EDIT: It was just pointed out ot me that gamespot and 1up are not Ziff properties. If that is the case, I stand corrected...but the logic still holds...other than the fact that the 1up guys may be just as in the dark about this whole thing as the rest of us....and at that point, makes me think that Gamespot is even LESS evil....ok...carry on :)
There’s a lot of talk on the net these days about the value, method, and integrity of professional game reviews. Heck, it’s something I’ve been thinking about as well. Just a few weeks ago, I put up an entry questioning the proliferation of 9 and 10 rated games and wondering why other mediums aren’t as quick as reviewers in the game biz to call something a masterpiece. So as a gamer and a game maker (who has gotten much love and a little ‘meh’ from game reviews in the past) it’s something that’s on my mind.
And the main thing on my mind is this: I DON’T THINK GAMESPOT IS EVIL
…at least I don’t think they fired Gerstmann because he gave Kane & Lynch a semi-poor review.
Look, Ziff is not only a company, but it’s a company in CALIFORNIA that does not want to get sued for terminating an employee without reason. In California, juries are notorious for sticking it to corporations in wrongful termination lawsuits. You don’t fire people in this state for stupid shit like, say, doing the job you paid them to do (i.e. asking a game reviewer to write a review) without expecting to end up in court. Now granted, there is the thought that- like WWF- the game reviewers at Gamespot are just putting on a show and were never hired to give actual reviews but to do whatever their editors told them (i.e. make advertisers happy) under the guise of being ‘actual game reviewers’…and then in that case, I guess you could fire someone who gives a review you don’t like, cause that is not what you hired them to do. Hell, if that was the case, maybe Gamespot ordered Gertsmann to write a glowing review but he did not and snuck in and put his review up on his own and THAT is why he got fired. In that case,while I would applaud Gertsmann, that behavior could and should get you fired. NOT that anyone has ever said that’s what went down…I’m just letting my imagination run wild at this point. ☺
I also can’t imagine Gamespot would be so naïve to assume that firing one of their most popular editors would not stir up some of the fan base. And I can’t imagine Gamespot would be so naïve to assume that firing an editor over a bad review would not hurt its reputation the way that it has. Hell, there have been times in the past that we’ve stressed over letting a junior artist go because we were worried about the morale ramifications the firing would have on the 3-4 guys who went to lunch with the dude every day. So if it’s on our radar, you have to imagine Gamespot had a damn good reason to let this guy go given that they must have known how it would look and how it would affect their reputation….right?
So to me, both of those things make it clear that Gerstmann had to have done something else that stirred up the hornet’s nest; something else to get him canned.
So yeah, I don't think Gamespot is evil. I don’t think- because of the reasons cited above- that Gertsmann was fired for writing the review he wrote. It doesn't hold water, it's not logical.
So we're done, right?
See..,at the same time, there is the issue of this:
These are the guys from 1up showing up at the Gamespot offices to show support for Gertsmann and to make it clear they were not in favor of what went down. Ok, well these guys are part of the same industry AND the same company as Gertsmann…and they clearly are taking issue with something. I don’t know about you, but when people around me got fired in the past from time to time, I never liked it (cause I never want to see ANYONE lose a job) but I usually understood the reasons behind it. But here we’re got a whole gaggle of folks who seem like they should be ‘in the know’ and they are publicly saying, ‘this ain’t right.” So while my above theories about Gamespot not being evil SEEM like they are correct- at least to me- why are these 1up folks– who clearly know more of the story that I do-protesting? Anyone know if they’ve mentioned WHAT they were protesting? Did they come right out and say ‘we think Gamespot fucked up’? Cause man, if they DID say that and if they ARE in the know...then fuck. Then really just....just FUCK. Then man, Gamespot is total evil. And just scum as well. But I can't imagine it's as cut and dried as folks are making it out to be. It just can't be.
Anyway…so there’s that.
But hey, usually getting fired ends up being the best thing that happens to a person because it means it was time to move on and that they were no longer a fit with the place they worked. Getting fired is often the Universe’s way of coming along and saying: ok, you don’t have the balls to quit? No worries…I’ll help you out! And I imagine in Gertsmann’s case, this will hold true as well. So good luck Gerts...
…and good look Gamespot. If someone forced me to pick sides at this moment- going off NOTHING MORE THAN GUT REACTION- I would side with Gamespot, only because logic dictates that firing Gertsmann under the apparent circumstances would have no other result other than to make Gamespot look really bad (as it has). And that would be totally stupid.
…then again, this is the site that gave my last game a 6.7….
…so shit, maybe they are just a bunch of idiots….?
I KEED! I KEED! I honestly have NO FUCKING CLUE what went down...wish I did tho :)