#GamerGate: PC Gamer Editor Has Conflict Of Interest With Ubisoft


[Update #4: PC Gamer has issued an apology and made a public statement regarding disclosure]

PC Gamer executive editor Tyler Wilde is in a personal relationship with a Ubisoft communications specialist named Anne Marie. The relationship has been somewhat serious since at least January, 2014, according to Tweets and information spread about from Twitter users @TheFartRises and Hazerion.

Wilde has written many articles about Ubisoft, as evidenced with his April 23rd, 2014 piece about Watch Dogs, his June 10th, 2014 piece about Assassin’s Creed Unity, or his August 11th, 2014 piece about Toy Soldiers. Proof of his relationship with Anne Marie has been documented across various Twitter accounts, such as @TheFartRises, and in a few Reddit threads on Kotaku in Action.

If you look through the articles at the time of the dates they were archived, you will notice that there are no footnotes or edits about disclosure regarding his relationship to Ubisoft.

[Update: Thanks to Twitter user @logan_910, it’s also surfaced that Tyler Wilde, while still in a relationship with a Ubisoft employee, promoted and suggested Far Cry 4 for purchase, linking to a PC Gamer article via Twitter]

Some may not see a problem with this, but the issue is that this PC Gamer executive editor has created a conflict of interest with Ubisoft by not disclosing his close ties to one of their communications representatives.

The average reader has no idea what sort of information Marie may relay to Wilde, or vice versa.

What’s more is that while some of these relationships may seem benign, like the one between former Escapist content contributor Andrea Rene and former Harmonix representative John T. Drake, we’ve seen how these same relationships can become serious security hazards for consumers.

Back in 2013 there was a serious security breach in a forum operated by Firemonkeys and Electronic Arts. A journalist became aware of the breach because he was in a close relationship with a representative at Electronic Arts. However, he opted not to report on the story in order to prevent his relationship with the rep and EA from being put at risk.

More than 40,000 people had their information accessed from that hack.

As for Tyler Wilde and Anne Marie… I did reach out to the executive editor at PC Gamer to get his take on the appearance of a conflict of interest, but at the time of the publishing of this article he has not responded.

I also reached out to Ubisoft’s media relations rep to ask if the company has any policies in place for employees engaged in any relationships with individuals associated with the gaming press and if it’s required by members of the press to at least disclose these ties if they are in an established relationship with a Ubisoft employee. However, at the time of the writing of this article, they have not responded.

As noted on Games Nosh, the global editor-in-chief, Tim Clark, was also aware of the relationship but never requested for Wilde to make a disclosure statement about the relationship.

Continued breaches of ethics and reckless displays of conflicting interests in the sight of the public are why scandals like #GamerGate refuse to die down and go away.

[Update: @TheFartRises also noted a potential conflict of interest where PC Gamer executive editor Tyler Wilde was also roommates with an employee of Capcom and wrote about their games without disclosing the information. The information was verified by Capcom’s online community manager and former GamesRadar editor, Chris Antista.]

[Update #2: It appears PC Gamer has recently deleted previous coverage conducted by Tyler Wilde for some Ubisoft’s products. This article for Watch Dogs has been removed from the site, as illustrated by a thread on Kotaku in Action]



About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Contact.

  • Jeronimo

    That image hahahaha

  • Anthony L.

    PERFECT
    FUCKING
    IMAGE
    TO
    USE!
    πŸ˜€

    • You can’t stop true love!

      Even when your face is missing!

  • bolo’cereal

    remember when ubisoft said: “This is PC only, who cares” on Watch_Dogs?

    im pretty sure the pc master race remembers

  • PlayerThree

    Hmm. This is unfortunate. I frequent PCGamer and Tyler Wilde is familiar to me particularly because he has been the writer behind some of the more “controversial” articles on that site, though I don’t think he’s had any sort of negative impact beyond that.

