Arkham City exclusive reviewer says stop being jerks, jerks.

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#1 Edited by benjaebe (2783 posts) -

Dan Staines, who writes for PlayStation Magazine Australia, has apparently had enough of people accusing their early exclusive review of being bought and paid for. Their score leaked and immediately drew some negative attention for being an early review with a 10/10.

You can read the rest of his thoughts here, but I'll leave you with the basic point of the article.

So fuck you guys. Fuck you for your constant sneering derision, for your endless unfunny “journalist in quotation marks” jokes, for your automatic assumptions of corruption, for all the times you sent someone an email full of vile personal insults because they gave some game you like a bad score, and for all the other toxic, squalid, and puerile bullshit that defines your contribution to videogame culture. Grow the fuck up for Christ’s sake. Or if you can’t do that, at least have the decency to keep your mouth shut once in a while.
Again: it’s right to be sceptical of games journalists. It’s right to be sceptical of big exclusive reviews that give massive scores to blockbuster titles. But if you’re going to accuse (or even insinuate) that a review is the product of corruption, that the journalist must have accepted cash for comment or anything like that, then here’s a tip: get some proof. Hell, not even that: get some evidence. Even the tiniest little shred will do. Get some evidence and use it to support your assertions. Otherwise, what are you even doing? I’ll tell you what you’re doing: you’re being a jerk.
Stop being a jerk.
Oh, and guys? The suggestion that I wrote the review the way I did so that I could get a quote on the box is… absolutely right. You got me! Ever since I was a child, I have longed – YEARNED – for a chance to get something I wrote printed on a videogame box. Truly it is my one great ambition, my one driving passion, and to this day it remains painfully unfulfilled. I don’t know if Arkham City will be my salvation, but I can assure you that I did everything in my power to make it so.
Idiots.

Edited for formatting.

#2 Posted by Hunkulese (2528 posts) -

I agree with him 100%

#3 Posted by TekZero (2638 posts) -

I fully endorse this statement.

#4 Edited by MooseyMcMan (9765 posts) -

Yeah, I always hate how people always assume that reviews with high scores aren't legit. I mean, some games really are REALLY good.

But then if the games don't get at least a 9, they're atrocious failures that aren't worth buying.

Internet people are jerks.

#5 Posted by uniform (1830 posts) -

We need to blow up the internet..and the moon, that reviewer guy too.

#6 Posted by SHADOWINFINITE (545 posts) -

@uniform said:

We need to blow up the internet..and the moon, that reviewer guy too.

Lol

#7 Posted by Largo6661 (326 posts) -

he is totaly right and funny i might add.

#8 Posted by Strife777 (1432 posts) -

If I remember correctly, people were saying the same thing about some early European reviews for Arkham Asylum. Look how that game turned out.

I agree with everything he said.

#9 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

He is 100% correct.

#10 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Guy's right.
 
Get some proof or jump off a roof, win/win.

#11 Posted by CptBedlam (4439 posts) -

I will still be sceptical of exclusive reviews in the future. I can't proof anything with specific games but too often in the past the shady practices in the business have been uncovered and I expect that not much has changed since then.

Just stop doing the exclusive review bullshit.

#12 Posted by Quipido (573 posts) -

He may be correct, but this will be followed by another shitstorm on his head. But good for him, I am all for expressing one's opinion.

#13 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

So to post a review before embargo, the reviewer generally sends the review to the publisher. And the publisher gives them the ye-nay. If it's massively glowing, they'll usually let it get out early. Same thing happened with Uncharted 2 a couple years ago.

#14 Posted by Humanity (7963 posts) -

Thats some ballsy stuff to say - nice to see them write something so personal.

Stupid commentary is an age problem that you can't really solve I'm afraid. Even here on Giant Bomb I'll see comments along the lines of "this game blows but not as much as Dark Souls that game is fucking gay, gonna get MW3" Thats actually paraphrasing a comment I read yesterday, sadly.

Online
#15 Posted by Twisted_Scot (1169 posts) -

Jerks are such Jerks.

#16 Edited by SpartanAmbrose (831 posts) -

Bravo, sir. Bravo.

#17 Posted by GilbertMordinAndSullivan (442 posts) -

@benjaebe said:

Otherwise, what are you even doing? I’ll tell you what you’re doing: you’re being a jerk.
Stop being a jerk.

