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Jeff Gerstmann 100% confirms his review is the reason why he was fired.

This is a discussion on Jeff Gerstmann 100% confirms his review is the reason why he was fired. within the General PS3 Discussion forum, part of the Everything PlayStation; termination from the gaming website five years ago. Gerstmann also shared other such instances where his team at Gamespot was ...

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    termination from the gaming website five years ago.

    Gerstmann also shared other such instances where his team at Gamespot was pressurized into producing a favorable review. He gave an example of how Sony threatened to pull advertisement money from the website if its action-platformer Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction received anything other than a near perfect score. Gamespot eventually gave it a 7.5.
    At no point in that snippet does it explicitly state "Gamespot was paid for reviews", nor would this clown dare to say it. Even if it's true for Kane & Lynch...who fucking cares!?!? Five years is a long time, get over it.

    Gamespot gave R&C a 7.5, the score it deserved. Gamespot consistently marks games harder than any other review site. To me, that's a sign of greater integrity and credibility than any of the other media agencies.

    This is another problem with young gamers today - they're sceptical, inflexible, fear-mongers with little to no trust of anyone. There's always some conspiracy theory or another to overshadow the reality of a situation. Does any of it really make any difference to your enjoyment of a game?

    If you don't trust Review Site A or Journalist B, that's why we have sites like Metacritic to eliminate the outliers and present a consensus opinion via an average score. If you don't trust that score then you're not going to trust any score.

    Put a tinfoil hat on and hide in your basement for the remainder of your gaming life. They're probably watching you right now because...you know...your opinion means more than those paid to provide their's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps360 View Post
    PAID REVIEWS
    No way! You mean the review on Gamespot we all knew was paid for... Was PAID FOR!?!?!?! Holy shit I need to sit down with this shocking revelation that Gamespot's K&L review was paid for, because it wasn't obvious or anything at the time and this is totally new information.

    Seriously PS360, again, it was blatantly obvious at the time. Every critic was bashing the shit out of that game and Gamespot comes in with an awesome score.

    Problem is you are applying this unilaterally (Classic logic error), the equivalent of saying "Well, this one guy punched this girl he was dating, therefore every guy punches girls they date!"

    Oh, and I like how you ignored the little thing at the bottom:

    Gerstmann also shared other such instances where his team at Gamespot was pressurized into producing a favorable review. He gave an example of how Sony threatened to pull advertisement money from the website if its action-platformer Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction received anything other than a near perfect score. Gamespot eventually gave it a 7.5.
    Gee, according to this guy Sony applied pressure to give the game a high score... And Gamespot still gave it an average score. Paid reviews? This is evidence of the exact opposite! Sony doesn't advertise on every website that lists on Metacritic either, no publisher does... And actually Gamespot gave ToD a score that was on the low end of its spread.

    And again, can you explain how this is so widespread? I ask you this every time you bring this up and you've yet to even offer an explanation I consider an actual human thought.

    How is it that these publishers get away with paying for EVERY REVIEW on EVERY MAJOR site? Yet maintain both the variance and variance of the variance across the entire library of games?

    How is it that all we get are these singular examples of one review on one site being as such? Where is the more subtle examples? Where is the examples of people coming out when its successful?

    For once I want someone who honestly believes in paid reviews to do just one thing for me, just a small thing and it should be really easy if you believe in what you post.

    Just please, explain to me how it works on such a wide-scale and include explanations on how its remained hidden on said scale and how we can account for the variance of review scores for each game and the variance of the variance across entire libraries.

    Thats all I want, explain these things in a way that holds up to reasonable critical thinking analysis (I'll even give you my rules) and I'll concede its possible. This should be easy and take you no time if you actually have logical and rational reasons for why you think this.
    Last edited by Gauss; 03-19-2012 at 09:07 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ant1th3s1s View Post
    At no point in that snippet does it explicitly state "Gamespot was paid for reviews", nor would this clown dare to say it. Even if it's true for Kane & Lynch...who fucking cares!?!? Five years is a long time, get over it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ps360 View Post
    Gerstmann also shared other such instances where his team at Gamespot was pressurized into producing a favorable review.
    He gave an example of how Sony threatened to pull advertisement money from the website if its action-platformer Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction received anything other than a near perfect score. Gamespot eventually gave it a 7.5.
    .
    COUGH.

    texttooshort

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps360 View Post
    the answer is yes
    Even though I didn't care for the 1st one's demo. The concept behind the game was good. And no, he was not the only person to like the game. So stop making smart ass and retarded comments.

