Online Journalism and the Loss of Integrity

Marty Blog discusses integrity (or lack thereof) in modern game-related journalism, and uses key events to expose a growing, disturbing trend among online game review publications.

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Euphrate3809d ago (Edited 3809d ago )

They thought we were like the average crowd of target audience, the truth is that gamers have a huge amount of influence on their market. We aren't like the sheep that buy a new Mobile phone every 2 months, just because people .." reviewers" ..say they're good.

But, I'd have to disagree on the MGS4 part. It was clarified by Ryan Payton, that all of it was done to avoid spoilers. The IGN crew, confirms it. Off course, EGM and Gamespot knew it, so they wanted just anything, ANYTHING, to bash the most anticipated game this year, and 85% probable Game of The Year. Ubisoft already doesn't let EGM review their games, so go figure.

FredFredrickson3809d ago (Edited 3809d ago )

I still don't like publishers asking reviewers not to mention certain things - reviewers know better than to expose spoilers, after all.

And all i can say about MGS4 being GOTY is we shall see - I don't think MGS4 has the appeal that other games, like GTA4 or Spore, have. That, and the fact that a vastly smaller PS3 audience will enjoy it, are enough for me to say that it might get high honors, but probably not GOTY.

Like I said though, we shall see.

Euphrate3809d ago (Edited 3809d ago )

MGS has it's own Appeal, just like GTA and Spore do. These games are all their own genre. In terms of what they are.

You might even say Splinter cell series is stealth too ( awesome games btw ) But you have to take into acount, that Splinter Cell doesn't have the same gameplay mechanics, semi-fictional approach that MGS takes. Have you ever seen anything like "Codecs" in Splinter cell? There's not a lot of psycological edge to it either, the gekko's in MGS make cow noises to mess with your head ( since cows are usually innocent creatures...)

Reviewers are bastards though, as long as they don't stop SCORES.

Superfragilistic3809d ago

MGS4 will be brilliant, but pulling an 85% GoTY prediction out of your arse is just silly and burdens MGS4 with an expectation it doesn't really need to stand out in its own outstanding right.

As for Konami, even if its heart was in the right place it did place unprecedented restrictions on reviewers that included technical information relevant to some consumers purchasing decisions. Nothing that would affect the score but certainly may affect some people's, particularly non-MGS fan PS3 owners, decisions to buy the game.

EGM took a stance based on its readership which it believed would want to know about cut scene lengths and install times, and it had every right to do so. Similarly, IGN believed that its readership couldn't care less and so went ahead with their review minus these details and they to had every right to do so.

If you truly believe scores are irrelevant then you should welcome both points of view as better informing your own position. If you want to blame anybody for the controversy over the restrictions the finger pointing starts and ends with Konami who have themselves admitted that whilst they did not intend such it was their restrictions that had caused the PR storm and as a result they have now lifted such in the hope of clearing the PR air.

LastDance3809d ago

"reviewers know better than to expose spoilers"

sorry i dont believe that...infact i was 1 paragraph away from one reviewer telling me what ultimatly happens to snake...thank god i didnt read it.

FredFredrickson3809d ago

Perhaps I should have said that reviewers who take their job seriously know better... look at movie critics, they don't do that.

Superfragilistic3809d ago

Exactly right. The movie industry has matured to the point where they recognise that their readership would abandon them if they chose to reveal spoilers.

harrisk9543809d ago (Edited 3809d ago )

There is always going to be a cloud over reviews on a gaming site because the revenue model for internet 2.0 is ad-based. This is an inherent conflict of interest. I mean, how can a game site take thousands of dollars in ad revenue (especially for a high profile game such as a GTA or Halo) and then bash the game in a review? Magazines are less susceptible because they have other sources of revenue, such as subscriptions. Not that you don't see this sort of thing in magazines also. The most pure way of avoiding the conflict would be to not take ads. The best example of this is Consumer Reports. The publisher realizes that they cannot be fair, balanced and unbiased if they are taking money from the very companies that they review. Unfortunately, we won't see this happen with the game sites precisely because of what I mentioned at the outset of this diatribe -- ad revenue!

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Silogon3809d ago

I can't wait until every developer boycotts these mags and uses direct outlets thru Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft to review their games. Qore, I feel, is a step in the direction we need for this. Not right now, don't jump the gun, but in the end it could be a great outlet for reviews should it prove a success.

The online media is the big root of the problem in gaming bias today.

FredFredrickson3809d ago

I simply can't agree with that. Taking reviews directly from publishers / developers is exactly what I think we should be fighting against. Why would you trust a review direct from Sony via Qore, over another that is independant and supposedly objective?

Superfragilistic3809d ago

I'm with you Fred.

Official mags, regardless of platform, are the last thing I'll trust.

My view is that journalistic standards need to be upheld and that the industry will need to take it upon itself to change it.

The recent controversies over Take Two's and Konami's behaviour, along with the Kane and Lynch fiasco between Eidos and GameSpot, have clearly illustrated that the status quo is not acceptable and it needs to change. A founding principle of journalism has always been its independence of view and yet games journalists seem to follow different rules.

This is not about scores or tarnishing certain games, it's about disclosure and transparency with readers. That is after all what reviews should be about.

Bazookajoe_833809d ago

Well thats according to me, and i base that on that they often dont give games the same score as i do..

Britjadg3809d ago (Edited 3809d ago )

I agree with Fred/Super that reviews direct from publishers would be a HUGE disaster, but then completely disagree on this business with konami.

in an official response by Konami they have already explained their reasons for the limit on what could be included in a review. they even slackened the restrictions due to demand from media outlets. to say that konami are doing anything but trying to protect their fans from spoilers is nothing short of ludicrous.

people in here can sprout off what they like about journalistic integrity, with the exception of a few - that really do do things to rattle the cages, i happen to think the state of the western critical media isn't in nearly as badder state as everyone makes out.

in the end overly critical articles are just as important as the ones that blow smoke up a games ass. it means as a reader you can find some kind of middle ground on what the game is truely like.

critcal reviews should not be faulted because the reviewers dislike for the game has painted his opinion for the game. whether you enjoy something comes down to personal opinion and games are not an exception. key point is if reviewers arn't enjoying the game its gonna influence their experience of it; just as if they are enjoying it, they get carried away (10's for GTA anyone?).

Bathyj3809d ago

At least people are waking up to how crap these......(I dont even want to use the word journalist,) writers are.

If funny, all it took was that hate filled, spiteful review of MGS4 along with a score of 8 to bring this issue up all over again. Of course it was really the 3 years of PS3 hating by games media that really brought it to light.

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