Yes, yes, yes! A MILLION times yes. The constant bickering and screaming over review scores is the absolute worst part of gaming culture. Videogames are supposed to be fun, guys, and all reviewers are really trying to do is tell you if they, personally, had fun while playing it. Don't waste your life bitching incessantly over other people's opinions.

That said, feel free to disagree and post your own thoughts. But lets try to be fucking reasonable about it. This isn't life and death. This is gaming. You know, fun.

#18 Posted by Tebbit (4435 posts) -

Is that the same Dan Staines who wrote for Hyper magazine for a while? He's a great reviewer.

#19 Posted by iAmJohn (6091 posts) -

I'm sorry, but no. If you're going to put yourself in the position of having an exclusive review and all the caveats that come with that (do you really think any publisher is going to be fine with a first review being anything less than "Man, this game sure is great!"), you deserve to be called out on it. This guy's journalistic intentions may be true, but exclusive reviews are a disgusting, slimy process, and if you're proliferating it, you're part of the problem.

#20 Posted by ervonymous (1226 posts) -

First time I've heard of this guy and I already love him.

#21 Posted by CptBedlam (4439 posts) -

@iAmJohn said:

I'm sorry, but no. If you're going to put yourself in the position of having an exclusive review and all the caveats that come with that (do you really think any publisher is going to be fine with a first review being anything less than "Man, this game sure is great!"), you deserve to be called out on it. This guy's journalistic intentions may be true, but exclusive reviews are a disgusting, slimy process, and if you're proliferating it, you're part of the problem.

Exactly.

#22 Edited by CptBedlam (4439 posts) -

@GilbertMordinAndSullivan said:

@benjaebe said:

Otherwise, what are you even doing? I’ll tell you what you’re doing: you’re being a jerk.
Stop being a jerk.

Yes, yes, yes! A MILLION times yes. The constant bickering and screaming over review scores is the absolute worst part of gaming culture. Videogames are supposed to be fun, guys, and all reviewers are really trying to do is tell you if they, personally, had fun while playing it. Don't waste your life bitching incessantly over other people's opinions.

That said, feel free to disagree and post your own thoughts. But lets try to be fucking reasonable about it. This isn't life and death. This is gaming. You know, fun.

This is not about calling out other opinions, this is about calling out the deals and conditions that are in place behind the scenes when it comes to exclusive reviews.

To the people who applaud this guy: you are all naive fools.

Please show me ONE exclusive review with a shit score that hit before an embargo ended. Nothing? Okay...

#23 Posted by Dragon4234 (117 posts) -

Holy shit somebody in a industry is making sense? On the internet? On the topic of people and how they act on the internet? It's almost like they are in fact actual people.

#24 Posted by JohnTheGamer (341 posts) -

I agree with his sentiment entirely, I just wish he didn't have to be so offensive in the way he did it. Granted, he was spot on and pretty funny, but some professional conduct would've been nice too.

#25 Posted by Grilledcheez (3919 posts) -

If he's going to be a game reviewer, and review a major game ahead of it's release, he should be able to deal with internet people being internet people.

#26 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -

I dunno. I think maybe this guy just doesn't understand the internet.

#27 Edited by L33tfella_H (901 posts) -

I can understand where people might think that *remembers some of those early DRIV3R reviews....eughhh*, but it's funny how most of these people are pretty excited for the game anyway and when they see more and more 5-star/10 point reviews pop up they all shout "I knew it!" in unison and their excitement climaxes.

Y'all need to chill out. If you care about this game, this shouldn't matter. If you don't care about this game, you probably shouldn't give a fuck.

#28 Posted by Brendan (7519 posts) -

@CptBedlam said:

@GilbertMordinAndSullivan said:

@benjaebe said:

Otherwise, what are you even doing? I’ll tell you what you’re doing: you’re being a jerk.
Stop being a jerk.

Yes, yes, yes! A MILLION times yes. The constant bickering and screaming over review scores is the absolute worst part of gaming culture. Videogames are supposed to be fun, guys, and all reviewers are really trying to do is tell you if they, personally, had fun while playing it. Don't waste your life bitching incessantly over other people's opinions.

That said, feel free to disagree and post your own thoughts. But lets try to be fucking reasonable about it. This isn't life and death. This is gaming. You know, fun.

This is not about calling out other opinions, this is about calling out the deals and conditions that are in place behind the scenes when it comes to exclusive reviews.

To the people who applaud this guy: you are all naive fools.

Please show me ONE exclusive review with a shit score that hit before an embargo ended. Nothing? Okay...

