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DeepFreeze currently covers videogame journalism — mainstream media coming soon.

06 Dec 2016

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To file a larger array of information and become a more helpful resource to a larger number of people, DeepFreeze is undergoing some structural changes, starting with a shift from its previous journalist-focused approach.

Now, DeepFreeze entries are no longer just filed by journalist as before, but can also be associated with one or more outlets — and can even be filed just by outlet, without being connected with a specific journalist.

This brought, last month, to a heavy overhaul of our outlets pages, and now the site is rolling out a more informative homepage, better suited to the new filing system.

Following these few months’ initial push, changes will flow out more gradually — in order to disrupt updates as little as possible.

13 Oct 2016

Cronyism
Covered the videogame Volume, which was a customer of Agency for Games—a company owned and founded by fellow journalist Leigh Alexander. Agency’s involvement in the Volume’s design has been confirmed by Bithell to have started prior to when Hamilton covered the game. Alexander and Hamilton have a very friendly relationship—exchanging tweets since 2009, meeting extremely frequently, working together. Hamilton’s article on Volume contains no disclosure of this relationship. Hamilton also covered Alexander directly several times—articles about Alexander contain very partial disclosures, while namedrops don’t disclose anything.

Apparent Cronyism

21 Mar 2014

Cronyism
Covered the videogames Volume, two times, and Kelvin and the Infamous Machine, also twice. Both games were customers of Agency for Games, a company owned and founded by fellow journalist Leigh Alexander, who appears to have a friendly relationship with Walker—exchanging tweets since 2009, and attempting to meet up at least once. Alexander has also been contributing to Rock, Paper, Shotgun from July 2014, overlapping Walker’s much previous participation. Walker’s articles contain no disclosure of this relationship.

Apparent Cronyism

03 Aug 2016

Cronyism
Covered the videogame Volume two times. Volume was a customer of Agency for Games, a company owned and founded by fellow journalist Leigh Alexander, who appears to have a friendly relationship with Meer—exchanging tweets since 2009, and attempting to meet up multiple times. Meer’s articles contain no disclosure of this relationship.

Apparent Cronyism

18 Aug 2015

Jesse Singal

1

Trivia

Not dated

Jesse Singal

1

Dishonesty
After Nintendo terminated a marketing employee, he wrote a somewhat aggressive article criticizing the termination. The article, part of a media blitz that incited a strong social media response, claimed that the terminated employee was being harassed, and implied Nintendo had fired her rather than defending her—with an article much tamer than the rest of the media blitz and at least attempting to find sources for its accusations. Aside from misrepresenting the issue with a clearly biased position, the article didn’t originally note that Nintendo had fired the already-controversial employee for moonlighting a second job, which happened to be overwhelmingly at odds with Nintendo’s kid-friendly image. The article was updated, a little less incompletely than others in the media blitz, with Singal still not providing the full story but at least justifying his still-biased position with further research.

Possible Dishonesty

30 Mar 2016

Alex Seedhouse

1

Dishonesty
After Nintendo terminated a marketing employee, he wrote an accusation article aimed at the company. The article, part of a media blitz that incited a strong social media response, claimed that the terminated employee was being harassed, and Nintendo had fired her rather than defending her—accusing Nintendo of caving to “notoriously hostile” people who had “descended into madness”. Aside from misrepresenting the issue with a clearly biased position, the extremely rushed article didn’t originally note that Nintendo had fired the already-controversial employee for moonlighting a second job, which happened to be overwhelmingly at odds with Nintendo’s kid-friendly image. While the article was updated, the update is as lazy as the original reporting.

Apparent Dishonesty

30 Mar 2016

Michael Rougeau

2

Dishonesty
After Nintendo terminated a marketing employee, he wrote an accusation article aimed at the company. The article, part of a media blitz that incited a strong social media response, claimed that the terminated employee was being harassed, and Nintendo had fired her rather than defending her—accusing Nintendo of “giving in to some of the scummiest people on the internet”, people described as “shambling, half-witted trash people” with “nothing better to do than make life more difficult for the actual, thinking, human adults in the world” such as Regeau and his Twitter feed, made up of “sane people”. Aside from misrepresenting the issue with a clearly biased position, the rushed article didn’t originally note that Nintendo had fired the already-controversial employee for moonlighting a second job, which happened to be overwhelmingly at odds with Nintendo’s kid-friendly image. While the article was updated, said update only contains the Nintendo statement and an acknowledgement of the change, remaining woefully incomplete.

