Yesterday I wrote about Tyler Wilde, executive editor of PCGamer.com and would-be speech policeman. He has a problem with you using the words “PC Master Race”, because he thinks it calls to mind the Nazi party. Shortly after this article, we learned that his hyper-sensitive tastes are somewhat limited in their application: he has no problem whatsoever with sleeping with a Ubisoft PR person and promoting Ubisoft games.
Tyler Wilde, it appears, is in a relationship with a woman named Anne Marie Lewis, a “communications specialist” at Ubisoft and a blogger at their official blog. Subreddit KotakuInAction pointed out yesterday a number of tweets proving that the two of them have been living together in an undisclosed romantic relationship, and that Tim Clark, editor-in-chief at PCGamer, was aware of this and did nothing.
During the course of this relationship, Mr. Wilde wrote several favorable articles about Ubisoft games, most particularly the game Watch_Dogs. Long-time gaming news readers will remember Watch_Dogs as being at the center of several controversies due to its low quality, bland story, and severe bugs and graphical downgrades. I also mentioned it in a very early article concerning bribery in the video game industry. PCGamer’s review score for Watch_Dogs was almost twice that of the Metacritic user average (87 as opposed to 46). While Mr. Wilde did not write the review, he did author a fawning video preview of the game. He has since taken this video preview down, presumably in an attempt to hide the evidence.
Thankfully, the Internet never forgets, and if you’re interested in seeing the video that he’s so intent on hiding, you may do so here. I can tell you now, you will find no mention of the fact that he’s living with a Ubisoft PR person.
There is also evidence that Mr. Wilde has previously lived with a Capcom PR person, Chris Antista, while writing stories for Capcom. I found this infographic, which I believe may be credited to 8chan but whose source I have not been able to track down. I am unaware of anyone in the history of journalism who has been roommates with not one, but two separate undisclosed conflicts of interest, so it’s entirely possible that he’s set some sort of corruption world record.
These sorts of conflicts of interest are very serious matters, especially in publications that review games. Did Mr. Wilde intervene with other writers at PCGamer to get the review score for Watch_Dogs increased? What other undisclosed relationships do the staff at PCGamer have? Can any of their coverage be trusted at all? For the moment, the answer to that last question is clearly “no”, as even in the face of mounting pressure they have, as of the time I write this column, made no response to these allegations.
Whereas other game publications such as IGN have developed ethics policies, PCGamer appears not to have done so. Perhaps they see nothing wrong with this. If that’s the case, it tells you all you need to know about whether their reviews are trustworthy.
This sort of investigative reporting is precisely what gamergate is about, and all credit is due to the people who put in the hard work to find this information out. All I’ve done is collate it here for readers to view. Particular credit appears to be due to a Twitter user with the rather unusual name of TheFartRises, who seems to have been critical in breaking this story about a serious breach of journalistic ethics. Excellent work, TheFartRises. Keep on farting, or rising, or whichever it is that you prefer to do.