    Lol, 1 paid review that was evident from the get go means all reviews are paid for according to Ps360. No one ever denied it happens, but as often as you point out. Provide the proof. Otherwise chill on your campaign with no evidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minarum View Post
    Lol, 1 paid review that was evident from the get go means all reviews are paid for according to Ps360. No one ever denied it happens, but as often as you point out. Provide the proof. Otherwise chill on your campaign with no evidence.
    I'm more then certain paid reviews are the norm amongst game journalism. Especially when a site is plastered in advertisements for that game...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxymoron28 View Post
    I'm more then certain paid reviews are the norm amongst game journalism. Especially when a site is plastered in advertisements for that game...
    Well what else are they going to advertise? Flesh lights, condoms, and facesexbook where they have a problem that 90% of the users are 18-28 year old women looking to hook up...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxymoron28 View Post
    COUGH.

    texttooshort
    Did you read more than the first sentence?

    You know the one where they say they were threatened but went ahead and posted an honest review anyway...

    Please:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gauss View Post
    Just please, explain to me how it works on such a wide-scale and include explanations on how its remained hidden on said scale and how we can account for the variance of review scores for each game and the variance of the variance across entire libraries.
    I'd appreciate it.

    I can't take paid review arguments seriously otherwise.
    Gauss's Piracy Uncertainty Principle: When you pirate a game, that act inherently changes the results of what is to come after your pirating. You can't make any statement with any certainty regarding what would have happened had you not pirated the game.


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    2-4: A just plain bad game.
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    7: An average game, should be played at some point
    8: A good game, should buy at some point
    9: A great game, day-one purchase
    10: A game that goes above and beyond the generation, its transcendent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BennysGoHome View Post
    Who pays for a website exactly?
    The companies who pay for advertising space make up a chunk of it....like the developer/publisher of any given game you see plastered in every corner of a site. Some companies also pay for articles to be written to generate good buzz. Then you have your ppc and commission ads. Last, but not least, some sites maintain and profit from user donations and/or premium service.

    If Company A is paying me to put up a banner ad on my site and one of my staff does something they don't like and they threaten to withdraw, I'm going to either address the article or can the employee. The traffic will still flow to the site regardless, and it's easier to replace a writer than to replace a sponsor.

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    Took him 5 years to confirm this? Must be a slow day for gaming news if this is all Ps360 has.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Denaratuck View Post
    Well what else are they going to advertise? Flesh lights, condoms, and facesexbook where they have a problem that 90% of the users are 18-28 year old women looking to hook up...
    Exactly. Why is it so crazy that a video game website would have ads for video games? I mean really? That argument needs to be put to bed.


    Everybody likes to point fingers when it's a positive review, but then seem to turn a blind eye when it's a negative one. Surely I'm not the only person who noticed the Silent Hill Downpour ads while reading a 4.5/10 review, right? This morning when I first went to IGN I got that "Click here to continue ad" and you know what game it was for? Ninja Gaiden III, which today also recieved a dreaded 3.0/10. Hell even when Naughty Bear was given a 2.5, IGN was covered in ads for the game. It happens all the time. There is no conspiracy. It is simply marketing towards a demographic.

    Mass Effect 3 was one of the most anticipated games of the year and it has the full marketing budget of EA backing it up. Do these "paid reviews extremists" really expect EA not to pay for ad space on the world's most popular VIDEO GAME webiste for their juggernaut VIDEO GAME sequel when it launched in the US on March 6?

    Don't be ridiculous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnKoala View Post
    Exactly. Why is it so crazy that a video game website would have ads for video games? I mean really? That argument needs to be put to bed.


    Everybody likes to point fingers when it's a positive review, but then seem to turn a blind eye when it's a negative one. Surely I'm not the only person who noticed the Silent Hill Downpour ads while reading a 4.5/10 review, right? This morning when I first went to IGN I got that "Click here to continue ad" and you know what game it was for? Ninja Gaiden III, which today also recieved a dreaded 3.0/10. Hell even when Naughty Bear was given a 2.5, IGN was covered in ads for the game. It happens all the time. There is no conspiracy. It is simply marketing towards a demographic.

    Mass Effect 3 was one of the most anticipated games of the year and it has the full marketing budget of EA backing it up. Do these "paid reviews extremists" really expect EA not to pay for ad space on the world's most popular VIDEO GAME webiste for their juggernaut VIDEO GAME sequel when it launched in the US on March 6?

