Lessons from the Duke Nukem Fiasco

Well the latest Duke Nukem is out, and it is pretty awful, apparently, you see I have never played it and I probably wont, but from the terrible reviews I have read and from the feedback I have heard from friends who have brought the game I can see it is pretty awful.

Now the situation has been made worse by a timely social media #fail from a small PR agency tweeting that they will effectively blacklist bloggers who write a bad review:

Oh no!

But here is the lesson:

It is really just as I wrote on James Whatley’s blog earlier today: Ultimately the problem here has absolutely nothing to do with reputation management and everything to do with a crap product, the game just doesn’t deliver.

You see most social media #fails are actually just symptomatic of a poor product and the failure of great campaigns to really take off are often related to the same thing.

“But Tom, ultimately this fail came from a PR agency that messed up big”

Well yes and no, no doubt this PR agency did mess up, and even they have admitted that, but lets look at the impact and alternative:

On the one hand: Which is actually going to impact sales more, a silly PR mess up that has probably created more noise in social media circles than anywhere else, or the fact that everyone thinks the game is terrible? – Clearly the latter, that WOM will spread far further, both on and off line.

And on the other: This particular PR fail would not have even happened if the game wasn’t awful… If it was great then the PR agent would not have had the reason to get so upset about his project receiving poor reviews.

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