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Fired over a video game review


E.A.B.

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We've heard an unsettling rumor today from an anonymous tipster that longtime game reviewer Jeff Gerstmann from Gamespot has been let go. That wouldn't necessarily be newsworthy, but the conditions under which he was allegedly dismissed were. According to the source, Gerstmann was fired "on the spot" due to advertiser pressure for his review of Eidos' Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. A visit to Gamespot shows that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game has taken over the site very prominently, with backgrounds and multiple banner ads all pitching Kane & Lynch. Allegedly, publisher Eidos "took issue with the review and threatened to pull its ad campaign."

 

Jeff's review was certainly less than glowing. He assigned the game a 6.0, otherwise known as "Fair" on the Gamespot scale. The game is currently enjoying a Metacritic score in the 65 to 69 range, which the site describes as "mixed or average reviews." According to our tipster, it wasn't necessarily the score that was reason for Gerstmann's rumored axing, but the "tone" of the review.

 

Gerstmann has been no stranger to controversial reviews, as his scores of 10 for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and 8.8 for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess had sensitive internet users up in arms. It's now possible that many bitter fanboys may have had their wishes for his firing granted.

 

As our tipster points out, if the rumor is true, it could point to a distressing precedent at Gamespot and parent company CNet. "As writers of what is supposed to be objective content, this is our worst nightmare coming to life," wrote the tipster.

 

Our efforts to confirm the story with Gamespot hasn't proved successful. Our current requests with PR, Gerstmann and other CNet contacts have either gone unanswered or yielded a "no comment."

 

Hope it's not true

 

Not because I like him or anything, but because it would be a giant blow to video game journalism.

 

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there is no f*cking way he was fired over a single review.

 

his reviews have been declining, he has shown a massive hate for anything hyped. there has been a massive ball of gaming community hate towards him

 

it was only a matter of time before he was either fired to re-gain gamespots lost credibility or resigned to get away from the hate

 

the asshole gave skate a 7.5, seven point f*cking five.

 

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SYP, if I wanted homogenous reviews, I'd still be subscribed to Nintendo f*cking Power.

 

I'm much more a fan of the panel system - different strokes for different folks.

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there is no f*cking way he was fired over a single review.

 

his reviews have been declining, he has shown a massive hate for anything hyped. there has been a massive ball of gaming community hate towards him

 

it was only a matter of time before he was either fired to re-gain gamespots lost credibility or resigned to get away from the hate

 

the asshole gave skate a 7.5, seven point f*cking five.

 

Is that why the Kane & Lynch video review has been taken down? Is it also why the Kane & Lynch ads, which have swarmed the site for the past few days, suddenly disappeared as soon as the rumor hit? And if there's such a massive ball of gaming community hate towards him(really just fanboys), how come people are flooding the Eidos forums and there's a 90+ page thread at Gamespot full of people pissed over it? For every person celebrating, there's 10 more who are super pissed.

 

Not my favorite reviewer either, but this is certainly a very interesting situation and I hope to see some light shed on it.

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The industry certainly needs differing points of view, that's all there is to it. I wish Ruthless Reviews had a videogame section, that'd certainly get some fanboys' panties in a twist.

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SYP, if I wanted homogenous reviews, I'd still be subscribed to Nintendo f*cking Power.

 

a lot of people use one site for their reviews, that one site downing a score to show how much people listen to them can damage the possibility of a sequel.

 

gerstmann's reviews were consistently in the bottom 10% when compared to other gaming publications. in my opinion, gerstmann was damaging gaming.

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SYP, if I wanted homogenous reviews, I'd still be  subscribed to Nintendo f*cking Power.

 

a lot of people use one site for their reviews, that one site downing a score to show how much people listen to them can damage the possibility of a sequel.

 

gerstmann's reviews were consistently in the bottom 10% when compared to other gaming publications. in my opinion, gerstmann was damaging gaming.

Oh come on! Sequels damage gaming more than low reviews. Honest, albiet low, review only encourage competition. It's not a reviewers fault if some nut bases every purchase he makes off of him - his job isn't to tow the general consensus, it's to review a title to his own set of criteria. The only thing you can ask from a reviewer is some level of consistency, and even then he owes you nothing but his honest opinion.