Actually if you read the original post, you'll that it is exactly about his review being bought and paid for. This means that he was paid to write a favourable review, not that he wrote a favourable review because he generally liked the game and then got to put it up early, giving him the benefit of early review coverage.

I don't like the publishers mind set either, but I love the reviewers.

#29 Posted by msavo (7522 posts) -

@iAmJohn said:

I'm sorry, but no. If you're going to put yourself in the position of having an exclusive review and all the caveats that come with that (do you really think any publisher is going to be fine with a first review being anything less than "Man, this game sure is great!"), you deserve to be called out on it. This guy's journalistic intentions may be true, but exclusive reviews are a disgusting, slimy process, and if you're proliferating it, you're part of the problem.

Word. It reminds me of a question asked to Jeff on his Formspring:

Perhaps. We got word that there'd be an exclusive review running ahead of the general embargo. I have to imagine that's IGN, since they're pretty much the only ones who somehow still think that exclusive reviews are a good idea. (Actually, I heard exclusive reviews traffic pretty well for those guys, so maybe the rest of us are idiots for trying to stand on some moral high ground that doesn't really exist.)

#30 Posted by NaDannMaGoGo (338 posts) -

@CptBedlam said:

@iAmJohn said:

I'm sorry, but no. If you're going to put yourself in the position of having an exclusive review and all the caveats that come with that (do you really think any publisher is going to be fine with a first review being anything less than "Man, this game sure is great!"), you deserve to be called out on it. This guy's journalistic intentions may be true, but exclusive reviews are a disgusting, slimy process, and if you're proliferating it, you're part of the problem.

Exactly.

Yep, I share this point of view.

Oh and:

"But if you’re going to accuse (or even insinuate) that a review is the product of corruption, that the journalist must have accepted cash for comment or anything like that, then here’s a tip: get some proof. Hell, not even that: get some evidence."

Evidence? How about it's a FUCKING EXCLUSIVE REVIEW. If there's any first sign of being suspicious as hell, it's THIS.

There's no way in hell that an exclusive review passed by without any interference by the publisher. Even if it was just a check, whether they're fine with the review and allow its early release without any other hook, it still had to pass the publisher. And let's not be delusional, in most cases there is a real vicious hook.

Also, if that guy is so upset about his game journalist integrity, how about he stops giving a shit for exclusive reviews then? None has to question him then, right?

#31 Posted by iAmJohn (6091 posts) -

@CptBedlam said:

@GilbertMordinAndSullivan said:

@benjaebe said:

Otherwise, what are you even doing? I’ll tell you what you’re doing: you’re being a jerk.
Stop being a jerk.

Yes, yes, yes! A MILLION times yes. The constant bickering and screaming over review scores is the absolute worst part of gaming culture. Videogames are supposed to be fun, guys, and all reviewers are really trying to do is tell you if they, personally, had fun while playing it. Don't waste your life bitching incessantly over other people's opinions.

That said, feel free to disagree and post your own thoughts. But lets try to be fucking reasonable about it. This isn't life and death. This is gaming. You know, fun.

This is not about calling out other opinions, this is about calling out the deals and conditions that are in place behind the scenes when it comes to exclusive reviews.

To the people who applaud this guy: you are all naive fools.

Please show me ONE exclusive review with a shit score that hit before an embargo ended. Nothing? Okay...

To be fair, there was one that I can think of: EGM did a review cover for State of Emergency when that came out, and proceeded to give it 5s and 6s. In the years since that cover, though, they've talked about how they were originally supposed to have a Mortal Kombat cover that fell through and the SoE cover was a last minute thing, and how fucking furious Rockstar was about it. So basically your point is still totally correct and I've just wasted my time.

#32 Posted by CptBedlam (4439 posts) -

@Brendan said:

@CptBedlam said:

@GilbertMordinAndSullivan said:

@benjaebe said:

Otherwise, what are you even doing? I’ll tell you what you’re doing: you’re being a jerk.
Stop being a jerk.

Yes, yes, yes! A MILLION times yes. The constant bickering and screaming over review scores is the absolute worst part of gaming culture. Videogames are supposed to be fun, guys, and all reviewers are really trying to do is tell you if they, personally, had fun while playing it. Don't waste your life bitching incessantly over other people's opinions.

That said, feel free to disagree and post your own thoughts. But lets try to be fucking reasonable about it. This isn't life and death. This is gaming. You know, fun.

