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Belgiumgate!

How about some Warhammer news not involving Mark Jacobs’ blog? Leave the man alone, he is allowed to blog just like the rest of us! Instead we have Tobold’s blog. Tobold is a guy who blogs about MMOs, in a fairly drama-free fashion. (This last bit differentiates him from… well… the rest of us.) Recently he made a fairly innocuous post:

In the interest of full disclosure I’d like to tell you that I accepted a free subscription for the US version of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Yeah, I know, it smells like a bribe, but my reporting on WAR is not going to be influenced.

This isn’t particularly news, save that someone at Mythic (or most likely Goa, Tobold being European) was clueful enough to toss Tobold a media account. “Media” is an account type – people who write about games for a living generally aren’t expected to pay for them. Web sites have had a history of kind of fudging that standard a bit – the gold standard of course being the web site that exists solely to gain its writers E3 passes – but in general if someone has a published byline, and more to the point, can get the game company in question some publicity, they get tossed a comped account.

 

This is, if not a secret, not really talked about that much. Writers don’t like to talk about it because it makes other people jealous and, of course, seems like a bribe. Which is funny, since game companies have a history of offering MUCH BETTER bribes. MMO companies don’t like to talk about it because, well, if you have a not very successful game, a significant portion of your subscriber base may well be media accounts!

And after this week, bloggers aren’t going to talk about it, because, well, it takes away your street cred from raging at the man or something.

We are simply gamers here, not press. There is no reason for anyone to give us free stuff. We aren’t trying to get gigs in the game industry, so we don’t care if we piss them off either.

Given the layoff news from the gaming industry of late, you might want to keep that writing gig anyway! And then you have some folks that are just plain jealous that someone is saving $15 a month:

Looking for 1.8 million more visitors and 1800 more subscribers. Apparently this might qualify me for a free Warhammer Online subscription…

From this insider’s perspective, Belgiumgate is kind of silly, and not just because I like typing the word “Belgium”. If you think a blog author is going to be bought off by a comped account worth a bit more than what I paid for a bowl of pho this afternoon… that must be damned good pho. And it wasn’t. I’d want AT least some Pad Kee Maw before I give up all my principles.

 

Full disclosure, since apparently this is something really important in the blogging community: I do not have a comped account for Warhammer Online. I do have a comped account for Dark Age of Camelot. You know, because I like, worked on it and stuff. I used to have a comped account for City of Heroes, too, but that got turned off. Sad face! I’m now going to write mean things about their next patch. That’ll show ’em.