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What's wrong with the article, again?

You seem to have learned the facts, and you seem to have gotten the point, and it seems to be the same point that I got, which suggests that the message is getting through clearly enough. So what's wrong?

Are you unhappy because the article doesn't have a strong editorial slant, as your comment does? Do you wish the journalist had come right out and said, in paragraph one, "These developers are homeless because they have lousy sales skills"? I'll say three things about that.

One: Some articles do have that style (ahem Zero Punctuation ahem), but others simply try to state facts and let the readers draw the conclusions.

Two: The two styles work well together. The interviewer lets the principals tell their story, states some numbers for perspective, and politely adds a few important factual observations ("It took me a few minutes to figure out how to pay for the game, and I was specifically looking for the menu. There’s nothing shocking about the low amount of paid sales; the value proposition is never made explicit.") and then someone else - like you - draws a conclusion and drives the point home. It's a team effort.

Three: If one makes a habit of using the stories one hears to overtly and publicly ridicule the storytellers, one's career as an interviewer won't last. People will clam up. This is a fact of human nature. Don't expect more from journalists than is possible.

(There are journalists who are so talented that people happily visit with them in order to be ridiculed. This is a miraculous skill and I suspect it's particularly hard to pull off in games journalism: The people building the games have no need to appear in public at all, let alone risk ridicule. They're not politicians or celebrities.)

What's wrong with the article, again?

A whole lot of emotive verbiage burying two salient facts:

1. The "buy" button was hidden. People who wanted to pay couldn't find it. People didn't even know there was anything to pay for.

2. The app has been out a week. Users haven't had time to play thru the free content and develop any desire for [unknown (see #1)] paid content.

Made near all users sound like Scroogeish tightwads. Unfair.

The article would be vastly improved without creating any offense to the game developers by simply adding context. 200,000 downloads is a meaningless number, presented as though it's a huge success. Is it really? Over what time period? How does that compare to other apps? How does it compare to developer expectations for the time period? Same with the conversion rate: The 0.67% rate is presented as a huge disappointment. But is it really? How does this rate compare to other free-to-download, pay-once-to-unlock apps? Some of this information will require some actual research, but it's necessary if you're actually trying to write something worth reading.

I like a good information article that lacks editorial slant. I also like a good editorial as long as the facts are there to support the angle. This article has is labeled an editorial but the only slant seems to come from the subject of the article and isn't supported by anything more than comments by the article subject. Most of the important information can be found somewhere in the article, but that's no excuse its confused and poor presentation.

Beyond the time it took to conduct the interview, I'd be surprised if the author of the article spent much more time writing it than it took to type the words and hit submit. Because that's how it reads, and that's what makes me unhappy.

The article doesn't live up to the promise: "Our focus will be on longer form journalism with in-depth research, interviews and data, highlighting aspects of the gaming lifestyle that many would miss at first glance. Reviews and previews of games and hardware will certainly be a part of the content, but the discussion will be less on specs and more on experience. We want people to not only see new aspects of the industry, but think about games in a different way."

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