There are many stories that illustrate the taint introduced in the game review process. Recently, Vgmwatch was informed of an unfortunate event involving 2K Games and IGN Entertainment. They spoke with a former IGN.com editor who wished to remain anonymous to avoid any apparent conflict of interest (The individual is still employed in the game media). They will let the individual's story speak for itself. Below, they have paraphrased the journalist's recollection:
From IGN.com editor:
" The review embargo for Prey [for Xbox 360] for all press outlets was up on a Monday I believe.
I hear Doug saying to Marci something along the lines of "No, I'm sure it is a great game. I'm pretty sure it is going to do well. That's why we want the exclusive. We don't want the exclusive on crappy games… " so on… He gets off the phone and heads over to Tom and asks him, "Tom, what were you thinking you were going to give Prey?" That's sort of a no-no to begin with, but Tom says, "I haven't even played it. I have no idea." Doug persists, "No, but if you were gonna guess… like 9 or higher, right? Nothing lower than an 8, obviously?" (These are pretty much direct quotes.) That's when I say, "Doug, you can't ask him that crap." Doug replies, "Well, we can talk about ranges of scores. That's okay." He then proceeds to ask Tom for a score range. Once again, Tom replies that he has no idea. I scolded Doug again and he went back to his desk where he calls Marci Ditter and says that he's sure it will do 9 or higher. After I made a big fuss about it, Doug decided not to take the exclusive either. They ended up publishing the review as a non-exclusive with rest of the game media. "