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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've never really liked Gamespot (Their site has always felt small, cluttered and has way too much black for my taste... feels dreary! I'm an IGN man myself, everyone rags on IGN, but I love the layout, the forums and I've known the crew (At least the Nintendo crew) since N64.com!) but I wouldn't have expected this.

True, there's no proof either way as of yet, but 'official statements,' if and when they come, are more slanted than [popular reviewer here]'s review of [popular/unpopular game with outrageously low/high score here].

I guess we can all agree, at the very least, that the man was handsome and probably bags himself a few super models a week.

But seriously, advertisers and editorial staff should never even know of each others' existence. This was briefly touched on in IGN's "Wii'k in review" podcast today. Matt has never been pushed to even cover a game with big ad dollars. That's how it should be.

In any case, I hope we don't see people with 'big contributions' to OC Remix have below-par mixes slipping by the judges, mysteriously. ;)

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We won't ever get any "official" response, simply because no one who can say what really happened is in the position to give an official response due to their contract and business agreements. However, the amount of "reliable sources" reporting on major blogs and outlets, and hints from other gamespot staff makes the review scandal the most likely scenario.

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Coop, according to the post at Penny Arcade (by Tycho) -

"After Gerstmann's savage flogging of Kane & Lynch, a game whose marketing investment on Gamespot alone reached into the hundreds of thousands, Eidos (we are told) pulled hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of future advertising from the site."

It seems like this is really a no-brainer. You're asking for "proof" that ad money is why he got fired- you'll never get it, because the GS management will never admit to it. But when you have numerous credible sources and giant Kane & Lynch ads up on the GS site, put two and two together, man.

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Yeah, considering how much media hype this game is getting through ads, be it on tv, in magazines, or on sites, it just goes to show how much they are spending on this. Now if you were paying one of the biggest gaming sites around tons of money to put up banners and ads all over their site, would you really stand for a reviewer to give that game a mediocre score, hurting your investment? And none of the upper higher ups will admit to that in any way, cause that will hurt their reputation and the company too. Point is, its a pretty clear case on this unless he just went in there and was a dick in general to everyone and there was reasonable cause. Im sure someone on the inside around him would tell that though by now.

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Here's another take on the situation by Game Revolution

http://www.gamerevolution.com/manifesto/view.php?id=402

While I've never been a big reader of Gamespot (I generally use 1UP and GR for my gaming fix), I've never really had anything against them in terms of reviewer integrity. That being the case, I definitely think that cnet is the problem here for being a pushover. It's not like the corporation doesn't already make shittons of money from all it's other publications/websites, and I think that a reviewer who is at the very least honest with the readers would have been more valuable than the ad money from Eidos.

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... put two and two together, man.

I have been putting two and two together.

- On the one hand, there are some people telling variations of the same general story. Jeff wrote a potentially crass review, was told to tone it down, did, still pissed off Eidos either because of the low score or the way the review (video review) was written, and got fired for it.

- On the other hand, there are lots of anonymous sources, unknown posters "coming forward" that want to be quoted, mysterious phone calls, and some questionable jumps in logic (see above comment on the 1UP article).

If this thing was being reported on the local news, reporters would be all over the story questioning it's validity before going public with it, because of there being so many unknown sources. As such, I don't think I'm in the wrong by saying it's easy to still be a bit skeptical and not jump on the bandwagon of "EIDOS IZ EVAL AND GOT JEF FRIED!" when looking at everything.

Edit: Interesting article, Specter. Even they said the review was a little mean (this coming from GR :lol:). It's starting to look more like several reasons were behind Jeff's canning, and not Eidos demanding Jeff be fired.

Also, remember Howard Stern's movie, "Private Parts"? Remember the scenes where the radio management was ready to fire Stern because of sponsors dropping out due to his crass nature on the air? Anyone else think that some of that may be in play here?

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@Coop

Most sources suggest that Eidos had a lesser role in this whole affair than a lot of people are making out. Rather they say it was mainly due to the new management that took over from the former Executive Editor Greg Kasavin (or whatever his title is) who are really marketers and salesman rather than of game journalist stock. For me that seems more likely than Eidos directly causing the firing.

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@Coop

Most sources suggest that Eidos had a lesser role in this whole affair than a lot of people are making out. Rather they say it is was due to the new management that took over from the former Executive Editor Greg Kasavin (or whatever his title is) who are really marketers and sales rather than of journalist stock.

That's what I've been noticing as well, as this hoopla has played out more. It's starting to look more like rather than demanding Jeff be fired, Eidos simply pulled back advertising funds after a low scoring review (like so many other companies have done over the last couple decades with game sites and game magazines). Then, that loss of cash for Gamespot was placed squarely on Jeff's head in a "You just cost us big bucks! Here's your Whammy... YOU'RE FIRED!" fashion.

