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9. Re: Op Ed Jun 22, 2011, 11:55 spindoctor
Penny Arcade had an editorial piece on this subject which I find myself agreeing with. They say that the PR guy was only doing his job... and his job is to make the game look good. Free review copies are given out to the media in an attempt to get more coverage, and the fact is that it's given with the implicit understanding that the coverage will be good. Why do they give out free copies of the game and invite the media to preview sessions and set up developer interviews and what not? Unlike the age old saying, not all publicity is good, at least when it comes to games. If the coverage is going to be bad, why should they bother?

Now that's looking at it from the PR people's point of view. The gaming media can say that they are honor bound to give every game fair coverage. Which means that a good game gets praised and a bad game gets trashed. Which sounds right, doesn't it? Except, and this is the big one, the reviewers already play the PR game anyway. Why is it that 95% of all reviews are in the 7.5 to 9.5 range? If there was even a slight bit of fairness in the system, it would have been a more even split. But no, reviewers and sites stick to that elevated range because they know it's a mutually beneficial arrangement for them too. They get early copies and interviews and all that which in turn drives traffic and ad revenues to their site. And in return they have changed the effective review score scale from 0-10 to 6-10. When they already do this, I feel that their whole chest thumping routine about how their journalistic integrity is under fire sounds very, very hollow to me.

Duke Nukem Forever deserves the bashing it gets in reviews. But at the same time the scores it is getting are highly inconsistent with the accepted norm in the gaming press as well.
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