, here are the winners

For 'best' child molester: ROMAN POLANSKI
(sounds of hollywood audience cheering)

For 'best' pervert: PEE WEE HERMAN
(standing ovation)

For'Most Time Spent in Rehab':ROBERT DOWNEY JR.
(whistling & applause)

For 'Best Teen Naked Photo Shoot':JEFFERY JONES
(crowd cheers out of control)

For 'Best Shoplifter': WINONA RYDER
(5 standing ovations)

For 'Best DUI' : NICK NOLTE
(crowd goes wild)

For 'Best Assault on a Police Officer': ZSA ZSA GABOR
(crowd laughs then respectful applause)

For 'Biggest Cocaine Buy': CHARLIE SHEEN
(crowd yells SHARE SHARE)

For 'Biggest Overdose': JOHN BELUSHI
(heads down in a moment of silence)

For 'Most Prostitute Visits' : HUGH GRANT
(thundering applause)

For 'Ugliest Lesbian' : ELLEN DEGENERATE
(men cheer loudly and yell CAN WE WATCH)

For 'Best Murderer': ROBERT BLAKE
(yells for how much do u charge)

For 'Most Retarded' : SEAN PENN
(crowd goes wild)



Are your continual posts an attempt to legitimize yourself? Because you alienated me with your Michael Moore post.

And your constant belaboring of the point has only re-inforced your ignorant troll status.

Every time a computer geek actually freaking pays for something, an angel gets its wings.
#16 by Gunp01nt
2003-03-24 17:17:23
supersimon33@hotmail.com
YF:
How many Belgians are going to buy the English-language version anyway?


localized games are like cheaply redubbed kung fu movies. completely ridiculous.

The only people that buy localized versions are people who don't speak English. As for Belgium (as well as the Netherlands) I think we can safely say all but the elderly speak English quite well.

Yo mama's so fat, all the restaurants in town have signs that says: "Maximum Occupancy: 240 Patrons OR Yo Mama"
#17 by Your Friend
2003-03-24 17:20:58
It is almost like you Europeans are asking for more American and English-language imperialism!

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#18 by Caryn
2003-03-24 17:23:05
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
At the company I work for I'm the contact for sites just like that, some of them international, and I have to make the call on whether or not to send review copies. Budgets change every year and every year we get more and more requests for review copies, and we can't fill them all, especially if the sites have only just recently started up -- I can't tell you how many times I've gotten review copy requests for sites that are only a couple of months old, who've told me how much solid backing the site has, how much they have planned, etc., only to disappear two months later. If the sites are based in other territories I often have to refer them to our branch in that territory or act as a go-between to get them review copies.

Your experience does sound a bit like a run-around, but remember that you're dealing with a brick-and-mortar company who, until the Internet came around, dealt only with entities that were limited to that territory (i.e., the Italian office dealt with all Italian print books, which were likely only in Italian). The net has grown faster generally than some of these companies can evolve to accomodate, and so now you have web sites that are international, but the company in question still has to deal with them on a regional basis because of budgets and planning.

"That's an interesting viewpoint supported by many factual references, but you failed to note that I really don't care." - Bailey
#19 by mgns
2003-03-24 17:28:55
I can imagine some review sites - serious ones as well as the less so, that cannot get access to a legit review copy will resort to the good, upstanding folks at fairlight and razor for a chance to post a review before a game hits the street-date.

a silent moment
for the king of fools
he dies today
on a cross he made himself
#20 by Ashiran
2003-03-24 17:35:26
It is almost like you Europeans are asking for more American and English-language imperialism!

I don't know how it is for the rest of Europe (barring Germany and France) but there are several reasons why english versions are highly prefferred here in The Netherlands.

[rant]
1) Everybody who went to atleast highschool can speak english.
2) We don't dub movies and series unlike in Germany for example.
3) The "dutch dubbing scene" here is staffed by maybe 12 people who do EVERYTHING. Also the voices almost never match the characters and the translations are retarded.
4) Stuff that sounds cool in english sounds lame and childish in dutch because people associate dutch spoken programs with educational programs for kids.

When Black & White went on sale here it was a dutch version. People where unaware of this. About 35% returned their game just for that reason so they could get an english version. They even made the language patch partly because of dutch people bitching about wanting an english version.

Ofcourse B&W was as worse as it could be. It wouldn't even have been so bad if they translated everything like spellnames directly but they didn't. They opted for using even lamer synonyms instead. It made me wanna claw my eyes out and stuff them into my ears.
[/rant]

Dutch usage for everyday life will be just fine, kthx.

"This is Planetcrap, where we nuke everything from orbit." - Bailey
#21 by Ashiran
2003-03-24 17:35:31
It is almost like you Europeans are asking for more American and English-language imperialism!

