Sony Apologizes for Publishing Internal Interview Misrepresenting Studio Views on AI and More

By Todd Russell Jun1,2024

Sometimes the wheels of PR spin come off. Then again, this could be tail wagging the dog.

In this example, the tail is AI and the dog is Sony. Maybe. If you want to focus on AI being pushed as a narrative, because it’s the tech trend lately, we will focus on that another day, because that’s certainly a topic in and of itself.

You, wise gamer readers, will have to decide if Sony simply screwed up by publishing an interview with one of their own studios — Naughty Dog — where quotes in the interview were not just taken out of context, but completely misrepresented. In their own words, linked here (https://www.sony.com/en/SonyInfo/creative-entertainment-vision/interview/2.html) and pictured below they outright state: “we have found several significant errors and inaccuracies that don’t represent [Neil Druckmann’s] perspective and values.” WTH?

What followed this faux pas was negativity surrounding one of Sony’s studio pushing AI, among other alleged goals and directives, when in fact the studio head, Druckmann, didn’t state in the internal interview. And apparently doesn’t agree with.

So, was this PR spin internally that wanted to push an AI narrative and test the gaming audience or intentionally done so that they could cause a fire, then put the fire out and apologize, all the while gaining attention to themselves? That’s what it smells like to this author, but who knows?

Other pubs are speculating.

Sometimes corporate higher-ups might want to weave a narrative while using a public figure’s influence. Someone at Sony may have been eager to push AI as the future and drum up hype for Naughty Dog’s next game and made some heavy-handed edits. Or, you know, they could have given too much work to a new intern. 

Sony Deletes Its Interview With Last Of Us Lead Due To ‘Errors’ (kotaku.com)

Blaming an intern sounds way too convenient, so I’m discarding that one. If we want to get mad at Sony, there are plenty of non-speculative reasons to do so like this: 2024 Game Server Terminations Continue – Sony Shuts Down LittleBigPlanet 3 Servers, Killing years of Sharing Customer Creations. Or how about when they nuked movies and TV shows people had “owned”? OPINION: Sony reminds us that the illusion of “owning” Digital Movies and TV Series are lessons in Hollywood Thievery

Sony, at the end of the day, is just another gaming corporation. The fact that they self-publish interviews about their own studios should lead readers to automatically understand self-interests are being explored and manipulating the audience. Not that we should believe it’s any difference if a gaming pub that’s taking advertising $$$ or getting priority access might violate their editorial integrity for clicks, views, subs and attention.

Attention whoring is the thing in 2024, sadly. And it doesn’t just come from the little guys. Maybe that’s the lesson we all should learn here.

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