January 5, 2008
Gerstmann-Gate Isn't Over Yet: GameSpot Writer Quits Over the Debacle
While GameSpot and Eidos all wish we would just forget, the impact of Jeff Gerstmann's "complicated" firing still lingers over the industry. The latest development of the debacle is Frank Provo's departure from GameSpot. A freelance writer with over 7 years at Gamespot and who wrote 751 reviews, his reasons for departure can hardly be called respectful. From Provo's Gamespot blog:
"I believe CNet management let Jeff go for all the wrong reasons. I believe CNet intends to soften the site's tone and push for higher scores to make advertisers happy.
All I can say is ouch. With only unconfirmed rumors that Gerstmann's firing from GamesSot was the result of advertisement pressure over his unflattering Kane & Lynch review, this will only deal another blow to GameSpot's reputation. Provo also directly targeted the management of GameSpot and CNet in order to defend his fellow writers at GameSpot by saying, "The GameSpot staff did not fire Jeff. The GameSpot staff are NOT corrupt. GameSpot itself is NOT the problem. CNet is. CNet's management is."
The video game journalism industry, like any industry that reviews and covers a medium, has only its reputation to rely on. Review readers rely on the integrity and taste of the reviewer, and if you feel you can't trust them, you won't read their reviews. I can easily see why the writers at GameSpot would want to leave, because whether or not Gerstmann was fired for his review GameSpot can not be a pleasant place to work these days.