So when it comes to commenting on the state of public relations in the gaming industry, perhaps we're the best people to shed some objective illumination on the topic (or the worst). We, like most other news sites, do the occasional dealing with a PR firm or two that represent the interests of major gaming companies. And we must emphasize that in general we find the people we deal with to be professional and friendly people, just doing their job and doing so admirably.
There are, however, certain instances when a couple of normally verbose and ambiguous worlds collide to form an unholy clusterfuck of indecipherable double speak and almost meaningless speech. A couple of days ago a press release for Guitar Hero World Tour was put out talking about "EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIPS WITH PROMINENT MUSIC INSTRUMENT AND EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS" which was essentially telling us what we already knew, this Guitar Hero would allow players to win in-game sponsorships from real world manufacturers, like previous versions in the series.
It was pretty standard stuff, complete with the usual pumping up of the game as a whole. Honestly, it wouldn't normally be anything most sites would (including us) would pay much attention to. But like most press releases this one had a few items tacked on to the end including info about the companies involved, press contacts, and perhaps a legal statement or two - a short addendum at most. In this case, BHPR, the firm that published the press release on behalf of Activision, felt the need to go in-depth on the topic of "Forward-looking Statements" and what followed was 388 words of eye bleeding nothingness.
Directly from the press release:
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Publishing's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Activision Publishing generally uses words such as "outlook", "will," "could," "would," "might," "remains," "to be," "plans," "believes", "may", "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "estimate," future," "plan," "positioned," "potential," "project," "remain," "scheduled," "set to," "subject to," "upcoming" and similar expressions to help identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Activision Publishing's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales of Activision Publishing's titles, shifts in consumer spending trends, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, Activision Publishing's ability to predict consumer preferences among competing hardware platforms (including next-generation hardware), declines in software pricing, product returns and price protection, product delays, retail acceptance of Activision Publishing's products, adoption rate and availability of new hardware and related software, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, litigation against Activision Publishing, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, vendors and third-party developers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies, foreign exchange rates, integration of recent acquisitions and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities, Activision Blizzard's success in integrating the operations of Activision Publishing and Vivendi Games in a timely manner, or at all, and the combined company's ability to realize the anticipated benefits and synergies of the transaction to the extent, or in the timeframe, anticipated. Other such factors include additional risk factors identified in Activision Blizzard's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision Publishing and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Publishing or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.
Allow us to edit: "Forward-looking statements in this press release are not a guarantee of actual results." There, we just summarized the thinly spread meaning of 388 words in a mere thirteen.
At one point it evens goes on to state that one of the factors that may affect future results is "retail acceptance of Activision Publishing's products". Unless that statement is somehow meant to caution against Best Buy taking a shit on Guitar Hero, I'm pretty sure they just said one of the factors that may cause their results to differ from their many "forward-looking statements" is whether or not people want to buy their games. Wow.
To clarify, yes, we understand the legal reasons why stuff like this has to be included. For those that don't, allow us to simplify. Like any company Activision has to be honest about their earnings and potential earnings with the people who own stock in the company, and that means they have to be careful about hyping up a product too much, as their optimism may be confused for statements of fact.
So basically what you have is a press release followed by another statement almost as long as the initial press release itself essentially saying nothing in that press release should be taken too seriously. Again, we understand why it has to be there, but we still find it ironic, and hilarious.
Think about it, seriously.
Originally published on