Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency

Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency

Summary: A Twitter tantrum from the boss of the PR firm behind Duke Nukem Forever has cost his company their business with the game's publisher.


How not to handle bad PR for your product or your client's product: Let us review the sad tale of Duke Nukem Forever and The Redner Group.

PR agency blacklists are nothing new in the tech media business. Upset the wrong people at the wrong time and you, as a journalist, can find yourself in a black hole the next time it comes to needing information for an article or product to review.

But general consensus is that Jim Redner, president of The Redner Group, really stepped in it on Tuesday when he used Twitter to publicly threaten journos who were trashing Duke Nukem Forever, the new game published this past week by 2K Games.

2K Games was Redner's client. I emphasize was here, because on Wednesday, 2K Games announced they'd fired Redner's firm.

Posting from the official Redner Group Twitter account on Tuesday, Redner himself tweeted, "Too many went too far with their reviews ... we are reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn't based on today's venom."

He went on to say that it was okay to give a bad score to a game, but "venom filled reviews," in his opinion, were different. Redner didn't specify which reviews he thought were "venom filled" and which were, well, critical.

Within minutes word began to spread of Redner's tantrum. Game journalists and gamers alike collectively clucked their tongues at Redner's display of emotion - uncharacteristic for a PR firm that values its image and the image of its clients above everything.

Emotions from game journos are running high after Duke Nukem Forever's release. The game is famous for having a 14 year (yes, a decade and a half) development cycle, originally created by 3D Realms and ultimately finished by Gearbox Software.

Coincidentally, Gearbox finished the game later than they first anticipated. The collective eyeroll from game journalists around the world set the Earth off its axis momentarily.

Duke Nukem Forever's predecessor, Duke Nukem 3D, was infamous in its own right, for having a musclebound, cigar-chomping hero that uttered one-liners worthy of the cheesiest action movies, and for being steeped in politically incorrect humor with plenty of T&A thrown in.

Duke Nukem Forever, as it turns out, is a chip off the old block. rated DNF a scant 48 out of 100 as this article was posted - a miserably low rating for a major console release from a big publisher - with critics calling out the game as a "relic from the past," "a mess," "sloppy, cobbled together" and more.

Clearly DNF has touched a nerve with reviewers.

And a nerve with the head of The Redner Group, a company that has worked with 2K Games and Gearbox before to launch their hugely successful game Borderlands, according to Gamasutra.

Jim Redner realized he stepped over the line shortly after doing so, apologizing publicly in his Twitter feed and promising to contact game journalists individually as well. But by then the damage had been done.

"2K Games does not endorse or condone the comments made by @TheRednerGroup and confirm they no longer represent our products," said the company in a tweet of their own. "We maintain a mutually respectful relationship with the press and will continue to do so. We don't condone @TheRednerGroup's actions at all."

2K Games' role in all this is pretty safe, despite being the purveyors of crap that the game journalists are so grossly offended by to begin with. As for the Redner Group, well, only time will tell. But clearly Jim Redner has some fences to mend.

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  • RE: Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency

    I am thrilled to see appropriate action taken by 2K Games.
  • RE: Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency

    I got my B.O.S. edition.
    Fun game.
    Have not bought a game since Duke Nukem 3D.
    I rarely buy games but this one is a classic.
  • RE: Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency

    Unfortunately, despite all of the delays and setbacks, they really didn't seem to get this game done right. This game basically plays like Halo. But this isn't Halo, it's Duke Nukem, and a few people are upset with that. Some people are saying they played it a bit too safe with the modern shooter formula.
    • RE: Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency

      @CobraA1 Projects with this kind of timeframe tend to either be masterpieces or trainwrecks. Pretty much every review indicates that DNF doesn't even manage the latter* (like you said, it seems to be a formulaic FPS that makes me wonder what they were doing all this time).

      *Which I guess means that Gearbox/3DRealms/et al. failed at failing.
      Third of Five
    • I do feel sorry for Gearbox taking over from 3DRealms...

      @CobraA1 I knew someone who did a 6 month contract at 3DR while they were still trying to get DNF developed. Said the 3DR guys'd eat pizza n watch porn in the boardroom; smoke pot in the offices, and generally carry on like children. He said the game content ended up scattered across 3 different game engines, things were in all kinds of a mess.

