Gamespot Staff on Verge of Mass Resignation: Kotaku Source
Gaming website Kotaku.com said it is reliably informed by a "trusted source" at Gamespot that the editorial staff there is utterly demoralized and on the verge of mass resignation in the aftermath of Jeff Gerstmann's firing.
"Our credibility is in ruins," the source complained to the website.
He said Gerstmann's termination, widely rumored to be linked to his unenthusiastic review of Kane & Lynch and Eidos' resultant anger, had not been clearly explained by company management to the staffers.
Consequently, he added, a "large number of Gamespot editors" have said they are ready to jump ship.
The source said the publication had not previously been influenced by the ire of advertisers and game publishers.
He speculated that the source of the firing was tension between Gerstmann and company Vice President Josh Larson, who the source described as "an empty suit." The source further said Larson had previously hinted to staffers that they should pay "more attention" to review scores on AAA titles.
Kotaku's source also said the removal of Gerstmann's video review was a product of its poor production quality rather than a damage control measure by the company.
I saw this last night on Kotaku and I wasn't really surprised. After all that has been slowly leaking out over the last week this pretty much just confirms everything we have already heard.
The comment about the video is interesting as while I always thought it was poorly produced, Jeff's comments in it would have had more of an impact than the actual review.
Wow. Part of me cant believe this. But if it happens it happens.
There's a podcast up on GS where one of the Editors says he removed the K & L video review becuase it was of poor quality - not much diversity of footage from the game, and poor audio quality among other problems.(I suggested this was why it had been taken down yesterday. Yay me! The text review is still up btw.)
CNet (the owners of Gamespot) need to seriously think about damage limitation. There are some mixed messages coming out of Gamespot: the Podcast makes it quite clear that the staff aren't happy about Gerstmann's firing, or about how the situations handled; it also makes it clear that it's not about Kane & Lynch. They can't give reasons why he's gone, and that would count both ways. I would presume if it is the K & L story, there'd be little that Gamespot could legally do to keep Gerstmann's mouth shut - he could easily appeal to freedom of press, professional integrity etc. At the moment he's looking like a hero, but if he's been canned, what's to stop him blowing the whistle now?
Curious story. It's destroying my working day, I can tell ya. All these blogs to read...
Aside from this Kane & Lynch business....has anyone else noticed the abnormally favorable review that Gamespot gave to Assassin's Creed?
Another game that if I recall correctly, had the site dominant banner ads running as well. Usually you go to IGN for the fluff review and the shoot over to gamespot to hear raw criticism. In light of this new development - I would have to deduce that Gamespot is offering favorable reviews in exchange for big ad dollars. pretty sneaky gamespot.
Well, seems to me that the firing wasn't specifically over pressure from advertisers. However, the article above is very correct in that the company's reputation has taken a huge hit, with few gamers willing to trust their reviews now. I wouldn't want to be working there and having people doubt abything I write (especially if the boss is as much of a dick as people seem to be making out).
Regarding IGN vs Gamespot, I do tend to find that if a game has glaring flaws IGN won't stop short of pointing them out (as they did with their comparitively low review of Assassin's Creed). But like all the big game web-sites they over-inflate most scores, especially on the really big titles.
GameSpot also recently started rounding their scores by increments of .5.
That could account partially for their now apparent high number of 9.0 and up scores, the fact that a high 8 would probably just be rounded up to a 9. But review systems based on scores like that are so terribly arbitrary that it's hard to tell what is what.
Also, refreshingly, I dropped by GameSpot to go to their forums to take a look on the giant topic there on the issue, and it seems that they currently have no skin for their site devoted to a game or item, and the top banner is for a car, not a game. Might be just a coincidence, though.
IGN had very strange reviews of AC though: UK and US put it in the 7s (too low for me) and IGN Australia gave it a 9 I think. That dichotomy wasn't limited to just IGN though; some places reviewed it as a 9, others at 7.
For what it's worth, I think GS and IGN tend to rate about the same for X360 games. IGN seems a lot more generous on the PS3, which is pretty unusual, as some of their reviewers and editorial staff have been criticised for being anti-PS3 fanboys (Goldstein got some stick in a recent podcast).
I'd like to see Alex, Jason, & Brad all leave and land somewhere with a heart and brain... here perhaps.... 8)
Josh Larson has quite a reputation.
Josh Larson has quite a reputation.
It seems that a lof of us were mislead because of a truly disastrous management.
Well, those "sources", again, drive the interpretations from one side to the other.
Their reliability, really...
As for the video quality, was is that bad? Sound? Diversity?
The real problem, it seems, is about the Larson guy.