Today it came to light that a Gamespot reviewer, Jeff Gerstmann was fired because of a 6.0 review given to Eidos' Kane and Lynch game. See Eidos is paying Gamespot to plaster the site with Kane and Lynch advertising and they weren't too happy to see such a crappy review score.
So the rumor is that Gamespot fired Jeff because the advertisers were threatening to pull their advertising money and go throw it at some other site pussy whipped site. Another example of journalist integrity going to the highest bidder.
I admit that free videogames, swag and a job that pays you to play videogame sounds sweet and I would probably cut off a limb to get a job like that, but reviewing games based on how happy you want to make the company that produced it because they gave you some free hookers and some blow is not how games should be reviewed.
When I review a game I do my best to review a game with an honest opinion. I'll tell you if I like it, if it sucks or if I'm too dumb to figure the bloody game out. I would hope that a game company would want honest reviews, so that if the game does suck, they can improve upon it. All game reviewers' opinions aside, most gamer still buy games based on playing demos, renting it first or asking their friends. Demos can lie, but friends and rentals don't.
Plus sucky games don't add up to mass sales. They just end up in the sea of the bargain bin at EB Games and Walmart or in the vast regions of eBay listed for $0.99. I've bought crappy games before based on good reviews and have been pissed in the end. Funny thing was that review was on Gamespot. Bastards!!!!
Worst of all, I would never want to tell someone to buy a game based on the fact I don't want to lose the game maker's love, money and freebies, to only have them waste their time and money on a terrible game. How can I review games if I don't have a legion of adoring fans to read my reviews? I won't if I steer them wrong.
So for all gaming journalists out there ... don't drink the kool-aid. You won't like where it takes you.
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