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Game Reviewers taking bribes to boost scores...


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36 replies to this topic

#1
drcloak

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An interesting read:

http://news.spong.co...s.asp?prid=7014

I always knew stuff like this happened, but could never find evidence of it. Most of the 'professional' game reviewing sites are biased in their score giving, IMO.

- dr cloak

#2
Delerius_Jedi

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Hmm...I don't mean to add to flames or anything but I have been wondeing how some games have technical and story issues that go largely overlooked by most of the larger gamesites.

Especially as most consumers who then play said games will be quick to point out what would seem to be obvious flaws in the products.

Interesting...

#3
Epiphany

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I thought the scores for Driv3r were all the evidence people needed. I mean, I never played the game, but I don't think I ever saw someone praise it, yet reviewers gave it 9's.

#4
The Bardic Pen

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Is anyone really surprised?

#5
The_Prodigal_Knight

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Outrageous!

#6
Drakron

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I thought the scores for Driv3r were all the evidence people needed.  I mean, I never played the game, but I don't think I ever saw someone praise it, yet reviewers gave it 9's.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I played it and its crap ... horrible camera, horrible control, empty streets ...

And they are really not saying anything new, with the internet the gaming magazines taken a hit (its easier anc cheaper to find updated information over games) and struggles to remain.

The same goes with the main review sites that need ad revenue to cover costs.

#7
213374U

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An interesting read:

http://news.spong.co...s.asp?prid=7014

I always knew stuff like this happened, but could never find evidence of it.  Most of the 'professional' game reviewing sites are biased in their score giving, IMO.

- dr cloak

:o :'(



:)

#8
Akari

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That's why I find it's best to look at meta-ranking sites to get a feel for how reviewers across the board felt about a game. Even if some sites are biased due to any number of reasons, the chances of all review sites being similiarly biased are pretty slim.

Personally, I use:
www.gamerankings.com

Anyway, moving this thread to where it's more on topic.

-Akari

#9
Ellester

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Is anyone really surprised?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm not. I always assumed it happened. :p

#10
Zhadow

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I bet that's how the sims 2 got high score.

#11
Volourn

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"I bet that's how the sims 2 got high score."

I'd bet you'd lose that bet.

#12
NeverwinterKnight

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That's why I find it's best to look at meta-ranking sites to get a feel for how reviewers across the board felt about a game.  Even if some sites are biased due to any number of reasons, the chances of all review sites being similiarly biased are pretty slim.

Personally, I use:
www.gamerankings.com

Anyway, moving this thread to where it's more on topic.

-Akari

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


darque will like that. resident evil 4 scored a 99.3%. :wub:

#13
Triggaaar

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Same with all products. Like when Top Gear (UK tv motoring show) started 30 years ago, and slated a Citron, they contacted the BBC and threatened to pull all advertising, before realisng that the BBC so get money from advertising. I never trust magazine reviews, but sadly, I'm still influenced by them.

#14
Kaftan Barlast

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I havent seen ONE damn game score under 8 on any of the gaming sites Ive visited so I realised their "opinions" werent exactly anything to go by.

I read gaming mags back in the early 90s when the internet wasnt as developed as it is today. Nowadays I can see no reason for their continued existence.

#15
NeverwinterKnight

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I read gaming mags back in the early 90s when the internet wasnt as developed as it is today. Nowadays I can see no reason for their continued existence.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


you cant bring your pc and internet connection into the john with you. :wub:

#16
Judge Hades

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I don't read reviews for they are all worthless.

#17
Drakron

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you cant bring your pc and internet connection into the john with you.  :p

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Laptop with a wireless connection.

#18
Volourn

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"I don't read reviews"

Unfortunately for you, I doubt anyone here is gullible enough to take that statement seriously.

#19
Darque

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Is anyone really surprised?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Nope, I've suspected that about Gamespot for instance.

If you notice, the games it has adds for "always" have better scores than the ones that aren't advertised.

#20
HK-74

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Forget bribes, the term is useless and irrelevant to the "problem". Reviewers or critics of anything are subject to the whims of the makers of whatever product they review. The idea that a videogame reviewer would be paid in some way to boost one review score in one magazine, or that it would occur on a large scale across many outlets, is a little silly when a strong marketing campaign would be more effective. Simply not sending review copies to outlets prior to the release works just as well, if you seek to avoid reviews hurting the sales of your buggy game.

Much more common is the manipulation of your games treatment in the industry press by virtue of access. Let's take magazines as our example. To be a successful videogame magazine, ie; to sell hundreds of thousands of copies, you have to have some edge over the competition. Since the format is print, this edge is most commonly information. If you have the exclusive Halo 3 screenshots and the six page preview and developer interview, you're going to sell more copies this month than the magazines which don't have it. How do you get it? You have to gain access to the material. What stands between you and the material? Usually, the PR people. If you want access to this game, and future games, you need to have a good working relationship with the publishers and the makers. How do you foster good relations with these people? You help them to sell their product. In turn, they will be more trusting of your outlet and more likely to give you more access to their games in development. This help you to sell your product, the magazine. Say that you have privaledged access to a game throughout its development, you're given screenshots and demos throughout the process and every month you have lengthy features on the game. You invest alot of time and space to your exclusive coverage of this game over the course of many months, telling your readership every little detail and hyping the games potential. Eventually the release code arrives, or more likely a pre-release semi-finished version of the game, and *surprise* the game is not quite a world changing force of messianic proportions. Do you then write a completely honest appraisal of this disappointing, bug-ridden misfire of a game, or do you make the best of it and promote its good points? Do you give it a score which is a true reflection of the end result, or a true reflection of your indebtedness to the company which made it? Maybe it's a long-runing and popular franchise game which is bound to sell a truckload of copies anyway, does the honesty of your review matter? And what will your readers have to say when they have paid for twelve copies of your magazine purely because they wanted your exclusive information on this "great" game, when they have invested their excitement and anticipation into the hype you've been spewing for months only to find that you've given the game a score of 30%?

Your choice is simple; tell the absolute truth and lose both your influence with your readers and your usefulness to the publisher OR ignore the game's faults and give an optimistic review, hoping that the next exclusive game that you give extensive coverage to turns out better.
One path leads to dwindling sales figures for your magazine and an unexplainable lateness in the arrival of review copies for ever game that publisher makes in the future, the other path leads to access to the early stages of development for metal gear 4.

In conclusion, it is fair to say that all magazines and other outlets give the most positive score that they can get away with to any game from a major publisher. They know how the system works, and they are not foolish enough to think that they are so important to a publisher's marketing strategy that they can get away with telling the truth all of the time. Review scores are irrelevant anyway, they don't make the game any better or worse and the true state of the game will be known in time regardless. Besides which, their entire industry is based on offering completely subjective appraisals of a form of entertainment and no-one, especially not the reviewers, should take the process too seriously.




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