The Famitsu Controversy

While being used as a primary news source for Japanese Games, Famitsu's editorial content, and expecially their review scores, have been target of costant mudslinging from a part of the gaming press, that accuses the Japanese weekly magazine of being biased and of giving scores according to advertisement deals.
With the 40/40 score given to Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, this argument has reared his ugly head again.
But is this "holier than thou" attitude justified? The gaming press as a whole lives on advertisement deals, favors, giveaways, exclusive covers and previews, including the publications that criticize Famitsu.

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zerocool33973102d ago

Journalistic suicide to slate another publication publicly. I get their point though, that's why I never go with scores, better to try the game yourself.

Abriael3102d ago

Personally I don't dislike scores that much, but I consider them opinion, like the rest of the review. What for someone is 10, for someone else can be 8.

darkmurder3102d ago

Stupid logic, sour grapes.

darthv723102d ago

pure and simple. Someone with enough clout/cred will generally have an influence over the masses. Publications are no different. Granted the publications use individuals to generate the review, they are not always the same individual.

When you see a journalist review something (game, movie, etc) and it happens to coincide with your own personal view then you tend to follow what that person states which leads to their credibility. Yet if you have a different view than them it can sometime have a negative effect. This doesnt mean that person is right or wrong. It is just a difference of opinion. We all do that.

It is when you have magazine publications who have several reviewers (website too) and you dont always see who it is doing the review that it makes you question if the right person was picked for the job. This can happen (and does) quite a bit. It is like having someone who is an FPS person do a review on a sports game. They may like sports but it isnt their primary focus so therefore you question the review.

Game reviews are nothing more than opinion. How you choose to view the opinion (similar/disimilar) is really a personal preference. One thing is for certain though, the real "final" decision to get the game rest solely on the consumer and their personal choice.

Hill_billy3102d ago

But what if that opinion is part game and part paycheck? What if the game publisher shipped the review guys a few bottles of Patrón and the reviews gained a point or two? How valid is that as an opinion then? To me, it's not valid at that point as the true opinion of the game would be closer to 6 or 7 and yet due to bribes the review is released as a 8 or a 9 and in some cases, a 10. If opinion were all it were then by all means, it would be fine by me but when outside factors weigh in then the review is trash.

raztad3102d ago

" With the 40/40 score given to Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, this argument has reared his ugly head again. " <-- Why? is MGs:PW a mediocre game? has somebody else beyond Famitsu played the game thoroughly? I dont understand and I dont want to give this BLOG an undeserved hit.

Abriael3102d ago (Edited 3102d ago )

Welcome to the world of professional gaming journalism. Where opinion is pretty much ALWAYS part paycheck. Every single publication out there, including websites like kotaku, live on commercial advertisement from game developers. Famitsu is no different, but for sure is no exception to be hypocritically pointed at.

Always got to take this in account when you look not only at review scores, but also at the reviews themselves. A skilled journalist can easily word a review so that something negative turns into something positive, and it will still make perfect sense when you read it.

And it's not just advertisement deals, it's favors, esxclusives in exchange of high scores, costly giveaways and swag... game developers have employees exclusively dedicated to "sway" journo's into giving better scores to their games, and most journalists are very happy to do just that.

Famitsu does nothing different from what every other game publication in the world, online or printed, does.

@raztad: No one knows if it's good or bad, Kotaku just saw that famitsu gave it a 40/40 and "assumed" that it MUST be because they've been paid off.

Oh, and thanks for telling that my BLOG would not deserve an hit :D At least, since i'm not paid to write, I have to cope only with my own personal bias and subjectivity, and I owe no one any favor when I review something :D

reintype3102d ago (Edited 3102d ago )

Go read the blog. He didn't slander MGS:PW in any way. And it's actually good.

He just explains, that advertisement/exclusivity among other things can influence review scores, since it is the general source of income for most publications, both online and off.

It may not be morally upstanding, but its considered a Standard Practice, and certainly nothing new, in the gaming media circles or any other media for that matter, where reviews are concerned.

What he doesn't understand (me included), is why Kotaku felt the need to call out and discredit Famitsu for doing this, when both Japanese and Western publications are guilty of practicing it. Another, is why they did it on a game like MGS:PW all of a sudden? I seem to recall gametrailers had an a$$load of MW2 specials and advertisements and it also got some ungodly high scores too? Why didn't they jump the gun then? Why not on other numerous games with high scores with lots of advertising in other western sites? Yeah, why the hell now? Some hidden agenda, perhaps? *shakes head*

I'll just chalk this up to Kotaku being Kotaku, i.e., FACEPALM Site.

