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Adverjournalism - The Role of Ad Dollars in Media 91

Posted by Zonk
from the swimming-in-a-dirty-pool dept.
Gamer 2.0 writes "The Gamer 2.0 site has a look into the role of advertising in gaming journalism, with a few reflections especially topical given the Jeff Gerstmann controversy. From the article: 'It should come as no surprise that just about every gaming forum on the internet is ablaze right now following the news of GameSpot's termination of long-time editor, Jeff Gerstmann. This article, however, is not an exposé or look into what really happened at GameSpot this week. Rather, consider this a look at the direction of gaming journalism, advertising, and how this all plays a role in the content you read.'" There have been a few more developments in the situation since Thursday night, with rumours, scuttlebutt, analysis, and cynicism reigning on every message board from here to C|Net. There has even been a spontaneous act of solidarity from elsewhere in the games journalism field.
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Adverjournalism - The Role of Ad Dollars in Media

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  • by MLopat (848735) * on Sunday December 02, 2007 @12:08AM (#21549645) Homepage
    Penny-Arcade has a great comic [penny-arcade.com] about the whole situation.
    • by Symbolis (1157151)
      The news post for that comic is amusing, as well.
  • I don't get it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 02, 2007 @12:17AM (#21549679)
    This is news? to who?

    I've long known that all the top 'review' sites are just paid shills. Every single game is rated 'game of the year' even when its a total piece of crap that barely runs.

    You can't trust any reviews other than SOME user reviews since many of those are astroturfed as well..

    The same is true for any sort of review. hardware, software, games, cars, books, movies, music...

    Nobody should be suprised that its the product companys who have the real power in the review process.

    cap:filthier
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by KDR_11k (778916)
      Every single game is rated 'game of the year' even when its a total piece of crap that barely runs.

      Care to mention some examples? Because despite this "common wisdom" being repeated so often I haven't seen that happen. The only way you could even think that's happening is if you think "gaming has been downhill ever since 3d was invented" and think all modern games are just bad games with pretty graphics that don't stack up to Pong. That's a delusion, modern games are not worse than old ones and in many case
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @12:19AM (#21549687) Journal
    No, really - let's include all of tech journalism in the pile. I've lost count of how many articles that are more than obviously bought-and-paid for either by a vendor, or because the whole damn site is nothing more than a front for the vendor and its buddies (yes Microsoft, I'm looking in your direction when I say that).

    While we're at it, how about a solution to the other two big problems on tech and game journalism's part? Even The Register [theregister.co.uk] is starting to show cracks of laziness (and occasionally outright fanboyism) in their articles nowadays.

    The dead tree media may not be perfect, but at least they do have one thing they can rightly claim over most tech and gaming journals online: they have and at least halfway adhere to a code of ethics and diligence.

    There's a couple places online which still do at least some due diligence and hold onto their ethics (hexus.net comes to mind), but they're getting rare. Question is, how do you fix it (short of hunting down the paid-for/fanboy shitheads like, oh, Rob Enderle, and subjecting them to a public stoning)?

    /P

    • People have been questioning the likes of PC Magazine, PC Week, InfoWorld, and other publications for years and years. It's not like this whole issue is anything new.
      • by Penguinisto (415985) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @12:45AM (#21549769) Journal
        Agreed for the likes of those particular pubs (and others similar to it), but they were usually outnumbered by a cadre of smaller yet honest (and more probing) sites which didn't give a damn about who got their panties bunched-up about what they wrote. That's what I'm increasingly beginning to miss these days.

        I think I might have found a partial solution to it, though it wouldn't work for everyone: If you run a games review site, only accept advertising from hardware vendors and the like, but none from games publishers, or businesses which sell games (this means, for instance, no MSFT money, since they sell xboxes and games for it). Hardware review sites could happily take ad money from app and games publishers, but none from Intel, AMD, etc etc. At least this way you can get some related ads still put up and money coming in, but at the same time you don't end up with the dilemma.

      • People have been questioning the likes of PC Magazine, PC Week, InfoWorld, and other publications for years and years.

        How soon before they have to start questioning posts and moderation on tech sites like Slashdot?

