In a ruling that could send shock waves through the video game blogging world, the Federal Trade Commission has ruled that bloggers will have to disclose gifts or money they receive from companies in exchange for reviewing their products.
Beginning December 1st, bloggers will be covered under existing FTC guidelines regarding journalistic disclosure of cash or gifts in exchange for reviews of products. Failure to follow the guidelines could result in fines up to $11,000 per violation. So that means there may be a lot of disclosing going on, people.
I'm not sure how the guidelines work yet, but I imagine, honestly, that the majority of video game company gifts sent to reviewers won't fall under the guidelines -- there's likely a monetary minimum amount for gifts, and promotional t-shirts, desktop figurines and other branded-clutter would likely fall under that threshold. Besides, many online reviewers, in my experience, review games for the love of games themselves!