Timely. Apparently, Gamespot’s editor has been fired ostensibly over a negative review of Eidos’ Kane & Lynch. This dovetails nicely with yesterday’s post on why you can’t trust reviewers or the major game review sites. Is this enough evidence for you to throw the validity of IGN/Gamespot/1up/GameInformer/etc. into question? How can you trust a game review from any of these places?
Now, I’m not entirely on Gerstmann’s side. A look at his contributions shows 1048 reviews since 1996. If you do the math, it is 1048 reviews over 4014 days or a period of 3.83 days between reviews without rest for ten years. How much depth could he possibly be gleaning from his products? He is like the fortune teller machine at the carnival that prints you out a fortune when you put a quarter in. I guess it can be informative if you hold it up to the light just so. Gerstmann was part of this reviewer/publisher circle-jerk and he got burned. Does Gamespot have an ombudsman? I don’t know. But these sites aren’t going to survive if they just ignore the conflict of interest problem any longer. Good riddance if they go.
Gamespot serves a purpose in that if you don’t actually want to play a game and judge its merits yourself, you can read the site and have a totally uninformed opinion. Many do. With so many games coming out, especially in November, you need to have some kind of filter that whittles the releases down to something digestible. For some reason, people trust these big media sites to do that for them. That’s like going to the car dealership and saying “I have this much money. Find me a car.” Wise idea.
Edit: Apparently, he’s the guy that gave Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 a perfect score. That is actually the watershed moment where I started distrusting game reviews. Fantastic how it comes together.