      Gearbox probably did the best they could with the disparate content in various stages of being converted from one game engine to subsequent ones. Being handed all that content, it'd take at least 2-3 months to make sense of it all. Then how to put it all together...? It's no wonder they weren't able to make much of it by launch date.
    • RE: Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency

      <a href="">Article Directory?</a>
      A Twitter tantrum from the boss of the PR firm behind Duke Nukem Forever has cost his company their business with the game?s publisher.
  • After all this time what did people expect?

    You know a game that's been universally ridiculed for 14 years for taking so long to finish can only end up being some sort of parody emphasizing that very fact and probably is a sendup of itself and the entire genre by design.
  • RE: Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency

    I think these critics need to be ignored. They're usually worthless grumpy aholes looking to make a splash with some drama.<br>I only read reviews by gaming sites and other users.<br>The consensus so far? If you like duke nukem, you'll like this one. The End!
  • It's a lot like...

    ...the original, only better graphics. I like the one liners and jokes, as they remind me so much of the original. It does have a couple quirks that bum me out, but over all it's a visually beautiful game.
    It certainly won't appeal to some (read: rabid feminists) but if you liked the original, you'll probably like this one.

    My only complaint is that the game suffers from 14 years of build up and expectations, which is almost impossible for anyone to live up to. Go into it with a "this is a first person shooter" mindset instead of "OMG it has to be the best ever because we've been waiting 14 years!" and you'll be fine
    • RE: Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency

      Right on!It's exactly as hoped for by a long since converted(read-gone corporate and straight laced)gamer,but for Duke-well,I'm grabbing a Coke and locking the doors for a few hours. :)
    • RE: Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency

      @Zorched I dunno.... I was anxiously waiting for this one until the reviews of the pre-release version started surfacing and revealed some glaring weak spots.

      I'm not so concerned about the type of humor in it. My issue is that the original encouraged the player to think creatively. Set up decoys of yourself strategically, for example, or blow something up so the wall crumbles and reveals something behind it. Explore around and click on objects to see what hidden thing Duke will do with them.

      This game, by contrast, sounds pretty limited - and with 14 years of newer technology since the original? I'd expect the exact opposite! The fact he can't hold more than 2 weapons at a time? Lame. The lack of complexity of the levels themselves (even when they look great, visually)? Lame. And frankly, the price-tag of $60? Lame too. I'm REALLY tired of being expected to pay that much for a new game release. Hollywood can dump $40 million dollars or more into making a movie release, but I don't have to pay more than $15-20, tops, to own a copy on DVD to watch whenever I like. Why can't the same be said for video games? Heck, even $35 or $40 I'm ok with, but $60 is over the top except for the RARE exception of a game. Duke Forever isn't it.
      • RE: Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency

        @kingtj - I liked DN3D, so I'll just wait until DNF is in the bargain bin at GameStop...
  • PR Agency - Mission Accomplished

    Seems like the PR Agency did their job: they drew focus away from the poor quality of the game and got people to talk about other issues.
    • RE: Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency

      PR agency did their job? Yeah, they diverted attention away from how much the game sucks and directed criticism toward the game studios...worse, much worse.
      But hey, some people are always ready to say "Mission Accomplished", even when they are blatantly wrong.
  • RE: Twitter tantrum sinks Duke Nukem Forever PR agency

    To me the only real problem with DNF I have seen from a lot of the reviews is the silly idea of limiting you to only being able to have 2 of Dukes many weapons on you at any one time like has become the norm in a lot of modern shooters. Being able to get all the weapons and switch between them at will was what made Duke Nuk'em 3D a fun game. I hate when you are limited to just 2 guns at a time in a lot of these modern games with lots of different types of guns available. I even have trouble some times with the ones limiting you to only 4 at a time. I found the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games extremely good in weapons choice due to the fact that your carrying choices and ammo limit are done by a weight limit instead of a max rounds and gun limit. If you wore lighter armor you could carry more bullets, spare guns and grenades. You could even start off a little overloaded in weight slowing down your movement speed but after killing a few enemy your fired bullets and tossed grenades soon lighten your load and you can move fast again.