So I Accidentally Started A Misdirected Witch Hunt

So yesterday I got home from an incredible week at Indiecade and I sat down on the couch, super jetlagged, to catch up on my emails. One of them was a PR email about Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate that seemed really weird and self-congratulatory. I tweeted out a screenshot of it in this tweet.

I deliberately ensured the PR’s email address and name wasn’t visible in the screenshot so as to not send an angry mob their way in case the tweet blew up. I just wanted to say I thought this was a terrible way of advertising a game, but I know how detached PR usually is from a game’s actual development so I had no interest in some individual just doing their job getting a whole lot of hate over a poorly worded email. What was obscured in me doing this was the fact the email was sent from a third-party PR company, not Ubisoft’s internal PR. This wasn’t helped by my phrasing “Ubisoft’s PR” in my tweet, which was me trying to condense the phrase “PR sent on behalf of Ubisoft” into 140 characters.

The tweet got retweeted a whole bunch! Like, 200 times at last check. Then people pointed out that it reads like perhaps it is PR for the actress that the text seems to focus on, not for the game. Ubisoft then confirmed this to be true in a couple of tweets to me this morning.

So straight up: I screwed up! To be sure, I think it is entirely understandable that when a games journalist gets a press release about the most recent Assassin’s Creed, that it would be safe to assume that Ubisoft has signed off on that press release. But still, I was wrong and the wording of my tweet did not help things at all in the way it suggested this was sent by internal Ubisoft PR, so I truly apologise to anyone at Ubisoft PR who had to deal with any fallout from that.

So choices I made to deliberately ensure there would not be an angry online mob thing instead ensured the opposite occurred. My intent to just tweet “hey this thing is kind of crap” snowballed into a whole lot of people getting really angry at the wrong target. I guess I will just add this to the growing list of reasons why I increasingly feel that Twitter is not a useful place to have any sort of real conversation.

I apologise unreservedly.

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