November 30, 2007
Fallout from the "Gerstmann Incident" Continues
Wow, in just the last 12 hours a lot has developed over the "Gerstmann incident". Lets see ... Gerstmann confirmed to Joystiq that the firing did happen, the Kane & Lynch ads that blanketed Gamespot's front page are no longer being shown, Gerstmann's video review of the game has been removed from Gamespot, Gamespot's forums have exploded with posts talking about the incident (with one thread having over a thousand posts), the Eidos forums were temporarily shut down, and it's not even noon yet!
And the strange part of this ordeal is that now I'm quite curious about Kane & Lynch, a game I couldn't have cared less about just a mere 12 hours ago. I definitely want to give this game a try now. Remember kids, there is no such thing as bad publicity.
I have a feeling that this is one of those stories we are going to be talking for a very long time and will have quite an impact within the industry and review scores, true or not. Hopefully it will all be for the best, reviews might actually start to accurately depict the game quality and not the advertising budget, and in the long run and Jeff Gerstmann will find a new job (I have a feeling he'll have no trouble finding one).
By the way, this is the video review which was the main culprit to Gerstmann's firing. According to the rumor it wasn't just the fact that he gave the game a 6.0 out of 10 but rather the "tone" of the review. I have to say that for a review of 6.0, which is supposed to represent a "fair" game, Gerstmann's review is quite negative. You be the judge:
Posted by Gaming Steve at 11:30 AM
| Comments (17)
| Posted to Culture
I personally didn't like the game on the PC because it's a straight port from console and I generally don't think much of console third person shooters compared to PC FPS' anyway.
This guy does seem to have it in for the game though and his negativity about the game does seem completely one sided, he doesn't even pick out any good points whatsoever.
I quite liked some of the missions, especially early on when you have to enter and leave a packed nightclub, it was very well designed and had a great atmosphere to it. There were a couple of other original and well designed missions also.
So for me it's definitley a sub standard PC 3rd person shooter when compared tot he current fps PC games like Crysis and the multiplatform COD4.
Also the irony of this guy calling the game ugly and lazy is strong :)
I heard someone suggested that he knew he was going before he recorded that review and spiced it up because of that, which would make sense when you watch the video with that in mind, but the 'facts' don't suggest that's the case so who knows. I agree that it's a very negative review, but I don't feel his criticisms are invalid. And it doesn't matter! He has a right to bash a game as a reviewer. If he gives really good games really bad scores it's up to the site to remove him, publishers should have nothing to do with it whatsoever.
What's next? Competing publishers demanding low scores for rivaling games?
Well it's amazingly obvious that he was not fired because of this review. Something else was going on, anyone can see that.
Well, I'm ruling out the possibility he slept with the boss's wife. :P
I think its probably more likely that this simply isn't the first incident of him giving a game an 'unexpected' review that didn't match the expectations of the big publishers paying Gamespot's bills.
maybe if they made a quality game, eidos wouldn't have to worry about a negative review. so you budget a bad game, your a big corp, get over it.
it's not worth getting a writer fired. 'cause firing a writer over a review is bad for the game's image, bad for the production company's image, and bad for the editorial's image. the only person who pulls away with a good image from this scandal is the writer himself. he's now seen as a martyr, a joe given the bad rap. sure, he comes off negative in this video, but he uses game play footage to proove his point. the game looks like crap, looks over-the-top offensive, and really who wants to play a character they don't edify with? i say the review was fair.
A reviewer's primary objective is to remain neutral in the whole process of reviewing a game, and Gerstmann failed to do this.
He clearly wasn't fired for going on a hunger strike.
Personally, I had it with alot of review sites. Alot of them are clearly biased (A PS3 game reviewed by originally a XBox orientating site = unbalanced views)
Now, if alot of review where like this (And they were http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps3/kaneandlynchdeadmen?q=Kane ) then he is wrongfully fired. But I do not think he was fired because of this alone.
here's a supposed insider version:
Still we seem to be in a world where games are at the very least rated on a scale of 5 to 10.
Yes, there was something else going on. Thats why this guy's face was all over the website, his music was featured all over it, he hosted their Web TV show and co-hosted their Podcast, had his own vidcast, and headlined most of their top-tier game reviews. Because that's the kind of treatment you give to a guy who's got "something going on."
IF THIS IS TRUE, it sucks for Gerstmann, but like Steve said, I'm sure he'll have no trouble finding another job. I'm hoping this leads to an open revolt against tactics like this, I look to reviewers for guidance on what to buy, not to be tricked by lies.
The thing about Jeff's review is that it's largely no different (score-wise) then the other reviews for the game. The metacritic review is, at best, a 69. If Jeff had given the game a 2.0 or something, there might be an issue of reviewer bias, but his score was in the norm for the game.
He was proabbly told to give it a good review before going in, and didnt like the idea so he did this. So they fired him. I sure havent seen may exclusive reviews with low scores.
Honestly, I think most if not all game journalists are unprofessional. They act more like 14 years old kids then professional adults.
I do believe that Eidos has nothing to do with this. They knew all the reviews score on the game. What I think they had an issue was Gerstmann's video of the game. What probably happened was Eidos log a complaint about the video then pulled their ads out of Gamespot. Nothing wrong with that. Happens all the time and I would do the same thing.
Gamespot/CNet management then decided to fire Gerstmann for unprofessionalism. The Gamespot reviewers fought back with rumors. The victim in this matter is not Gerstmann, it is Eidos. Now you got a company that is destroy by unethical rumors by Gamespot staffs. If I am running Eidos I would sue Gamespot/Cnet and the person that started this rumor.
I just love it!
Biased game reviews are a standard nowadays, I feel deceived and treated like a milk cow whenever I stumble across them. Fortunately, there still are some trustworthy reviewers out there (Steve is one of them, IMHO). And perhaps, as the gaming culture grows and gets a bit more mature, all these unethical reviews will be easier to identify. (...because they will always be out there...)
I spell Eidos wrong like that all the time. Edios sounds better but Eidos looks better.
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