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Who wants a copy of BLACK OPS?????

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18 Apr 2008 00:49 #5124 by Michael Barnes
Go see Greg Schloesser!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150237689249

Yep, he got one of the 1000 limited edition, press/promo-only copies that a lot of you folks would have loved to have recieved- and probably would have enjoyed the hell out of. I guess those $300 Ebay prices were too much for him to resist.

He has not posted a single review, session report, or comment about the game. He claims that he was a playtester and that he "didn't care for it".

Folks, this is a total fucking asshole scalper move. Somebody in his position of prominence ought to be completely ashamed.

May 1st I'm going to be running a really awesome interview with Rob Daviau at Gameshark...and it's all about RISK. I opened mine, I played mine, and I'm going to do what I can to get the word out about the game because that was the point of it.

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18 Apr 2008 00:52 - 18 Apr 2008 00:53 #5126 by Gary Sax
I don't think the people at Hasborg really counted on the fact that most Eurogamers don't actually like games, but 3 play max puzzles, thus foiling the entire "give it to prominent members of the community" strategy and leaving them to sell for profit.
Last edit: 18 Apr 2008 00:53 by Gary Sax.

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18 Apr 2008 01:12 #5128 by metalface13
I don't who that guy is, but being a journalist I know that review copies ARE NOT FOR SALE. That's really really low that's he's ebaying it.

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18 Apr 2008 04:43 #5131 by Schweig!
I participated in the contest on that other site to get one of those slick microbadgers, and to give Hasbro my private address. If I had won (low chance with only one correct answer), I would have given the copy to vandemonium, because he was first to ask for it.

Shame on Schloesser!

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18 Apr 2008 05:12 #5133 by southernman
Second what Metalface said - what a absolute fucking lowlife .... I bet even your pal Tom Vasel would do something decent with his copy (if he got one) if he didn't like it.

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18 Apr 2008 08:24 #5136 by Aarontu
Just, wow.

I never had much of an opinion of him before, aside from knowing he writes mediocre reviews about mediocre games.

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18 Apr 2008 08:29 #5137 by Ken B.
Alright...I'll step up and defend Greg...partially.


Greg was indeed a playtester for this version of Risk, as I was. He was on the distribution list and he offered plenty of suggestions about how the game was shaping up, as I did. As playtesters, we received demo versions that are not graphically identical to Black Ops but include the new rules, and are playtesting 'kits' (the board has the new map applied to an old Risk board, it includes plastic pieces, generic placeholder pieces for the airfields...and so on.)

So anytime Greg wants to play the "new" Risk, he can. The rules changes were very minimal (I think maybe a couple of costs were adjusted, but everything else remained mostly the same.) Greg obviously played it as he did offer several suggestions during the playtesting process.


Now...as far as ebay, that does suck. I guess you could look at it as being paid for your playtesting time, I guess...but hot damn, it wasn't THAT strenuous.


What sucks is that we were supposed to receive an extra copy of Black Ops to give away on the site--I even still have Rob's email where he indicates he'd be sending me at *least* one extra copy, if not two. Michael received a similar promise. In the end, these extra copies never materialized.


I could see doing an Ultimate Trade or something...making sure the game reaches someone who really wants to play it instead of some collector on ebay. I can't say that I wasn't a little tempted to trade away my copy (all playtesters got a copy for their time spent playtesting.) But I've so far decided to hang on to mine, and I certainly wouldn't unload it for cash.


In the end, though...that's $300, man. I can see how that might tempt somebody pretty hardcore. That's a lot of money for a little game box. That's a Wii and a game. That's almost four big box FFG games AT MSRP. That's 3/4 a brand new PS3. I can't fault someone for breaking under that temptation.

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18 Apr 2008 09:42 #5140 by Notahandle
The starting price for the first bid was only $50. But for breaking the NOT FOR SALE agreement I don't suppose it matters whether it's the $50 or current bid of $228.02 or the expected final bid of around $300. In all three cases it shows his integrity is worth pitifully little.

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18 Apr 2008 09:45 #5141 by ChristopherMD
After reading about the game on 2/11, I sent an email to Hasbro as a freelance reviewer asking for a copy. I received it in the mail on 2/14. About a week later I sent a thank you note and found out they still had 800 copies to give away. I know a lot of other people asked and didn't get one despite so many being available. I don't know if it made a difference, but I specifically stated in my email that I wouldn't sell the game on eBay.

Greg, I'm assuming, made no such statement as a playtester. If he wants to sell his copy I see nothing wrong with that. If people want to spend over $300 on a game that's okay too. But I don't believe anyone who got a copy for review should be selling it without at least cracking the shrinkwrap. However, due to the timing of the eBay auctions coinciding with the bulk of copies going out I'm guessing its all playtesters or other non-reviewers selling them.