        Can somebody with Microsoft HR confirm or deny that they have position descriptions for "Blog Reader" and "Commenter"?

        • by VertigoAce (257771) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @02:02AM (#21550069)
          "Blog Reader"? Of course Microsoft employees read blogs and other tech sites. It's not like we disappear off the web once we're hired (I'm a dev in Windows Server). Sure, some people do it as part of their job: gathering customer feedback, analyzing product launch coverage, watching for security issues or other bugs, etc.

          "Commenter"? Honestly, MSFT employees would be lost in the noise. Teams at Microsoft tend to be incredibly small compared to the number of people using the product or its competitors. Take Windows, for example. The number of people that are fans of Windows (yes, they exist!) and the number of people that hate Windows both far out number the number of people that actually work on Windows at MSFT. So if you're suspecting astroturfing, chances are you're just seeing a legitimate fan/supporter of the product. That said, many of us consider it part of our jobs to post online where appropriate. If I see somebody with a question on a product I work on or am familiar with, I'll answer it or point them toward somebody who can.
          • When it comes to comments, I (mostly) agree (because it would make no sense to troll the small sites... but a big site like, say, C|Net?)

            OTOH, the Acer Ferrari laptop debacle was proof enough that there's more than just a little purchasing on the sly... which is why I mentioned Microsoft specifically.

            It's not like it's unexpected or anything... or even a new or Internet-only phenomenon. I guess it points to a larger, lazier picture in journalism these days.

            On that note, I'd much more easily trust the

            • Personally, I wish it hadn't been the Acer Ferrari laptops. I wasn't at Microsoft at the time, but if I had to guess, I think MSFT wanted two things: reviewers would see Vista on new hardware, and reviewers would see the mobile experience. Everyone was aware that Vista wasn't really intended for the past five years' worth of hardware; it was designed for the next 5+ years. And there were significant improvements to the out-of-box experience on laptop hardware. With previous versions of Windows you absolutel
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by Frosty Piss (770223)

        People have been questioning the likes of PC Magazine, PC Week, InfoWorld, and other publications for years and years. It's not like this whole issue is anything new.
        Interestingly, a *substantial* number of stories right here at Slashdot are submitted by shills from the very publications you mention. I've often wondered if there was some kind of relationship between the high number of such "stories" and advertising at Slashdot.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vitaflo (20507)
      As someone who was a game journalist for 5 years and knows many who still are in the field (working for most of the big game sites and magazines), I can say without a doubt this is not a rampant problem.

      From TFA:

      when any publication gets to a certain size and generates a certain amount of money in advertising revenue, the question of journalistic integrity becomes an issue. And let me be the first to come out and say that what happened to Jeff Gerstmann happens all the time.

      This is patently false. These th

      • But why should we trust you? When reviewing a game, we expect you to be impartial. But when the game's publisher/creator is paying you to review it, there is a clear conflict of interest.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Penguinisto (415985)
        Nice... you assume automatically that I meant the entire industry fully does it. No... just most of them. It doesn't take much more than reading the articles half the time, and then checking said against the relevant vendor's press release. It's frightening how often the two items mate up in tone and tempo. It's even more frightening how quickly it is to disassemble a lot of the articles for the barely-masked marketing bullshit that it is.

        Also, note that there are still good sources of tech journalism out

        • by vitaflo (20507)
          Nice... you assume automatically that I meant the entire industry fully does it. No... just most of them.

          It looks as though you've already made up your mind, which is unfortunate, because you have no idea what you're talking about. But I realize it's easier to jump to conclusions than think about it critically.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Penguinisto (415985)
            No, it isn't that I've "already made up" my mind, I'm just relaying what I've seen. Your semi-elitist dismissal aside, you've provided no rebuttal at all aside from anecdotal evidence. If you're so certain that this isn't a problem, then please, show us examples. That's all you have to do.

            I've provided a very simple means to check against this (and actively encourage anyone in the IT or games biz --respectively-- to use it). You've provided little more than "tin foil hat" and "you have no idea what you're

      • by Curien (267780)
        Proof in the hardware review industry:
        http://www.dailytech.com/pay+to+play+uncovering+online+payola/article7510.htm [dailytech.com]

        How much you wanna bet a similar investigation would show the game review industry is similar?
      • by nomadic (141991)
        I keep seeing people say "they know" editors are paid off for positive press, but nobody ever backs it up with proof.

