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View Full Version : Gamespot Editor Fired Over Kane & Lynch Review


Pliskin
11-29-2007, 11:01 PM
From Kotaku (http://kotaku.com/gaming/rumor/gamespot-editor-fired-over-kane--lynch-review-328244.php)

We've heard an unsettling rumor today from an anonymous tipster that longtime game reviewer Jeff Gerstmann from Gamespot has been let go. That wouldn't necessarily be newsworthy, but the conditions under which he was allegedly dismissed were. According to the source, Gerstmann was fired "on the spot" due to advertiser pressure for his review of Eidos' Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. A visit to Gamespot shows that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game has taken over the site very prominently, with backgrounds and multiple banner ads all pitching Kane & Lynch. Allegedly, publisher Eidos "took issue with the review and threatened to pull its ad campaign."

Jeff's review was certainly less than glowing. He assigned the game a 6.0, otherwise known as "Fair" on the Gamespot scale. The game is currently enjoying a Metacritic score in the 65 to 69 range, which the site describes as "mixed or average reviews." According to our tipster, it wasn't necessarily the score that was reason for Gerstmann's rumored axing, but the "tone" of the review.

Gerstmann has been no stranger to controversial reviews, as his scores of 10 for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and 8.8 for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess had sensitive internet users up in arms. It's now possible that many bitter fanboys may have had their wishes for his firing granted.

As our tipster points out, if the rumor is true, it could point to a distressing precedent at Gamespot and parent company CNet. "As writers of what is supposed to be objective content, this is our worst nightmare coming to life," wrote the tipster.

Our efforts to confirm the story with Gamespot hasn't proved successful. Our current requests with PR, Gerstmann and other CNet contacts have either gone unanswered or yielded a "no comment."

Penny Arcade (http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic)

This is HUGE! Who knows what other gaming sites are just as guilty, but we haven't heard about it.

Simmaria
11-30-2007, 02:38 AM
the guy was kinda a dickhead anyways and got what he had coming to him.however, if this is true then its a sad day for journalism, assuming these conditions of termination are correct then its just simply wrong. it could be that they were waiting for the right moment to basically fire him over pissing someone off.

4ng31
11-30-2007, 03:36 AM
the guy was kinda a dickhead anyways and got what he had coming to him.however, if this is true then its a sad day for journalism, assuming these conditions of termination are correct then its just simply wrong. it could be that they were waiting for the right moment to basically fire him over pissing someone off.

Um, if you think all reviews are "honest", you're horribly wrong...

Do you read "Game Informer"...I used to, until I realized how much money EA dumps into it's "review" scores...and that fact it's the country's number 1 gaming magazine thanks to the ever so graceful Gamestop marketing machine.

This is nothing new...and while it pains me to say it, it doesn't surprise me one bit.

TR Rose
11-30-2007, 06:53 AM
Which is why you need to make your own judgements about games, movies, what have you rather than blindly following what the reviewers say. I've been very disappointed by things that reviewers raved over.

You always have to wonder who's really pulling the strings - and who has the most green money to dump into inflating their product's scores.

Leishu
11-30-2007, 08:04 AM
Which is why you need to make your own judgements about games, movies, what have you rather than blindly following what the reviewers say. I've been very disappointed by things that reviewers raved over.

You always have to wonder who's really pulling the strings - and who has the most green money to dump into inflating their product's scores.

Basically, this. If there's a syndicated game magazine that doesn't participate in this practice, I'd be very surprised.

Mesoian
11-30-2007, 10:56 AM
I'm actually surprised this didn't happen earlier.

Over the past 4 years or so Gerstmann has been responsible for the huge rise or drop in averaged scores for certain very high profile games, giving subpar games tremendously high scores, or GOTY candidates rather low scores (not terribly low, but...fairly low).

He's the one responsible for the 8.8 meme.

Pliskin
11-30-2007, 11:30 AM
I'm actually surprised this didn't happen earlier.

Over the past 4 years or so Gerstmann has been responsible for the huge rise or drop in averaged scores for certain very high profile games, giving subpar games tremendously high scores, or GOTY candidates rather low scores (not terribly low, but...fairly low).

