N'Gai Croal weighs in on what the Gerstmann affair really means:|
So while we certainly recognized that our employers at Newsweek wouldn't have the same vulnerability to videogame publishers as would enthusiast magazines, the matter-of-fact way in which the publicist shared the details of their company's scorched earth retaliation led us to presume that this was considered an acceptable way to deal with the specialist press, in a way it would not be with the mainstream media.Watch for it - if ads are running for the game, the review score has likely been goosed.
Now factor into this the fundamentally broken nature of the preview-feature-review process, in which historically previews and features have almost invariably been positive--or optimistic, if we're being more charitable--before the truth, good or bad, was finally revealed in the text and scoring of the review. Again, this is no different from other forms of entertainment, where absent known conflict or scandal among the creators, pre-release coverage is generally upbeat. But as one publicist we spoke with earlier this week told us, one of the most challenging parts of her job was trying to reconcile for her bosses the disparity between the rah-rah tone of previews and features with negative reviews and review scores whenever one arose.