        We've plenty of hearsay and conjecture. Those are...kinds of evidence.
    • by owlnation (858981)

      Even The Register [theregister.co.uk] is starting to show cracks of laziness (and occasionally outright fanboyism) in their articles nowadays.

      That's not new. The Register's claims of independence have always been just that -- claims. They have exhibited bias on numerous occasions. There's no evidence to back up their claims of independence.

      Plus, how can you trust the opinion of "journalists" who put an "!" at the end of every word in every Yahoo related headline, that regularly trawl eBay for pictures

    • by Tim C (15259) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @08:51AM (#21551353)

      Even The Register is starting to show cracks of laziness (and occasionally outright fanboyism) in their articles nowadays.
      I guess it's a matter of personal perspective, but I stopped reading El Reg several years ago when the rampant pro-Linux, anti-MS bias just got too much for me. I'm not great fan of MS or their products, but damn the Register were blaming MS for absolutely everything they could, no matter how tenuous the link, and defended Linux and open source no matter how damning the evidence. Objective? Not in my experience.
    • by elrous0 (869638)
      I'm not mentioning any names, but if you go to metacritic, you will see that there are at least one or two sites that ALWAYS give great reviews to every game. I think the term "quote whores" comes to mind.
  • Shocking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spiffyman (949476) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @12:45AM (#21549773) Homepage
    Press outlets struggle with maintaining integrity and advertising dollars. Film at 11.

    Seriously, why are people acting like the gaming press is any different from the "real" press? From the New York Times [nypress.com] to my local "free" weekly, this kind of stuff happens all the time. Gaming journalism is no different than regular journalism. It's just that it's more blatant in gaming media because their stock in trade is reviews.
    • by spiffyman (949476)
      Sorry to reply to my own post, but I have to say, "D'oh!" FTFA:

      ... [I]f you look outside of the world of gaming, you will see this is not an isolated event; it happens in more mainstream forms of journalism, and I might add that this could be even seen as a sign of growth for our industry. I remember a story from an old college professor of mine who works for Time Inc.: Time magazine published an article that slightly badmouthed one of IBM's computers, which resulted in the computer giant in pulling its ad

    • by keithjr (1091829)
      It's just that it's more blatant in gaming media because their stock in trade is reviews.

      The problem is that this isn't the case. Their stock in trade is game advertisement space. Reviews are what bring in the eyeballs that allow them to justify the going rate for said space. That's the problem that has existed all along, but people are just starting to notice. The organizations serve the gaming industry, not the gamers themselves. The two are very different bodies. And one has very deep pockets.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by spiffyman (949476)

        The problem is that this isn't the case. Their stock in trade is game advertisement space.

        I see your point, but by the same reasoning we can say that the traditional press traffics in advertisement space (not necessarily for games) and that such outlets serve the advertisers and not the news-consuming demographic.

        I know this criticism has been leveled against the MSM for a long time, and perhaps it gets at the truth. But the crucial point, hinted at by both the fine article and my reply, is that there is a

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Omnifarious (11933) *

          I feel that way about all advertising supported media. But gaming magazines and online media are so bad that I wouldn't even think of going to them for an honest review. I go to them to find user posted information about a game, like a walkthrough for some particularly difficult area or something along those lines.

          Computer gaming related media is, IMHO, a laughingstock. I don't know why they even bother to have reviews. About the only site I might trust is Penny Arcade.

          I've stopped watching TV and rar

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Gaming journalism isn't journalism. It's copying press releases and being shown things. Any old joe bloe can be a gaming "journalist", all you need is a bit of webspace and the right access. I'm honestly surprised companies don't just cut out the fucking middleman and post the shit we rely on "journalists" for.