He's the one responsible for the 8.8 meme.

Which, is ironic, since 8.8 was probably the most dead-on score for that game. (Lets face it, TP just wasn't much more than a rehash) He gave MGS1 an 8.5 as I recall, but I'm not celebrating like some of the Zelda fanboys are in other forums.

TybaltFlux
11-30-2007, 11:45 AM
Which is why you need to make your own judgements about games, movies, what have you rather than blindly following what the reviewers say. I've been very disappointed by things that reviewers raved over.

You always have to wonder who's really pulling the strings - and who has the most green money to dump into inflating their product's scores.

Truth on both accounts. Payola and subjectivity aren't good factors to aid you in determining where to spend $30-$60.

I'm sure there's more to the story than meets the eye. Gerstmann's overall score was probably the determining factor, if the story is accurate, but there's probably something really repugnant that GS can point in order to excuse themselves from doing something journalistically uncalled for. I.E., the dude probably badmouthed Eidos or used offensive language, and although the score was the last straw, the media spin will put on the first things in order to take some steam off GS.

Otherwise, it just seems really dumb to fire a guy whose job was to "tell the truth" and not expect foresee things like this happening.

Skyline Kyo
11-30-2007, 11:47 AM
So someone got fired for giving his opinion and review into a game? That sounds pretty stupid.

Mesoian
11-30-2007, 12:02 PM
Hey, if mcdonalds is responsible for handling your payroll, you better not go on television and say that mcdonalds' sucks.

I think the real problem here is that the score seems genuine. K&L has a 6.8 average score (between the 3 platforms), and all other reviews seem to speak of the same issues that Gerstmann says in his review.

He does have some weird reviews under his belt. THPS3 was not a 10/10 game no matter which way you look at it. Twilight Pricess's score may have been too low (I would have given it a 9, or a 9.1 simply because it's still good, but it's the same formula we've been given over and over again). But whether or not we agree with it doesn't really matter. As the assassins creed issue on penny arcade illustrates, you have to make your own opinions about the games you play (I hated AC, others here loved it. The official reviewers seemed to love it as well. I liked Naruto: Rise of a Ninja, reviewers hated that one. ::Shrugs:: It's up to you to make your decisions).

Furthermore, I'm FUCKING SHOCKED that gamespot isn't trying to throw some positive spin on this, because this creates a huge cannonball sized hole in the side of their creditability. If they let this fester, they're going to lose a lot of fanbase (though since it's not a paper publication, probably not a lot of money).

Pliskin
11-30-2007, 12:13 PM
Apparently, Eidos was putting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of advertising into this. When the review came out, they threatened to pull even more money from future advertising. CNET flinched, and fired Jeff.

The problem here is that we're never going to have any semblance of neutrality in games journalism when the companies whose games they're supposed to be reviewing are the ones paying to run the site in the first place.

Everyone pretty much knew this already, and we all expected it was responsible for fudging of some scores, but not much this blatant has happened until now.

CliffnCain
11-30-2007, 05:33 PM
This doesn't affect me since I barely bother listen to reviews since I rather try out the game first to see if I like it or not. I never liked Hitman (found the game to be insanely boring) and if K&L is similiar to Hitman then im pretty sure I won't like that either. It's kinda obvioius when certain games are paid off if you really read what some reviewers put in there reviews.

Bloodsin
12-01-2007, 04:13 AM
K and L was worse than hitman

Mesoian
12-01-2007, 06:28 PM
Seems like other people are leaving Gamespot now over this as well. Could the writer's strike extend beyond the hollywood aspect and urge a few more people to leave their positions?

Quantum9
12-02-2007, 12:26 AM
Working as a games reviewer myself (our site is fully independent, however), I can't be surprised that this happened. Sites get money from games they promote, and then review as such. As much as I disagreed with Jeff (I'd give Zelda a 9.5, but it's probably the raging Zelda fanboy inside of me), I did give him credit for standing up for his own beliefs and rating games as such.

Then again, I never liked Gamespot much anyway. I've always been more of an IGN guy. I find Gamespot to be more techwhores and 1up to be more aloof jackasses that think they are better than you.