 

It's painfully obvious that this was a political decision - whether it was based on one review or not.

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SYP, if I wanted homogenous reviews, I'd still be  subscribed to Nintendo f*cking Power.

 

a lot of people use one site for their reviews, that one site downing a score to show how much people listen to them can damage the possibility of a sequel.

 

gerstmann's reviews were consistently in the bottom 10% when compared to other gaming publications. in my opinion, gerstmann was damaging gaming.

in my opinion, he was perceptive, often cutting through the bullsh*t. I don't think any one reviewer's opinion can damage gaming in general. Companies (i hope..) know enough to make their own decisions regardless of what one reviewer thinks. If they take an action that could be perceived as negative by the industry, it's their own fault - not the reviewers'.

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I do agree that a person mostly sticks to one site for gaming reviews. However, if a game that is greatly anticipated gets panned on their favorite site, there's probably a 90% chance that person will go to other sites and compare reviews to see if it's really true. One person can't impact a game's sales or popularity any more than an internet blogger can impact an election. If he busted the game because he hates hype, then fire the guy. But don't make it seem like he's hurting the industry and his termination is going to right the proverbial ship. He's just some dork journalist.

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SYP, if I wanted homogenous reviews, I'd still be  subscribed to Nintendo f*cking Power.

 

a lot of people use one site for their reviews, that one site downing a score to show how much people listen to them can damage the possibility of a sequel.

 

gerstmann's reviews were consistently in the bottom 10% when compared to other gaming publications. in my opinion, gerstmann was damaging gaming.

in my opinion, he was perceptive, often cutting through the bullsh*t. I don't think any one reviewer's opinion can damage gaming in general. Companies (i hope..) know enough to make their own decisions regardless of what one reviewer thinks. If they take an action that could be perceived as negative by the industry, it's their own fault - not the reviewers'.

sadly, its a cycle

 

game companies make decisions based on sales, sales are usually based on reviews from major sites and publications.

 

the big problem wasn't that gerstman wasn't only rating games in the bottom 10% of the industry, he was rating games much more harshly than others at the site. normally people don't check who is reviewing the game, they just see a score gamespot gave it, when comparing two games, if one was reviewed by gerstmann and was reviewed on a lower scale, it would seem like less of a game.

 

 

looking back, you could have seen this move coming, gerstman usually rates the bigger games, but with the recent ratchet and clank game, the duty was handed off the aaron thomas, who is usually in charge of shovelware and sports games. This move was likely in the works before the K&L reviews was even released.

 

the K&L rumor is seemingly stemming from a penny arcade comic. not exactly a reliable source.

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he has shown a massive hate for anything hyped.

He gave, probably the most hyped game ever, a 9.5

 

I'm not defending him or anything, and not trying to refute your point....well, I sort of am. I don't keep track of who reviews what, but I do remember him giving Halo 3 a 9.5. I'm not on anyones side, I'm simply saying

 

Halo f*cking 3.....a 9.5

 

But hey, maybe Microsoft gave him enough money to smile and praise (no, I'm not a fanboy, but the story does make it a likable possibility)

 

I never played it, but I do know it was hyped to game fuel levels.

 

edit-

 

 

Is that why the Kane & Lynch video review has been taken down?

 

Found it

 

Video Review

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he has shown a massive hate for anything hyped.

He gave, probably the most hyped game ever, a 9.5

 

I'm not defending him or anything, and not trying to refute your point....well, I sort of am. I don't keep track of who reviews what, but I do remember him giving Halo 3 a 9.5. I'm not on anyones side, I'm simply saying

 

Halo f*cking 3.....a 9.5

 

But hey, maybe Microsoft gave him enough money to smile and praise (no, I'm not a fanboy, but the story does make it a likable possibility)

 

I never played it, but I do know it was hyped to game fuel levels.

93% on Gamerankings, 9.5 on Gamespot. Not much of a stretch there. And Warioware, 89% at Gamerankings, 9.1 from him at Gamespot. Again, not really much of a stretch. Guess noone read about the part where the Kane & Lynch ads and video review were taken down, either.

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he has shown a massive hate for anything hyped.