      Here's an example of a story that was pretty important, but reported on precisely 2 sites, and not accurately at either. IGN's direct2drive offered and advertised pre-orders for the game BioShock,
    • You've hit it right there. All over this story I see people applying terms like "corruption" to a branch of journalism that's essentially all about buying products or services. They are only there to answer the question "where should I spend my money today?" Are we meant to be shocked when it turns out that the movement of money influences what they say? The shame of it is that this form of journalism is so prevalent in the current media environment that it's easy to forget that there is way more stuff to t
  • I am disgusted (Score:5, Informative)

    by datachild (1190381) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @12:46AM (#21549787)
    I'm a bit tired so pardon my rambling. I tried to make this post as coherent as possible.

    I wonder if all these sites are bringing this issue to light to rake in more revenue through advertising a "hot topic"(TM). But let's game something straight:

    Corruption in game journalism (if you can even call it that) is nothing new. I am disgusted because I cannot believe it's being brought up now, at this very moment, AFTER someone has been fired. That is to say, after something has happened which, *gasp*, shatters a gamers wild imagination that in a world controlled by money, game reviews are as well.

    I've had a run-in with GameSpot a few years ago as well. I should have posted as AC but fuck it; bottom line is: GameSpot threatened to lower reviews because of an incident regarding a game who's demo was launched before their official premier. Yeah, it's a rather sad state of affairs. I've hated GameSpot ever since, but it seems like people were locked in to GS because it seemed like the only good place to get reviews -- that is to say, they didn't give a shit about my little story.

    Well, I hope they realize it now, because it seems - a lot - of people dislike companies doing what companies do: try to stay alive.

    It's rather obvious, but I do find it laughable. Honestly, GameSpot's website was covered in ads for a few years now -- and you are only bringing it's "corruption" to light NOW? What kind of a sick joke is this? Of course they are going to be paid off by game companies, they have ads all over their websites for christs sake. It's their source of income and they will do anything to defend it.

    Including firing an employee, which I'm sure you're all familiar to companies doing, all the time. I wonder why this is any different.

    Anyway, I didn't even bother reading the article (who would?) because it's clear it doesn't tell us anything new. It's the same old mindless rambling meant to rake in the dollars.

    Speaking of which, today IGN posted their 100 Top Games List (or so I am led to believe it was today). I love their strategy: 1 game per page, 100 pages, and each one is full of ads. Have fun clicking the "next page" link guys!
    • How about you read the article because it is enlightening. It's also an extension of feature the writer had been working on. Oh and the site has no advertisements.
    • Re: IGN Top 100 -- what ads?

      Oh yeah, Adblock [mozilla.org]....

      Carry on....
    • I've noticed everyone has started doing top ten or top one hundred lists for exactly this reason you get a guaranteed ten to a hundred clicks per person per list. Most of them are BS and obviously written by people that don't know that much about the subject even. I read through some for a while but stopped when I realized the scam. Some of the entries on the lists were even off topic which threw me. Why scams work is at least a portion of the people won't realize it's a scam and easily 90% would never figu
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm a bit tired so pardon my rambling. I tried to make this post as coherent as possible.

      It's a shame I'm wasting time to blow logic holes in your tired/drunk opinions, but cockups like you being modded insightful gets tedious. Especially when this is your first post ever to /. with this username. Might as well have stayed AC, with zero cred like that. At least then you actually have to MAKE a point to get noticed.

      I wonder if all these sites are bringing this issue to light to rake in more revenue through advertising a "hot topic"(TM).

      Rather like mainstream media reporting on plagiarism? Do you have any idea how difficult and damaging it is to discuss flawed ethics to your audience? Thanks to page impression

      • by tkrotchko (124118) *
        "In which case how do you reconcile Siskel/Ebert/Roper, and Consumer Reports?"

        I don't watch the movie review guys anymore (haven't for 20 years), but Consumer Reports doesn't accept advertising nor does it accept donations except from individuals. As a subscriber, I get to vote for who is on the board of directors.

        That's a unique situation to be sure.
      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        by WNight (23683)

        GameSpot threatened to lower reviews because of an incident regarding a game who's demo was launched before their official premier.

        Bad grammar aside, "official" doesn't mean jack. If they had an *exclusive* premiere (with your company's game??), there would:
        A) ...
        B) Be no need to threaten anything that wasn't already agreed to by both parties.
        C) ...

