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EA sponsors indie podcast's trip to E3

Our friends at Gamertag Radio have announced that Electronic Arts will be sponsoring their trip to E3. The significance of this isn't readily apparent, so some explanation is in order. As many of our readers may know, E3 has become an invitation only affair. At first, some suspected that this format would limit coverage to those who were sympathetic to the companies presenting at E3. There was fear that internet journalists (who are arguably more outspoken than print magazines that are heavily subsidized by the very companies they cover) would be shut out. That fear has been mostly allayed (Joystiq, along with X3F, will definitely be at E3), but there remains another gap: independent operations. With Electronic Arts sponsoring Gamertag Radio, a door has been opened, and with that comes a number of questions.

First, it's great that EA is giving a chance to an independent podcast like GTR. It gives hope to other indie sites that don't have the budgets of bigger sites. However, there is also plenty of room for concern. In the right circumstances, a company could easily expect a sponsored website to paint a rosy picture of its games or products, even if it doesn't explicitly say so. For example, imagine if Nyko sponsored someone: "The Intercooler 2.0 rawked our sawks off!" You get the idea. We're not saying we know of any such instances, but the possibility is a little frightening. Now, we know Godfree and everyone at GTR. They're being perfectly up front about EA's sponsorship, realize the implications, and will in no way give EA special treatment.

It's exciting that independent news sources are getting a shot at E3, but it leaves us wary. We can only hope that future sponsors and those they sponsor are as honest as GTR. We have to ask, what do you think of the idea of corporate sponsorship for E3?

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. it's no different from companies that fly independent sites out for community day events. what's so big about it? it being E3 i suppose?

good they don't have to pay. but it's just a plane ticket and hotel. unless EA is also letting them use their cameras, equipment etc. it's just a plane ticket to E3.

no reason to hate. no reason to think they'll give EA special treatment. EA has been doing this for a while now..buying independent sites tickets to cover events...not as big as E3 but they've always done it.

Posted at 3:29PM on Jun 29th 2007 by DatBoy

2. DatBoy,

I'm not worried about GTR. They're doing this exactly the right way. They're being up front and honest. They come right out and say that EA won't get special coverage.

What I'm worried about is other sites not being as honest.

Posted at 3:31PM on Jun 29th 2007 by Richard Mitchell

3. well you have to expect some form of "sympathy" if you will when a company is helping you out. i'm not saying offer "favorable coverage" but you have to know that even the most honest person might look the other way at things when a company has given you an all expense paid trip.

that's human nature and i wouldn't fault anyoen for that. what would bother me is straight up favor. and i don't think they'll do that.

but still, it's a good thing that EA is making it more public that they're doing this. it'll show the likes of IGN etc that it ain't all about them all the time. (me = hates IGN btww)

good stuff. but again, EA has always done this for indie sites. they always fly 'em out to places. they're not as evil as people think especially when trying to get press for their games lol

Posted at 3:42PM on Jun 29th 2007 by DatBoy

4. i say give the sponsorees the benefit of the doubt until they display otherwise. if they do show a penchant for whoring, they won't be popular enough to be invited back a year later.

Posted at 4:04PM on Jun 29th 2007 by Jason

5. GTR is not an independent podcast anymore. That was revealed after the "major announcement" that was Pac-Man CE. I'm glad you guys at X3F actually acknowledged that there is a concern here. Just because GTR is upfront about it really doesn't mean anything. It just shows that they know how to work the community. That's why M$ and EA like them.

Posted at 5:06PM on Jun 29th 2007 by Gemini Ace

6. Hey, this is off-topic and from a 360 fanboy, but I just wanted to see what the X3F readers (and trolls) thoughts were on this issue since I haven't seen it here or joystiq:


Posted at 11:30PM on Jun 29th 2007 by ElwoodJD

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