He gave, probably the most hyped game ever, a 9.5

 

I'm not defending him or anything, and not trying to refute your point....well, I sort of am. I don't keep track of who reviews what, but I do remember him giving Halo 3 a 9.5. I'm not on anyones side, I'm simply saying

 

Halo f*cking 3.....a 9.5

 

But hey, maybe Microsoft gave him enough money to smile and praise (no, I'm not a fanboy, but the story does make it a likable possibility)

 

I never played it, but I do know it was hyped to game fuel levels.

93% on Gamerankings, 9.5 on Gamespot. Not much of a stretch there. And Warioware, 89% at Gamerankings, 9.1 from him at Gamespot. Again, not really much of a stretch. Guess noone read about the part where the Kane & Lynch ads and video review were taken down, either.

the ads and review were likely more related to the result of the sh*tstorm rather than the cause.

 

the single source saying it was about the K&L review was a web comic

 

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Apparently a Gamespot employee also confirmed it on Neogaf. I guess we'll have to wait and see, really.

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Apparently a Gamespot employee also confirmed it on Neogaf. I guess we'll have to wait and see, really.

apparently the earth is flat. i don't have a hard source on that, but apparently it is.

 

 

ps, your name on neogaf?

 

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Saw this on penny arcade, gamespot is a bullsh*t site anyway. Stick with GameFaqs.

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gamespot is a bullsh*t site anyway. Stick with  GameFaqs.

The only thing that site is good for is Faq's (duh)

 

they should just nuke everything else

 

and by everything else, I mean, well, figure it out.

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Saw this on penny arcade, gamespot is a bullsh*t site anyway. Stick with GameFaqs.

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yes, gamefaqs, completely independant gaming news!

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Some of his reviews may have been a bit caustic, but I found them informative nonetheless. Anyone with half a brain would know to read/watch more than one review on a game before passing judgment anyway. Personally, I'm glad he wasn't all up K&L's ass in his review. That video was one of the reasons I picked up Mass Effect last week instead of K&L. For that I am grateful.

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Well the game is not that good at all anyway it doesn't deserve a high score anyway. The graphics aren't the best and the aiming is awful, the amount of times my aiming cursor has been sitting on an enemies head and then when you fire the bullets are going everywhere other than where your aiming, it's a pain in the arse at times. Then the online is a load of wank aswell i've played 3 games and it's just boring.

 

But liek someones has already said he's not been fired for this one review it has to do with some other things.

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Kane & Lynch is a mediocre game and the fact that they trashed Freedom Fighters 2 to make this piece of garbage makes it even worse.

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the fact that they trashed Freedom Fighters 2 to make this piece of garbage

... they did? confused.gif

f*ck that.

 

 

 

 

Also how in blue blazes do you make a game inspired by Heat bad?

No dough this post will get questions and and maybe even some fighting.

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http://joystiq.com

 

 

Update - 7:12 AM EST: Jeff has confirmed his firing to us via e-mail, but says he's "not really able to comment on the specifics of my termination." He added that he's "looking forward to getting back out there

and figuring out what's next." We're still digging.

 

Well that's a shame. He was one of their better reviewers, even if he was harsh from time to time. Anyway, Eidos forums are locked down. A bit too late after all that epic ownage already occured.

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Also how in blue blazes do you make a game inspired by Heat bad?

WORD. I've been wondering this for awhile.

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This is what I came here to say.

 

I worked on the K&L ads personally, and I had a front-row seat to the whole debacle.

 

The ads were originally supposed to point to the GS review page, as they sometimes do. When the review came out, Eidos was understandably upset, and yes -- they did threaten to pull the whole campaign -- but they eventually simmered down and kept the campaign. They had us change the clickthrough URL from the GS review to the official site, but other than that little changed.

 

The ads went up and the Eidos brouhaha was settled over two weeks ago. Jeff got fired yesterday. Furthermore, I'd heard a few people tell that he'd already been skating on thin ice for "unprofessional reviews and review practices." I don't know much about that, though, so I can't say one way or the other.

