Conan's Clueless Gamer segments include some paid deals

The "Clueless Gamer" segments featured on Conan O'Brien's late-night talk show are sometimes paid for by gaming companies, Re/code reports.

Developers who paid include Red Barrels for its recent horror game, Outlast. Outlast was featured as part of a Halloween segment, along with Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Slender: The Eight Pages. Frictional creative director Thomas Grip and Parsec founder Mark Hadley told Re/code that neither studio paid for their segments. During the show, both games were received poorly by Conan.

Outlast creators, meanwhile, are said to have paid $35,000 for the game's inclusion. Of the three, Outlast was declared the most favorable. We have reached out to a spokesperson for Outlast and will update accordingly.


According to a spokesperson for Conan, these segments are "not serious reviews or endorsements, they are strictly comedy sketches." As such, the company does not believe sponsorship identification is necessary.

"These are not reviews, they are comedy bits," the spokesman told Re/code. "Conan makes it very clear that he is not a qualified video game reviewer at the top of each segment."

The spokesperson said that games are selected based on whether or not they would be entertaining for audiences.

"Not all games will fit that criteria," the spokesperson said. "As with many television shows, some aspects of the program do have an [advertising] integration aspect."

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