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Gamespot Editor Fired
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November 30, 2007, 07:49 PM
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Gamespot Editor Fired
has been bouncing around suddenly. Would have put it in the 'Games' section, but things are still unclear at this time, IMO.
Looks like Jeff Gerstmann of Gamespot was fired, shortly after the posting of a rather negative review (6/10) and video of the game "Kain & Lynch: Dead Men". The fact that Eidos blitzed the website with advertising for this game at the same time, and that the video has since been removed makes it all rather suspicious.
Needless to say, speculation is running rampant. When you see forums and blogs posting
stuff like this
From a GS editor, anonymous of course: What you might not be aware of is that GS is well known for appealing mostly to hardcore gamers. The mucky-mucks have been doing a lot of "brand research" over the last year or so and indicating that they want to reach out to more casual gamers. Our last executive editor, Greg Kasavin, left to go to EA, and he was replaced by a suit, Josh Larson, who had no editorial experience and was only involved on the business side of things. Over the last year there has been an increasing amount of pressure to allow the advertising teams to have more of a say in the editorial process; we've started having to give our sales team heads-ups when a game is getting a low score, for instance, so that they can let the advertisers know that before a review goes up. Other publishers have started giving us notes involving when our reviews can go up; if a game's getting a 9 or above, it can go up early; if not, it'll have to wait until after the game is on the shelves.
I was in the meeting where Josh Larson was trying to explain this firing and the guy had absolutely no response to any of the criticisms we were sending his way. He kept dodging the question, saying that there were "multiple instances of tone" in the reviews that he hadn't been happy about, but that wasn't Jeff's problem since we all vet every review. He also implied that "AAA" titles deserved more attention when they were being reviewed, which sounded to all of us that he was implying that they should get higher scores, especially since those titles are usually more highly advertised on our site.
I know that it's all about the money, and hey, I like money. I like advertising because it pays my salary. Unfortunately after Kasavin left the church-and-state separation between the sales teams and the editorial team has cracked, and with Jeff's firing I think it's clear that the management now has no interest at all in integrity and are instead looking for an editorial team that will be nicer to the advertisors.
When companies make games as downright contemptible as Kane and Lynch, they deserve to be called on it. I guess you'll have to go to Onion or a smaller site for objective reviews now, because everyone at GS now thinks that if they give a low score to a high-profile game, they'll be[fired]. Everyone's **** scared and we're all hoping to get Josh Larson removed from his position because no one trusts him anymore. If that doesn't happen then look for every game to be Game of the Year material at GameSpot.
Definitely lots of posters claiming that they're cancelling their paid subscriptions on account of this. And to add insult to injury,
happens just afterwards... meh.
This could turn into something of a black eye for Gamespot, or it might just blow over. Who knows.
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