Rock Paper Shotgun

Last updated

Rock Paper Shotgun
Rock, Paper, Shotgun.svg
Rock Paper Shotgun homepage as of 24 June 2021
Type of business Subsidiary
Type of site
Video game journalism
Available inEnglish
Headquarters Brighton,
Area servedWorldwide
Owner Gamer Network
Key peopleGraham Smith, Alec Meer, Katharine Castle, Jim Rossignol, Kieron Gillen, John Walker
Industry Video game industry
Launched13 July 2007;15 years ago (2007-07-13)
Current statusActive

Rock Paper Shotgun (also rendered Rock, Paper, Shotgun; short RPS) is a UK-based website for reporting on video games, primarily for PC. Originally launched on 13 July 2007 as an independent site, Rock Paper Shotgun was acquired and brought into the Gamer Network, a network of sites led by Eurogamer in May 2017. [1] [2] Its editor-in-chief is Katharine Castle, [3] and its deputy editor is Alice Bell.



Rock Paper Shotgun was founded by Kieron Gillen, Jim Rossignol, Alec Meer and John Walker in 2007. All four were freelancing for Future Publishing, and decided they wanted to create a website focused entirely on games for PC. [4]

Gillen announced that he would no longer be involved in posting the day-to-day content of Rock Paper Shotgun in 2010, [5] focusing more on his work with Marvel Comics, but would continue to act as a director and occasionally write essay pieces for the site. Rossignol founded his own game studio Big Robot in 2010, [6] but also continued to contribute to the site for six more years. Meer and Walker left in 2019. [7] [8]

Rock Paper Shotgun also has seen contributions from several other writers, including:


Rock Paper Shotgun reports on upcoming major releases and independent esoterica, and includes reviews, previews, features and interviews related to PC gaming and the PC gaming industry.

Some of the frequent categories of stories posted on Rock Paper Shotgun include:


Fox News and Bulletstorm

On 8 February 2011, the game Bulletstorm came under scrutiny by Fox News through two articles by journalist John Brandon, describing the game as the worst game in the world. [9] [10] The game was targeted because of its profanity, crude behaviour (examples of which including the game's skill-shot system, which has a move that rewards players for shooting at an enemy's genitals), and sexual innuendo. Alongside the panel of Fox News anchors was the psychiatrist Carole Lieberman, who remarked: "Video games have increasingly, and more brazenly, connected sex and violence in images, actions and words. This has the psychological impact of doubling the excitement, stimulation, and incitement to copycat acts. The increase in rapes can be attributed, in large part, to the playing out of such scenes in video games." Other claims included that the game could reach audiences as young as nine years old, and that the gore and profanity could seriously traumatise a child of that age group.

These claims were largely ridiculed among gaming websites, including Rock Paper Shotgun, who ran a series of articles discrediting the reports by Fox News. [8] The articles analysed Lieberman's claims and found only one of eight sources she provided had anything to do with the subject at hand. Fox News acknowledged that they had been contacted by Rock Paper Shotgun and responded to their claims on 20 February 2011 through another article, stating that the game still remained a threat to children. [10]

Public domain article

In 2014 a Rock Paper Shotgun article by John Walker about the existence of orphaned classic video games, and the suggestion to let them enter the public domain after 20 years, raised a controversial public debate about copyright terms and public domain [11] [12] [13] between game industry veterans John Walker, George Broussard and Steve Gaynor. [8] [14] [15]

Related Research Articles

<i>Pathologic</i> 2005 video game

Pathologic is a 2005 role-playing and survival game developed by Russian studio Ice-Pick Lodge. The game was released in Russia by Buka Entertainment in June 2005, followed by a localised English release from G2 Games and GMX Games in 2006. An updated version, Pathologic Classic HD, was developed by General Arcade, published by Good Shepard Entertainment, and released in October 2015. A remake was developed by Ice-Pick Lodge using the Unity game engine and released as Pathologic 2 in May 2019 by tinyBuild.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Origin (service)</span> Content delivery software by Electronic Arts

Origin is a digital distribution platform developed by Electronic Arts for purchasing and playing video games. In October 2022, Origin ceased operations for its Windows platform, directing players to EA Play. The Mac and mobile versions remain online.

