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The Damned

Reviewer Fired For 6.0 Score, Might Have Been Over the Giant Ads for the Game on Site

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I hate Jeff, but he shouldn't have got fired. Didn't he give tony hawk 3 a 10 and Zelda TP an 8.8? I've always had beef with his reviews, but that blows for him.

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Meh.

After his horrid Taito Legends 2 review that was almost insultingly bad and devoid of info, I'd been questioning every review I read from him since. If he called that a review for TL2, I wouldn't be surprised if he'd done similarly lacking reviews before. I also wouldn't be surprised if this firing was the end result of too many questionable reviews on his part.

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Regardless whether or not you like Jeff Gerstmann or his reviews, he has always been honest with his personal opinion (even if it was sometimes inconsistent) and has never compromised his journalistic integrity with with advertising or fanboy pandering, as this issue clearly demonstrates. This guy has been around gamespot for +10 years, is the editor in chief, and is one of the few remaining editors from the pre-cnet days. So this is a pretty big deal IMO as a major hit for journalist integrity in game reviews and for gamespot.

Probably what got him fired was his video review of the game, which is quite strongly worded. Right at the end he suggested that you don't buy the game, but instead wait until its price is cut. Considering how many advertising dollars eidos poured into gamespot this comment in addition to the negative review may have caused the resulting firing. The fact that the video review has been removed and not the text review further suggests this.

You can see the video review that might of gotten him fired on youtube:

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I read his review of the game, and honestly I feel that it's fair. I haven't played the game myself to see if those problems actually exist, but I thought this particular review was at least honest -- better than shoving an 8.5 at the game because Eidos dropped a lot of money to advertise it.

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Oh man, the Gamespot forums are going through lock-downs left and right. Every new topic that comes up is closed. Even Eidos' forums are going through the same crap.

http://www.joystiq.com/2007/11/30/eidos-and-gamespot-forums-exploding-over-gerstmann-incident/

Honestly, how could they not see this coming? A few guys on the right sites with the right posts can turn something simple into a real shitstorm, and this incident caught the attention of a lot more than just a few people. Hell, Penny Arcade caught wind of it early, and you know who many people read that site.

I haven't seen this level of corporate ignorance since the "All I Want For Christmas is a PSP" thing.

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You can see the video review that might of gotten him fired on youtube:

Everything Jeff said seemed to be fair.

Kane & Lynch does look to be an average-at-best third-person shooter. If Eidos has a problem accepting this, they should have pushed IO Interactive to make a better game from the outset.

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I'm definitely going to miss Jeff, but I think the ethics at play are the most angering. We'll probably see him doing something else at another site based on how much of a following he has; it would be stupid NOT to hire him somewhere else. But the simple fact that he was fired because he gave one shitty review (and no, i disagree strongly that his other reviews were unprofessional. I always hope he's the one reviewing.) is reprehensible.

However, I hope everyone will think a little bit before they cause the rest of the Gamespot crew to lose their jobs as well. I believe that what should happen is to cause enough of a shitstorm that CNet thinks about what a bunch of corporate cockjockeys they are being in doing this, and then to make them rethink how they do business. But I really do like Gamespot a lot and would be very sad if they went under because of this. The other guys there aren't quite as good as Jeff, but Gamespot feels much more personal than IGN or 1up and they actually try and be professional about making their podcasts not a series of "fuckin' fuck fuck mcfuck" jokes.

It is a sad day for the gaming industry IMO.

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Yeah, I think Jeff will get hired by another outlet, or maybe he could start up his own outlet. As a result of this he's going to have a lot more clout and quite a following (he was already fairly popular) like you said. It would be crazy for someone not to exploit this before this story runs out of steam, whether it be himself or someone else .

Also, another member of the editorial staff left without warning within the same time frame, which makes things interesting.

http://uk.gamespot.com/users/TimT/show_blog_entry.php?topic_id=m-100-25233420

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I think that something like this has to do with the issue of the rise and fall of independent video game review sites. Personally, I really don't care too much for Jeff being fired. He is in a way, probably just a victim. People have different tastes and being able to give any a review that is purely objective is more or less impossible. Perhaps he has dealt with this in unethical ways, creating unnecessary drama and the such. But, in the end, it really is his review. You don't have to like it, nor do you have to agree with it. It's just his take on the game. I'm sure that all of you know someone whose tastes are such slightly off in games, movies or even food. Their definition of "awesome" is your "disgusting." In the end, it's a conflict of taste and values.

I feel that there exists a high dependency on video game review sites. People take the words of editors too seriously involving previews and reviews. Developers already know this and start to tempt their potential enemies into allies. For example, in one review, pros of one game might not be exaggerated, but the number of cons seems to be less played out than it should. Certain words might not be used when they accurately portray the game. The review has been given a good massage, word-wise. Also, this might influence the absolute numerical score, maybe bumped up .1 or .2, making it inconsistent with their previous ratings.

Reviewers are the link between the industry and the end user. Since we as consumers, are very ignorant as to the ongoings of the developers until after release (and more importantly purchase), the level of objectivity or perhaps corruption is highly questionable for these video game review sites. Ideally, I think that we view the editors/reviewers as our friends with "the inside scoop." But developers see them as marketing tools. And let's just say that writing accurate reviews for the moral satisfaction of updating its readers about upcoming games doesn't pay too much.

