PR Firm Denies Blacklisting Media Over Low Final Fantasy XV Review Scores

December 10, 2016Written by Zarmena Khan

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Earlier this week, Spanish website AreaJugones claimed that it was set to be blacklisted by Square Enix’s PR firm, Koch Media, for awarding Final Fantasy XV a lower-than-average review score. Following a blog post on its website, the publication’s editor Juan Alberto Linares spoke to Kotaku and made the following allegation against a Koch Media representative:

The PR told me that we had scored one point less than the current average of Metacritic and that this hurt their interests as a company.

I could not believe what he was saying, so when he asked for more explanations, he told me that we also almost always scored his games with lower scores than the other Spanish magazines and other Metacritic media. We started talking about scores given to other games of his brand and they insist that we score their games lower than the other media, and this is not really true. If we score lower under their games we hurt them, so we were erased from the list of media because we were going to continue hurting them.

Neither Square Enix nor Koch offered any comments at the time but now, a Koch representative has denied the allegations in a statement to Games Industry. Here’s what the PR firm has to say:

Following recent statement by Spanish website AreaJugones, Koch Media would like to clarify the review policy that is worked globally by the company. Koch Media does not and would never impose a blacklist or ban on any media for a review score that is based on the factual opinion of a product. Our Partner Publishers, in this case Square Enix, are not involved with conversations between local PR and media outlets nor did Square Enix request the blacklist of any outlet.

What a mess! Here’s hoping this is the end of it, however.

[Source: Games Industry, Kotaku]