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'Reviewers should PAY for games'- Renaud Charpentier, Creative Assembly

Taking douchebaggery to a whole new level in the midst of the full on 'perfect storm' that has engulfed Youtube following their recent 'Copyright Blitzkreig', a lead developer at Creative Assembly has gone on record to take the lunacy and bitter reactions one step closer to the edge of madness by claiming ALL videogame journalists should actually PAY the developer for their review copies, or is it just the ones who delivered a negative score?

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Mikelarry945d ago (Edited 945d ago )

buhahahahahahahahah..... oh wait he was actually being serious BUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

EDIT: you see what i find really funny is the ps4 and xbox one were created with the idea of sharing game videos with friends and the internet by making sharing easier and now is the time these so called developers want to kick up a fuss REALLY !!!!!

jimbobwahey945d ago

I think making reviewers pay for the games they review might actually improve the review process. I mean the expected result is that because they paid for the game, they'd be more critical? I sometimes feel that reviewers give games too easy a ride just because they got the game for free, so they excuse problems that anybody who paid for the game would not.

Besides, it would also put reviewers in the position of then having to deal with whatever launch day problems the game has, rather than playing games in a closed environment where the multiplayer works flawlessly because it's via LAN rather than online servers.

I think it's far too common these days that because of my above points, games get scores that are far too generous.

Mikelarry945d ago (Edited 945d ago )

while i see where you are coming from and your suggestion makes sense this same logic would then need to be applied to alot of other consumer goods we currently make use of that would mean only the well known will be reviewed as no-one will be willing to give the unknown brands a chance since they can only review a few now have to pay for the product.

Bigpappy945d ago

I believe that if they pay for the games, you should get a better review. Their is something about paying for things that makes you feel more attached. Plus it feels less like their are trying to please publishers.

admiralvic945d ago

"I think making reviewers pay for the games they review might actually improve the review process. "

Fun fact and completely off the record, a lot of sites don't get every game for free and rarely know what or when we will get a game. When I was working for a decent / good site (100,000+ views a month), we had games come at completely different rates.

Ni no Kuni came a week after release.
Neverdead was a week after release.
Mugen Souls came 2 months before release.
We never got Twisted Metal, Starhawk, New Super Mario Bros. U, Animal Crossing, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Persona 4 Arena, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus, and many many many more games.

"I mean the expected result is that because they paid for the game, they'd be more critical? I sometimes feel that reviewers give games too easy a ride just because they got the game for free, so they excuse problems that anybody who paid for the game would not."

Sadly, it doesn't work that way. What typically happens is one of two things. Either the game gets more "genuine" praise, because the person reviewing it had to buy it out of pocket. At the same time, it's also possible it will get more hate because they had to pay for it. So while it might not have been a 2 - 4 out of 10, the simple act of buying it left such a bitter taste in their mouth that they had to take it out on the game and the score is so much lower. In the end, you will never find a fair line, nor will you find people (consumers or reviewers) willing to overlook massive problems because they like one or more aspects of the game.

admiralvic945d ago

"Besides, it would also put reviewers in the position of then having to deal with whatever launch day problems the game has, rather than playing games in a closed environment where the multiplayer works flawlessly because it's via LAN rather than online servers. "

Most reviewers, at least the people below the "professional" IGN level, play largely the same game as everyone else. I reviewed for a site and got many review copies and I can tell you I rarely saw a game before release and if I did, it was extremely rare to see it more than 5 days before release. All of these games were retail games (more or less) and played no different than a copy I could buy in stores.

"I think it's far too common these days that because of my above points, games get scores that are far too generous."

The issue is how the community acts towards people that think contrary to them. Case in point, I thought Tearaway was way too short, needed more levels / content and probably should have been a $15 - $20 digital title. However, there are many people that agree with the 8+ review scores being accurate, even though they paid $40 dollars for it, versus the reviewer probably paying nothing. I am also sure there will be people who disagree with this comment simply because I didn't praise Tearaway, which many Vita gamers consider to be the Vita GOTY and some consider it the best title on the actual platform. I mean, the game is about 2 - 3 hours long with almost no replay value with a $40 dollar MSRP, yet it is averaging an 87 on Meta with a 9 average across 162 user reviews.