But of course developers/producers won't bother with every review site on the internet. It just has to have a large audience base and thus, influential. This is where the independent review site comes into play. Without any need to massage its words, it gives its personal opinion on a game. It's pure, in a sense, and might be filled with biases, but as long as it doesn't have any sort of financial motivation, it's all good. He/She is just telling you about the game and that's probably all you could really ask for. Still, with any review that is made by someone other than yourself, it should still be taken as a grain of salt.

Bottom line: Opinions are not necessarily true, especially when there's money involved.

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He's the guy who gave TP an 8.8? I'm seriously peeved about that again...

Getting fired for giving a bad review to another crappy FPS is a pretty lame excuse, but I'm sure it's happened several times before. Gaming mags, online or otherwise are horribly biased, and have been that way for at least 10 years.

It sucks he got fired but it isn't like he can't go to another mag, after being editor-in-chief. Hopefully he'll find work soon.

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So many people are talking like that review is what got him fired. I don't believe anyone has given concrete proof of anything beyond "He was let go". Right now, it's simply a bunch of people claiming he was fired to make Eidos happy. No evidence, no comments from other people who work for Gamespot to back it up with proof... just rampant rumors being clung to as truth. If I'm wrong, please point to where it's been proven that review rating is the cause.

As I said. He's written piss-poor quality reviews before. If you want proof, go and read his "review" of Taito Legends 2 for the PS2. If he's handed in that kind of thing once, he's likely done it before over a ten year span. I personally think there's a better chance that those horrid quality reviews caught up with him, than there is of the "K&L getting a 6"-thing being the cause of his departure.

In short, if he was fired because a company advertising on Gamespot had their game rated as average, I will truly be surprised.

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Regardless whether or not you like Jeff Gerstmann or his reviews, he has always been honest with his personal opinion (even if it was sometimes inconsistent) and has never compromised his journalistic integrity with with advertising or fanboy pandering, as this issue clearly demonstrates. This guy has been around gamespot for +10 years, is the editor in chief, and is one of the few remaining editors from the pre-cnet days. So this is a pretty big deal IMO as a major hit for journalist integrity in game reviews and for gamespot.

Probably what got him fired was his video review of the game, which is quite strongly worded. Right at the end he suggested that you don't buy the game, but instead wait until its price is cut. Considering how many advertising dollars eidos poured into gamespot this comment in addition to the negative review may have caused the resulting firing. The fact that the video review has been removed and not the text review further suggests this.

You can see the video review that might of gotten him fired on youtube:

Looks like a solid and honest review. The game does look pretty bad.

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Well, I don't know if he was canned for reviewing the game or not. If it's true, it's horrible, even if he was a bad reviewer. People shouldn't be fired for political reasons, but it would be naive to say that never happens.

Gaming magazines are biased, period. I don't know what the extent of that bias is, but before I was in college I made a point of ignoring reviewers who I knew made crappy or slanted reviews. Over time that has been more and more people, and now I basically just buy the games I like, because at this point I know what I like well enough.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if people do get fired for writing bad reviews. Maybe it wasn't this guy, but these companies have billions of dollars... they have to have some sway whether if it's with the reviewers or otherwise. Maybe in a few weeks we can know for certain.

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The saddest part of this is that by firing him, they've essentially given him a case for suppression of free press. Even if he is a game reviewer, simply the act of firing him is enough to trigger some sort of lawsuit, if he should be so inclined. That said, should it become a case, they'll start with Gamespot, and move on to Eidos as Eidos seems to be the peer most responsible for the pressure of Gamespot firing this reviewer.

Also, while he might not have been the best reviewer, at least he spoke his mind.

Of course, in the end, it doesn't really matter, he'll either get another job reviewing games, or he'll be looking for work elsewhere.

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In short, if he was fired because a company advertising on Gamespot had their game rated as average, I will truly be surprised.

1up has a pretty good overview of the situation. Other Gamespot editors have chimed in as much as they are able. The situation appears to be that new CNET/Gamespot management cares more about money than any kind of journalistic integrity and sacked Gerstmann to set an example for the rest of the editorial staff.

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1up has a pretty good overview of the situation. Other Gamespot editors have chimed in as much as they are able. The situation appears to be that new CNET/Gamespot management cares more about money than any kind of journalistic integrity and sacked Gerstmann to set an example for the rest of the editorial staff.

I have to bring up an interesting part of the 1UP article...

Somehow, whoever this mystery person was, took "He also implied that 'AAA' titles deserved more attention when they were being reviewed", and went straight to, "which sounded to all of us that he was implying that they should get higher scores, especially since those titles are usually more highly advertised on our site." Mighty big assumption. The recently deceased Evel Knievel would have a hard time with that jump. I have to wonder why that statement didn't also come off as meaning that high profile games deserve more than a single page review... kind of like what Jeff did with Halo 3 and the OMG CONTROVERSIAL "Twilight Princess" review. Maybe they expected him to raise the rating, maybe they expected him to go into more detail as to why the game deserved a 6.0. Who knows. We don't, but a lot of people sure are acting like they do without much in the way of facts out there at the moment.

Again, until someone comes forth with proof that Jeff was canned for giving the game a 6.0, and not because of some other reason(s) (questionable review quality, being too crass in stating his opinions, etc.), it's rumors, conjecture and back alley whispering right now. Perhaps this makes me a bit of a hard ass on this subject, but real life and watching things unfold on the Internet have shown me not to buy into the hoopla and conspiracy proclamations when drama arises. So, I'll wait for the information to come out (and it will, one way or another).

If he got fired for scoring K&L a 6.0 and pissing off Eidos and their site investment, that sucks. If he got fired for writing reviews that weren't very in-depth or professional, well...

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