SEGA of America Public Relations man Ken Balough has been charged and found guilty on two counts of “incredibly wrong statements” and three counts of “asshattery.” As a result, his license to represent any company in public relations has been revoked. The verdict was levied earlier this morning.
Yesterday, SEGA gave an exclusive preview to gaming website Joystiq, officially unveiling a new zone for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, Casino Street. David Hinkle, the previewer, was graced with Balough’s presence during his time with the game. During the preview, Ken Balough, who is also Sonic 4‘s brand manager, stated the following:
“Every single one of our traditional Sonic games on the Genesis, whether it be Sonic 1, 2, or 3, we’ve always had sort of a casino level, so keeping with that theme, I think it’s kinda important that we continue that here. Casino Streets Zone isn’t inspired by any of the previous ones, it’s a casino-style zone and we definitely wanted to bring that to the consumers.”
Upon reading that statement, the Stupidity, Half-wittedness And Ridiculousness Police (also known as “S.H.A.R.P.”) issued a summons to Balough. “Mr. Balough has been on our radar for quite some time,” said Sheriff Harold Gobbledix. “He was issued many warnings for ‘this is truly Sonic 4 as you imagined it,’ but it’s clear now that he has absolutely no idea what he is doing.” Gobbledix continued, “We think that it’s in the interest of everyone that Mr. Balough be stripped of his credentials.”
The investigation regarding Balough’s statement lasted all of two seconds, when keen investigators did a background check on previous levels in Sonic games. “Yeah, it’s totally Casino Night Zone, but it’s now it’s all in like HD and shit,” said Frank Dumfarht, head of the investigation. “With all of the extra time we had, we spent the rest of the day playing mini-golf and eating wings at Hooters.”
In PR, it is typical to spin things positively or embellish certain aspects of a product in order to sell units, but Gobbledix believes that a line has to be drawn. “Look at this fucking picture,” Gobbledix stated. “How can you say that?!”
Our admins here at Sonic Retro were asked to comment on Balough’s forced departure. Scarred Sun opted to “keep it classy” and deny comment. In an outburst, Tweaker yelled, “Fuck Ken Balough. He’s fucking cancelled.” When asked of the sociopolitical ramifications of Balough’s exit, Retro staff member GeneHF said, “Who cares? What’s important is that he’s gone. Now get that RadioShack microphone out of my face.”
With his career as a terrible PR man behind him, Balough is rumored to return to work at his hometown Home Depot in Wahoo, Nebraska.
We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.