I don't know how it is for the rest of Europe (barring Germany and France) but there are several reasons why english versions are highly prefferred here in The Netherlands.

[rant]
1) Everybody who went to atleast highschool can speak english.
2) We don't dub movies and series unlike in Germany for example.
3) The "dutch dubbing scene" here is staffed by maybe 12 people who do EVERYTHING. Also the voices almost never match the characters and the translations are retarded.
4) Stuff that sounds cool in english sounds lame and childish in dutch because people associate dutch spoken programs with educational programs for kids.

When Black & White went on sale here it was a dutch version. People where unaware of this. About 35% returned their game just for that reason so they could get an english version. They even made the language patch partly because of dutch people bitching about wanting an english version.

Ofcourse B&W was as worse as it could be. It wouldn't even have been so bad if they translated everything like spellnames directly but they didn't. They opted for using even lamer synonyms instead. It made me wanna claw my eyes out and stuff them into my ears.
[/rant]

Dutch usage for everyday life will be just fine, kthx.

"This is Planetcrap, where we nuke everything from orbit." - Bailey
#22 by Ashiran
2003-03-24 17:35:47
Keyboard scores!

"This is Planetcrap, where we nuke everything from orbit." - Bailey
#23 by Ergo
2003-03-24 17:37:38
Ash--

Do you prefer localized versions or English versions?

"Folks, you can't walk into a bar holding a porcupine, set it on fire and expect to make liquorice!" --Dana Carvey as Ross Perot

DVDs
#24 by Ashiran
2003-03-24 17:41:21
Ashiran smacks Ergo around a bit with Cloggy, the friendly wooden shoe.

"This is Planetcrap, where we nuke everything from orbit." - Bailey
#25 by Greg
2003-03-24 17:44:13
Michael Moore is an honest, truthful man.

blah blah bleh
#26 by E-ph0nk
2003-03-24 17:46:48
http://www.electrophonk.be
Ashiran: indeed, I don't like my games/movies/series in dutch, as they sound beyond "teh funny".
Disney is the only company who made some less-terrible translations, but even then I still prefer the original version.

This has nothing to do with wanting imperialism: i also like my Japanese movies in Japanese, my French in Freedom, and my German porn in German WITH subtitles.

*sigh*
#27 by mgns
2003-03-24 17:48:59
greg;

From the same page:

NATIONWIDE BOYCOTT OF "OLD" EUROPE GOODS! Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld rightly referred to France and Germany as "the old Europe."  While the newly democratized countries of Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Hungary have rallied to our side, "old Europe" has turned its back on us.

A boycott of French, German and Belgian goods -- wines, beers, chocolates, art, automobiles, to name just a few -- will strike a blow to their economies!  America is the largest importer of French and German consumables, and more Americans visit Paris and Berlin than visitors from any other nation.

Thank you,
David Horowitz


Either that page is a hoax, or it's full of shit. Possibly both.

a silent moment
for the king of fools
he dies today
on a cross he made himself
#28 by Ashiran
2003-03-24 18:10:24
and my German porn in German

I concur.

"Oh jaaaaah, jetz wird smutzig!"

"This is Planetcrap, where we nuke everything from orbit." - Bailey
#29 by LPMiller
2003-03-24 18:10:44
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
No, it's not a hoax, but just another extremist internet mag.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#30 by E-ph0nk
2003-03-24 18:13:56
http://www.electrophonk.be
#27 - I've heard of Belgian shops @ NYC that sell a lot less since our 'choice' against the war.  On the other hand i've heard a lot of people say they'll stop drinking Cola & eat McDonalds.

War = best way to live healthy?!

*sigh*
#31 by Gunp01nt
2003-03-24 18:15:47
supersimon33@hotmail.com
oh, it's okay to drink cola, as long as you're doing it with commitment.

Yo mama's so fat, all the restaurants in town have signs that says: "Maximum Occupancy: 240 Patrons OR Yo Mama"
#32 by Greg
2003-03-24 18:16:02
Yes, freedom fries are still as unhealthy as their former namesake.

blah blah bleh
#33 by Gunp01nt
2003-03-24 18:18:12
supersimon33@hotmail.com
ahh, so refreshing!

Yo mama's so fat, all the restaurants in town have signs that says: "Maximum Occupancy: 240 Patrons OR Yo Mama"
#34 by Sgt Hulka
2003-03-24 18:29:17
I have an opportunity to make a small game based on a book of fiction, and am looking for a programmer.  Would anyone like to work with me on this?  It's a non paying labor of love type thing.  Email if serious about it at rwaring@indy.rr.com

Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in?
I think that's how dogs spend their entire lives.
#35 by Your Friend
2003-03-24 19:19:24

I can imagine some review sites - serious ones as well as the less so, that cannot get access to a legit review copy will resort to the good, upstanding folks at fairlight and razor for a chance to post a review before a game hits the street-date.


