Aventurine's Tasos Flambouras has posted what will most likely be his last accusations toward Eurogamer, as the developer has now declined the website's offer to re-review Darkfall Online.
Dealing with this Eurogamer scandal has been extremely frustrating for us. To those of you that believe we're unprofessional for calling Eurogamer out on this, we'll have you know that there's nothing professional about this entire affair. It's obviously personal when someone will tear our game apart without actually playing it. It's certainly personal for us to see our livelihood being torn to shreds by a fraud using a respected large game site to do it through. We tried to deal with this privately but Eurogamer wouldn't hear it, so we had no recourse but to go public. I think it's a good call to stick with the original review. It's already been tallied on GameRankings and Metacritic, so the damage is already done either way.
We would never accuse Eurogamer , Ed Zitron or anyone without solid evidence. We know for a fact that we've been wronged. Eurogamer is right to keep it up as they're seeing some good traffic from this, but in the meanwhile we'˜re taking irreparable damage and there's simply nothing we can do about it. We are in an impossible situation, with many future possible repercussions to our game and we're helpless to react. The Eurogamer smear piece is picked up by online media everywhere and this will stay with us long after this issue is forgotten. Gamerankings and Metacritic for example have already used this Eurogamer score of Darkfall, and unless this review comes down, a new review won't be taken into consideration. Metacritic informed us earlier today that they sympathize but they can't do anything unless the review comes down.
So we considered Eurogamer's offer to have Kieron Gillen re-review our game on their behalf but in the meanwhile they will not take down the original review. We have to decline the offer for a re-review (as if we have a choice) for the following reasons:
We don't need a re-review, we need a real review. We know for a fact that the original review is a fraud and yet Eurogamer stands by it. They should keep standing by it then or take it down based on the evidence *we have offered them, the numerous factual errors and omissions, the feedback they're receiving on it, the reviewer's questionable track record, former similar accusations about him, and our word. These half baked measures to save face mean nothing while this assassination piece stands. We've offered enough proof to justify taking it down to protect our game and their credibility. If they as much as suspect that we might be right, and we believe they know we are, they should have taken it down pending a re-review.
*The evidence: The reviewer's supervisor and MMO Editor for Eurogamer spent 2 minutes in the character creator but didn't create a character. Ed Zitron spent 2 hours 33 minutes logged in the game and the character creator. In this time the reviewer tried 9 different characters. Much of the time was spent creating and deleting these characters. 14 minutes before the reviewer stopped playing Darkfall altogether he said in global chat: (how do I cast spells...help). During his entire time in the game he repeatedly asks: (what do I do?) in public chat. After less than an hour logged in the game he speaks in race chat and says (this game is awful) His entire chat log shows someone biased that spent very little time in game, didn't understand even the very basics right before he stopped playing to write his review. We offered to pay to fly one of Eurogamer's IT people over here and cover all his expenses so he can also inspect all our logs, verify our claims, and see that they are practically impossible to doctor. Eurogamer refused.
So if it's all the same to Eurogamer we'll just take it on the chin and stick with the original review. We don't need their concessions. If they can live with this, so can we. 2/10 from the likes of Ed Zitron is going to be a badge of honor for us. They can keep that fraud up as our memorial contribution to journalistic integrity and to independent games everywhere. At the very least they may think twice before they try doing this to someone else.