Apparent Dishonesty

30 Mar 2016

Patrick Klepek

5

Dishonesty
After Nintendo terminated a marketing employee, he wrote an accusation article aimed at the company. The article started a media blitz that incited a strong social media response against Nintendo, and claimed that the terminated employee was being harassed, and Nintendo had fired her rather than defending her—saying Nintendo had “watched [this employee] become the center of a witch hunt and did nothing publicly to defend her”. Aside from misrepresenting the issue with a clearly biased position, the rushed article didn’t originally note that Nintendo had fired the already-controversial employee for moonlighting a second job, which happened to be overwhelmingly at odds with Nintendo’s kid-friendly image. The article was updated, and Klepek later responded to the criticism that he had received for his article—making the outlet the most through in addressing the misinformation spread in this media blitz, but still arguably weaseling out of the responsability of spreading the news in the first place.

Possible Dishonesty

31 Mar 2016

Matthew Dunn

1

Dishonesty
After Nintendo terminated a marketing employee, he wrote an accusation article aimed at the company. The article, part of a media blitz that incited a strong social media response, claimed that the terminated employee was being harassed, and Nintendo had fired her rather than defending her—accusing Nintendo of caving to “haters” and “violent harassment tactics aimed at women”. Aside from misrepresenting the issue with a clearly biased position, the rushed article didn’t originally note that Nintendo had fired the already-controversial employee for moonlighting a second job, which happened to be overwhelmingly at odds with Nintendo’s kid-friendly image. While the article was updated, not only is the update incomplete, but it is not even acknowledged—seemingly phrased so as to suggest the original article was less inaccurate than it actually was.

Apparent Dishonesty

31 Mar 2016

20 Sep 2016

Jason Schreier

10

Sensationalism
Wrote a heavily circulated article about Trendy Entertainment, and a couple of follow-ups. In these articles,his anonymous sources described lots of issues at the “Video game studio from hell”, laying all the blame on then-president Jeremy Stieglitz. Issues included unfair crunch hours, bad management decisions, and, worst of all, offering lower wages to women candidates for the same positions. In 2016, a throughly researched article showed most of Schreier’s claims were heavily questionable: several of his sources were working at a competitor of Trendy, the woman offered a lower wage was significantly less qualified, and Trendy’s mismanagement seemed to come from individuals other than Stieglitz. Stieglitz lost his position immediately after the article, while actually still working for Trendy and being forced to co-operate with the people who had defamed him. The article was also eventually brought as evidence when Insight (Trendy’s owner) sued Stieglitz and the more-successful company he had founded, forcing him to settle for 40 million dollars.

Apparent Sensationalism

07 Jun 2013

Ben Kuchera

11

Trivia
Was on the receiving end of a financial conflict of interest with Critical Distance, which gave him a plug while he was donating to their Patreon what appears to be an extraordinary amount.

Trivia

Not dated

Kris Ligman

26

Corruption
Critical Distance plugs Ben Kuchera at least once—without disclosing that he was donating to their Patreon for what is apparently an “extraordinary” amount.

Apparent Corruption

09 Mar 2014

Jonathan Holmes

11

Corruption
Covered Axiom Verge on two occasions without disclosing that the game’s creator Tom Happ had backed the Kickstarter campaign for his webseries Sup, Holmes? for an undisclosed amount. Disclosure was likewise not included in the video interview embedded in the first article. Stated the Kickstarter money didn’t go through him when asked about the Kickstarter previously, and reiterated it when informed about this specific instance, stating he wasn’t aware. Co-creator of Sup, Holmes? Conrad Zimmerman also previously covered Axiom Verge, but added disclosure to his coverage as soon as he and Holmes were informed.

Apparent Corruption

21 Aug 2016

Cronyism
Covered gaming studio Motive (also a very small mention), originally without disclsoing that Mitch Dyer, a writer for Motive, worked at IGN for a period of time which overalps with Goldfarb’s—they also appear to be on friendly terms. As soon as Goldfarb was informed, he immediately added a very exaustive disclosure to the article, explaining that the oversight was caused by Dyer’s then-recent change of employment.

Amended Cronyism

04 May 2016

Cronyism
Covered video game studio Motive without disclosing that Mitch Dyer, who is a writer for Motive, previously worked at IGN for a period of time which overlaps Osborn’s.

Apparent Cronyism

03 Jun 2016

Cronyism
Covered video games studio Motive without disclosing that Mitch Dyer, a writer for Motive, had previously worked at IGN for a period of time which overlaps with Macy’s.

