In the video game business, gamers often have a healthy amount of distrust for the companies that publish the titles they buy. It's not an unreasonable reaction; after all, every gamer can remember a time or two when he or she felt deceived by a publisher after buying a game that was far less impressive than how it had been advertised. Not only that, but deceptive PR campaigns like "All I Want for Xmas is a PSP" and the new program surrounding Dante's Inferno have done little to make it seem that companies are interested in being honest with their consumers.
Larger companies like Microsoft, Sony, and Electronic Arts seem to have realized this, and have spent the past few years working to strengthen their relationships with gamers. Part of this campaign has been an effort to put out better games. Publishers have also been establishing positions for bloggers to give gamers an inside look at the companies they represent. These "first-party bloggers" are currently few, but their presence is undeniable in the industry. Individuals like Jeff Rubenstein of the PlayStation Blog, Larry Hyrb of Microsoft, and Jeff Green of EA are some of the bigger names in this new field; even though they're well-known, there's still a fair amount of mystery surrounding what they actually do.