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EA Mails Game Journalists 200 dollar checks

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    FugaFuga Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    i know what the next comic is going to be about!

    Fuga on
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    Chad SexingtonChad Sexington Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2009
    Bamelin wrote: »
    I wonder if EA will keep/publish a list of who actually cashes the cheques?

    *cough*

    Haha, you dirtbag. If you don't do something charitable with that cash, you're a douchebag.

    Or some kind of bag.

    Chad Sexington on
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    AllforceAllforce Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    subedii wrote: »
    So it's totally OK to accept the cash then. Because it's not "real".

    The logic that it can't be considered a real bribe because it's too direct to be a real bribe doesn't really make any sense to me. If I paid $200 to a book reviewer, heck, if I paid $20, that would pretty much be acknowledged as a bribe in every courthouse from here to Russia if it actually came to that. Doesn't matter if I handed it out in a fantastically elaborate ceremony, it doesn't matter if my book is on free-market capitalism and I say I was just giving him an object lesson, if at the end of the day I'm still giving them the money.


    You see I think I see where we're having the disjunct. I don't really view the amount as too relevant, to me accepting a direct cash gift from the person you're reviewing is a BIG FREAKING NO in any journalistic circle, whereas you view the amount as a big stumbling block because you don't think it's enough to influence anyone. That about right?

    Why are you so hung up on a meager cash "bribe" (if you even consider this a bribe), these game journalists get far more than 200 bucks out of these game companies CONSTANTLY. Fly them here and there for press events, throw lavish parties to promote their game and just shower these website's employees with gifts and swag all the while. They're flown to preview games at exclusive events all expenses paid and noone bats an eye.

    And you're irate over a goofball 200 dollar check that's essentially just swag and a marketing gimmick? Why is the fact money is given your tipping point for popping out your monocle?

    Allforce on
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    RemingtonRemington Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Allforce wrote: »
    subedii wrote: »
    So it's totally OK to accept the cash then. Because it's not "real".

    The logic that it can't be considered a real bribe because it's too direct to be a real bribe doesn't really make any sense to me. If I paid $200 to a book reviewer, heck, if I paid $20, that would pretty much be acknowledged as a bribe in every courthouse from here to Russia if it actually came to that. Doesn't matter if I handed it out in a fantastically elaborate ceremony, it doesn't matter if my book is on free-market capitalism and I say I was just giving him an object lesson, if at the end of the day I'm still giving them the money.


    You see I think I see where we're having the disjunct. I don't really view the amount as too relevant, to me accepting a direct cash gift from the person you're reviewing is a BIG FREAKING NO in any journalistic circle, whereas you view the amount as a big stumbling block because you don't think it's enough to influence anyone. That about right?

    Why are you so hung up on a meager cash "bribe" (if you even consider this a bribe), these game journalists get far more than 200 bucks out of these game companies CONSTANTLY. Fly them here and there for press events, throw lavish parties to promote their game and just shower these website's employees with gifts and swag all the while. They're flown to preview games at exclusive events all expenses paid and noone bats an eye.

    And you're irate over a goofball 200 dollar check that's essentially just swag and a marketing gimmick? Why is the fact money is given your tipping point for popping out your monocle?

    If EA didn't fly anybody anywhere, didn't throw any party, didn't pay any expenses or any of that jazz, and instead took the money they saved, split it up into "real" checks and sent it to all the major review sites, are you saying that'd be ok?

    I think all the flying and parties and bullshit is wrong too. They should just send people their games and let them review it, but to say cash is the same as a plane ticket is ridiculous.

    And no, 200 dollars isn't a lot of money. Is 201 dollars? 202? When do you suddenly drop all your shit and scream "OMG BRIBERY!?"

    Remington on
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    AllforceAllforce Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    But they DO fly everybody everywhere and lavish them with free shit, so whats the difference between "oh man thanks for the 200 bucks, by the way your mediocre game? 9/10!" and "Oh man thanks for the free vacation, free food, great party, and all the stuff you gave us, by the way your mediocre game? 9/10!"?

    You can't just IGNORE the fact the other shit happens just because you feel like cash is somehow a "worse" bribe.

    Allforce on
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    RemingtonRemington Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    It's like my point was right here, and you tried really hard but you missed it anyway.

    I'm not ignoring anything. I just said I think that shit is wrong too. I didn't say it was a worse bribe, either. I said it was different. I'm point out how people are saying "giving them cash is just the same as throwing a party!"

    If it's ok to throw parties (as other people in this thread are saying) and comparable to sending them cash, then apparently all bribes are ok?

    Remington on
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    AllforceAllforce Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I don't think either one is right, my original point was to subli who was all up in arms over it, apparently forgetting that this stuff happens DAY IN AND DAY OUT in this business. Be it in cash form or parties/swag/trips.

    Allforce on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Allforce wrote: »
    I don't think either one is right, my original point was to subli who was all up in arms over it, apparently forgetting that this stuff happens DAY IN AND DAY OUT in this business. Be it in cash form or parties/swag/trips.

    Glad to see you never bothered to read the rest of my posts then. Let alone the rest of the discussion with jclast.

    subedii on
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    AngryPuppyAngryPuppy Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I'm filled with trepidation at the thought of getting involved in this whole bribe discussion, and some may write this off as semantics but - when does a gift become a bribe? I just feel bribe is too strong a word to be used in this case. This cheque is not an under the table payment for services illicitly rendered, it's a cheeky gift in the hopes that the recipients will talk about the stunt and provide publicity for the game.

