MCV’s ‘GONE’ Cover Causes Uproar

GONE, says the cover of this week’s MCV, clearly designed to look like the GAME logo. After weeks of speculation and coverage, it seemed like the logical conclusion – after all, if you believe everything you read the company was doomed, or almost certainly in serious trouble.

They still are, of course – despite offers on the table from OpCapita and looming rumours regarding Wal-Mart, the reality is that GAME are still struggling to get stock from a number of publishers and rent payments are due very soon.

But hate mail? That’s what Michael French is claiming he’s received this morning, as the magazine dropped through the letterboxes of – well, pretty much everyone in the industry, including most GAME branches. “I’ve had hate mail from some of GAME’s 6,000 employees this morning,” said the editor in a blog post this evening. “I am not a popular person at the retailer’s 600 shops.”

[drop2]”GAME’s communications boss called me earlier, I am not a popular person at the retailer’s Basingstoke HQ right now.”

The situation, though, is evident. MCV don’t want to see GAME dead, their reporting over the weeks has – from my point of view – been mostly fair and, as some have commented recently, actually somewhat biased in the sense that everything has been at the very least rather positive. Although, yes, Ben Parfitt’s continuous postings have picked up every minutiae.

“As I have explained,” continued French, “whatever happens in next week or so, GAME as we knew it has gone. Until now we had hoped it might remain intact.”

“It wasn’t intended as an obituary, we aren’t rubbing our hands hoping for GAME’s demise. If anything, events since that cover went to press have rammed home how change is ahead. The line-up of acquisition suspects now includes OpCapital, Wal-Mart and GameStop. None of them are going to buy GAME and not make some changes.”

There might have been gloating from the industry and press recently, but none of that has come from MCV. I’m not defending them of course, they’re quite capable of doing that themselves.

But was it in poor taste?

As I’ve said on occasion, people’s jobs are on the line here, but Tweets from other retailers have – in my opinion – stuck the knife in far more than this particular cover. And the article itself, beyond the bright pink visage and replica logo, paints a picture more optimistic than anything.

The comments on both the original post and Michael’s follow up suggest a readership less than impressed, though. “It’s in appalling taste for those affected,” said one of the cover.

“Is this as close as we can expect to get to an apology?” said another. “You used a completely and utterly misleading image (therefore exploiting the misery and anxiety of thousands) for the purpose of getting as many page views as possible. This is why people are angry, not because they think you hate GAME as a company.”

I can see their point. The article inside is fair and balanced, but the cover might not have been seen the same way, and the finality of the text would hardly make for great reading for anyone still manning the tills on the high street.

Your comments, as ever, are welcome.

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36 Comments

  1. I thought the cover was slightly in poor taste.
    Much prefer what’s been done to this version:
    http://images.vg247.com/current//2012/03/gamenotgone.jpg
    Would suit most people’s thoughts well too, I think.

    • I concur.

    • I also concur. A replication or mimic of their company logo in a negative manner doesn’t suggest sympathy to me.

  2. I didn’t put this in the article, but I think Tuffcub had a similar idea a few days back.

    https://twitter.com/#!/Tuffcub/status/180353434589995009

  3. My opionion of MCV has steadily declined. Don’t get me wrong, they are keeping up to date with all the information about the situation which is great, except they almost seem to be pleased about it all.

    Combine that with the ‘Next Xbox/PS4 confirmed for E3’ from a reliable “source” just really annoys me because it seems like they’re more concentrated on getting hits rather than writing about the facts.

    • I agree. Their biggest crime is sensationalist journalism. It annoys me so I stopped reading. That’s the beauty of choice!

  4. I don’t think it’s that bad at all. If anything, I’d say they should have changed it to “Time’s running out…” rather than “Time runs out”. Even so, it’s hardly taking the piss out of the situation.

  5. why not wait until it is final that is just poor taste in my eyes.

  6. thats just a low blow to GAME

  7. Poor taste? Maybe.
    Funny? You betcha!

    • You find game closing and thousands losing there job funny?

      • Get over yourself mate. It is a (moderately) funny play on words, no one is saying it’s funny that people are losing their jobs. Don’t be absurd

      • Of course I don’t find people losing their job funny. I was unlucky enough to be made redundant at the start of 2009 and remained out of work for eight months before I found another job, so I have nothing but sympathy for anyone in that situation – I wouldn’t even wish it on someone I don’t like.

        BUT – if you ignore the human side of things, I have no sympathy for GAME as a company because they have used their size to bully the industry; look at how they made THQ delay the Steam release of Space Marine by a few months by threatening to not stock the game if they didn’t. Karma has come back on the COMPANY in a big way so although I don’t even find that funny, I have no sympathy.

        But the MCV cover itself, yes I did find funny.

  8. I don’t like it. Not mischievous, not funny, not even correct. Just disgraceful and a slap in the face to the industry and the thousands who would lose their jobs. After a baiting cover like that, the written words inside don’t hold as much weight to me, balanced or not. Pathetic.

  9. Ungrateful.

    • Who are ungrateful? MCV or Game? O-o

  10. The worst you can really say is that it’s a bit sensationalist but it’s nowhere near as bad as the stuff you see on many of the tabloids on a daily basis.

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