It was assumed that when an Amazon listing for Black Ops 2 appeared on the French version of the site that Activision would be none too happy. What wasn’t expected was their post-leak response, which has seen them blacklist a number of French game publications for running the story.
Since the blacklist situation occurred, Activision France has come out to say there is no blacklist in place, but popular French publications like Gameblog are suggesting otherwise. Gameblog wasn’t completely innocent in the situation, Activision did ask them to take down the story and they refused, but to blacklist a publication for scooping a story of this magnitude is a little drastic.
As Gameblog recounted to Kotaku, Activision sent a simple email and followed that up with a phone call, both of which requested that the piece be taken down since no announcement was made regarding this next entry in the wildly popular Call of Duty franchise. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop with the request, but escalated from there, with Activision France threatening not to send review copies of games and no longer inviting Gameblog to events if the story stayed up.
VG24/7 reached out to Activision for comment on this issue to which they replied that does not blacklist journalists, and this whole situation was a misunderstanding.
What’s strange about this all is that Activision is acting, or at least is believed to be acting, in a much stronger manner than they did when the story points for Modern Warfare 3 leaked last year. Activision actually spun that leak into a positive, while their response to this leak seems to be the complete opposite — mindlessly tossing out bans rather than using this as a jumping off point for a larger reveal.
It goes without saying that a leak of this magnitude puts a strong amount of pressure on developers and publishers alike, but to lambast the video game press simply for covering the leak is a bit much. Whether or not Activision will continue to hold a grudge towards those French publications remains to be seen, even though they have said there is no blacklist.
On the topic of Black Ops 2, it is believed that the game should be announced very soon for all major platforms including the PlayStation Vita. Some story rumors that appeared last year suggested that the game would feature a Reznov prequel storyline, but based on the way things ended with Mason in the first game, and fans naming Black Ops the best ending ever, the expectation is that story will continue.
How do you feel about a publisher blacklisting game journalists for covering a leak? Should Activision have turned this leak into yet another opportunity to announce a game?