So I heard that a developer had taken to Twitter to claim that I sic my "PR" guy on studios whose staff badmouth me on social media. He/She makes it out like this is a matter of course and that I routinely go out to silence critics, claiming that it happens if I am criticised by a developer in "any way". He/She also claimed that I had painted myself a struggling small fry. I will not name this person because of the exact opposite reason to his/her claims, I am not a struggilng small fry, I hold more power and influence than any games journalist and I'm certainly not struggling. I have never pretended to be struggling, in fact I've got in trouble with viewers for making it clear that it's the exact opposite, I am wealthy and doing very well. Some people called that arrogant so I don't like to talk about it too much.
So I do not sic my PR person on studios that have devs who disagree with me, I do the adult thing which is to contact the studio in question if one of their employees is publicly going after me on Twitter and attempt to find out what's wrong. I do this because by replying publicly on Twitter I wield a lot of power, a disproportionate amount to the person criticising me. I used to retweet people that insulted me, but I realised that was the wrong thing to do, I shouldn't be "unleashing the hounds" on that person just because he decided to say something negative about me. This incident was the only time I've ever contacted a studio about the actions of one of their employees on social media, mainly because I've never actually seen another employee of a major developer act that way and I had no interest in getting into it publicly with an employee of one of this studios, it's of no benefit to anyone. So I did the professional thing which was to contact the studio to try and find out what was happening. What should I have done differently? Would arguing with him/her publicly on Twitter have been a better course of action? This idea that we have a PR person/shakedown mob to silence criticism from developers is ridiculous. We have one (admittedly scary) Romanian dude who also does my graphics and channel management. We are not sending lawyers around silencing people, we had one incident outside of the DMCA stuff (where we used actual lawyers because it was a legal issue) of contacting a dev to see if we could work out what all the negativity was about and how we might best solve it. Evidently we didn't solve it since he/she is still rabbiting on about it.
To the best of my knowledge it's the only incident of someone who works for a major studio going off publicly on me, so trying to establish a pattern of behavior when it comes to "silencing critics" is a little silly. This person behaved poorly, he/she sicced a large number of people on me after posting out of context tweets (along with the assertion that I was truly gross) and then refused to engage me in discussion. So I did what any professional would do and contacted his/her company in private to talk things out. This is the only time I've ever felt the need to do that, because it's the only time any developer outside of the recent incidents with Phil Fish, Adam Atomic and a couple of other indie devs have decided to publicly go after me. On the whole idea that I can dish it out but can't take it, I don't deliver critiques over twitter, because it's a shitty medium to do it in. I don't post out of context tweets or condemn individuals within the industry without a damn good reason to do so. The two are hardly equivalent, there's a big difference between criticising a game's lack of graphics options and going after an individual personally over social media for something that you weren't involved in and had no real knowledge of. But hey, if any other developers would like to come forward and claim that the Biscuit Mafia has been silencing them with our scary PR team, feel free. I could use a bit of a giggle this morning. Thanks.