Kotaku’s Chris Priestman Caught In Financial Conflict Of Interest
Kotaku Chris Priestman
(Last Updated On: March 10, 2017)

A recent article titled “The Game Developers Who Are Also Witches” was published on Kotaku March 9th, 2017 by Chris Priestman. The article features a series of short snippets discussing witchcraft and the developers who identify as witches. The article, however, fails to disclose the fact that there are financial ties between Chris Priestman and his friend Aevee Bee.

Kotaku in Action user SixtyFours did a brief rundown of the situation, explaining that Priestman’s piece covers a game from developer Aevee Bee. On their Patreon page it’s noted that Aevee Bee is creating “Mammon Machine: Zeal”. Archives of Chris Priestman’s Patreon page show that he’s been financially supporting the Mammon Machine project. A separate archive on the Wayback Machine specifically shows that Priestman has financial ties to Aevee Bee.

Typically these kind of ethical breaches tend to fall by the wayside, but in this particular case SixtyFours pointed to a previous rule set in place by Kotaku’s editor-in-chief, Stephen Totilo, where he explicitly mentioned that these kind of connections should be mentioned or disclosed. To quote from Totilo’s amended piece about Kotaku’s approach to reporting – from August 26th, 2014 – he states…

“We agree on the need to ensure that, on the occasion where there is a personal connection between a writer and a developer, it’s mentioned.

 

“After some discussion, as noted here, we will make a minor exception and permit a writer paying into a Patreon or any other crowd-funding service in the extremely unlikely scenario when it is the only way to access a game we’re interested in for coverage”

Priestman’s coverage of Aevee Bee’s game has no disclosure, and if it were not for the post on Kotaku in Action, this lapse in the practice of ethical journalism would have gone unnoticed.

Some people feel as if it doesn’t matter if a journalist is paying a designer and promoting their game without disclosure, but others feel as if it’s abusing a broadcasting position in order to help a friend, and at the very least the general public should be made aware of such things. Disclosure has been a difficult topic to enforce on games media outlets, and attempting to encourage better ethics in media journalism resulted in the media throwing a digital tantrum and saying that “gamers are dead”.

I reached out to Priestman for comment, and will update the article if he chooses to respond.


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About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • bob

    How is Kotaku still breathing?

    • Γεώργιος Αρχαιοκαπηλίδης

      Probably because of casuals that keep reading it without caring about journalism quality.

  • Mr.Towel

    Witchcraft cannot overpower meme magic, it won’t stop the Trump train.

  • Fear Me I Am Free

    Isn’t Aevee Bee the one who created that fake “gay conversion” translation for Fire Emblem Fates that Treehouse actually fucking used because one of them was supporting her on Patreon or something?

    • Zufield

      Pretty sure that was Andrea Ritsu.

  • Alistair

    Another question then, what do you do with witches now as you cant dunk them in water, and burn them at the stake.

    You cant put them in prison as they will just use a spell to vanish.

    Because i swear them SJWs regression lefts are witches that put a spell on MSM.

    *Joking

    It good that another person got caught and Now bringing Kotaku in dispute.

  • Disqusted

    Kotaku being Kotaku.

  • Pinkerbelle Merrick

    you mispelled /u/SixtyFours username xD

    • Ah, thanks for the correction.

  • Hawk Hopper

    “What [the protagonists] encounter in the woods they understand and perceive as the devil because that is what they have been taught to understand their desires, identity, and love as,” Bee says. By embracing the devil, the protagonists find liberation from their religious upbringings, just as someone might by realizing it’s acceptable to be queer.

    (another quote from that article)

    If I embrace the devil, can I find liberation from SJW religious cults?

    • Phasmatis75

      Got to love how they ruin everything they touch.

  • Hawk Hopper

    From that article:

    Grimes made a game called 2sWitches, which follows two witches who use the power of sex to open a portal to a safer world.

    2*(Witch power)+sex=safe space.

    • That sounds like the plot of an eroge VN.

      • Phasmatis75

        It’s not for the male gaze.

      • Elilla Shadowheart

        I’m interested…you know, not for me for a friend. Yeah that’s it…