        Oh yes, they might drop a review score because of some procedural crap, but that's okay because they have a contract which says they'll lie in those conditions

  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @01:05AM (#21549869)
    Yeah this is no big surprise. Nor are the pieces with no new information surfing the outrage. However, there are good review sites out there and there is an easy test for them. Read the latest 10 reviews. If at least 2 aren't trashing the object of the review as junk, there just might be a bias somewhere. This is for games, tech, TVs, cars, food or whatever. If everything you see is fantastic, I don't want your opinion.
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @01:07AM (#21549877) Journal
    After a while of playing clone after clone after clone, you somehow get sick of games in general unless they're groundbreaking. Clones sell though because there will always be people new to playing video game, while you... the game reviewer become sick of the same ol same ol. Yes, payola is bad. But if you were an honest game reviewer, you could easily lapse into,"Man, this game is just like Un Squadron, which is just a better version of Gradius, which is just a better version of River Raid." And if I was a serious game reviewer, I'd probably write a tree of games, just so I could place any new game down on a new node, but inheriting the properties of the parent games. At least that's just my first thought. What does it take to be a real game reviewer if your goal isn't to get paid?
    • by bob8766 (1075053)
      There has to be at least some real differences between the games that make them different. I was watching a review of "Guitar Hero III" on G4 and it gets a 4 star (of 5) rating. The game offers almost nothing different from Guitar Hero II.

      G4 says, "Where else can you find a game offering the songs Barracuda and Paint it Black"?
      Easy. GHII had Crazy on You and Can't you Hear Me Knocking.
      Woo Hoo! Big change there!

      It didn't surprise me in the least to see a 15 second GH3 commercial a few minutes later.
    • by rastilin (752802)
      I do review games sometimes and I think your idea is pretty brilliant, can I use it?
  • by ZombieRoboNinja (905329) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @01:28AM (#21549945)
    I actually read TFA, and it's basically the guy saying, "This happens all the time!" over and over. I'm not even being reductionist here:

    "And let me be the first to come out and say that what happened to Jeff Gerstmann happens all the time." (Hmm, let's see. You're not "the first" by a long shot; Penny Arcade said the same thing days ago, and even then it was just reiterating a point they'd been making for YEARS, which was in fact so self-evident that ANYBODY paying attention to the industry was aware of it.)

    "And if you look outside of the world of gaming, you will see this is not an isolated event; it happens in more mainstream forms of journalism, and I might add that this could be even seen as a sign of growth for our industry."

    "As the industry grows, more money is circulated, and money begets corruption. It's a fact of life and it's a fact of capitalism; this is America after all."

    Such ridiculous BS. Your "industry" is "burgeoning" at the exact time when it's becoming redundant and useless. If I want fluff-laden previews, game trailers, interviews with developers, and press releases, I have the friggin' Internet at my fingertips here; I don't need Gamespot to aggregate that stuff for me. In fact, the ONLY thing sites like Gamespot have to offer that I can't get somewhere else with far fewer annoying ads (and at least one less layer of crappy-journalistic obfuscation) is their professional reviews. That's the ONLY content worth having, and Gamespot just screwed it up.

    I like the complaints about how things getting "big business" is inevitable. Why? A review is a few pages of plain text with a couple JPEG screenshots; hardly a bandwidth hog. To create that review, you need ONE guy who can string together legible prose and is willing to play a wide range of video games for hours on end. Is that really a hard niche to fill on the goddamned INTERNET? All this could easily be paid for with AdSense ads, which (by their very randomness) would pretty much prevent any kind of coercion, unless Google started making games.

    I'm just waiting for the Penny Arcade guys or someone else with enough "e-credibility" among gamers to start pimping a site like that. A huge influx of gamers would at least check it out, along with plenty of linking from reputable sites, which would lead to a high Google rating, and before you know it, LegitGameReviews.com is the top hit every time you type "$gamename review" into Google. Hell, there are probably a dozen sites like that around already that I just don't know about - anyone wanna help me out here?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rpillala (583965)

      I recommend Quarter To Three, and I would recommend Old Man Murray and fatbabies.com but those two no longer post new material. It's worth reading Old Man Murray anyway, especially their interview with Croteam [oldmanmurray.com], developers of Serious Sam.

