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08/21/2007

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Pete S

Sorry to be spamming your blog today...

I have a few thoughts here, none of which disagree with the article you linked to, but...

Readers empower all this behavior, to a certain extent. Back when I was with Strategy Plus we were always struggling to compete with some of the less ethical mags. Why? Because they'd get all kinds of exclusives. We didn't, because we wouldn't play the game. But readers didn't care about how or why a magazine got exclusives; they just cared that they had them. Ditto reviews. We refused to review anything but shrink-wrapped product, so we were often 'scooped' by the mags that would review "gold masters" (which often weren't even really that far along).

Is anyone reading this old enough to remember when PC Gamer reviewed (note: REVIEWED, not PREVIEWED) an early build of a space sim from SSI, and slagged it for being buggy (which, in its not-even-beta state, it was of course) and the buzz against the game was so strong that SSI killed the project? Did the readers care? Nope, they kept on subscribing...

* * *

Also, it would be nice to see the positive stories talked about too. Like an editor having to take a call from a screaming, ranting game publisher gunning for the hide of the reviewer who gave his latest game a bad review, and said editor backing the reviewer to the hilt. Then later taking the call from the magazine publisher who is upset because the game publisher called him next, threatening to pull all advertising, and still backing the reviewer.

This kind of story happens all the time too, I'm sure. In particular back when you were reviewing anything that Jim Rose's company put out. :) But the readers never hear that kind of story either, and remain convinced that every reviewer out there is a shill. Which I think is tragic, since so many of them are passionate gamers trying to do honest reviews.

Alice Lee

I disagree, this is the worst game review ever:
http://dessgeega.com/shortestign.html

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