We're getting to a point where smaller websites don't want to step on toes (because that cost them views, money, status, and perks), which is enough to kill the site. The average site, not places like IGN, but a place like NowGamer (they're on Metacritic) don't offer writers a lot of perks. I've been doing this for 3+ years and outside of free review copies here and there, I've easily lost $1,100+ dollars writing for a gaming news site. There isn't a lot of money to be made and it's something people typically do because they enjoy doing it. This is why you see a lot of garbage editorials about top 10 this or flame bate articles, because these sites need to turn some sort of profit.

Even when I was working for my last site, you had to be the top contributor of the month to make a cent. Even then, which on average was 60 - 80 articles, the reward was a mere $60 dollars. This is roughly 1 day of work at minimum wage and it was entirely possible I could be 2 articles short of the minimum and end up with nothing.

SilentNegotiator945d ago (Edited 945d ago )

Jim Sterling made an episode on why that is a completely ridiculous suggestion:
http://www.escapistmagazine...
Reviewers could never afford that.

It would be great to see less reviewers give every game an 8+ because they paid for it themself and have realistic expectations, but then reviews would be infrequent from the same great reviewers, day one and beyond only, and less frequent.

PockyKing945d ago

As a reviewer myself, I can't say I agree with you. When you look at it from our perspective, readers want reviews of a lot of games ha, and with the amount of games some sites review, that'd be a ridiculous amount of money to spend and in the end, it wouldn't work and there'd be a lot less reviews and games being missed because of money issues.

I do see your point in thinking that way, but I'd be careful to generalize all reviewers in the same boat. Personally when I get a review copy I look at my readers as customers and want to be as honest about a product as I can be and want them to take our opinions credibly. That way they come back to read our other reviews and know we provide honest feedback, and more often than not, the developers really appreciate the feedback on their games so they can improve next time. Although, that's normally the way smaller developers look at it.

And as other comments said, we normally get the same game the consumers get, with the same bugs and patches you have to install.

So, all in all, it's really based on which reviewers you trust and opinions matches up with yours I guess. Obviously there's always different opinions, but as I've said numerous times, reviews should be about the quality of a game over whether you liked it or not.

Feldman9000945d ago

not me. i started out reviewing by paying for the games. i don't give good scores for the simple fact i received the game. Credibility is important to me.

Prime157944d ago

I agree. If they get a game for free they go easy on it. If they have to pay they feel the pain of all of us, but they are jaded because it wasn't free.

Median income in America (#1 @ $14bill market) is ~36,000 a year... if you had to buy a game on that income you'd appreciate it more...

I don't know, I think part of it is that people need to learn to "shop" reviews to find their own interests...

At the same time, you get well received games like journey that cause a studio to falter...

Edit: I'm talking to myself.. I screwed up as I contradict myself... I guess this is complicated...

Anon1974944d ago

I'm not sure this is necessarily the answer, but it certainly beats the trend of reviewers demanding free copies and money for their review "services". Paid reviews are the norm for mobile game sites (trust me on that one).

Personally, I think if your review site is worth anything you don't need to charge for reviews.

Runa216944d ago

Clearly you've never, ever been a game reviewer.

Athonline944d ago

If they start paying for their games, be more transparent what they bought, what they got for free it would be great for me.

Reviewers should get a couple of days for single-player in advance and only review multiplayer games post-launch.

Over the last years I kept coming across more and more "professional" webpages, biased, exploiting console wars and trends, misinforming people. Such sites in my opinion just hurt the communities, as they split gamers and report news/ review based on personal believes.

