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


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It doesn't work that well. Marketing can boost sales and visibility, but product quality is definitely an important factor as well. I mean, think about this for a minute. A million-selling CD these days is considered a success; many are having trouble even going gold (500k). The latest Britney Spears album might have sold 1 mil, POSSIBLY 2 at most. That's not even 1% of the population of the U.S., despite the ubiquity of Spears in the news, in record stores, on MTV/VH1, etc.

Plus, saying the "whole point" is to create something cheap and subpar is stupid. Marketing campaigns are extremely expensive. Making a cheap/subpar product and skimming the cost of development is not going to seriously offset the costs of a big ad campaign, and it's a stupid strategy anyway. More than likely, when a company ends up with a crappy product, they just try to spend more money to attempt to save it... but actually trying to make a crappy product with the intent of selling it through heavy marketing along? Doubtful.

True, although there's a difference between using marketing power to try and sell crap and using marketing power to increase the sales of something that is obviously not perfect but isn't completely horrible either. It takes both good marketing and a good quality product to really be successful in today's market.

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I can assure you that no game designer starts a project with the intent of crafting a cheap, sub-par product. Those people love games too much to knowingly create drivel. I'm pretty sure Eidos was expecting Kane & Lynch to be their "big money" hit this season, hence the big marketing push. Unfortunately, the game wasn't ready for the deadline and disappointed everyone involved.

Unlike Valve, not every company can afford to push a big hit release back indefinitely until it reaches perfection. It'd be great if they did, but they are trying to run a business, after all. I can't blame them.

But pulling all their ad money from Gamespot over a brutally honest review isn't a classy move by any standard. :|

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Well, if they keep fabricating the reviews they can be forced to give refunds, much like sony had to give refunds of ticket sales from that shitty movie (yes, vague, can't remember the movie) that they made up reviews for...

That said, I don't buy games without a rent first very often these days...

As for them pulling money, its a smart business move, see thats the thing, this is a business intended to make money. If someone doesn't give you the support you feel you deserve, then pull your support from them, is this fair, of course! Is it nice? business is never nice.

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I can assure you that no game designer starts a project with the intent of crafting a cheap, sub-par product. Those people love games too much to knowingly create drivel.

You sure about that? How else would you explain That's So Raven, and That's So Raven 2 on the GBA? Hmmmmmmmmm? ;-)

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That's So Raven 1 & 2 were the result of time constraints, budget restrictions, limitations on resources, Raven's fat ass, and ... no, that just about covers it.

I don't think people set out to make a bad game per se, but I think that a lot of the crappy games are the results of the above problems and the added issue of a lack of interest. Using Raven, for instance, I can almost guarantee that half of that team would rather have been working on something worth playing over that game, but they probably weren't given a choice. This is, of course, speculation, but I consider it reasonable nonetheless.

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"Neither CNET Networks nor GameSpot has ever allowed its advertising business to affect its editorial content," said Greg Brannan, CNET Networks Entertainment's vice president of programming. "The accusations in the media that it has done so are unsubstantiated and untrue. Jeff's departure stemmed from internal reasons unrelated to any buyer of advertising on GameSpot."

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6183603.html

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Tim Buckley has an interesting take on this.

I was debating whether to comment on the whole Gerstmann/GameSpot issue, and I think I've decided I need to at least make a brief suggestion here. If you're not familiar with the situation, senior editor at GameSpot Jeff Gerstmann was fired last week. Now, no official details have been released as to why, but some people began speculating that it was due to a poor review of Kane and Lynch that he had written, while the website was covered in expensive Kane and Lynch ads by Eidos.

When the story first broke, I saw some sites responsibly reporting on Jeff's firing, and the rumored reason for it. However, as is wont to happen on the internet, it didn't take long for "rumor" to be interpreted as "fact", and "might be the reason he got fired" became "is the reason he got fired."

And now gamers are organizing boycotts and protests of GameSpot and all sorts of ridiculous measures of some noble crusade.

Except it still hasn't been confirmed that Jeff was fired due to a negative review and pressure from an advertiser.

Now don't get wrong, it is entirely possible that that is the reason. It certainly sounds plausible, and we all like to think that's how every "big business" operates. And if it is the case, then it certainly has some very serious ramifications for the gaming media as a whole. But I just think it might be a wiser course of action to wait for some actual facts before creating this huge stink about things. Because otherwise a lot of people are going to feel awful stupid if it turns out to be something else.

I'm almost hoping it is the reason he was fired. At this point people have exploded it into some huge conspiracy, so what happens if he was fired over something embarrassing, like downloading porn on the work computer, or stealing office supplies? And now, due to the blast of exposure the situation has gotten, GameSpot has to divulge those details in order to curtail the negative spin that's been created? Whereas Jeff could have been let go quietly and gone on to another job, now he's being called The Paperclip Pilferer. Just a scenario, but still.

