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Editor’s Note:  If you missed Part 1, our profile of GamerFitNation, head over there now and have a quick read.  Meanwhile, our new feature series continues below with Part 2: The Interview!

As we said yesterday, GamerFitNation is one of our favorite new sites, an outlet that combines our obsessive love of exercise with our obsessive love and work with video games.  But what makes a site like GamerFitNation tick, and what is it like launching a very focused web site like this in an industry looking mostly for bigger numbers and expanded “reach?”

To find out, we went to the source and grilled site founder Antwand Pearman about GFN. Read more

EdNote:  This is the first in a series of profiles that will explore the depth and variety of the video game-focused media. We hope to shine a light on some of the smaller sites who don’t pull numbers like GameSpot but bring the passion, knowledge and fan fervor of the biggest sites in the world.  So read on and stay tuned for future profiles… maybe you’ll find a new outlet to visit and they’ll gain you as a fan!

Maverick PR loves GamerFitNation, and not just because they took the time to profile one of the greatest video game PR people of all time… cough-cough… but because they are a site with a positive, focused message and purpose beyond just satisfying the instant news and screenshot demands of fanboys and girls across the world. Read more

GameSpot's Exclusive Look Hits on the X360 Page

GameSpot – along with a handful of other outlets – nabbed a private demo with us last week and had a chance to delve deeper into Square Enix’s upcoming action game, Mindjack.  All of this during a first look preview tour Maverick put together in San Francisco.

While all of the outlets we visited will be posting their thoughts on the game shortly, including 1UP, Gamepro, GamesRadar, Worthplaying, and many more, GameSpot is first out of the gate with their exclusive first break, along with a new video and exclusive video interview with Square Enix’s Johnny Fournier.

If you’re not familiar with Mindjack, it is an unusual game that combines single and multi-player action in to a unifying, intense and always different experience.  The way I try to explain this is imagine that you fire up your single player campaign as normal but at any time, you might discover the enemies your are battling and squad mates fighting by your side are controlled by other gamers somewhere in the world through Xbox Live and Playstation Network.  Now THAT’s good AI. 🙂

Take a look at the video interview on GameSpot below – some pretty cool stuff happening in the world of Mindjack.  And be sure to visit the game on it’s Facebook Page and “Like” away!

We Pwn Media and Show Off DLC FPS Awesomeness in San Francisco…

We just completed a nice preview event in San Francisco with our partners at Ignition Entertainment for their upcoming FPS Blacklight: Tango Down. It’s always fun doing hands-on with competitive shooters – me loves to pwn media. 🙂

So, what’s BLTD, you ask?  The short of it is this — a multiplayer-focused, Unreal Engine 3-powered, near-future FPS that will available only through digital download for an expected price of $15.

Yes – Unreal tech, tons of modes and maps PLUS co-op, for a quick $15.  My nephew is pretty stoked about this one already.  And rightfully so.

Read more

Nothing Comes Between Us and Our Coverage

There is a good looking man in this photo. Unfortunately, he's the one IN the GAME.

So, we’ve been working with Square Enix on their upcoming Action-RPG NIER for quite a while now, releasing cool videos, feature assets packs and providing product demos.  Sure, we haven’t said SQUAT about the story details… but we’ve been setting the stage for some big reveals.

But you know what?  That wasn’t enough.  Oh, no, we had to go all the way, and put a public face on the game.  And that face?  None other than MavPR Partner, Matt Frary.

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BREAKING NEWS: PR Firm Finds Client’s Product to be “Awesome”

Ya ya… but in this case, it happens to be TRUE.  If you haven’t seen the news and review pouring in about the ASTRO Gaming A30 Cross-Gaming Headsets, you’re missing out.  Especially if you happen to be one of the following people on this earth:

  • Xbox360 or PS3 Gamer
  • PC Gamer
  • DS, PSP Gamer
  • iPod/iPhone, Blackberry User and Gamer
  • Skype User
  • Music Listener
  • Movie Watcher

OK, so I know you’re covered in that list. And if you are, than you already know how hard it is to find headphones that can let you listen and talk through Xbox Live, move to your PC, and then still be cool looking enough and flexible enough to plug into your iPhone and take out on the streets.

This is what the A30 does.  But don’t take my word for it.  Check out IGN’s review, where the A30s receive the highest headset rating to date. Take that Tritton and Turtle Beach.  🙂

I use mine every day to Skype, talk on my Berry, listen to music, and to kill YOU in Left 4 Dead 2 PC.

Today on CrispyGamer, writer Kyle Orland explores the somewhat complicated processes that video game PR people use in determining who and what outlets receive free review copies of games.  It’s never an easy decision to cut someone off the list, that’s for sure, but there are time when you really don’t have a choice.

Maverick PR Partner Matt (me!) is quoted throughout the article, sharing his thoughts based on a decade of deciding where to send these “free goodies.”

Disclaimer: these “free goodies” may not be as fun as you think, as they may require you to spend 10-20 hours completing a game and another 5 or so hours crafting a “review” full of useful facts, features and moments of note, all supported with insightful opinions and references; at the end of which you will be strong-armed into choosing a – let’s face it – somewhat arbitrary number or letter to designate the “fun” you experienced while slogging through the aforementioned 10-20 hours of gameplay…

Anyway… read on at this link and enjoy the article.  A quickie quote from the article featuring Matt:

“Some publishers … still refuse to expand their list and stick only to the ‘big’ players in the space,” Frary said. “This is really too bad, and they end up missing a massive, and growing, segment of the market. … [It’s] particularly frustrating because when you look at the smaller videogame sites out there as a whole, they have a huge voice that reaches a critical audience that the larger outlets sometimes miss.”

Over on PR_Flak’s Flak Attak, I’m discussing the impact that emerging business models and added content is having on the media cycle for video games and how PR and press are having to adjust.  Between DLC coverage widening the coverage window and “new to us” online game emerging in North America, there’s a lot of confusion as to what should be covered and how…

A <snip>:

This is where the next challenge for the VG media and VG PR professionals lies – to define the terms and options for covering what, by current definitions, is simply uncoverable.

Take a read of Shipping a Game Ain’t What It Used to Be– hope you enjoy it!  Love to know your thoughts.

– PR_Flak

Welcome to Part III of The Art of the Screenshot.  So far we’ve covered “big picture issues” – how it is PR’s responsibility to produce screenshots that do more than just look good and the importance of conveying emotions and attitude in assets.

Now that you understand the key ingredients, you’re ready to rock n’ roll!  So let’s cover more hands-on material, namely, what you need to do to work effectively with your PD teams to secure great shots.

Do this wrong and you’ll get shots that aren’t perfect along with a PD team that thinks you’re a total idiot.  Do it right… well, then you’ve got PR gold.

Read more

Over on PR_Flak’s Flak Attak, I take on the issue of MetaCritic and its misleading and distorting aggregation of review scores.  It’s a major issue in our industry, and it can no longer be denied or tolerated.

I can’t tell you how many times I get emails from the development team after reviews post saying: “Hey! We got a B- on XXX site, but on MetaCritic it shows up as a 67!  WTF!?!?”  It happens all the time.

What I’d love to see is some kind of resolution that removes the obvious issues and allows editorial integrity to reign supreme.  Hopefully we can find a way to get the scoring system fixed.

Meanwhile, here’s a <snip> for you, and be sure to head over there and check it out:

It comes down to a simple fact — MetaCritic casts a powerful shadow but it is constituted of editorial inaccuracy, factual distortions and unchecked subjectivity.

The Problem With MetaCritic PR_Flak’s Flak Attak

– PR_Flak