    Don't be ridiculous.

    Downpour doesn't deserve a 4.5. It's a 7.5 or 8 at best.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxymoron28 View Post
    I'm more then certain paid reviews are the norm amongst game journalism. Especially when a site is plastered in advertisements for that game...
    I don't doubt it, but do you have proof which is my argument. There is little to 0 proof with 100% speculation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxymoron28 View Post
    I'm more then certain paid reviews are the norm amongst game journalism. Especially when a site is plastered in advertisements for that game...
    It's no coincidence that advertisers pay to advertise their products to the very same people the advertising is targeting when a game is released...which also happens to be when game sites review them! For games, the online advertising component of their budgets goes to gaming sites with high traffic, Gamespot among them.

    The publisher of a triple-A title takes a gamble that the money they've invested into creating and marketing what they believe to be a high-quality product will be reflected in a decent review score. The exposure to millions of gamers and a good review to back it up can mean the difference between failure and success.

    That doesn't automatically mean the advertiser has influence over review scores and if they do exert pressure, it's up to the site to maintain its integrity, just as Gamespot did by rating R&C 7.5 and just as they do on a regular basis by marking harder than the other review sites.

    Gamespot fucked up big time once and it was blatantly obvious based on the reviews from other sites. This one incident has clearly damaged its credibility even five years after the fact, but that doesn't mean every review on every major gaming site is paid for. As Gauss said, your tarring every review and every reviewer with the same brush with zero evidence to back it up other than strawman conspiracy arguments.

    Anyone who lives in the real world, has a job, pays their bills and has a passing understanding of basic economics knows that game publishers do not have the kind of marketing resources available to have every major review site in their pocket. The suggestion is simply ludicrous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by One View Post
    This just confirmed what we already knew, but the real question is: Was I the only one who enjoyed Kane and Lynch: Dead Men?
    Nope, I enjoyed the first game a lot, I played it over again many times as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihalick View Post
    If Company A is paying me to put up a banner ad on my site and one of my staff does something they don't like and they threaten to withdraw, I'm going to either address the article or can the employee. The traffic will still flow to the site regardless, and it's easier to replace a writer than to replace a sponsor.
    And this is where I start saying please get yourself informed...

    Yes, there is a shit ton of ad revenue flowing in and around these sites, but (again) no one pub/dev/etc advertises on all the sites and no one pub/dev/etc has the pull to influence these things.

    What you are saying (in essence) is that Coors Light can influence the Super Bowl. That is so short-sighted.
    The problem with this logic is coming from two angles...

    1) The reality is that these sites (like many TV channels, journals, newspapers, etc) are pulling in traffic based on their name. Are you really telling me that Company A threatening to take a banner off of IGN or Gamespot or Joystiq is going to be enough for them to expose themselves to a PR credibility issue that could cause wholesale collapse of their site? (keep in mind too that things like the Kane and Lynch Fiasco actually did cause alot of traffic damage to Gamespot after the immediate news hit)

    Traffic is how they charge money for their ads... More traffic = more money.

    But lets even forget that for a second, lets say that it is a fixed cost regardless of the site... How much money would companies have to spend to get all these sites in their pockets?

    2) This still doesn't address the variance of reviews and the variance of that variance across the entire library of games.

    Not all companies advertise on all sites, yet when you look at metacritic overall there are very clear and clean distributions (which, btw, I've yet to find a game where it correlated to the advertising money spent) and that distribution doesn't maintain a clear shape over the course of an entire library.

    Meaning you have very nice statistical spreads, the type of spreads I'd expect given the general perception of review scoring as it is now in gaming. Remember, most sites seem to be targeting a statistical average of 7 and the trends reflect that.

    So my point is where is there evidence of the advertising revenue even correlating to scoring trends? Logic would dictate that Microsoft can't exert influence over a site it doesn't advertise on, yet statistically those sites don't have a high variance in review scores from the sites that Microsoft does advertise with (atleast with this generation's exclusives).

    Moreover, why is it that sites/magazines which obviously should be influenced by a single company within the context of your argument, such as Official Xbox Magazine, aren't consistently in the top in regards to scores for games their primary client publishes?
    Gauss's Piracy Uncertainty Principle: When you pirate a game, that act inherently changes the results of what is to come after your pirating. You can't make any statement with any certainty regarding what would have happened had you not pirated the game.


