[Sep 06, 2008, 1:51 pm ET] - Share - Viewing Comments
perspective of a game publisher on Sore Thumbs
offers a description of the
occasionally tense relations between game publishers and journalists written by
"Anonymous Guy from Big Publisher," whose bona fides are vouched for by
respected game journalist Dan "Shoe" Hsu. The AGfBP describes some of the
behaviors and attitudes of game writers that drive developers and publishers
crazy, including shoddy review methods and how: "A great unspoken truth is that
those involved in games development and publishing feel that many journalists
feel a sense of entitlement – that they deserve to have their asses kissed
because of the power they wield over the sell-in." A quote I find interesting is
one that I've heard expressed by developers: "The fact is game journalists – of
which there are hundreds at the moment – are living off the blood sweat and
tears of creative people." He also outlines some of the methods the devs and
pubs use to try and get even, saying "I have pulled ad buys in protest of what I
felt were unfair review scores. I have spoken to the “boss” of publications
before, and complained about certain journalists. I have “banned” certain media
outlets from getting pre-release access to games, because of previous
unfavorable coverage." Thanks Mike Martinez and
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||so, in other words
||Sep 7, 2008, 19:39
|"I'll threaten gaming sites with financial boycotts and restricted access if I do not get the score I feel my game deserves. What score is that? Why, 100% ofcourse! We spent 4 million dollars hyping this game!"
Some choice quotes : "This is not to say a bad game should get a free pass, but every game should be given a fair appraisal, with considerations made for target market and price."
You already get that. Has there ever been a console game that received lower than 70%? How many console games are pretty mediocre and will still get 80-90%?
And consideration for price? You mean that 50 and 60 dollar price tag? If your game had literally "hundreds of people" working on it, somehow I doubt you were selling it for 20 bucks.
And even so, if a 20 dollar game is bad, it should get a bad score. It shouldn't get a 70% because, well, it's only 20 bucks!
"Lets say you have a game that takes 30 hours to complete, and reviewer plays 2 hours of it and gives it mediocre review based on the first few levels, just because he has 10 other games to review and can’t put in 20 hours."
Yes, this is really problematic issue, with all these hundreds of new games that take 30 hours to complete. Oh wait, most of them now take 5-8 hours.
"Or when an editor of a big games website gives his FPS guy a sim racing game to review. "
Which happens how often? I've literally ONCE read a review in PC Gamer by a guy who said "I don't like RPGs," when he was reviewing an RPG.
"Or when someone looks at all the other reviews online for a game, and just follows the crowd by posting a similar review (look at what’s happening to Too Human right now… does that game deserve scores that bad?)"
Here's the lesson kids : If dozens of review sites give the game a bad score, all harping on the same problems, they're just parrotting each other. It couldn't POSSIBLY be that the game is just bad.
I mean, Too Human spent a gigantic amount of money on ads and hype. It CAN'T be this bad!
"And if they don’t act professionally, who can blame a publisher for fighting back with any means necessary?"
It's important to note that "professional" in this instance means : Lick my PR nutsack and give all my games 95-100%. And if you only give it 95%, there had better be some damn fucking good explanation for it!
It in no way means "Review the game fairly and if you think it sucks, tell everyone it sucks."
"The game journalist’s word means more than anything in terms of a game’s chance of success."
I think it's fairly safe to say that whether a game is GOOD or not means more than anything to its success. And ofcourse, whether it's in a popular genre. (Before I get the "Not all good games sell well!" rebuttal.)
If you make a good game, a reviewer will give it a good score. Unless it's a fucking cockmongrel. If 40 reviewers give a game between 80-90% on gamerankings, and one guy gives it a 42%, then it's fairly safe to assume that dude apparently has a problem with your game.
Mr PR dude would like to have you believe that if his games get a bad score, it means ALL reviewers are just assholes who hate him. (which is probably true, since who DOESN'T hate fucking marketing peons? It still doesn't mean they'll act unprofessionally and just blast a game for the sake of blasting a game.)
"What this means to me is not harsher reviews, but thoughtful analysis about games, real knowledge of game development, and a deep history of playing games. And ultimately, gauging who the game would be fun for, and scoring it accordingly"
Read : Scores of 95% and above. Because the game is MEANT for people who enjoy buggy, repetitive and shallow four hour fluff pieces! So for that target market, it should get 100%!
What's sad is that the dude genuinely believes this. If hundreds of people work thousands of hours on a game, it does not deserve a bad score. It should be praised to high heavens.