One thing I learned very early on about games journalism is that it’s an incredibly incestuous business; oddly closed and reliant on the swapping of favours. It’s cliquey, with writers who ‘come up together’ often remaining so and PRs, who constantly shuffle from one allegiance to another, carrying their bonds with them when they go. Worse, some journalists then jump to PR and complicate things a whole lot more.
I’m not having a cry about this; I realise it’s an essential part of an industry where people move around a lot and I’ve only once heard of these cliques being juvenilely enforced in the ‘You’re a Future writer, you can’t talk to us!’ kind of way. Still, the Future writers do tend to band together, as do Imagine’s and so on. Sometimes they’re easy to spot, like the Official Console writers, who seem to radiate their own kind of party-hard vibe, or those I think of as The Next Generation, who form a welcoming, laughing huddle at all the launch events. Loosely and with acknowledgement to the foggy boundaries, these cliques exist and that’s not an unexpected or bad thing.