GamersGate AB is a Sweden-based online video game store offering electronic strategy guides and games for Windows, macOS, and Linux via direct download. It is a competitor to online video game services such as Steam,, and Direct2Drive.

<i>Zeno Clash</i> 2009 video game

Zeno Clash is a first-person fighting video game with elements of a first-person shooter. It is the debut game of developer ACE Team and uses the Source engine. It was released for download through content delivery service Steam on 21 April 2009. The Xbox 360 version, entitled Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition, was released 5 May 2010 and contains additional features not found in the PC version. The game is set in the fantasy world of Zenozoik, and follows Ghat, a young man who is on the run from his vengeful siblings, and Deadra, his female companion, as they travel through strange and exotic lands.

The copyright term is the length of time copyright subsists in a work before it passes into the public domain. In most of the world, this length of time is the life of the author plus either 50 or 70 years.

Brian Mitsoda is an American video game designer and writer best known for his work on the 2004 game Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. He is the founder of DoubleBear Productions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jim Rossignol</span> British video game journalist

James Michael Rossignol is a British video game journalist and critic, as well as an author. He has also branched out into games, founding the company Big Robot in 2010.

<i>Bulletstorm</i> 2011 first-person shooter game

Bulletstorm is a 2011 first-person shooter game developed by People Can Fly and Epic Games and published by Electronic Arts (EA). The video game is distinguished by its system of rewarding players with "skillpoints" for performing increasingly creative kills. Bulletstorm does not have any competitive multiplayer modes, preferring instead to include cooperative online play and score attack modes. Set in the 26th century, the game's story follows Grayson Hunt, a space pirate and former black ops soldier who gets shot down on a war-torn planet while trying to exact revenge on General Sarrano, his former commander who tricked him and his men into committing war crimes and assassinating innocents.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Colossal Order (company)</span> Finnish video game developer

Colossal Order is a Finnish video game developer known for its business simulation game series Cities in Motion and for its city-builder Cities: Skylines. The company was founded in Tampere, Finland in 2009. Its publisher is Paradox Interactive. Paradox tests, markets, sells, distributes, and owns the copyright of all games by Colossal Order. The CEO of Colossal Order is Mariina Hallikainen.

<i>Sir, You Are Being Hunted</i> 2014 video game

Sir, You Are Being Hunted is an open world survival horror stealth video game developed by Big Robot for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux. An alpha version of the game was made available on 19 August 2013. After years of no updates, in September 2021 the game was updated to version 1.5 by the external Dutch game development studio Den of Thieves Games.

<i>Proteus</i> (video game) 2013 exploration video game

Proteus is a 2013 exploration and walking simulator video game designed and created by Ed Key and David Kanaga for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. In the game, the player traverses a procedurally generated environment without prescribed goals. The world's flora and fauna emit unique musical signatures, combinations of which cause dynamic shifts in audio based on the player's surroundings.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gamer Network</span> British mass media company

Gamer Network Limited is a British mass media company based in Brighton. Founded in 1999 by Rupert and Nick Loman, it owns brands—primarily editorial websites—relating to video game journalism and other video game businesses. Its flagship website, Eurogamer, was launched alongside the company. In February 2018, Gamer Network was acquired by ReedPop.

<i>Teleglitch</i> 2013 video game

Teleglitch is a game developed by Test3 Projects, an indie rogue-like action game incorporating features of survival horror. After initial release, a version incorporating free expansion content was released through Paradox as the Die More Edition.

<i>Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist</i> 2015 exploration video game

Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist is an adventure video game developed by Crows Crows Crows, a studio created by William Pugh, best known for his work on another video game, The Stanley Parable. The game was released for Microsoft Windows and OS X on December 4, 2015 as a free offering. The game sets up expectations of participating in a narrative-driven story about a heist, but players instead find themselves helping out an unseen narrator before they can participate in the story.