      These days I tend to pirate everything to decide who deserves my money. Then I try and skip as many layers of retailing as I can to buy it. Somehow I think the developers get a bigger cut that way. I'm probably wrong.

    • by dasheiff (261577)
      http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/zeropunctuation [escapistmagazine.com]

      While he only really reviews one game a week, he is quite mean to most of the games and hillitary ensures.
  • Since most of the other comments appear to be complaints about the overall state of journalism, I thought I would pause to point out that one of the Ziff Davis folks in the picture that Kotaku has is holding a sign that reads:

    "Is This Good for the COMPANY?"

    Just in case anyone missed the rather good Office Space reference.

  • As a former Creative Director, this is not unusual within the publishing industry at all. Editorial integrity vs keeping the Advertisers happy has been a long standing détente since the first ad page was purchased.

    I have seen this happen many times. Sometimes it is the editor that is let go.. and sometimes it is the advertiser that pulls all their accounts. LA Times, Time magazine... and many other of the larger news media have dealt with this.
  • by zof888 (1149007)
    What the hell, I think the real news story here is people actually read the reviews. Lets face it reading a game review is like reading a movie review, you sit there reading the review wishing you had that guys job but actually pay no attention to the review itself, as common how many times have your read bad movie reviews only to goto the movie and find its kick ass or just the opposite. All reviews are flawed by the same fundamental, they are nothing more then opinion and in some cases a very biased opini
  • This message is a paid promotion for "infotainverts", which are what the story is talking about.
  • by xx01dk (191137) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @02:51AM (#21550273)
    Actually a long time prior to this--I wasn't really all that clued in; I just had a vague suspicion that magazine reviews were skewed somewhat. And then a few months ago I received my copy of PC Gamer that had Valve's "The Orange Box" plastered on the front cover with an exclusive review inside. I'd been anticipating this title for a while and I pretty much knew it was going to be pretty good based on Valve's track record. I got around to reading the review a few days later and figured that if it was already in a printed magazine then the game surely must be out on the store shelves. I decided I would go out later that day and buy the box. This was October 8th.

    Guess what! When I went into the store looking for the game, I learned it wasn't due out yet for another couple of days! With a slow sinking feeling I realized that there was no way a magazine that is planned months in advance would be able to review a retail copy of a game when the game's ship date is later than the magazine's. Had I known the ship date I probably would have spotted the disparity right away, but alas-- I knew it was some time in October and that was all. Hmmph. Anyway, in my mind, review = available for purchase while preview = early build not available to public. Since the game shipped on the 10th of October and I got my magazine on the 6th, the mag was probably finalized at least ten days earlier, say September 26. That "review" was written at least two whole weeks before the game was available for purchase, and I'm a damned sight sure that Best Buy hadn't been sitting on it since the end of September.

    Sure, maybe PCG did get a pre-shipped retail copy reserved exclusively for the print media, and maybe it was all above-board in that respect, and thirdly yes I understand that "the big scoop" is what makes or breaks any periodical, especially those trying stupidly enough to compete with electronic media. But. This was just blatant, and I'm sure it wasn't the first time and won't be the last time something like this goes down...

    Luckily for everyone involved, the game (or games I guess) turned out to be a smash success (and I have really grown attached to my weighted companion cube), otherwise we probably would have heard some negative press about this a while ago. Valve was lucky in that they knew that they were sitting on solid gold, and PC Gamer was lucky that they also knew this when they accepted Valve's big pile of cash for the review and magazine cover. This may all be obvious in retrospect, but I guess my cynicism towards "the man" is still in the growing stages (dangit. I've cultivated it for a number of years now, how didn't I spot this?) I'm walking away from this whole experience feeling kind of duped and disheartened and I don't think I'll be renewing my PC Gamer subscription again. Or GFW. Or MaxPC. Or, now, buying anything produced by Ziff Davis.