 

My gut tells me that he got canned for larger reasons. Maybe the Eidos debacle was part of it -- I don't know. But I sincerely doubt that Eidos made Gamespot fire him. CNET doesn't kowtow to its advertisers, and I've more than once seen the higher-ups turn away big advertising dollars for the sake of the company's integrity.

 

I think the whole thing is likely a combination of factors, the biggest being poor timing.Gerst gets canned just two weeks after the K&L incident, so people blame it on that (especially when backed by PA, the gaming journalism equivalent to The Daily Show).

 

It'll be interesting to see how everything pans out, but I'm definitely gonna keep an open mind about it for now.

 

I got this from people discussing the same thing over at the PS3forums, the guy didn't provide a link or forgot to so take it with a grain of salt but the above quote is from someone who worked on the K&L ads...for GameSpot. Just to make it clear, he works for GS, not Eidos. =/

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Jeff can't go! He's done every single GTA review, the IV Video Review just wouldn't be the same without Jeff saying it sad.gif

 

But seriously, how can someone get fired for giving their own opinion over a game? Pathetic excuse, especially when K&L actually does look sh*t.

 

Anyway, we'll see next week on the next episode of 'On The Spot.' If Jeff is hosting it then he hasn't been fired, if there's someone else in the seat, then Jeff is no more.

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Jeff can't go! He's done every single GTA review, the IV Video Review just wouldn't be the same without Jeff saying it sad.gif

 

But seriously, how can someone get fired for giving their own opinion over a game? Pathetic excuse, especially when K&L actually does look sh*t.

 

Anyway, we'll see next week on the next episode of 'On The Spot.' If Jeff is hosting it then he hasn't been fired, if there's someone else in the seat, then Jeff is no more.

Jeff confirmed him-self he's been fired in an email to Joystiq. Also some Gamespot staff blogs have made reference to him being fired (one infact is totaling up a fund for Jeff, in cancelled subscriptions lol.gif). And finally I believe a freelancer who works with Gamespot has confirmed it. Apparently it wasn't just the Kane and Lynch review that got him booted, but his practice of reviews leading up to that.

 

Gamespot's credibility has totally evaporated now. Jeff was the only person who's reviews on that site I could trust. And since RichG left, Jeff was holding together the video portions of Gamespot.

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Pacrel Focre

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Jeff can't go! He's done every single GTA review, the IV Video Review just wouldn't be the same without Jeff saying it  sad.gif

 

But seriously, how can someone get fired for giving their own opinion over a game? Pathetic excuse, especially when K&L actually does look sh*t.

 

Anyway, we'll see next week on the next episode of 'On The Spot.' If Jeff is hosting it then he hasn't been fired, if there's someone else in the seat, then Jeff is no more.

It could have been more than just that review.......hasn't GS given low scores to games before that had advertisements on the site?

 

Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction did.....and although I think it was given an unfair review because it's a great game with tons to do and lots of replay value.....that didn't get Aaron Thomas fired now did it?

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[GTA Man]cycon77foamy[GTA Man]
Jeff can't go! He's done every single GTA review, the IV Video Review just wouldn't be the same without Jeff saying it  sad.gif

 

But seriously, how can someone get fired for giving their own opinion over a game? Pathetic excuse, especially when K&L actually does look sh*t.

 

Anyway, we'll see next week on the next episode of 'On The Spot.' If Jeff is hosting it then he hasn't been fired, if there's someone else in the seat, then Jeff is no more.

Jeff confirmed him-self he's been fired in an email to Joystiq. Also some Gamespot staff blogs have made reference to him being fired (one infact is totaling up a fund for Jeff, in cancelled subscriptions lol.gif). And finally I believe a freelancer who works with Gamespot has confirmed it. Apparently it wasn't just the Kane and Lynch review that got him booted, but his practice of reviews leading up to that.

 

Gamespot's credibility has totally evaporated now. Jeff was the only person who's reviews on that site I could trust. And since RichG left, Jeff was holding together the video portions of Gamespot.

'Strangely' that blog post has been deleted. orly.gif

 

This is an outrage. angry.gif

 

Jeff was an awesome reviewer and was one of the best. The next being Alex Navarro.

 

I'll do what many others do... stay for the community (forums) and nothing more.

 

 

 

 

VIVA LA JEFF!!!!!

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