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SOE artist talks being fired

For comparing PS3 to X360.

A former employee of Sony Online Entertainment has spoken out about how an online article criticising the PlayStation 3 ended up getting him fired from the company.

In an interview with PS3week, former SOE 3D artist Josh Robinson said: "All I really did was write a few paragraphs that gave my opinion on publicly released information... I didn’t reveal any tech info and I didn’t reveal different shipping plans. I’m still in awe at the whole uproar over what amounts to NO information."

In January, Robinson posted an article on his blog which read: "Our game just keeps getting moved back... And back... And back. Again, where is the box? Where is the final system? When is it coming out? No one knows and in the mean time people in the industry are starting to get just a little salty."

"You could always tell where the PS3 dev box was because it’s the room that had the F-bomb coming out of it half the day," he added.

But the comments most likely to have riled Sony executives were to do with the PS3's technical capabilities versus those of the Xbox 360: "I’ve also talked with people on the technical side of the Xbox 360. The consistent comment I am hearing from people on my end is, 'The Xbox 360 is better'," Robinson wrote.

"They are saying that it is capable of just doing more."

Robinson told PS3week that he asked at least two Sony employees to read the blog entry before it was posted, and even showed it to an SOE producer. "We were all in agreement that I was not breaking NDA with what I was saying," he said.

However, according to Robinson, he was "Let go at Sony after the article was plopped on the desk of Sony corporate. I was also asked to remove the article immediately, which I did without any resistance."

Although Robinson has defended his right to publish the article, he claims that he has no bad feelings towards SOE: "It was something unfortunate that happened and I sincerely hope Sony isn’t damaged by it... In fact I cannot say enough nice things about the CEO and the VP of the company."

"Did I knowingly break NDA? I absolutely did not. I would never do that and I would never want to hurt Sony Online. Did I dance in the grey area by even opening my mouth? Yes I did and I was fired for it."

Robinson said he received four or five job offers immediately after leaving Sony, and even got a book deal as a result of the article. He has now accepted a new position at an unnamed company in the Santa Monica area - but while Robinson is optimistic about the future, he has clearly learned a lesson from his experience.

"I guess the new rule for me is, don’t ever say anything at all about anything. Ever... Ever."

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Ellie Gibson avatar

Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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