Albert Zhiltsov, a Russian game developer for 1C Game Studios, spit roasted game journalists referring to them as a “parasites.”

Zhiltsov’s employer, 1C Game Studios is working with Wargaming Alliance to produce a shooter called Caliber.

Russian website DTF reports Zhiltsov appeared on the Twitch channel “posletitrov” where he discussed his strong opinions about game journalists.

Using Google Translate, Zhiltsov would describe game journalism as a “parasitic activity [that] has degenerated into clickbait.”

He would go into detail on how companies work with game journalists.

“The system always worked like this: there is a developer, he presents a project, gathers a bunch of completely useless people, sets the table for them, puts vodka and snacks, and they get wasted. These are the journalists I have seen, and I have seen enough of them.”

He would then target game journalists at large describg them as “trash [that] needs to be fed and drunk.” While he mostly talked about game journalism in general, he did point out there are some good journalists.

“There are good journalists, and I know them. I met with them. But right now those are needles in a haystack. These are so rare that I, unfortunately, began to resent the profession. Alas.”

One of Zhiltsov’s biggest frustrations is why game developers and companies are even working with game journalists., which he describes as “parasites.”

“I have a question for any developer. Why did you spend at least a penny on these parasites? Why not use your head, make a post in social media and promote it? Why feed the parasites?”

Zhiltsov also took aim at game developers specifically their public relations departments, where he sees them as “stealing money from their companies.”

“You need to understand: half of the parasites should just disappear. As soon as large companies stop doing stupid things, stop feeding these people for free… I will say it differently: when PR departments stop, basically, stealing money from their companies, arranging this garbage, nothing will change. Because this niche is already occupied [by streamers and YouTubers].”

This is one of Zhiltsov’s biggest gripes. He doesn’t see the purpose of many game journalists because YouTubers and streamers have replaced them.

“For me, any profession that can be replaced by a robot ceases to matter. Only one step is left until journalists are no longer needed.”

He continues:

“The role of reviewers has long been assumed by streamers and YouTubers. Who needs your ******* [useless] opinion?”

Not only does Zhiltsiv view game journalists and journalism as a parasitic behavior, but he also sees it as a form of advertising.

“For me right now, 97% of video game journalism — I have just come up with the figures — is just advertising in a different form. But if before we knew that there was a cartoon, and then there would be five minutes of ads, now there are 95% of ads, and sometimes among these 95% there are a couple of stupid posts from people who do not even know why they post it.”

Following Zhiltsiv’s interview, Ivan Zhivitsa a representative of Wargaming Alliance condemned Zhiltsov.

“I was very unpleasant to hear the statements of my colleague about gaming journalism. Wargaming, as the publisher of the Caliber project, does not share the opinion of 1C Game Studios employee Albert Zhiltsov.

We believe that gaming media is an important channel of communication with the audience for any publisher or developer. For many years we have been cooperating with the press at all stages of the creation of gaming products and consider their opinion important and useful. We contacted a partner and expressed our extremely negative attitude to such statements.”

His sentiments would be echoed by the editor-in-chief of DTF Vadim Elistratov as reported by Ostrog.  Elistratov believes there is a two-way problem when it comes to media and game developer interactions.

“There is one small nuance. The creators of Caliber flood journalists with press releases — at least, this is what Wargaming does. So they say one thing, but do not do the other. This is strange.

Of course, almost any gaming journalist can go on a similar rant about how developers can’t work with the press and try to ‘feed the trash’ once more instead of giving a good interview or an interesting demo.”

But they do not. Because it is unethical.

Communication between the press and the studios is always a two-way problem, and such bold generalization will not exactly solve it. Most likely, he hurt Caliber with this, and that is all.’

What do you make of Zhiltsov’s comments on the gaming industry? Does he hit the mark on the head or is he blowing it up a little too much? What about the reaction from his colleague Zhivitsa and the DTF’s EIC Elistratov?

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John F. Trent

John is the Editor here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.

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