Guess we'll see if that's how it went down.

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I certainly didn't mean to suggest Eidos somehow demanded he be fired. That doesn't make sense. The PA post says it perfectly. They pulled ad dollars and future ad dollars, GS was pissed.

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I certainly didn't mean to suggest Eidos somehow demanded he be fired. That doesn't make sense. The PA post says it perfectly. They pulled ad dollars and future ad dollars, GS was pissed.

Oh, I didn't say you suggested it, zircon. But last night, there was a "EIDOS GOT JEFF FIRED! FUCK THEM!" sentiment floating around with some people as they posted, blogged, and responded to those things. I can't remember the names of the sites and blogs I read last night (links all over the damn place now), but early on I read a few blurbs about how Eidos possibly demanded Jeff be fired because of his review. It makes no sense to me either, but somehow that notion caught on for a while.

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I certainly didn't mean to suggest Eidos somehow demanded he be fired. That doesn't make sense. The PA post says it perfectly. They pulled ad dollars and future ad dollars, GS was pissed.

I think, regardless of whether Eidos explicitly asked for the guy to get fired, they certainly were pissed, and after they informed GS they were pulling money, THAT got Gerstmann fired, then the result is the same. He was fired for cutting into the bottom line. There doesn't need to be a conspiracy for it to affect the 'reporter'.

I don't really hold game reporters in high esteem.. but if we're going to take them seriously as members of the press, rather than privileged gamers who got a nice break, then they need to have the same freedoms extended to them. If the N.Y. Times fired a reporter for bashing a product by a major advertiser, they would take flack.

If there was any reason unrelated to Gerstmann's job performance that got him fired, that's wrong. We may not have any explicit proof, but with the odd blog posts by some of the editors, something strange is going on there.

This isn't really surprising though... it seems like the media is more in bed with journalism each day. I'm just surprised it happened to a major editor.. I've never heard of this guy before. I generally go to Kotaku, IGN, some Nintendo sites and 1UP occasionally. GS always seemed crappy and full of spin, like what GamePro turned into... just more popular now.

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I think, regardless of whether Eidos explicitly asked for the guy to get fired, they certainly were pissed, and after they informed GS they were pulling money, THAT got Gerstmann fired, then the result is the same. He was fired for cutting into the bottom line.

As has been shown over the decades, when an employee winds up costing their employer a lot (and I mean A LOT) of cash, they get the boot more often than not. It usually doesn't matter if it was an honest mistake, or if it was a huge blunder on their part either. The company wants to stop the money loss at its source... and if this scenario is indeed what happened, that's Jeff.

If the numbers being thrown out at the moment are true, then we're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars. That's a big hit for many companies to take, and most times someone involved in that money loss becomes the fall guy for it. It sucks, it's often very unfair, and it usually results in people getting the ax for dubious reasons ("He opted for an early retirement", "He wanted to spend more time with his family", etc.), but that's how it generally works (been the victim of it myself on a smaller scale). And no matter how hard we try to ignore it, on-line magazines and game review sites the size of IGN and Gamespot are still a business at the end of the working day.

Again, this is running with the assumption that all this is what actually took place with Jeff and Gamespot.

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To be concise, I disagree. He shouldn't have been fired for being honest. I don't know how the whole prior investment thing worked, but unless the deal said something like, "we give you money and you say good things about our games," He did the right thing.

I find that GameFAQs fan reviews are the best for me in the long run. There are many of them, so you can hear multiple types of people's opinions and their is no money involved, so they're honest. You just gotta watch out for the biased ones.

So why is everyone upset about Zelda Twilight Princess getting 8.8. Everybody here thinks that game sucks?

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To be concise, I disagree. He shouldn't have been fired for being honest. I don't know how the whole prior investment thing worked, but unless the deal said something like, "we give you money and you say good things about our games," He did the right thing.

I find that GameFAQs fan reviews are the best for me in the long run. There are many of them, so you can hear multiple types of people's opinions and their is no money involved, so they're honest. You just gotta watch out for the biased ones.

So why is everyone upset about Zelda Twilight Princess getting 8.8. Everybody here thinks that game sucks?

The TP 8.8 got so much attention because the Nintendo-fan masses thought it was a low score. They raised a big stink about it, and the drama is still going on today.

And I never suggested he should have been fired for the K&L review/score, or that he did the wrong thing in stating his opinion. I was merely bringing up a business model that's been around for a long time, and how it would apply to all of this. Companies cut out things that are costing them money... that includes devisions, products, and people. It's quite possible, that Jeff was seen as something to be cut after Eidos pulled their financing, and what's going on is the end result.

