Public Relations Bull**** affecting game reviews

1 min read


Stephen Totilo posted a short piece about communications between game companies and game reviewers on his MTV blog today.

Now what this is, is an example of the kind of crap that goes on in the industry every single day. What happened is that Totilo was interviewing Alex Navarro, formerly of Gamespot. When the topic was being spoken of, Alex produced a piece of paper, which was a note from an unnamed PR person who was involved in a particular Wii launch game.

When Navarro asked when he could release the game review, he was told the following:

“If the review is 9.0 or higher you can post immediately. Lower than 9.0, could you please hold until launch day, November 19th? Thanks.”

Scenarios like this basically destroy the entire concept of game reviews. What is the use of a review if it’s sole purpose is to let most people know that have already bought a game that it is a pile of guano.

We can only hope that something will be done in future to protect reviewers from having to deal with issues like this.

source: MTV multiplayer blog via Kotaku

Last Updated: May 28, 2008

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since ’08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

  • Banana hammock

    The reviewing industry is rubbish, people love to say that they go with metacritic as it’s a combination of big sites but if those sites are corrupt to begin with then metacritic’s scores are corrupt as well. Give me a break i mean 10/10 for GTA4, HALO3 etc. These games are not 10/10.

    The problem is that the smaller sites that don’t have these publisher pressures are too mickey mouse most of the time to give an honest review, most just follow what the big boys say because that’s safer.

  • I don’t read reviews anymore, I use word of mouth and local gaming forums to decide on my next game purchase.

    larch’s last blog post..How not to get hooked by a flamebait

  • SlippyMadFrog

    Maybe some of the big sites are corrupt but when there are +- 70 sites reviewing the game, you can expect the average to be more or less reflective of the quality of the game since a publisher can’t buy off the whole industry of reviewers. GTA IV and Halo 3, although you don’t think so, are great games and deserve the average they have.
    Lets look at Haze. Haze is a bad game but some site give it a 9 or an 8 (can’t remember which ones) which may be corruption but the average on metacritic is reflective of the quality of the game. So I’m happy to judge a game by their average.

  • Miktar

    I’ve always written my reviews as if they are word of mouth.

  • Funny, I’ll give a 9 the benefit of a doubt, they’re at least admitting some flaws. And even though I think it is acceptable to award a 10 in certain circumstances, the way 10’s are being awarded they’ve officially come to mean:

    “It’s totally over hyped and doesn’t completely suck, but I couldn’t be bothered to think”

    doobiwan’s last blog post..The Games that made the consoles

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