<i>Devil Daggers</i> 2016 video game

Devil Daggers is a first-person shooter video game developed and published by indie development team Sorath. Players are tasked with surviving for as long as possible against swarms of demonic enemies on an arena shrouded in darkness. The player character can fire daggers from their fingers to eliminate foes and move about to avoid contact with them. The player dies upon touching an enemy, and as time passes, more threatening creatures begin to appear. Survival times are recorded on a global leaderboard where replays of playthroughs can be accessed and viewed. The deliberate use of unfiltered textures and effects like polygon jitter and texture warping make its visual style reminiscent of early 3D games released in the 1990s.

<i>Call to Arms</i> (video game) 2015 real-time strategy video game

Call to Arms is a real-time tactics and strategy video game developed by German company Digitalmindsoft as the spiritual successor to the Men of War series. The early access version of the game was released on 30 July 2015 to Steam.

<i>Rat Chaos</i> 2012 video game

Rat Chaos is a 2012 stream of consciousness art and browser game created by Winter Lake.

Tom Jubert is a British video game writer and narrative designer. He is best known for his work on many high-profile games, including FTL: Faster than Light, The Talos Principle, and The Swapper. Although he has worked on AAA games, most of his work has been on smaller indie titles.

<i>Orion: Prelude</i> 2012 video game

Orion: Prelude is a first-person shooter and online cooperative multiplayer game, developed and published by Spiral Game Studios for Microsoft Windows. In the game, armed players work together to defend generators against dinosaurs.


  1. Pearson, Dan (3 May 2017). "Gamer Network acquires Rock, Paper, Shotgun". . Archived from the original on 3 May 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  2. RPS (13 July 2007). "The Website That Saved The World". Rock Paper Shotgun. Archived from the original on 30 June 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  3. Smith, Graham (2 July 2021). "I'm not editor-in-chief of RPS anymore, here's who is". Rock Paper Shotgun. Archived from the original on 3 July 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  4. "The Secret History Of Rock Paper Shotgun - Part One: Matters Of Import". Rock Paper Shotgun. 8 April 2019. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  5. "Half-Life: On Turning 35 And Leaving RPS". Rock Paper Shotgun. 30 September 2010. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  6. Rossignol, Jim (27 September 2010). "Big Robot Lives Again". Big Robot. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2012. my new company, Big Robot
  7. Smith, Graham (9 April 2019). "Thank you and goodbye, Alec Meer". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on 13 August 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  8. 1 2 3 Walker, John (18 April 2019). "Bye-bye RPS, thanks for having me". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on 23 October 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  9. Brandon, John (8 February 2011). "Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?". Fox News . Fox News Network. Archived from the original on 13 June 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  10. 1 2 Brandon, John (20 February 2011). "Bulletstorm: Censored in Germany, Coming to America". Fox News . Fox News Network. Archived from the original on 11 August 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  11. Walker, John (29 January 2014). "GOG's Time Machine Sale Lets You CONTROL TIME ITSELF". Rock Paper Shotgun. Archived from the original on 2 November 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016. As someone who desperately pines for the PD model that drove creativity before the copyright industry malevolently took over the planet, it saddens my heart that a game two decades old isn't released into the world.
  12. Walker, John (3 February 2014). "Editorial: Why Games Should Enter The Public Domain". Rock Paper Shotgun. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016. more than a couple of decades old aren't entering the public domain. Twenty years was a fairly arbitrary number, one that seems to make sense in the context of games' lives, but it could be twenty-five, thirty.
  13. Why Games Should Be In the Public Domain Archived 17 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine on
  14. George Broussard Archived 1 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine on Twitter "@wickerwaka The whole thing, really. But especially that. Whoever allowed that to be printed should be fired."
  15. Copyright, trademark & money in a creative industry Archived 2 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine on by Steve Gaynor "There is some argument going on about for how long a copyright holder should be able to charge exclusively for their own work, before it enters the public domain. John Walker argues that perhaps a good cutoff would be 20 years before an 'idea' enters the public domain." (February 03, 2014)