***Update 1 – 2017-05-01 – 11:45 CEST***
As you might remember. Late last night I said that I got in contact with OpenCritic for a comment about Paul Ryan’s statement about OpenCritic using Brash Games as a scapegoat for their own personal gain. Well, this is what OpenCritic had to say about that matter:
“Hi there Matthew =)
I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but it seems like Brash Games Paul Ryan is accusing OpenCritic for using Brash Games as a scapegoat to fuel their own success:
So I just wanted to check with you if you have any comment on that matter?” – Robin Ek, TGG
And this was the response that I received from OpenCritic:
“We stand by our report. Our motivation in publishing the report was to meet our commitment to the gaming community to investigate and report wrongdoing by official publications, as outlined in our FAQ. Brash Games was aware of this process when they joined OpenCritic in December 2016:
The ethics requirement is the most subjective requirement that we have, and we hope never to use as a basis for removal. If we ever do determine that an outlet is in violation of ethical codes, we will conduct our own investigation. We require that there be a clear violation that compromises the entire publication’s ability to objectively review games, with supporting evidence that proves the violation beyond a reasonable doubt. If we do conduct an investigation, we will not suspend review content during that investigation, and we will make a public statement at the conclusion. For questions about what constitutes basic ethics, we go by the Society of Professional Journalism Code of Ethics.
Contrary to Brash’s claim, at no point did we state or even imply a motive for changing scores. Our report also states that “we stress that incidents may have been rare.” We still do not know why Brash has changed the scores without the consent of the author, but seven independent critics made the claim, with more joining after the report’s release.
In the end, OpenCritic is not making the allegations – numerous independent critics are. We gave Brash numerous chances to respond to the substance of the multiple allegations against them, at times even pleading with them to apologize and make amends. Instead, Brash chose to try to deflect and delete evidence.
OpenCritic has been growing since our launch in September 2015 solely due to the support of the gaming community. Our mission is to improve the gaming industry for everyone: critics, developers, and gamers alike. We won’t always be perfect, but we strive to continue to earn the community’s trust and support.” – Matthew Enthoven, OpenCritic
So there you have it folks. I am yet to hear Paul Ryan’s side of the story though (I e-mailed him last night). So I hope to hear from him soon.
I (Robin Ek, TGG) had a feeling that Brash Games’s Paul Ryan (owner, PR-manager and review-code manager) would make his grand return to games industry in a very near future, and that Ryan would try to make it sound like he and Brash Games were the “real” victim in the story about Brash Games and their shady business practices and total lack of moral and ethics. Because in Ryan’s world nothings more important than to reach the “Things are back to normal now” status as soon as possible. Even so, I was still surprised to hear that Paul Ryan would play out the victim and scapegoat card in the way that he did. You see, in Brash Games post “Brash Games Statement – Not So Open Critic” Ryan not only took a swing at OpenCritic and ex-Brash Games writers, he also managed to squeeze in his physical health status (Ryan uses a wheelchair) into the mix as well (as seen in the pictures down below):
“I acknowledge I made mistakes in deleting the accounts of some previous volunteers and would like to take this opportunity to personally apologise to those concerned for my actions. I am deeply sorry for my actions and I will be reinstating the effected accounts as soon as possible. I would like the effected parties to contact me via the contact form with a list of articles and the URL’s so I can re-instate the accounts with immediate effect.
I have already added several accounts and am waiting for others contributors to get in touch. With regards to changing review scores this has been completely blown out of proportion by Open Critic who were not interested in the truth, despite the stats on Metacritic that prove otherwise. According to Metacritic on average, Brash Games grades 4.5 points lower than other critics. Open Critic made out that we were actually changing review scores to please publishers but the evidence says otherwise.”
“So why did Open Critic make such a meal of it ? They wanted to use Brash Games and this so-called scandal as a springboard to announce themselves to the gaming community (GamersGate style), after all their previous attempts had failed. They were shunned by publishers, developers and the gaming public. That’s why they started to drip feeding parts of their so-called investigation on game forums to build momentum and anticipation for the big reveal and to say “Hey look we’re here to weed our corruption and wrongdoing in the games industry”.
An unnamed source told Brash Games “They (Open Critic) had to do something, they had failed to make inroads into the aggregation field and Metacritic was still firmly regarded as the industry standard while Open Critic wasn’t even in the running. So they set about finding a scapegoat, someone who wouldn’t fight back or make a scene, a sacrificial lamb for the slaughter and unfortunately that was Brash Games run by a cripple in a wheelchair, you know the one. Talk about an easy target”. What followed was a game of chinese whispers and suddenly I was responsible for everything, even the air strikes on Syria, no I’m not that Paul Ryan.”
“We have not yer had time to respond in full to Open Critic’s report but will do so in the coming weeks/months.” – Brash Games
So even though there have been plenty of articles and videos that have exposed Brash Games shady business practicese in the past, Paul Ryan still manages to play out both the victim and scapegoat card (all while put blaming on others). Well, what can I say really? I mean, the whole thing feels very surreal and twisted. So it’s going to be very interesting to see how OpenCritic and the growing number of ex-Brash Games writers will respond to all of this, and speaking of which. A claimed ex-Brash Games writer called Sean Winnett has claimed that Brash Games removed his authorship just recently (as seen in the second picture down below). In other words, if that’s true, then Brash games removed Winnett’s authorship shortly after their brief statement/apology post…
So the story about Brash Games and their actions just keeps on getting more and more bizarre and tasteless for each day that goes by (literally). You know, from my point of view. It seems like Paul Ryan is only sorry that he got caught, and that’s all there is to it. In the matter of fact, things have gone so far with Brash Games and the scandals that currently are surrounding them. That people have started to call Paul Ryan the Paul Feig of video games (Paul Feig blamed everything and everyone but himself for his own failure with the “Ghostbusters 2016” movie). So I’m pretty curious to see what Ryan with come up with next, especially so since his already played out the victim and scapegoat card.
My point would be that Ryan can’t continue to blame everyone and everything for his own mistakes forever, because sooner or later people won’t believe a single thing that he say. Furthermore, he will most likely be called out on his bs as well. Anyways, this is what I got to share on the matter for now. I have also reached out to OpenCritic and Paul Ryan for a comment. So I will update this post once I get a response from either camp.
And with that said, what’s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
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