    Now gifts, swag, press events and clever advertising are all manipulative yes, but on a level that I thought most people accepted. The extent of influence these leveraged dollars have ends with putting the reviewer in a good mood, making them more receptive to the product, maybe engendering some warm feelings for the company behind it.

    This is miles away from pulling your advertising dollars because of a negative review - that's definitely an area that causes me concern. At the end of the day a reviewer is going to survive without exotic baubles but a when a publisher can hold the economic well being of your employer hostage and hence threaten your livelihood that's definately going to give you some pause before ripping into their game.

    AngryPuppy on
    PSN: AngryPuppyEsq
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    BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    It's worth mentioning as well that smaller sites basically have no budget at all to fly staff out to preview events and put them up in hotels. If those events were not comped by the publishers basically nobody except the big corporate sites would be there to cover the title.

    I'm not sure if that's a good thing either ....

    Bamelin on
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    DaemonionDaemonion Mountain Man USARegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    That's great.

    I wonder how much it cost to produce those boxes and checks? I suppose it depends on how many they had made.


    Definitely has me curious about the game - great marketing.

    Daemonion on
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    mspencermspencer PAX [ENFORCER] Council Bluffs, IARegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    This looks like a job for . . . a bank employee! *fanfare* *superhero landing, cape blowing in the wind*

    Media outlets who got one of these checks: look at the MICR line across the bottom. Identify the check number in the top corner, and find those same digits down on the MICR line. Ignore those numbers.

    Of the numbers that are left, the first nine are the ABA routing number, and the rest are the bank account number.

    Take that nine-digit ABA routing number and go to this web site: http://www.fededirectory.frb.org/search_ACH.cfm

    Enter the routing number, search for bank information. If the routing number isn't fake you'll get a bank's info. Click the name and you'll get a phone number for what SHOULD be that bank's ACH department.

    Call them. Explain what's going on. Offer to send them a copy of the check. Ask them to contact their customer and see if they really are sending out checks that look like that. Do they want those checks honored?

    Unless the MICR line was blacked out before the recipient got it. I'm assuming the recipient blacked it out before photographing and uploading.

    mspencer on
    MEMBER OF THE PARANOIA GM GUILD
    XBL Michael Spencer || Wii 6007 6812 1605 7315 || PSN MichaelSpencerJr || Steam Michael_Spencer || Ham NOØK
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    EvigilantEvigilant VARegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    mspencer wrote: »
    This looks like a job for . . . a bank employee! *fanfare* *superhero landing, cape blowing in the wind*

    Media outlets who got one of these checks: look at the MICR line across the bottom. Identify the check number in the top corner, and find those same digits down on the MICR line. Ignore those numbers.

    Of the numbers that are left, the first nine are the ABA routing number, and the rest are the bank account number.

    Take that nine-digit ABA routing number and go to this web site: http://www.fededirectory.frb.org/search_ACH.cfm

    Enter the routing number, search for bank information. If the routing number isn't fake you'll get a bank's info. Click the name and you'll get a phone number for what SHOULD be that bank's ACH department.

    Call them. Explain what's going on. Offer to send them a copy of the check. Ask them to contact their customer and see if they really are sending out checks that look like that. Do they want those checks honored?

    Unless the MICR line was blacked out before the recipient got it. I'm assuming the recipient blacked it out before photographing and uploading.

    From the kotaku video of the check being burned.

    At 1:13 of the Kotaku video of the burning check, you can see a routing number. Based on the numbers visible on the check throughout the video, the Routing number appears to be 1252008(9 or 7)(4 or 9).

    Using the website mspencer posted: The known visible numbers used in the search, 1252008
    125200894 yields no results
    125200899 yields no results
    125200874 yields no results
    125200879 =
    Bank Name KEY BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
    Location BROOKLYN, Ohio
    Routing Number 1252-0087-9
    Telephone Number 800-304-9856
    Revised October 31, 2005
    Office Code O
    Record Type Code 1
    New Routing Number Not Applicable
    Institution Status Code 1
    Servicing FRB Number 121000374

    Maybe mspencer can answer this, but based on the federal reserve Financial services website, this routing number is no longer in use and no new routing number has been given, or is the routing number still in use just revised in 2005 but no entirely new routing number was issued?

    Either way, it links/linked to a real bank.

    Evigilant on
    XBL\PSN\Steam\Origin: Evigilant
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    stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    If the cheques are fake and EA is lying about it in the marketing, wouldn't they be committing cheque fraud by encouraging people to cash it and passing out bad cheques?

    stigweard on
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    The_ScarabThe_Scarab Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Except the cheques are real.

    The_Scarab on
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    mspencermspencer PAX [ENFORCER] Council Bluffs, IARegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    From what I can see, the routing number is valid and the bank information was last revised on that date. So maybe that's when they updated their contact phone number or other information.

    Edit: confirm for yourself. Take one of your own personal checks and look up the routing number and see what your bank's record looks like.

    Edit2: please DO NOT call the bank yourself unless you have one of these checks and are actually curious if it is negotiable.

    mspencer on
    MEMBER OF THE PARANOIA GM GUILD
    XBL Michael Spencer || Wii 6007 6812 1605 7315 || PSN MichaelSpencerJr || Steam Michael_Spencer || Ham NOØK
    QRZ || My last known GPS coordinates: FindU or APRS.fi (Car antenna feed line busted -- no ham radio for me X__X )
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