Are game reviewers actually bribed?

Soldato
Joined
16 Oct 2009
Posts
8,900
Location
Essex
Meh.

It's like with any kind of journalism, you start writing **** up about a company, you won't be able to get any more insider's info, test early releases, interview or have anything to do with the marketing departments, no freebies, no first-hand news, no traffic = you're screwed. On the other hand, it is likely affecting the major gamer news websites/magazines, and has little to no effect on the less known ones.

So you pass it on to your editors, if they do a bad job, they won't get another game to review and someone else will do it for them.

There's really no magic in here, any PR hog like EA will make sure their voice is heard but that doesn't mean they directly "bribe" anyone.

So to your initial question, no, game reviewers aren't "bribe", although there is an indirect influence on them from their peers and most importantly, employers. Even the EA PR guy who was working on the vidya board said there was no money changing hands to his knowledge. And it would be virtually impossible to bribe all reviewers.

EDIT: the top comment mentions money from advertising which is also a huge drive for many websites when it comes to picking favourable reviews.
 
Last edited:
Soldato
Joined
16 Oct 2009
Posts
8,900
Location
Essex
DA2 best RPG of the decade .....

'Nuff said.

That PC Gamer's review was definitely biased but there's no indication that it would be due to a bribe in any form.

Look around Metacritic, 82% average score from 45 critics. 20 reviews giving 85 or more, including some of the largest publishers.
 
Associate
Joined
12 Jan 2010
Posts
1,879
Buying adverts on a game review site is a good way to go about it. Your marketing your game and your almost guaranteeing a positive review.
 
Caporegime
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
37,407
Location
Ireland
Remember the Kane & Lynch review? Jeff Gerstmann gave it a bad review and the next thing you know he was fired, coincidentally the publishers had bought a ton of advertising on gamespots site leading upto the release. The site was literally a commercial for the game there was so much advertising,

People have always been very suspicious about ign and their very obvious stiffy for COD as well.
 
Permabanned
Joined
14 Nov 2009
Posts
13,639
That PC Gamer's review was definitely biased but there's no indication that it would be due to a bribe in any form.

Look around Metacritic, 82% average score from 45 critics. 20 reviews giving 85 or more, including some of the largest publishers.

I think they were all bribed, thats the only possible explanation!

10/10 escapist score, lolwut.
 
Associate
Joined
4 Mar 2010
Posts
639
IGN are pretty bad for it, something like they get told to have a review score above a certain % mark, in return they get to publish the first review online which is big money on popular titles as it means a lot of site traffic from masses.

I don't see why anyone would believe otherwise, there was EA employee thing not long ago showing how people get paid to give high reviews etc on forums and to call the other games ****, I have no doubt EA hand out rewards for good reviews.

Also that whole gamespot thing with Eidos threatening to pull their advertising money which led to that guy being fired for the low review score.
 
Associate
Joined
16 Aug 2005
Posts
1,366
Farcry 2 - this single title made me
a) stop paying for gaming magazines
b) stop paying any attention what so ever to game review websites (part from meteoritic with peer reviews).

This was hyped as the best game ever and in reality it was complete garbage. Im not sure if there will be direct payments but i bet there is an element of client entertaining / hospitality
 
Soldato
Joined
10 May 2004
Posts
3,480
Location
South UK
Farcry 2 - this single title made me
a) stop paying for gaming magazines
b) stop paying any attention what so ever to game review websites (part from meteoritic with peer reviews).

This was hyped as the best game ever and in reality it was complete garbage. Im not sure if there will be direct payments but i bet there is an element of client entertaining / hospitality

+1.

Are some of them bribed? Of course they are.
 
Associate
Joined
10 Oct 2011
Posts
487
Meh.

It's like with any kind of journalism, you start writing **** up about a company, you won't be able to get any more insider's info, test early releases, interview or have anything to do with the marketing departments, no freebies, no first-hand news, no traffic = you're screwed. On the other hand, it is likely affecting the major gamer news websites/magazines, and has little to no effect on the less known ones.

So you pass it on to your editors, if they do a bad job, they won't get another game to review and someone else will do it for them.

There's really no magic in here, any PR hog like EA will make sure their voice is heard but that doesn't mean they directly "bribe" anyone.

So to your initial question, no, game reviewers aren't "bribe", although there is an indirect influence on them from their peers and most importantly, employers. Even the EA PR guy who was working on the vidya board said there was no money changing hands to his knowledge. And it would be virtually impossible to bribe all reviewers.

EDIT: the top comment mentions money from advertising which is also a huge drive for many websites when it comes to picking favourable reviews.

This, 100%. No money will be changing hands, I imagine, but you don't want to **** off EA and end up without a review code for Battlefield 3, for example. You'd lose quite a bit of traffic over that, wouldn't you?

What about sneak peaks, etc, etc, etc?

Advertising money?

I don't trust any game reviewers honestly. The only things I'll take into consideration are Rock, Paper, Shotgun reviews, Giant Bomb reviews and the occasional individual video review if the reviewer seems trustworthy. But honestly, you can't believe reviews, especially considering they're actually talking about often subjective things. The best review is, as far as I'm concerned, word of mouth.
 
Soldato
Joined
17 Jun 2008
Posts
4,124
There is a lot of in-direct bribes as well hence why Joystiq doesn't go to certain gaming gatherings and such. For example when it's time to review the next COD Activision ship off all the reviewers to a swanky hotel with their every begging need is attended too. Now, a lot of reviews remove this out of the review but I'm sure everyone would be swayed more by any game if you were actively going to see it at some exotic event rather than playing at work/home "to get it done" for a review.
 
Soldato
Joined
12 Jan 2004
Posts
5,385
Location
London
SWTOR - it is not a terrible game, but there were enough issues at launch not to warrant the 93 score. Metacritic has them at 5.7 user reviews and i think somewhere in the middle is fair. I just dont buy mags anymore for reviews, they are too dependent on the favour of the big names. The same applies to most online reviewers to be fair.
 
Caporegime
Joined
1 Jun 2006
Posts
33,147
Location
Notts
there is alot of backhanders and so on thats goes on and i can remember one of the biggest games of the year was out and a certain games site didnt get the scoop it thought it would and guess what they did as soon as it was released ?

panned the review :rolleyes: even though it got 9/10 everywhere else.

this is common practice and also why alot of game sites wont mark down people like activision or ea becuase bad review from them and its relationship over or no exclusives from us :p

only people i trust is people i play games with online and know well. not some review nerd with a geeky t shirt on with a wad in his back pocket
 
Caporegime
OP
Joined
8 Sep 2006
Posts
36,076
Location
On Ocuk
Good replies and as for myself I don't trust any game review sites the only place i trust for a review is personal feedback from a member
 
Associate
Joined
3 Apr 2006
Posts
1,274
Location
Scotland
Good replies and as for myself I don't trust any game review sites the only place i trust for a review is personal feedback from a member

You better hope that member isn't part of the PR machine :p

Be afraid, there are PR people everywhere! :eek:
 
Caporegime
OP
Joined
8 Sep 2006
Posts
36,076
Location
On Ocuk
You better hope that member isn't part of the PR machine :p

Be afraid, there are PR people everywhere! :eek:

Especially in that battlefield 3 thread :D, omg one bad thing said about BF3 and it's as if you insulted their mother
 
Top Bottom