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18 Apr 2008 10:02 - 18 Apr 2008 10:19 #5143 by Michael Barnes
Here's the thing- Greg, of course, has every right to do whatever the hell he wants with the game. Neither he, nor I or anyone else who got one, is bound by any covenant to keep the game for the rest of our lives.

The problem I have is that this is a highly sought after game that a lot of _you guys_ would have really loved to have gotten. And not because it's $300 on Ebay- but because you wanted to play it, check it out and maybe even write or podcast about it, and have it as part of your collections.

Aside from that, this pushes the "free games for review" thing in a new direction...Greg is trying to make a HUGE profit off of that (and he will) and whatever journalist integrity he's accrued from publishing soft-handed, noncommital reviews of many, many other free games is out the window. He's deigned to write such reviews for many, many other games that he didn't care for so the least he could have done was review the damn game. Nobody is paid for "playtesting time", so what makes him deserve that over anyone else?

This is one of those cases where there's people in the hobby that can apparently do no wrong. Scott Nicholson stepped up to defend him, saying that this wasn't really a review copy because it's not the final version of the game so "he couldn't really review it". I call bullshit on this whole thing- Greg is exploiting Hasbro, Rob Daviau and company, and gamers who just want the damn thing for his own profit.

And who the hell let him playtest the thing anyway? What a terrible decision! Was someone just not aware of the fact that the man doesn't have a solid opinion on _anything_ that isn't PC in the hobby world? I mean come the fuck on, "I had problems with the way certain things were implemented". That's a load of horseshit. He had problems because he's not the kind of gamer that gives a fuck about RISK.

If I had $300 to spare (and I don't, unfortunately) I'd post a front page item here and wherever else I would openly challenging Greg to donate every penny he makes from the sale to buy board games for a children's hospital- and I'd match him dollar for dollar. But I still won't give up mine, because I love it and I'm appreciative to have received such a rare and exclusive item.
Last edit: 18 Apr 2008 10:19 by Michael Barnes.

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18 Apr 2008 10:21 #5146 by Ken B.
Well yeah...I'm hanging on to mine, too. I said I *understood* the temptation, not that I endorsed giving in to it.

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18 Apr 2008 10:29 #5147 by Michael Barnes
I do think it'd be different, Ken, if you were to put it up for sale...I would know that you had probably played it a few times and since you playtested it I would also know that you probably provided some good, positive insight into the development because you like the game. And you're not a "superstar" reviewer whom I'm sure they involved thinking that his status would help them out- sort of like how Black Industries thought sending Tom Vasel a copy of TALISMAN would get them a good review from a "celebrity".

I mean, how would you guys feel if I posted on here "BLACK OPS, boys! Come bid at Ebay!" You'd think I was pretty shitty, wouldn't you?

The starting bid at $50 is a joke...especially since he got the game for free. I wonder if he's afraid the bottom will fall out on them or if they'll announce that BLACK OPS is going to be made more available...

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18 Apr 2008 10:38 #5148 by ChristopherMD
Michael Barnes wrote:

The problem I have is that this is a highly sought after game that a lot of _you guys_ would have really loved to have gotten. And not because it's $300 on Ebay- but because you wanted to play it, check it out and maybe even write or podcast about it, and have it as part of your collections.


I agree partially, but ultimately people can buy the new version in stores later this year so its not like you either play BO or bust. And there's still 995 potentially unsealed and playable copies out there.

As for Greg being a reviewer who gets free games and is selling a free game for profit. Getting something for nothing is the American dream so I don't hold that against him. Although it could be argued that the copy of BO is payment for time spent playtesting since they were sent to people because they playtested. He hasn't gotten anything special over the other playtesters who could also cash in if they want.

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18 Apr 2008 10:43 #5150 by Ken B.
Yeah, I'd never sell it because it would feel wrong. The worst I might ever do is trade it to someone I know would play it and enjoy it. And only then because it's in such demand.

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18 Apr 2008 10:57 #5151 by Michael Barnes
I agree partially, but ultimately people can buy the new version in stores later this year so its not like you either play BO or bust. And there's still 995 potentially unsealed and playable copies out there.

Well, that's definitely true...but the fact of the matter is that this is very exclusive item that will likely only increase in value as the years go by as a collector's item...not only for hobby gamers, but also for people that collect board games (not hobby gamers, I'm talking folks that spend big bucks on stuff like a DUKES OF HAZZARD board game) and more mainstream RISK fans. It doesn't matter if the exact same game is coming out to stores- this is a very rare edition out of the gate. And yes, it looks a lot cooler than the retail version (which also looks cool, btw).

It's really just blatant speculating, and yeah, that is the American dream, isn't it?

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