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    7: An average game, should be played at some point
    8: A good game, should buy at some point
    9: A great game, day-one purchase
    10: A game that goes above and beyond the generation, its transcendent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihalick View Post
    I'd fire a guy if he angered my paying clients as well. It's just good business.
    Unfortunately, you are right.
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    Now I know why the Halo's be getting those high scores.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gauss View Post

    What you are saying (in essence) is that Coors Light can influence the Super Bowl. That is so short-sighted.
    I had to stop reading after this line for a little facepalm. You shouldn't put words into other people's mouths, especially something that extreme in comparison. Trying to relate those two makes absolutely no sense. Talk about apples and oranges. I get that you're using "common sense" logic, and it seems pretty sound from the outside looking in. However, I think your views would change if you managed a few commercial sites and get a better firsthand view of things.

    Also, nobody said every review was paid for. Nobody can say which ones were definitely paid for, with small exception like this case where it's been revealed (assuming the story is true and correct). You're not supposed to know. Things are kept internal so that you, myself, and every person on this site never know. They can get away with it because it is kept quiet. It's not illegal. Is it questionable or immoral? Hell yes...but business is a dirty thing. If you want to be successful on a large scale, you can't be afraid of tromping through a few mud puddles. It could be on such a small level that you almost never see a review that was influenced by a sponsor. Or it could be so rampant that everything you read on a game is bullshit. We'll never know, and that's how it's supposed to be.

    I'm not going to use critical thinking analysis (did you really just link to wikipedia? lol). I'm going to speak from firsthand knowledge of similar sites, though non-gaming, that I've manged successfully for a few years, from dealing with corporate sponsors to web design/layout to advertising and sponsors, as well as SEO, promotion, and traffic management. It's what I do for a living.

    Will you lose some traffic over the discovery of paid reviews and the firing of an employee who put up an honest opinion that angered the site/sponsor? I'd imagine, yes. Will it be enough to put a dent in your traffic that you would have to drop a set monthly rate for advertising, or available traffic for ppc? No. Traffic is theoretically a renewable resource. It's ever growing and you bring in more people every day. If your site is set up properly, you'll regenerate any lost traffic without any effort. It's harder to find a paying advertiser/sponsor.

    When you're dealing with a large scale website, one of the first things you learn is that "people are stupid". The collective public is dumb and uninformed. The majority of traffic is made up from John Q. Publics who don't have a clue as to what goes on behind the scenes and never see a single headline about what happens inside your company's walls. The ever growing popularity of online communities such as this has slowly informed more people, but not to the extent that it really changes anything in the big picture. They show up, they only get their information from said said, they leave and buy accordingly.

    Speaking for myself as a casual user of Gamespot, IGN, etc., I'm just there for screenshots, videos, and informative text. I don't pay any attention to the reviews. I'm sure there are some other users out there like me. I don't really care if somebody is getting paid to tell me Portal 2 is a gift from god, if they fell into the hype machine to say that, or if it's their honest opinion. I just want to see some pictures and a little basic fact on the game. With some forms of advertising, I am no more valuable that the traffic there to read reviews.

    Let's not forget that some sites receive some perks from developers/publishers aside from advertising, such as early access to games and information. If Sony says "we need you to do this", it's going to be considered so that when a new Uncharted is in the works, the site still gets access to key personnel for interviews, early access screenshots, videos, and alpha/beta/early release game copies. Those in charge of making the decisions at the company have to weight their options of if they want to pass the word along to the guy writing an article. Sometimes, it's worth guiding the story. Sometimes, it is not.

    Also, don't always put stock in the sites that give a "user review". Many companies employ people to write ghost reviews. I can't say if any of the game review sites have employees that enter user ratings to bring up a collective score to better match or exceed their official review, or if any developer/publisher employs people to do the same, but it is most certainly possible and employed every day at a number of large companies in numerous fields of business.
    Last edited by Mihalick; 03-20-2012 at 06:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxymoron28 View Post
    I don't know why people put so much faith in to a review...
    Reviews are just opinions by people who get paid to tell others what they think. It's like paid endorsements; you should take them with grain of salt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coug View Post
    Reviews are just opinions by people who get paid to tell others what they think. It's like paid endorsements; you should take them with grain of salt.
    yes, but tell that to the people that live by it. Can't tell you the amount of times we hear that someone won't play a game because it got bad reviews.
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