Several times already I’ve noticed fanatical epic defenders on different forums like Steam discussions who state Epic launcher brings competition, good prices and new games to PC market, game journalists who write about Epic launcher and it’s games almost every day, but were there any evidences actually of using paid shills by Epics? Maybe some leaked correspondence, former employees etc.



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44 thoughts on “Do you think Epic Games use influencers and opinion leaders on game websites/forums?”

  1. Honestly?

    No, some people just like to be contrarian, other see it as a way to boost their ego and standing among their peers, some might be paid, but we will never know unless one of them flips on the others and that seems unlikely, I doubt there will ever be another game journo pros leak.

  2. There’s no evidence like you’re looking for, however if you watch the new queue long enough you’ll see a lot of very similar language and arguments made to the point of nausea.

    They’ll try to imply people are childish, old, quote from the Epic pr book how great their split is, or just try to inspire apathy in people making it seem like it’s just a launcher is the fight really with it etc.

    Below is a copy paste I sometimes use when I just can’t be bothered typing up a new response when yet another epic thread with the exact same arguments just happens to pop up, but for the sake of updating the examples I’ll just say [people are still posting the exact same stuff in the last 24 hours](https://www.reddit.com/r/pcgaming/comments/bko8vz/can_someone_explain_why_epic_exclusivity_deals/), and I find it a little incredulous that all these people just happen to have the same thoughts and arguments and sound so similar, to the point that I do think there is an astroturfing campaign going on to wear people down and keep the epic conversion conversation going.

    Below is copy/pasted.

    ——–

    You can be guaranteed that in this sub, every few hours there will be a “Hey, is epic really so bad” or “Here’s another view on Epic” apologiser/promoter/concern troll post, and I don’t think it’s just people deciding at that moment to weigh in. I’m seeing a lot more of these “Why does epic get such a bad rep” concern troll posts since Tencent put their pennies into Reddit.

    All of them directly or indirectly undermine anyone who is against Epic right from the post title or post itself, before there’s any discussion.

    [Epic Games Launcher is Good For the PC Gamer. Here’s why](https://www.reddit.com/r/pcgaming/comments/b3o2qx/epic_games_launcher_is_good_for_the_pc_gamer/ej0x552/), post was removed because megathread was in effect at the time, but I quoted some of the post in mine, the guy sounded like he was reading from a corporate PR book to publishers, trying to tell consumers why it was good for them.

    [Quickie for the EPIC nay-sayers and knee-jerkers.](https://www.reddit.com/r/pcgaming/comments/b8v7v0/quickie_for_the_epic_naysayers_and_kneejerkers/ek0e234/) – you can see the language already in the title is telling anyone that if you don’t like Epic it’s just a knee jerk reaction. OP posted back to me and got removed by mods, they don’t like being called out. The bulk of his posts for the last two weeks bfore that had been pro-epic, so it was pretty clear why he was trying to start another thread.

    [Is the Epic Store Still Worth Boycotting At This Point](https://www.reddit.com/r/pcgaming/comments/b885h4/is_the_epic_store_still_worth_boycotting_at_this/ejwdcut/) perfect concern troll post, the kind of “Aren’t you just getting tired at this point?” that’s meant to inspire apathy about the number of anti-epic posts. I asked the OP if he was asking permission to spend his money and if the reply is “I’m not” then this post is nothing more than a propaganda piece for the Epic store once again. No reply from OP but some very irate other posters jumping in.

    [The recent epic store hate is a generational split](https://www.reddit.com/r/pcgaming/comments/b3nu8m/the_recent_epic_store_hate_is_a_generational_split/ej0vzxz/) – again negative connotations, you don’t like the epic store because you’re old and not with the times. And the publisher revenue split trotted out again like a dying horse.

    [Why do people give epic so much shit for forcing you to install their launcher if you want to play metro while steam gets away with doing the same thing for thousands of games?](https://www.reddit.com/r/pcgaming/comments/aundv3/why_do_people_give_epic_so_much_shit_for_forcing/eh96job/) – Look it’s just a launcher, what’s the big deal? OP went so far as to edit their entire post to be what a natural monopoly is, again making it sound like if you’re anti-epic you’re pro-monopoly. It’s the same message they try over and over to make anyone who has a problem with them sound unreasonable. “It’s just competition guys!”