IGN?

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#36 by jjohnsen
2003-03-24 19:29:46
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Michael Moore is an honest, truthful man.

Even if you agree with his politics, you have to realize he doesn't do documentary's.  His films take part fact, part fiction, then make him look like a hero.

"I'd like an order of fries, a quarter-pounder with cheese,
I love the light in your eyes, will you go out with me please?"
#37 by m0nty
2003-03-24 19:37:05
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
All Hulka the Ideas Man needs is coders, artists, designers, editors...
#38 by Your Friend
2003-03-24 19:39:29

then make him look like a hero


A rather rotund hero.

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#39 by Greg
2003-03-24 19:49:28
#36 jjohnsen

Michael Moore is an honest, truthful man.

Even if you agree with his politics, you have to realize he doesn't do documentary's.  His films take part fact, part fiction, then make him look like a hero.
I think that was the issue the article had. The movie won Best Documentary, yet wasn't close to being a documentary.

blah blah bleh
#40 by Ergo
2003-03-24 19:54:22
All documentaries are biased. The editing room is a powerful tool.

"Folks, you can't walk into a bar holding a porcupine, set it on fire and expect to make liquorice!" --Dana Carvey as Ross Perot

DVDs
#41 by Eric T. Cheng
2003-03-24 19:57:30
erictcheng@hotmail.com
All documentaries are biased. The editing room is a powerful tool.


Even PBS' Frontline documentaries? :(

Kilt Wearing Pixel Pushing Monkey Boy
IMDB Entry
DVD Collection
#42 by r a w p o w e r
2003-03-24 20:04:30
backonthemap@hotmail.com
I think Michael Moore is great, but I wish he had made better use of his time on stage.  Given a soapbox like that at a time like this, he just sounded uncharacteristically boorish.  I didn't notice this last night, but the paper today quoted his implemenation of a word called "fictition".  Anyone else notice this?

Anyone see the also nominated, totally undiscussed "Spellbound"?  It ruled.

Stillborn baby:
Your mother didn't want you but you were still born.
#43 by mgns
2003-03-24 20:08:20
He should've played it cool and just said something like; "You all know how I feel about the state of the nation and the world, Peace and compassion, Yo!"

a silent moment
for the king of fools
he dies today
on a cross he made himself
#44 by Duality
2003-03-24 20:10:47
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
A rather rotund hero.

Works for Mario.
#45 by Trunks
2003-03-24 20:10:52
Infogrames Rocks My World


Oh my god, I thought only Infogrames employees were subject to that torture.  It's loose on the net too!?  Argh!

When I was still at Infogrames' Sunnyvale office, a few people have been known to occasionally blast that track to be "amusing."  That person was usually beat down soon after.

"Because apparently, Link should be visiting strippers and getting his rocks off every time he blows the magic flute." - LPMiller
#46 by Petri Jarvilehto
2003-03-24 20:17:15
petri@remedy.fi http://www.remedy.fi
Oh my god, I thought only Infogrames employees were subject to that torture.  It's loose on the net too!?  Argh!


IIRC it's been out there for a couple of years. It's been a big hit with game devs around the world ;)
#47 by Bezzy
2003-03-24 20:50:13
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
It's the first time I've listened to it the whole way through. GOOD PRODUCTION VALUES SOULLESS GORF FIEND

My only problem with Bezzy is, truly and honestly, about one third of his longer, passionate posts make no sense to me.  I don't necessarily agree or disagree, I just literally can't parse them.  - Hugin
#48 by Hugin
2003-03-24 21:01:21
lmccain@nber.org
#42 by r a w p o w e r
 
Given a soapbox like that at a time like this, he just sounded uncharacteristically boorish.


Uncharacteristically?  Heh.As others have said, even if you agree with him philosophically, he's often embarassing.
#49 by Shadarr
2003-03-24 21:06:41
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
Having watched a fair number or real documentaries, I have to agree with all the people ragging on Bowling For Columbine.  I liked the movie, but it wasn't a documentary.   It should never have been nominated in that category, and the fact that it won is an insult to all the real documentary filmmakers.

My hunch is that the academy wanted to give it an award, but didn't know where else to classify it.  Personally, I think it was the best comedy of the year.
#50 by r a w p o w e r
2003-03-24 21:18:05
backonthemap@hotmail.com
#48 -

I don't know if embarassing is the way I'd describe his conduct in general.  Certainly the way I'd describe his speech last night.

Stillborn baby:
Your mother didn't want you but you were still born.
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