follow us:

Latest News

Killzone: Shadowfall receives 2 free maps today
Guerilla Games continue to deliver on their original promise of releasing every piece of map pack absolutely for free and here’s your first look at the two upcoming free for all maps.... [read more]
Here’s some more behind the scenes look at Assassin’s Creed Unity
Thanks to a brand new development studio behind this year’s Assassins Creed Unity, the game hasn’t looked this jaw dropping in the long running series ever before.... [read more]
EA Sports adds new fighters for free in today's update
EA Sports UFC came out last month, and today, a new content update is out that includes new changes to the gameplay, various online improvements and three new fighters for the sweet price of free dollars and free cents. ... [read more]

Latest Articles

When a Good Cause Gets Tainted
This June was an important month for Nintendo. Prior to them winning the hearts of gamers across the globe at E3, they were in some hot water over a game that came out just a few days before. That game, Tomodachi Life, became the center of a world of drama that was not only ... [read more]
Destiny Alpha is a delightful appetizer before the main course
Announced during the Sony E3 Press Conference, PS4 owners got their first shot to play Destiny. The Destiny Alpha only lasted a few days, but it left a big impression.... [read more]
E3 2014: Oh who are we kidding, it was all about Zelda Wii U at Nintendo's E3 Digital Event
Even though Nintendo was not producing a live press conference, they didn't spare any expense with the production value of their E3 Digital Event. ... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Titanfall Review
It's safe to say that Titanfall is the first highly-anticipated next gen (or should I say current gen) game for 2014.Developed by Respawn Entertainment, Titanfall received some huge hype at E3, and it was well deserved. Although the game is not perfect, it's heading in the r... [read more]
Conception II Review
I can honestly say that Conception II would be an incredibly awkward game to try and describe to anyone who doesn’t watch anime or play RPGs. In fact, if someone could find a socially acceptable way to describe a game where you impregnate girl’s souls using your “star ... [read more]
Outlast: Whistleblower Review
Outlast became one of my favorite survival horror games and I gave it a 9 in my review. The game, however, left me wanting for more jump scares and thus I was naturally excited to quickly dive into its story related DLC, Whistleblower. ... [read more]

Latest Videos

SGC 2014: We Slay Monsters Interview
You may have played a dungeon crawler before, but have you ever played a dungeon crawler where your attack is based on the poker hand your dealt? This isn't a fantasy game made by Kenny Rogers, it's We Slay Monsters from Furiously Inactive Games.... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Donkey Kong Country - Tropical Freeze Review
8-Bit Eric reviews the return of our favorite ape, Donkey Kong, in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. ... [read more]
Why the Separation of Men and Women in eSports is Stupid (Update)
An article on PC Gamer revealed that the International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) keeps men and women in separate tournament. Not only that, men and women can't even compete in the same games. Men can compete in DotA 2, Ultra Street Fighter IV, Hearthstone and Stacraft II wh... [read more]
Exclusive Reviews: Crowding One Voice and Shunning Others
Posted on March 21, 2013 by Drew Bergmark

Yesterday, I was going through social media wondering what people were questioning about with exclusive reviews. I hadn’t heard anything about any exclusive reviews for months despite liking multiple regions of IGN on Facebook. IGN’s Xbox head Ryan McCaffrey skipped St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday because he was working on reviewing possibly one of the year’s most anticipated titles: BioShock Infinite.

To preface what I’m going to say through this editorial, I’m sure there have been no basic journalistic ethics broken with the exclusive IGN review of 2K and Irrational Games’ BioShock Infinite but as I don’t have any personal or private business relationships between any employee of either company I can’t be a hundred percent certain in that statement either.

With days before a game’s release and no official reviews are out for the public to read, usually this means that there should be some kind of caution about a game but when an exclusive review is in play, all cards are thrown into the air just like a childish game of ‘52 Card Pickup’: tell everyone to pick up the cards as one person gets the delight of watching others squirm. Surely, this isn’t the intent of either partner intentionally but that’s what comes of the situation.

When dozens of popular gaming outlets are told to sit on their hands and not get to release a review all at the same time, all those who follow the games media are crowded to the one voice, creating a dictatorial opinion on the subject. Along with the outlet’s opinion, several other options pop-up: how will the review change with a specific advertising layout, what does the publisher want in order to complete the contracted obligation and the most important how will the judgment be judged by the consumers?

Millions of dollars lay upon the fingertips of one San Franciscan that could change a global company’s stocks from fifteen dollars a share to ten or twenty. If the game gives a bad impression to the reviewer, this could mean hundreds of people’s jobs potentially as the publisher has invested five years and millions of dollars into the project. If the game gives a good impression to the reviewer, the outlet could receive criticism for the next decade on how they were supposedly paid-off by one of the largest publishers in the industry. Every reviewer has to think of this but when you remove the other 100 reviews from Metacritic with the single review speaking for potentially all of the company’s audience, you are forcing this reviewer to feel obligated to not only to feel safe in his words but to compromise, in this case, his positive or negative criticism.

In other media mediums like music or movies, exclusive reviews aren’t used anymore as they appear to be naive with major outlets being shunned, which goes for all those independent bloggers too. Apparently though, this doesn’t affect the decision making made over at Take-Two Interactive. In fact, looking at the layout of the ‘review-in-progress’ that has been posted as of the publication of this editorial, there are several locations that IGN and Take-Two use with different retail partners to take advantage by posting advertisements in strategic places where readers can’t ignore an Amazon link telling where gamers can purchase the game.

Literally, in the middle of a fucking sentence, an advertisement links to a private IGN server which is then redirected to the online Microsoft store for a pre-order of BioShock Infinite. The dependent phrase should read ‘In BioShock Infinite’s opening moments, ...’ but instead boxed with red dots, the ‘$59.99 @ Microsoft Store’ advertisement immediately steals away attention from reading as it has been placed directly where most consumers would direct their eyes: to the middle of the screen. Call this what you want but putting an advertisement right in the middle of a sentence, as far as I know, has never been done before other than normal page breaks with a newspaper.

This wasn’t the only obvious advertisement that was featured in the ‘review-in-progress’ either. As it was called a review-in-progress, most gamers will scroll down to see if a score has been given but instead for those searching for the arbitrary number would be treated to looking at three different box arts for different platforms from different retail companies linking to their respective webpage where you can pre-order the game now.

I don’t know if it’s just me but the exclusive reviews just seem to be a great way to advertise, by choking other outlets from reporting on a game instead of offering your audience an accurate outlook on a title by subjectively inspecting what other reviewers have said about the game. If I were ever given this chance for an exclusive review, I wouldn’t be able to accept it morally because the personal implications that such an illustrious event would be such a massive impact on my writing career but also because I write to help gamers to get the best product out of what money they have. Only allowing one person to review a game publicly before its release is an atrocity to those who follow game reviewers and shouldn’t be allowed because it collapses discussion for how exciting a certain product maybe.

BioShock Infinite comes out on March 26th, next Tuesday, internationally on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Mac. Yesterday, I reported that Greenman Gaming is offering the best offer for the PC version of the game as you’ll get an extra three games for free with the purchase of a downloadable copy of the game.

Drew Bergmark - Staff Writer viggo (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

What's your most anticipated game for August?

Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney
Sacred 3
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
Tales of Xillia 2
Madden NFL 15
Metro Redux
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited
View Results - View Comments

Podcast


The Iron Men of Gaming


Bioshock Infinite Collector's Editions announced

Why the Playstation 4 isn't coming out this year

Bungie publicly reveals Destiny

Other Gaming News From The Web