Video game journalist Laura Kate Dale has apparently been blacklisted by Nintendo for publicly leaking information about Nintendo products and their video games, before a Non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with them had ended. She has stated, since this development, that her intent is to: “Get back to leaking all their shit I guess.”
Later she goes on to state for the record;
“To clarify any seeming outrage at being blacklisted is not sincere, I entierly get why they did it and expected it. It’s all good :P”
This is not a new habit as of late in the games journalism industry and similar situations have occurred before: such as when Kotaku leaked information early from both Ubisoft and Bethesda, which were speculated as reasons for Kotaku then being overlooked and denied early review copies by the two previously mentioned publishers. This was covered by TotalBiscuit last year.
It is clear from reading Laura’s twitter feed that her information is coming from an inside source who is breaking their own NDA agreement, while she is able to then spread the information in whatever way she likes: now not being legally tied down by any contract. However, this behavior does create some very negative issues going forward.
While for many consumers early information can be exciting, it comes at the cost of developers and publishers being able to trust otherwise credible sources with their time sensitive “secrets”. Her gloating about doing something Nintendo likely does not want is probably going to create a problem in the future for gamers being able to have access to detailed, accurate information as fewer developers are able to trust games publications with early information to be released at the correct time.
Is This The Best We Can Expect From Professional Games Journalists?
While it might seem off to say information on games needs to be released at the right time, game publishers and developers are not giving the information out early so people can release it before they want it available: rather it is so games journalists have more time on their end to make a quality write up or video review. A journalist should also not be publishing information given to them by an employee of a video game developer or publisher, which is an entirely different but equally bad thing to do.
By squandering this professional trust, as games journalists are doing more and more often, the people who will be hurt the most are the gamers themselves.