There's always been a long-standing suspicion that Publishers of games can buy good review scores. We've never had anything to prove it, and we might not have it now. But when I look at the disparity between the things the critics have to say, and things the fans have to say, it's getting harder and harder to hide.
Something is definitely wrong with games criticism, and for once it's not Yahtzee.
|Via "Mass Effect 3 in a nutshell".|
OK, so, maybe it's not as direct and literal as EA giving IGN money for an inflated score. But when a website is covered in advertising bukkake for a game, it might undermine the sponsor's authority to give it a bad review. Or even a less-than-perfect review. Just ask Jeff Gerstmann.
Not to mention embargos, where you can review the game, but only if you don't mention any of its game-destroying flaws. Wouldn't want to lose the "exclusive" right to talk about a game at the same time everyone else is talking about it.
I have no sympathy for professional game critics. Oh, I've no problem with being a critic, if you're honest about it. If you don't cave into pressure or demands from studios who want to treat you like another branch on the advertising tree. But if you are willing to edit your beliefs for advertising revenue, you are an intellectual prostitute. Which is fine, hey, I got nothing against the sex trade. But people are ashamed of prostitution for some reason. Nobody wants to admit that their opinions are for sale. It makes them feel like they've sold a piece of themselves that they can't get get back.
The solution to this problem would be to simply refuse video-game related sponsors for your website, and allow other products and services to buy adspace instead. That way there's no "special interests" involved. Or at least, to not rely so heavily on sucking Activision's dick. You won't have to worry about pissing off the people who make Kraft dinners if you think Final Fantasy XIII-2 sucks ten thousand dongs. But pull that shit with Square-Enix, and they might not be on courteous terms with you when Final Fantasy XIII-3: The DLC-ening arrives.
So for now, they call themselves "critics", knowing there is an agreement that they will give preferential treatment to whoever is paying for their server costs this week. If that's you, well... you failed at life, but I won't stop you from making an income. Just don't demean real critics by comparing yourself to them.
If people rely on you to be fair and honest, and you fail at both of those things, you don't get to call yourself a critic.We know what you're doing, and you're pathetic for justifying it.
As Wrex once said: "Don't piss in my ear and tell me it's raining.".
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