All I'm saying is maybe wait for some facts on the issue before you start mobilizing blackouts of GameSpot and stuff. There'll be plenty of time for that once some solid information has been confirmed.

And that's all I'm going to say on the subject.

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Tim Buckley has an interesting take on this.

I myself shared some of his sentiments about the matter, but however you look at it, Gamespot handled the matter badly. If he was fired for something as juvenile as stealing office supplies, why the lie about the "tone" of his review? Why did Gamespot deliberately wait until the glut of holiday games were reviewed and accounted for? Most importantly, why did they fire Gerstmann on the spot, with no warning?

The last in particular is a pretty callous move on Gamespot's part, and they should be held accountable for their lack of strategic thinking. This, of course, assumes that Gerstmann was fired for a legitimate reason.

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The problem with "wait for the facts" is that the only people that know the facts are;

(1) Gamespot

(2) Jeff

Jeff is probably under some sort of ultra-strict NDA right now, and Gamespot sure as hell wouldn't admit to firing him for the reasons we suspect.

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The problem with "wait for the facts" is that the only people that know the facts are;

(1) Gamespot

(2) Jeff

Jeff is probably under some sort of ultra-strict NDA right now, and Gamespot sure as hell wouldn't admit to firing him for the reasons we suspect.

Writing things that aren't or can't (currently) be proven as if they're facts is worse though, and it's that very thing that's running rampant.

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You sure about that? How else would you explain That's So Raven, and That's So Raven 2 on the GBA? Hmmmmmmmmm? ;-)

If you're handed a lousy license project, then there's nothing you can do. It's not the kind of game designers dream of when they enter the industry. I feel sorry for the poor guys who end up having to work on licensed, strictly-deadlined schlock their whole careers.

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XZero + sephfire- That was a joke. That's why I put ";-)" there :lol:

Worse than firing a journalist over an opinion? I think not.

You speak as if it's a fact. But right now, it's not.

The only facts that can be said to be true of this situation are 1) Jeff was fired from Gamespot. That's it. All the drama surrounding why and how that departure came about is complete speculation at the moment, based off of coincidences and the unknown people who want to be quoted, and not identified. But all the coincidences in the world don't make something true, and I'm not one to take the words of mystery posters as truths, and it's been surprising to me just how many people have done exactly that.

I'm currently not on either side in this War of the Webs. I won't defend or bash Gamespot, nor will I defend or bash Jeff... beyond questioning the quality of a number of his reviews. There's no prise for being right the fastest in this, so why rush to a conclusion with so little info?

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I'm going to miss Jeff and his crazy musical tastes. Long live Midnight Brown!

But seriously, for someone who's been part of Gamespot for so long, you'd think that he deserves a better departure than this. Regardless of whether he was fired over a "bad" review or not, he should be able to speak his mind on the circumstances surounding his departure rather than be bound to silence.

Stupid Cnet.

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I know this issue is somewhat old, but I have been following the issue and this thread for awhile and I honestly have to agree with Coop. There is absouletely not facts out that indicate that Jeff was fired as a result of the K&L 6.0 review. For all we know, some stupid guy on the net made the whole story up to cause a huge stir and people came across it and labeled it fact.

Yes there is a lot of info that point towards this theory, but it just can't be proven. The only people that know for sure are Gamespot and they aren't going to tell anyone. Even Jeff himself might not know becasue the employer in not required to give a reason for termination.

Honestly, from my point of view, he could have got let go for the K&L review and because his reviews are somewhat faulty or inconsistent like Coop suggests.

It really isn't unthinkable that someone would get fired for a honest review that made their advertisor angry. Money always plays a big role in these kinds of things. Gamespot is a business and businesses want money. If something screws with your business, you eliminate it.

However, to me at least, Jeff did seem like a very biased reviewer. He would give low scores to games for the same reasons he gave high scores to others. A good example of this are his reviews for Twilight Princess and Halo 3. He critized TP for using an old system, being to familiar, and just merely polishing the Zelda formula rather than innovating it. However, Halo 3 got a 9.5 and yet it has some of the same faults as TP. The gameplay didn't really change, much, the campaign was barely improved, and it didn't even look much better than Halo 2. However, he thought that the new features made the game feel fresh. TP also had new features, like new items and wolf form but for some reason that didn't make TP feel fresh. Sounds like he is favoring Halo. I'm not arguing whether the scores where rightfully deserved or not but did the same factors make it into the review process for both. Also like Coop qouted form the 1UP article earlier, He does give extra attention to higher porfile games. Lower profile games he reviews do indeed seem less in-depth than that of bigger name games.

However, I do completely agree, either way, that Gamespot has done a poor job of handeling the situation. And if this indeed turns out to be a result of pressure from an advertisor, I will be just as enraged as most people are right now.

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You speak as if it's a fact. But right now, it's not.

It is fact.

Firing someone for going against the "ad flow" I mean. I don't know about whether or not it's true, but I just wanted to say that yes, that would be worse than internet rumors.

But what I think really happened is they took his red stapler...

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