Even this article is extremely biased. Journalism should be neutral, stating facts and not personal opinions. For personal opinions, there are blogs, Facebook, Twitter and your good-old grandma, who will agree with you whatever you say.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 944d ago
snipermk0945d ago

@AdmiralVic: Excellent post. I totally agree with you. I used to work for a gaming publication too and more often than not, we had to pay for games out of our pockets. I don't know why everyone of the common folk think that game reviewers are just sitting on a bed of free games.

Eonjay945d ago

Thank God for PS4 streaming. Now I can get reviews from actual people and not just a select group of people who decide what to hype.

MidnytRain945d ago

You could do that before PS4 streaming...

admiralvic945d ago

"not just a select group of people who decide what to hype."

Indeed, the select group of people with $100 or so dollars to spend to buy a HDPVR.

Prime157944d ago (Edited 944d ago )

I noticed you got more disagrees. I really don't think those people understand what $100 means to the median (edit: 50% Mark, yes, I do think i have to explain median to a "large" minority of people) household income.

I've lived on both sides of that line... the <40k line sucks, especially when supporting another human. You have to decide if you want that hdpvr or that $800 tv, or that game, or that sofa, or those phone accessories, or that phone plan, cable plan, which console you want, which graphics card (all similar to your monthly rent and expenses, and equal to 2% of your yearly income).

TheGamingHeretic945d ago

Unfortunately, This fight is as old as time. It also is amazing to me how developers can be so short sighted to think that reviewers are out to get them. I understand the emotion that is tied to putting your heart and soul into something. However, if it's bad - it's bad. That's just the way it is. Even reviewers like 'Angry Joe' (from The Angry Joe Show) aren't out to destroy games. You can truly tell he loves it when a game is awesome.

Also, speaking on behalf of a brand new Game Review Website - we have to buy the majority of the games we review. Only the really really big ones get it free, especially from AAA titles.

Hicken945d ago

Well, if you're already paying, it's nothing different, right? What would be your complaint, since it would put bigger sites in the same boat as you?

Some reviewers aren't out to destroy games... but some are. Tom Chick is one, William Usher is another(though I think he's just a massive troll), so's Arthur Gies over at Polygon, and I'm sure there are plenty of others that could be named.

To me, too many reviewers have become opinionated and full of themselves. They think they're more important than they are, and it's led to a rather crappy reviewing ecosystem(which is pretty in-line with gaming journalism, in general). Sessler's ranting prior to the PS4 release is indicative of that attitude.

Let em pay for the games. What's it gonna hurt them? Maybe, as someone else said, they'll be more critical- and thus, more fair- since they have to invest in these games just like us normal people.

TheGamingHeretic945d ago

I would counter that the reasoning is that by allowing free games, then critics are able to do more reviews and give more press to both good and bad games. It doesn't limit their ability to expand.

The only people that requiring full payment of games would hurt are the smaller critics that most people consider to be 'honest'. IGN would not be to badly impacted by this, nor would any other major outlet. However smaller outlets (such as The Gaming Heretic) most assuredly would and you would just have even less 'true journalism'.

It decreases the ability of smaller organizations to do reviews and thus hurts gaming overall as only bigger outlets can afford to give their reviews because they can afford it.

Prime157944d ago

I think there is an issue we aren't seeing. Very, very few critics get THE MAJORITY free.

In that being said, wouldn't you go into a game with a bias because said publisher or studio made you buy to review?

@thegamingheretic, "The only people that requiring full payment of games would hurt are the smaller critics that most people consider to be 'honest'. "

I disagree simply because those smaller critics already pay for most of their games. Time, money, and notoriety...

XiSasukeUchiha945d ago

WTF damn what wrong with this world , it's going upside, 180 , and over the top hopefully if this true make it good pay.

B1663r945d ago

Reviewers should disclose if they got their game and hardware for free in addition to how they get paid.

In addition to that, PS4 game reviewers should indicate if they went to the PS4 press only launch event, and received a 3 night vacation in a 5 star hotel, and the monogrammed PS4, basically if they took part in the extravagant gifting that Sony engaged in right before the launch of the new consoles.

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