More Reviews
REVIEWS Slender: The Arrival Review
Few games can offer genuine scares in the horror genre. Can Slender: The Arrival prove otherwise and it can offer more?

Pillars of Eternity Review
Obsidian Entertainment creates a retro Infinity Engine RPG funded by Kickstarter. Is it as good as previous Infinity Engine games, or does the novelty quickly wear off?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Dirty Bomb Preview
Looking for a more competitive, challenging online FPS multiplayer game? Splash Damage is introducing just that by dropping a Dirty Bomb on the free-to-play game market.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones
Release date: 04/01/15

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
Release date: 04/07/15


LATEST FEATURES 6 Helpful Tips for Pillars of Eternity
Simply put, Pillars of Eternity can become maddening if players aren't careful.

Top 10 Active Video Game Kickstarter Campaigns
There are lots of indie projects going on right now, so we did the dirty work for you and found the best.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Top 50 Pokémon of All Time
Can you believe there are now six generations of Pokémon? Six!! That's a crazy amount of different creatures to collect. But which are the cream of the crop? Don't worry, Magikarp isn't actually one of them.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137
The perils of the Hype Train…
By shandog137
Posted on 03/09/15
The recent release of Evolve and The Order 1886 really got me to thinking about the disparity between the perspective of sales-driven publishers and the quality-driven purchases of consumers. The “Hype Train” is nothing new, but the way it is utilized has been creating far more...

MEMBER BLOG

Nick_Tan Nick_Tan's Blog
PROFILE
Average Blog Rating:
[ Back to All Posts ]
Jeff Gerstmann, As A Fellow Critic
Posted on Friday, November 30 2007 @ 17:21:11 Eastern

Let me confirm that the rumors are all true. Jeff Gerstmann, senior editor for GameSpot, got fired, and his review for Kane & Lynch was indeed singled-out during his meeting with upper management. A credible person who shall remain anonymous has notified us that this is all fact. But truly, this is not really something you joke about. Besides, how did Penny Arcade get to it so quickly. Why do think the comic is so accurate, so honest, so painfully true?

I respect Jeff Gerstmann. Always have and always will. Sure, I may disagree with the styling of his (or GameSpot's) reviews or his arguments, though I am one of the few that agrees with the 8.8 on Twilight Princess. But I never questioned his ability and integrity as a game critic. Jeff Gerstmann was true to himself, and that's all you can ask for.

His rather swift, unclean departure has been unnerving and only more so because I am a professional game critic myself. I would sit in my room, with its minimalist surroundings, and ponder about where I could be in the next ten years. Will I stay at GameRevolution or will I "move on" to something bigger and brighter? How big and bright could that be? I seriously considered GameSpot, because hey, I'm an oldie here. Being Level 39 on GameSpot is an age, not a rank.

But now I find myself caught between the dim and thin line between business and objectivity, the two things that make a game site work. We all know that editorial reviews and pressure from advertisements should never mix. We know that this is ideal, but game criticism runs on ideals. I mean, have you seen our paychecks? It sure ain't running on that.

What's missing from the discussion is pressure from publishers and developers. Since I have been at GameRevolution, there is always seems to be one particular PR person who is irritated with us, whether it's how Metacritic or GameRankings converts our letter grades to numerical ones, why there is no coverage for such and such, and why I gave Rock Band a B+.

And this trend has been escalating. According to Duke Ferris, my boss, publishers are inching ever closer to breaking that line between professionalism and just being plain obnoxious. Since until a month ago, it was a rare that any PR person would call us up over a grade, but something about these last six months (maybe holiday season or global warming or the rise in pirates) has made some publishers all uppity in their pants-ity. If you have all this time to call us for a grade that you think is unfair, why not ask the developers to just make a better game. Sure, free swag, free drinks, free dinners, and free trips are nice and all, but don't think for one second that I'm not going to bash your game if it deserves it. Don't give something we didn't ask for and expect critics to like you. We don't bark and we don't roll over.

This just makes it all the more surprising that this spiel with Eidos was the last nail in the coffin. I mean, Eidos? Really? I could understand if it was a major player like THQ, Nintendo, Capcom, or someone worth mentioning - but why a company whose most recent successful title was an anniversary of a long-since defunct boobed archaeologist? How much could Eidos really have spent on a Kane & Lynch advertisement compared to one for Final Fantasy XII or Rock Band or Call of Duty 4 or Bowflex?

Look, Kane & Lynch has about an average of 67 or soon GameRankings. It ain't good. And you, Eidos, know it ain't good. So please keep your public relations in line with your private opinions of the game. I know it's your job to be fake every once in a while, but I'm sure creating negative publicity isn't in your job description, either.

However, as much as I understand why Jeff got fired, it should never have happened. Go ahead and fire him if he's lazy, doesn't hand in reviews on time, or farts in closed spaces, but don't fire him for doing his job - the job he's been doing for about a third of his life.

Are critics supposed to be puppets from publishers now? Are we supposed to be tools for advertisers? Are we supposed to not have feelings like being mean or, I don't know, being critical? Are we not allowed to express feelings in a review? Should we just take the fact sheet and reprint it, and call it a review? Are we supposed to plaster on a smile and sugar-powder everything with five gold-star stickers and write a review in crayon?

No one likes a suck-up. Or a game site called SuckSpot. That's a name for a site that blows.

comments powered by Disqus

 
More On GameRevolution