    Growing up sucks. Disillusionment sucks. Rampant and obvious greed sucks. I guess I'm starting to fall in the demographic that has learned that all advertizing is crap so maybe, hopefully I'll be able to spot it more easily in the future when it masquerades as legitimate journalism. Time to tune my filters I guess; all the while it will be interesting to watch how this unfolds--I'm just sad to finally realize that I've been not only blind to it but also a part of it for so long.

    Cheers~
    • by TheSpoom (715771) *
      PCG is in fact finalized a couple months or so before the ship date.
    • by h3i (1196807)
      Recently PCG received 99% of the 'exclusive xyz' content and a large amount of advertising $ from Flagship/EA in the run up to the release of Hellgate:London.

      In an unlikely turn of events PCG gave HG:L the highest score of all major review sites, 20% higher than the average and fully 35% higher than it deserved on release day.

      Odd how that kinda shit happens huh?

      http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages4/927136.asp [gamerankings.com]
    • That "review" was written at least two whole weeks before the game was available for purchase, and I'm a damned sight sure that Best Buy hadn't been sitting on it since the end of September.

      A whopping two whole weeks? I hate to burst your bubble son, but there is something called "logistics" [wikipedia.org] that takes a just a tad longer than a few days, Santa doesn't deliver this stuff on his magical sleigh. As surprising and unbelievable as it may sound, BestBuy/Walmart/CirtcuitCity/etc.. don't download and burn all t
      • by xx01dk (191137)
        I was being extremely generous given that while the layout and general planning take place months in advance, magazines can and do slip a hot story in right before the magazine prints. Also, I'm not your son.

        Cheers~
    • by ceejayoz (567949)

      That "review" was written at least two whole weeks before the game was available for purchase

      That's not that outrageous by itself, as games generally "go gold" - release version gets sent to production to be turned into the nifty boxes you buy on shelves - about two to four weeks prior to the day they start getting sold. So, it's entirely possible to send out the final version two weeks in advance of when everyone else gets it.

      That said, I doubt the gaming mags write their reviews only two weeks in advance of the day they show up on the magazine racks.

    • Guess what! When I went into the store looking for the game, I learned it wasn't due out yet for another couple of days! With a slow sinking feeling I realized that there was no way a magazine that is planned months in advance would be able to review a retail copy of a game when the game's ship date is later than the magazine's.

      The media gets promo copies of games long before retail. With about six weeks of editorial planning, that's plenty of time to get a game, play it, review it and print the review b

  • Well done. Just in case anyone on t'internet had missed that rather scathing review of a lackluster 3PS, now everyone and their dog are emailing each other the link and determining never to buy the game, even when it shows up in the 4 for £20 bucket at Gamestation.

    We need a few more review sites like Zero Punctuation - no game ad revenue means no pressure from advertisers and the freedom to be honest. Metacritic is pretty good for spotting the paid shills too - if most reviews are around 7 but th
  • Greed is a disease. The west has embraced greed. The west will die.

    It's that simple, and it's exactly what is going on right now; every world event, large and small points to it. Most of us will get to see the whole system fall big-time in this life. Cool, huh?

    The Romans had to wait around for a thousand years before their greed-rotted system fell apart. I guess it was that their empire just ran slower. Goods and information moved at the speed of boots and horses instead of cars and trucks. The speed
    • Well, the Byzantine Empire lasted an additional 1000 years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. And by the time the Western half fell, they were fairly spartan Christians.
  • Time to lay off the MBA's and producer types and marketing droids and hand game development back to people who can save it. That, ladies and gentlemen of the game industry, would be actual game developers. You know, the guys who sit there and actually write some code. Gamers are tired of your self-aggrandizing interviews, your stupid "nextgen" marketing tripe, your "HD gameplay" trailers, your turning gameplay to shit to promote games that play like GFX demos, your being in bed with M$/Nvidia/ATI to force
  • This was posted in a thread [gamespot.com] at the gamespot forums. Supposedly quoting an insider from the gamespot review staff.
    It certainly is an interesting read:

    For all those calling us naysayers idiots, check this out. can't say where it's from other than "a trusted source." You decide if it's legit.

    this is the latest info depicting the bigger picture around this incident:

    The main problem here is that no one in the entire editorial team was aware that this was about to occur, least of all Gerstmann. We're ve

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

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