Who said there’s no money in reviewing?
I just read an article about the gaming industry buying off video game reviewers in exchange for favourable reviews. How long has this been going on!? Was I in the crapper when this became an option? First off, I think we need to take into account where the reviewer in question worked: Zoo Magazine. Now, I’m not ashamed to say, I’ve purchased this publication in the past. I’ve thumbed through it and, most shockingly of all, read all the articles. There is, however, one thing that I never did: take any of the reviews seriously. The movie reviews were angled towards boobs and explosions, and it was a similar affair for their game reviews. I can remember them giving the most recent Leisure Suit Larry 5 stars. That was a sad day. Honestly, if you’re dumb enough to follow the review in Zoo you deserve a crap game.
Now, the article goes on to say that there have been incidents in the past of video games buying advertising to help their pressure with that specific site or magazine. Is anybody really going to take a 5 star review of The Ashes Cricket 2009 seriously, when there’s a giant banner with Ricky Ponting swinging his bat right next to it?
Here I am then, putting my name on the selling block. I’ll say Heavy Rain has replay value! I’ll say that the add-ons to Borderlands for the most part haven’t been pointless! I can even do music: St Anger is the best Metallica album! Watch as my word becomes tainted and people form their own opinions.
At the end of the day, what does this whole “cash for comments” event really change? Nothing is the answer. This is the one industry where the reviewers are more or less a guiding tool. Yes, you occasionally come across sites that have impeccable standards, but they are few and far between. The buzz created by games and the splash the game makes in the first day or two of sales is what will ultimately dictate the game.
So here’s a flip of the bird to the game industry for trying to take more money after creating ET on Atari. In my opinion, they still owe us.
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