Home Gaming Who’s paid who in the IGN and 2K deal?

Who’s paid who in the IGN and 2K deal?

2 min read

You've been warned

If you hadn’t heard yet it has been revealed that IGN has been given the exclusive rights to release their Bioshock Infinite review first,  before the rest of us sorry folks get to release ours.

The thing is I can’t see any benefit to 2K games here, it’s not like less people would read about their game if everyone dropped their reviews at once. In fact more people would actually get to read about it so why give one place an exclusivity?

What if IGN gives the game 3/10, the only review on the market and it states your game sucks? That’s a sure-fire way to lose millions in sales. So it’s only logical to assume that 2K know that IGN are going to give their game a great review.

Feeling uneasy yet?

Now you could say that 2K are so confident in their game that they know it won’t score badly but then we go back to the main point, why take the risk? Why not let everyone post their reviews at once? Maybe it’s reverse money hat this time though, maybe IGN has paid 2K games for the exclusive rights to release the review first. Maybe moving forward we will see more and more big media companies paying developers to get their stories….

So, feeling uneasy yet?

Exclusive news stories are one thing and publishers have long given little stories to sites to help market the hype around their game but I see that as a very different thing to a worldwide review exclusive. I for one will not believe a single word in the IGN review until it is confirmed by the army of respected critics around the world and this little episode has definitely left a bad taste in my mouth.

Geoff has had some hands on time with the title and he absolutely loved it but there are may titles in history where the previews were excellent and the final game left a lot to be desired. All of these games had warning signs before such as no reviews before launch day and the like.

I can’t see Bioshock: Infinite turning out to be a bad title but I’m personally waiting to see what the reviews state before parting with my cash. And I’m definitely not jumping in based on what IGN’s exclusivity deal ends up saying. It’s a bad move from 2K and hopefully they won’t do it again.

Last Updated: March 20, 2013


  1. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    March 20, 2013 at 09:47

    Stuff like this just makes me uneasy. I think while I’m still planning on getting the next Bioshock game, I’ll wait for other reviews to trickle in. This whole 2K/IGN saga is just too seedy for my good.


  2. Sir Captain Rincethis

    March 20, 2013 at 10:08

    Sorry, what? Bit confused here, 2K would be allowed to BUY the rights to a review? I see that leading to huge issues down the line for smaller gaming sites. Smells very fishy to me… And I agree, I for one will NOT be reading their article. Gavin, this is on good authority?


  3. Slade Boender

    March 20, 2013 at 10:16

    Monopolising the reviewers? Gaming is truly becoming the next corporate scandal platform, and how..
    Cant see the point of it either, more rounded/amount of reviews of a single game is as much as makes no difference great publicity. I get exclusivity, but not for a review. Its a shame. Still pre-ordering it though -> free XCOM ftw


  4. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    March 20, 2013 at 10:35

    This does not bode well… I sense a disturbance in the force


    • Admiral Chief Erwin

      March 20, 2013 at 11:03

      You sense my Active Directory that is stuffed


  5. Gustav Willem Diedericks

    March 20, 2013 at 10:46

    I hate IGN. Never liked their style with reviews and their pathetic video system. Always preferred GameSpy before they went belly-up.


    • PsiCoRe

      March 20, 2013 at 11:21

      I loved Gamespy arcade. I wish a unified social and server browser client still existed.


      • PsiCoRe

        March 20, 2013 at 14:23

        Someone obviously doesn’t share our sentimental memories of Gamespy Arcade. *sigh* The good ol days before game developers started shoving their politics and business models down our throats.


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      March 20, 2013 at 12:19

      You can’t spell IGNORANT, without IGN! Absolutely hate that site, and I never trust their reviews. Having said that Polygon is going down the same path. Reviews for cash!


  6. Scoobaz

    March 20, 2013 at 11:23

    “Please pay $10 for access to the review”


  7. Purple_Dragon

    March 20, 2013 at 13:13

    IGN are such whores. I bet you R100 that they will give Bioshock a 10 rating.

    What’s even worse with IGN is they keep having “review in progress” bullshit. They will do anything to get clicks. Click click.


  8. Tauriq Moosa

    March 20, 2013 at 14:05

    Good points, Gavin. John Walker from Rock, Paper, Shotgun was similar things on Twitter.

    If they get a crap score, 2K lose out. If they get a high score, 2K still lose out. In the former case, it makes some customers more sceptical and less eager to buy (pre-orders lessen). In the latter, more of us are sceptical, as we already are, of why they needed to do this for a highly anticipated game at all.

    There is no advantage for IGN, either, since they get some more hits, but ultimately I doubt significantly more than they would’ve gotten if they released the review at the same time as everyone else. (We are talking about IGN: they’re not exactly starved for viewership. But then they don’t have mine or many who read LG because they’re not very good. They’re just very and often populated with content.)

    There is so little to like or approve of in game journalism that it’s a wonder you can build thoughtful, non-reactive communities like LG at all.


  9. JihaadPienaar

    March 20, 2013 at 15:05

    So how long after IGN releases their review is everyone else allowed to release theirs?


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      March 21, 2013 at 04:46

      30 days! hehehe


  10. Tony

    March 20, 2013 at 17:55

    Why are we assuming that something shady is going on? A bunch of skeptics. 2K has probably already seen the reviews, considering the quotes from the TV Ad. IGN probably said, “here’s out review, can we post it first (for more clicks)?”

    And thats it. The reviewer is Ryan McCaffrey, who is a great editor for the site. Since I know him as a editor, I trust him. Don’t just blindly hate the entire site if you know nothing about the individual people.


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      March 21, 2013 at 04:34

      I agree with you somewhat, and I’ll concede that IGN is not a homogeneous blob of consciousness, but rather an organisation made up of individuals: some exceptional, some dismally average and others merely there for a meal ticket.

      However, as a whole, IGN has made some very seedy editorial calls in the past, and their editorial history is one that would leave mainstream news agencies shuddering. I’m a strong believer in a Games/Industry media that is fundamentally independent, where reviews should never be influenced by advertisements, or when editors never put the financial needs of their publications over that of its readers.

      That is something that nixes a website’s credibility in my eyes. The fact that IGN has been on the take for years is something none of us can deny (it’s no longer an industry secret), and thus their credibility as a trustworthy source for objective news, reviews or commentary is definitely lessened.


      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        March 21, 2013 at 04:39

        I’ll also add, that the 2k deal isn’t the only one, IGN has also partnered up with EA to have exclusive first rights to review Battlefield 4. And the big question is really, is IGN paying for exclusivity, or have they forgotten that they’re part of the media, rather than a marketing/PR firm (which I’ve been arguing that they are for years)


  11. DarthZA

    March 22, 2013 at 08:46

    For the first time I completely misunderstand where you’re coming from. Gaming journalism is finally growing up. Look at fasion, lifestyle, travel, car and celebrity journalism, and people are constantly buying timed exclusive rights to stories. IGN are paying 2K money to ensure that their site sees lots of traffic and generate awareness and more income. Nothing fishy here, just a good sign that our hobby is growing up.


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