Abriael3102d ago

@reintype actually they have been singing a tune on MGS: Peace Walker having in game advertisements for weeks, with several articles, like it was something unprecedented and unacceptable. Too bad that a big percentage of the games out there (both japanese and western) have tons of in game advertisement and tie-ins, so I do wonder why they cherry picked just MGS:PW.

sunnygrg3102d ago (Edited 3102d ago )

Funny thing is Kotaku never cared to mentioned all the happenings behind IGN, Gamespot etc?

erathaol3102d ago

Its only suicide if you run a smear campaign that denounces a publishers name and credibility. As if you do so without any legal evidence to back up your claims you can actually face some Legal consequences.

I agree with the Journalist's take on Kotaku's exaggeration. The game got a perfect score, cool. Now what score are they going to give it? Oh wait, Kotaku doesn't give out scores. Double Standards much? If you don't care about giving out scores than you shouldn't care about the scores other people give out.

Abriael3102d ago (Edited 3102d ago )

@erathaol: funny detail is that they don't give scores, but they piggyback on other publications' scores in their "frankenreview" pieces. Hipocrisy much?

Hill_billy3102d ago (Edited 3102d ago )

And it is exactly why I asked the questions I did. It is also the reason why I rent games and see them for myself. I have played a number of games that would have been passed up had I gone by a reviews opinion and have passed on some games that were given great scores. In the end, I need to protect myself from spending money on a game that will be something I hate and to do that I rent.

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booni33102d ago

please dont use "Bayonetta" as a source by which to discredit this magazines legitamacy. the boys over at platinum games deserved every one of those 40 points for this strikingly creative and original, enthralling action adventure masterpiece. the topic is the magazine and its reviews, not the games themselves. (in question)

FangBlade3102d ago

What the hell are you talking about, Bayonetta is a 7 at best.

Kens3102d ago

I can't see how Bayonetta could deserve a perfect score. Like FangBlade said, it is 7 at best.

creatchee3102d ago

Do you say this because you actually played Bayonetta or was it because you could not get your fanboy goggles off long enough to actually enjoy a game that wasn't a PS3-exclusive.

Or maybe it was because the 360-version was universally considered to be the better of the two? I could see why someone like you might hate a game because of that.

Seriously - Bayonetta was awesome and deserved its reviews, regardless of what system(s) it appeared on. I love my PS3, but it doesn't blind me to games that appear on other consoles. I can't say the same for everybody around here though...

sparta763102d ago

Lay off the crack man!!!
Fangblade is just giving his/her opinion.
And I agree with blade.
I just couldn't get into the game.
I started off playing it on normal, half way I swicthed to easy..
Just wanted to finish the stupid game.
U lloved it! And that's great is just opinions!!
Just like these reviews.

PirateThom3102d ago

Bayonetta was just She Devil May Cry.

There was nothing unique or groundbreaking about it, especially since the DMC series had already grown stale.

The Time Reaper3102d ago

It's Devil May Cry.

Good game, but hardly deserving of a perfect score.

bjornbear3102d ago

...they like hair there

Pennywise3102d ago

Bayonetta is horrible. I couldn't even finish that mess.

Dante's Inferno so far is way better. I won't even mention the king.

Its funny you bring Bayonetta up... The way the "media" pronounced it to be the GOW killer is absurd at best... Graphics were junk, story was a mess, dialog was cheesy, and the music was so lame. I say music... by music I mean the one lame song they jammed in your ears the whole game.

Sarcasm3102d ago

Bayonetta gets a 10 for Cheese. As a game, it gets a 5.

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Revvin3102d ago

Kotaku are a joke, no real gamer takes them seriously as everyone knows they take every opportunity to have a dig at Sony even through a third party like Famitsu. This has been going on every since they fell out with Sony over leaking news about Playstation HOME. Kotaku lost any credibility they might have had with gamers years ago so its a bit late to be slinging mud now.

Otheros003102d ago

More people need to read this.
Can someone post this at Kotaku?

Abriael3102d ago

Oh I'd love to see that :D

not that they would actually care...

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