It doesn't make it right, it doesn't make it fair. But it does happen regularly, and it may very well have happened here. That's all I'm suggesting.

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And I never suggested he should have been fired for the K&L review/score, or that he did the wrong thing in stating his opinion...

Oh sorry, Coop. I guess I was being TOO concise. I didn't mean that I disagree with something that you said. I disagree with the dude getting fired. That's all.

^_^

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Oh sorry, Coop. I guess I was being TOO concise. I didn't mean that I disagree with something that you said. I disagree with the dude getting fired. That's all.

^_^

Ah. Gotcha :-D

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Fair enough. Bad things happen to good people, and bad people..

I guess I'll post back if there's something concrete that comes up. It would suck if someone was fired for being honest... crap like that needs to stop.

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Short Story:

When a mediocre game is reviewed,

It gets a low score.

When a mediocre reviewer is reviewed,

It gets walking papers.

Long Story:

The review looked to be correct in most of its observations, but I found too much repetition in his descriptions... I don't need to be told countless times in such a short review that the characters are 'unlikeable', especially when there is only one example, which is merely passable. It wasn't that good of a review, honest, but not very well done.

I've seen previews of the game, and honestly was impressed by the idea of a multi-player game where there's the possibility of back-stabbing and revenge, but he was able to point out a few details that I would definitely dislike about it (poor AI, Lack of diverse AI spawning points, etc.).

I could see how this review could be a final straw of sorts, if his other reviews are just as mediorce, so I couldn't really immediately say that this is a clear sign that the gaming industry is corrupt and unbelievable (Sure, there are other signs, but this isn't one of those). Honestly, I could easily imagine TP getting an 8.8, as it was a great game, but wasn't SO great that it would deserve much more (IOW, if it got into the upper 9's or a 10, I'd find it to be just another sign of biased reviewing)... And THPS3 was horrible, and deserves nothing more than a 3 (THPS1 was great as an initial release, 2 was probably the best of any game in the series, while 3 took everything 1 and 2 did right, and crapped all over it), so on that note, I agree, a 10 was WAY too high a score for THPS3.

Myself, I also find GameFAQs to be one of the best review resources, because even though it has it's share of biased and poorly-written reviews, there are often a share of great reviews that give the game its chance, without fanboyism, rumors, or popular opinion getting in the way.

Note: I may be wrong, and if I've really missed something here, please tell me.

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ITT: Mostly baseless speculation.

"After which, therefore because of" is a logical fallacy. It would behoove most of you to wait until the reviewer makes a statement, or more information is otherwise revealed. I'm sick and tired of people holding grudges without adequate grounds for blame.

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ITT: Mostly baseless speculation.

"After which, therefore because of" is a logical fallacy. It would behoove most of you to wait until the reviewer makes a statement, or more information is otherwise revealed. I'm sick and tired of people holding grudges without adequate grounds for blame.

Don't get us wrong. It's not this that makes us hate Eidos, they've always sucked. This just gives us an excuse to call them pigs. ;) Even if it is false, they'll always be pigs to me!

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Myself, I also find GameFAQs to be one of the best review resources, because even though it has it's share of biased and poorly-written reviews, there are often a share of great reviews that give the game its chance, without fanboyism, rumors, or popular opinion getting in the way.

Note: I may be wrong, and if I've really missed something here, please tell me.

Gamefaqs is good in that it is an aggregation of user-created reviews. The users are probably biased though and most people only post a review only if they really love or really hate the game, kind of like the review system here (but with music). I've found Metacritic to basically be a step up of gamefaqs, the same thing just an aggregation of commercial reviewers.

That aside the guy who was fired was a completely awful reviewer. And I'm not saying that just as an IGN fan, for being one of the main reviewers/editors of GameSpot, he was nothing short of terrible. I remember seeing someone post quotes from his reviews of TP and Halo 3 and they had nearly identical downsides (not much new, etc.), except one he downrated considerably for while the other he scraped aside as nothing.

I hope gamers read his reviews and demand for some real reviewers, not these guys who write like 35 year old EB Games salesman rejects

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Honesty apparently comes with a price now a days.

It is really sad to see someone let go because they were being honest.

I personally actually agreed with most of his scores, ESPECIALLY his 8.8 on Twilight Princess. Sure, it was good, but it was way too damn linear and it definitely no OoT.

Oh well, here is to hoping 1up picks him up.

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this has turned out to be a much bigger thing than I ever thought it would be. I can't go anywhere without seeing this controversy online, Gamespot really did fuck up allegedly (still unconfirmed what exactly transpired right?).

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