    [What is wrong with this subreddit?](https://www.reddit.com/r/pcgaming/comments/b3q8yr/what_is_wrong_with_this_subreddit/ej1aad6/) – The post starts off

    >Why is every other thread full of children crying

    Again, they immediately undermine anyone who has a problem.

    It’s the same in every post.

    * You’re all children.

    * Can’t we just install it?

    * What’s the big deal?

    * Hey do you know what’s really pro-consumer, a 88/12 split for publishers!

    And guaranteed there will be another few posts in the next 24 hours along the lines of “**MY** thoughts on the Epic store” and it will be the same fucking things we’ve seen for the past 5 months.

  3. Absolutely especially with the negative opinion Tencent-epic has garnered.

    There are agencies out there specifically set up to generate astroturfed positive feedback on products and services for a reason.

    There is one who is ridiculously aggressive lately in most Tencent-epic threads.

  4. It wouldn’t surprise me if many of the positive posts in various forums were paid, but I doubt the journalists are. They just have a grudge against Valve and steam for mostly ignoring their whining over the past couple years.

    Some of them are just plain stupid, I recall seeing something on PC gamer from one of their writers saying that he didn’t like the Epic store until he saw a big outcry against it and then he decided it was good essentially just to spite people.

  5. If they can bribe greedy publishers millions of dollars for forced third party exclusives, they can certainly bribe others to shill for Epic as well. Their marketing and PR department goes to various forum / threads trying to promote / shill / damage control their company. Heck, even Tim Sweeney himself came here on this sub and various other places trying to damage control all their shitty anti-consumer practices.

  6. I’d say with a lot of certainty that all the big companies abuse social media with native advertising everyday.

  7. It is painfully obvious that they do exactly that. Every week I see two or three new guys with accounts made in late 2018, with zero post history prior to them rampantly defending Epic.

  8. Considering they pay for exclusives, they absolutely would have no problem doing this. There are companies whose job is to ‘social engineer’. They go around posting positive comments on social media/forums. Similar to ad companies pretty much.

    The employees of these companies upvote/like/favorite these posts just enough to let it gain traction and eventually normal people do the rest.

    There was actually a big scandal about this on reddit a few years ago(?) and is where the ‘paid shills’ meme started but unfortunately I didn’t save the link. Hopefully someone remembers and posts it.

  9. Tencent is literally a propaganda arm for the Chinese government. Look up why Taiwan banned their streaming service. Of course they have people astroturfing reddit, that’s why they spent $150 million on this platform. They also own 48% of Epic and have two execs on the board.

  10. There is absolutely nothing called “gaming journalists”, apart from a very very few selected people. Most of them are failed at jijenskism school so I will write blogs about my politically correct beliefs in videogames and label myself as a journalist.

  11. Yes, I do. We already know they dgaf when it comes to throwing around money, nor do they seem to give a shit that they routinely get dunked on here on reddit. Why wouldn’t I believe they are trying for some correct the record type shit?

    Spend some time in /new and you see the same shit.

  12. Absolutely. I’ve res-tagged a few people just in this subreddit who constantly rush to Epic’s defense at even the slightest hint of criticism.

    One of them has already posted in this thread…

  13. For sure

    In fact any big corporation pretty much does it . I remember a couple of years ago a post on /r/pics (?) appeared on /r/all with the title of “Just playing VR and ordered Mcdonalds living the dream” and the Mcdonalds bag, perfect food placement were all in shot with the guy playing VR. The account didn’t have much history and was called out for basically being an ad pretty quick.

    It doesn’t mean you’re tripping over nothing but bots/PR firms though, I subscribe to the “play whatever you want on whatever service, life is too short etc.” side of the argument and get called a bot or an Epic employee *a lot* just because I push *unpopular* opinions. Just ignore the extremely dismissive people shooting down arguments.

    Edit: [Found the post, was way off base with the title and sub but still a pretty big ad](https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/6ql2tu/made_my_delivery_drivers_night_by_showing_him_vr/)

  14. A lot of these “shills” are just trolls from r/Gamingcirclejerk. Most of them are just trying to get a dumb response they can post on their sub for easy karma. That sub is a fucking karma farm. Look through their post history and you should notice most of them post there. Tim Sweeney has posted on this sub and even r/fuckepic himself. Maybe he pays people to post on his off hours too who knows.