    It’s unfortunate that there was a conflict of interest here but after doing a little bit of my own digging I’m relieved it wasn’t as serious as I expected. Using the tagging system on their articles ( pcgamer [dot] com/ubisoft/ ), scrolling down, and using Ctrl+F I can see that he has written 5 articles relating to Ubisoft.

    Apr 22, 2014 /watch-dogs-preview-hands-on/
    Jun 8, 2014 /assassins-creed-unity-gameplay-video-shows-four-player-co-op/
    Jun 9, 2014 /assassins-creed-unity-gets-dramatic-e3-trailer-and-live-singe-player-gameplay-demo/
    Jun 9, 2014 /far-cry-4-gameplay-footage-shows-mountains-elephants/
    Aug 10, 2014 /toy-soldiers-war-chest-announced/

    Being this far in I decided to count the total number of Articles that PCGamer did on Ubisoft from January 2014 until now. I got 186.

  • Woot, avatar pictures are back in Disqus.

  • Camarouge

    Really glad this is spreading like wildfire. We’re never gonna stop finding these types of relationships are we?

    Also, did you change the layout William? I liked the Deus Ex guy πŸ™

    • He’s back. I just had to modify the image. I might add a backdrop one day if I can figure out what looks best back there. I’m tempted to just make a feedback page so people can dump ideas in there.

    • durka durka

      spread this like wildfire please

      https://i.imgur.com/4h85iHo.png

  • Fenrir007

    Anyway, I found this as well. Throw it in the pot of proof that this was silently deleted:

    https://steamcommunity.com/app/243470/discussions/0/558754259652679182/

    Tweets saved:

    https://tweetsave.com/bdrannelewis

    4chan is in lockdown mode on this:

    https://boards.4chan.org/v/thread/279548048

    And archive.today version in case webarchive craps out:

    https://archive.today/pEEQK

    • Yup, added that in an update in the article.

      Just a reminder, the FTC nailed Sony and another company for a lack of disclosure when promoting products… this Tyler dude just got caught with his pants down (almost literally) and we’ve got proof they tried covering up the info, as well as him shilling games for the company his wife works for.

      We should definitely make an FTC OP out of this.

  • C G Saturation

    They’re so utterly corrupt that this kind of thing is considered the norm. As TB implied, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t literally secretly sleeping with the people they’re promoting. Absolutely disgusting.

    It’s even more depressing when those being cheated out of their money also believe this is acceptable. At this point, anyone who believes it’s acceptable must be guilty of doing the same shit themselves.

  • Fenrir007

    According to their EiC in their comments section, the articles weren’t deleted – they just weren’t imported in September when they did some server changes.

    As seen in the pic, I followed up asking why the youtube video was also deleted if that was the case. It seems like he logged off for the day before answering, so maybe we’ll know tomorrow (or monday).

    However, someone pointed out also in the comments section that the video might have been targeted by a DMCA complaint, by Ubi or someone else, and they either forgot to dispute or didn’t bother since it was a preview video and those are irrelevant once the video is out (I think it was a preview video, I don’t remember very well). So there is that possibility (though that would be uncomfortably too coincidental to my tastes).

    I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, myself. They did admit the fuck up. Also, according to the EiC, Tyler did tell him about the relationship, so, in my understanding, who fucked up here was the editor, since he made the call to fo forward with no disclosure once given that info.

    • Nice.

      He tried making it very clear a few months ago that Corey Banks leaving wasn’t in response to the GJP leaks, but didn’t provide any further info.

      They were also pretty silent when I inquired about Cara Ellison. I also contacted Wilde a day before this whole thing blew up, and conveniently enough the next morning the article and video of the one article seemed to be missing.

      But yeah, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. At least they opted to come clean instead of dragging this out like a few other outlets who decided that claiming their audience was “dead” was a smart route to go.

      Hopefully he gets back to you regarding why the YouTube video was deleted.

      • Fenrir007

        If he does, I’ll post a follow up. Someone raised an interesting point in 8chan, though: if what he said is true, how many non-Tyler articles were affected by this as well? It would be weird if only his stuff was affected.

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