Apparent Cronyism

10 May 2016

01 Sep 2016

Corruption
Namedropped Zoe Quinn two times, originally without disclosing he had contributed to one of Quinn’s crowdfundings and, when the second article came out, was working with Quinn’s Crash Override Network. A disclosure was added to both articles, as well as to other articles about Quinn on Gameranx not written by him, after he was informed of the issue.

Amended Corruption

30 Dec 2015

Corruption
After dismissing people accusing him of having a personal relationship with Zoe Quinn by saying he had never written about Quinn, he wrote about her without disclosing their relationship. They have clear financial ties, with Kollar having backed Quinn’s Patreon and one of her crowdfunding campaigns. Furthermore, they appear to have a very well developed personal relationship, including the discussion of possible meetups and extremely frequent promotion of Quinn on Kollar’s Twitter account.

Apparent Corruption

29 Jan 2015

Corruption
Namedropped Zoe Quinn on Critical Distance and covered her extremely positively two times on his own website, without disclosures. They have a financial tie, with Kunzelman having supported two of Quinn’s crowdfunding campaigns, promoting them and even changing a campaign of his own to finance her. They also appear to have a very friendly personal relationship, including multiple meetings. Kunzelman is listed in the credits of Quinn’s Depression Quest.

Apparent Corruption

04 Feb 2013

Corruption
Wrote at least three times about Zoe Quinn—plus a fourth article at Unwinnable, a blogpost and an academic paper. His articles—with the possible exception of the Unwinnable article, behind a paywall—don’t disclose his relationship with Quinn, as well as his (small) contribution to one of her crowdfunding campaigns. Their social media also suggest a very friendly relationship—which includes Keogh promoting Quinn with extreme frequency, defending her in spats, and apparently multiple meetings despite Keogh being stationed in Australia and having to travel to the USA in order for a meeting to take place. Keogh is also listed in the credits of Quinn’s Depression Quest.

Apparent Corruption

10 Oct 2015

Corruption
Made two videos about Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest without disclosing that he had contributed to one of Quinn’s crowdfunding campaigns, although for the low sum of ten dollars. Dwyer also appears in Depression Quest’s credits. He also appears to have a good relationship with Quinn, which involves hanging out together but appears to have developed after the coverage.

Apparent Corruption

03 Jan 2014

Corruption
Wrote about Zoe Quinn—plus, namedropped her in another and wrote a third about the game Jazzpunk, where Quinn was a voice actress—without disclosing that she was supporting Quinn’s Patreon. Apparently, the contributions have stopped at some point, but when that happened is not publicly known.

Possible Corruption

25 Aug 2016

Andrew Todd

1

Trivia
Apparent GG Autoblocker user.

Trivia

Not dated

Andrew Todd

1

Cronyism
Wroteat least five times about Zoe Quinn, and offered a social media hagiography of her Crash Override Network, without disclosing an apparently close personal relationship—suggested by very friendly tweets which even show them hanging out together—especially notable, as Todd lives in New Zealand.

Apparent Cronyism

25 Aug 2016

26 Jul 2016

Cronyism
Wrote about Black Lab Games’ game Star Hammer, published by Slitherine Software, on Pocket Tactics, originally without disclosing that Pocket Tactics had been purchased by Slitherine—plus, wrote about Slitherine twice more on the month of the purchase. Pocket Tactics announced the purchase four months after it took place, and retroactively added disclosures to most articles mentioning Slitherine, including two of Faraday’s, but not his most recent.

Possible Cronyism

03 Sep 2015

Cronyism
Wrote at least nine times about games by Slitherine Software on Pocket Tactics, originally without disclosing that Pocket Tactics had been purchased by Slitherine—plus, once more on the month of the purchase. Pocket Tactics announced the purchase four months after it took place, and retroactively added disclosures to most articles mentioning Slitherine, including eight of the ten articles by Neumann, with the two exceptions being possibly an oversight.

Possible Cronyism

08 Dec 2015

Cronyism
Wrote about Slitherine Software’s game Pike and Shoot on Pocket Tactics, originally without disclosing that Pocket Tactics had been purchased by Slitherine. Pocket Tactics announced the purchase four months after it took place, and retroactively added disclosures to most articles mentioning Slitherine, including Beldado’s.

Amended Cronyism

22 Dec 2015

Cronyism
Wrote two times about games by Slitherine Software on Pocket Tactics, originally without disclosing that Pocket Tactics had been purchased by Slitherine. Pocket Tactics announced the purchase four months after it took place, and retroactively added disclosures to most articles mentioning Slitherine, including both of Connelly’s.

Amended Cronyism

22 Dec 2015

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