  15. Yes. Also notice Microsoft and Ubisoft threads. They are quite into it as well. I still remember ov3r kill br0ny who basically ran around here as tech support for gears of war 4. These days he only posts in LG and sony TV subs.

  16. We have absolutely no proof this is happening.

    But it is absolutely happening, and it’s not just Epic doing it.

  17. Epic Games gets a lot of hate but man Origin is so shit I can’t even download games. Meanwhile steam has never given me problems.

  18. 100% yes.

    These are open platforms with very minimal restrictions and checks on who can post content to them. And zero consequences if they get caught. If it’s that easy you can bet your ass they have an army of shills spreading misinformation, it matches their MO perfectly.

  19. No, I think you should not dismiss that people may very well just disagree with you on something you’re even *this much* convinced of. I often see on the Switch sub and some stuff on PS sub which make me feel the “dude this must be shills or something” vibe, but honestly, we’re just different people.

    If someone does come up with evidence though, that’ll be interesting.

  20. I don’t like the EGS because it’s a barebones launcher and what they did with Rocket League was were I’m gonna draw the line, it was distateful and I don’t think I’ll ever buy a timed exclusive from them.

    That being said Heavy Rain has been in the market for like 10 years and now it’ll come to PC along with Beyond and Detroit (if you look at Detroit on the EGS it has Sony written all over the place, so the IP belongs to Sony despite QD going third party). I’d say Epic did bring those games to the PC market with their Fortnite $$$. I’ll wait a year or so but if QD’s games don’t end up on Steam I might buy those on the EGS.

  21. Aren’t some streamers and content creators part of the epic “Adopt a streamer” program? Some very basic googling showed aottle evidence but I’m not certain. But hearing Shroud say how epic is gonna shake everything up seemed forced and a little weird.

  22. >Several times already I’ve noticed fanatical epic defenders

    Careful with that sentiment. Often people simply have another opinion. People who cement themselves entirely on one side of an argument can become blind to any objectivity. I remember a time when you couldn’t say a positive comment about No Man’s Sky without being attacked, now it’s okay to make those comments. Populism works much more on an emotional level, rather than a rational one.

  23. I will never understand this, and it’s not exclusive to this subreddit either, but are people actually unable to comprehend that there are others out there that will disagree with them on certain subjects? How arrogant do you have to be to think the only possible reason why one would disagree with you is because they got bribed?

    Like it or not, there are people out there that are fine with what Epic’s doing.

  24. Well this is a great question and it would actually promote discussion, but that’s not what you’re after. The tone and wording of you post makes it clear that all you want here is an echo chamber where everyone agrees with what you’re saying.

    Thankfully there’s a subreddit specifically for echo chamber posts like this. It’s called /r/fuckepic

  25. Jesus Christ this subreddit is fucking paranoid. I’m reporting all Epic threads until they go into a megathread like their supposed to.

  26. People aren’t defending Epic. People are genuinely confused why it’s a controversy at all that you have to sign up for some other store and why that even counts as “exclusive” in any way that matters. This isn’t a war, it’s one side throwing a hissyfit and everyone else trying to figure out why and talk them down.

  27. I’d like to point out that stuff like this:

    >launcher brings competition, good prices and new games to PC market

    Is a fair argument and rather than saying

    >but were there any evidences actually of using paid shills by Epics?

    A better way to go against it would be to make a point against the points they make. Else you just sound like an arrogant idiot who refuses to accept change.

  28. We need to get rid of the term influencer and call them what they actually are; propagandists.

  29. Isn’t everyone doing that if they are able to?

    I think some companies at this point just consider it another part of marketing.

  30. In my experience you will rarely be wrong if you assume that companies are doing every scummy thing they are legally allowed to do, as well as a few they aren’t.

  31. Psychology 101. If you tell someone something enough times, they’ll start to believe it. Companies and politicians have been doing it for years. So naturally, yes, theres no doubt in my mind this is happening for Epic as well.

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