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The Loop: Bias In Game Reviews

EMorton
Posted December 13, 2007 - By Eugene Morton

The gaming community was rocked recently when Jeff Gerstmann, Editor for Gamespot, was fired for giving Kane and Lynch: Dead Men a less than favorable review. The reason his termination made headlines is because the title was heavily advertised on the site prior to release.

This affair has lead many to believe that Eidos, the game’s publisher, forced Gamespot’s hand in the matter or that the higher ups at Gamespot wanted to protect a major source of advertising revenue. If it’s true, there are probably other sites out there guilty of the same practice, which leaves gamers to wonder, are game reviews an honest assessment or just paid advertising?

To answer that question, we’ll have Chris Kohler, Editor for Wired’s Game Life blog and Mike McWhertor, Editor for Kotaku. 

 

The Loop: Gerstmann-Gate »


Tags: The Loop, Videos

Comments are Closed

  • latinoish_bwbhair

    I don't think anyone should be fired for a view of a product thatwas not made by their boss. I feel a lot of reviews are paid advertising or personal dis' influenced by profit or political bias and agenda; (that is being said; only If the reviewer even likes games for real to begin with.) There are some posers out there giving reviews for games they didn't even truly play through, ie Lair, Heavenly Sword, (they shall remain nameless); but again it's not something I feel should be controlled in the fashion gamespot did. Kane and Lynch did suck though. For a next gen, it is a little too much like die hard Trilogy 2(for the PS ONE!!!!???!!!!) nuff said.

    Posted: December 19, 2007 8:13 PM
    latinoish_bwbhair
  • latinoish_bwbhair

    I don't think anyone should be fired for a view of a product thatwas not made by their boss. I feel a lot of reviews and paid advertising or personal dis' influenced by personal bias and agenda; (that's being said; only If the reviewer even likes games for real to begin with.) There are some posers out there giving reviews for games they didn't even truly play through, ie Lair, Heavenly Sword, (they shall remain nameless); but again it's not something I feel should be controlled in the fashion gamespot did.

    Posted: December 17, 2007 5:11 PM
    latinoish_bwbhair
  • zoid

    Critical reviews of entertainment are crucial in this era of saturation and cost. I like to make informed decisions. Time and money are worth something to me.
    GSpot’s user reviews are more valuable than its editorial reviews. I never read the review for which the editor was fired. If it *was* an unfair review, his firing was justifiable. But if an *advertiser* pressured GSpot to get a favorable review their game did not deserve, then that game -- and all their future games -- should be boycotted. They’re trying to swindle me, and have coerced GSpot to abet them, costing an honest critic (don’t laugh too hard) his livelihood and career.
    X-Play’s Morgan and Adam have always been spot-on in their reviews. If they say a game sucks or is great, I take it as gospel. The owners of G4 should be commended for allowing them to be so honest, when reviewing titles advertised on G4. X-Play ripped Crysis, and the hype had been palpable since summer. That couldn't have made the admen happy.

    Posted: December 14, 2007 7:48 AM
    zoid
  • vicariousviper

    reviews are meant to be just a studied point of view for the whole of us who dont have the time or money to be playing every thing that comes along. if the critics are getting fiscal kick backs or free stuff for their work good for them when im looking at any reviews im paying much more attion to screenshots and footage than thier personal thoughts i get just as much from cenimatech as i do from x- play but i like the humor... most of the time.

    Posted: December 13, 2007 9:00 PM
    vicariousviper
  • rundell318

    I think critic reveiws are very important because there are certain game i like. i want to know what im paying for . i know everybody has different opinion but if your blindly buy games you either got more money than brains or you work for G4

    I think gamespot more than likely did fire him for givin his honest opinion about that game which is not cool at all Do you really need an expert to tell you i mean really? THEY CHANGED HIS REVIEW {HELLO} And their no way gamespot is going to say anything that going cost them money. my opinion is if the game has a lot of hype before it come out more than likly that hype was paid for like halo3 and cod4 good but not great cod same as 123 diffrent background same game but hey that my opinion

    Posted: December 13, 2007 6:29 PM
    rundell318
  • JaymEsch

    While it is absolutely unacceptable that Jeff G. was let go for doing his job, there is another aspect to the concept of game reviewers- or critics in general.

    No offense, Morgan Webb and Adam Sessler, but critics are the least useful career out there.

    No special training is required to be a critic- all it is is an opinion, based on their own personality and interests, of the product at hand.

    I know a lot of people seek out reviewers' opinions on entertainment, but I fail to see why they let other people determine what they like for them. Especially in today's "jaded" younger generation mentality- everything sucks, according to the youth! Yet I go see the same movies, or play the same games, and massively enjoy them.

    No, critics are only interesting as a form of casual entertainment, and offer nothing of value for any self-thinking person.

    (I still love you Morgan Webb, sorry! =S)

    Posted: December 13, 2007 3:36 PM
    JaymEsch
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