This is not about calling out other opinions, this is about calling out the deals and conditions that are in place behind the scenes when it comes to exclusive reviews.

To the people who applaud this guy: you are all naive fools.

Please show me ONE exclusive review with a shit score that hit before an embargo ended. Nothing? Okay...

Actually if you read the original post, you'll that it is exactly about his review being bought and paid for. This means that he was paid to write a favourable review, not that he wrote a favourable review because he generally liked the game and then got to put it up early, giving him the benefit of early review coverage.

I don't like the publishers mind set either, but I love the reviewers.

That guy got it wrong, too. People are not sceptical of his opinion, they are sceptical of the terms and conditions he or his publications agreed to for getting the exclusive review. This is not conspiracy talk or anything, just cold hard reality in the business. Publishers don't give away exclusive reviews and risk a bad score.

#33 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

@SpartanAmbrose said:

Bravo, sir. Bravo.

This.

#34 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (660 posts) -

I don't really have an opinion one way or the other on the early review stuff. It does seem skeezy, though.

To me, though, his little meltdown is stupendously unprofessional. The internet isn't a new thing. That it's full of vocal dicksneezes isn't news. That there is a vocal minority of especially foul and entitled gamers is also not a new development. Guy shouldn't be surprised. Guy shouldn't be getting pissed about it. Like it or lump it, but that audience keeps that magazine alive. The douchebags making personal attacks on him are the reason why he's able to do what he's doing. Don't get me wrong, he's reasonably justified in being pissed off, but arguing about it on the internet is just going to hurt him and the magazine.

#35 Posted by stise (88 posts) -

Probably the most ridiculous exclusive review I've ever read was Play magazine's exclusive review of Afro Samurai. It was the length of a cover story, included interviews with the game's design and art team, and claimed the game "transcended numerical score".

#36 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4038 posts) -
#37 Edited by iAmJohn (6091 posts) -

@stise said:

Probably the most ridiculous exclusive review I've ever read was Play magazine's exclusive review of Afro Samurai. It was the length of a cover story, included interviews with the game's design and art team, and claimed the game "transcended numerical score".

Dave Halverson is a cancer on the industry. Remember the time he gave Sonic 2k6--AKA the game where Sonic makes out with a human and is also broken as shit and barely a working game--a 9.5? I do.

But no, it's cool guys, he did the right thing and took Sega to task for not fixing bugs he was promised would be fixed by later dropping the score by a whole point to an 8.5!

#38 Posted by iAmJohn (6091 posts) -

@L33tfella_H said:

I can understand where people might think that *remembers some of those early DRIV3R reviews....eughhh*, but it's funny how most of these people are pretty excited for the game anyway and when they see more and more 5-star/10 point reviews pop up they all shout "I knew it!" in unison and their excitement climaxes.

Y'all need to chill out. If you care about this game, this shouldn't matter. If you don't care about this game, you probably shouldn't give a fuck.

So the fact that Arkham City is probably an awesome game means that we should throw standards out the window? That we shouldn't expect the press not to get into bed with the publishers any more than they already do and basically use their review as a marketing piece (because really, what other purpose does having an EXCLUSIVE review serve?) because whatever, the game was going to be great anyway? Glad to see you can be bought so easily.

#39 Posted by L33tfella_H (901 posts) -

@iAmJohn: Christ man, calm down. You're only proving my point that you're losing your shit over nothing. Like he said, if the review is "bought", bring some proof.

#40 Edited by Maelstrom (38 posts) -

If gaming magazines and websites think exclusive reviews are legit and not shady at all then why don't they ever disclose the conditions of said deal? Publishers aren't letting outlets post early reviews ahead of their competition unless some form of currency is being exchanged (more coverage, guaranteed positive coverage, prominent ad placement etc.) in order to "pay" those morally-bankrupt outlets for assumed greater hits from visitors by posting a review before anyone else.

When any website or magazine loudly announces EXCLUSIVE I just laugh at how naive they are because that is the equivalent of shouting WE HAVE COMPROMISED OUR INTEGRITY FOR MORE TRAFFIC!!

Edit: The guy who wrote the 10/10 review that the OP is talking about admitted that he didn't even finish the damn game!!! How the hell can you give out a perfect score yet not experience the ending? What a crock of sh*t review.

#41 Edited by NaDannMaGoGo (338 posts) -

It's exclusive, there is your proof that his review got special treatment. If you try to tell me we have to somehow magically research that very reason and in case of failure are not allowed to claim that something's wrong with the review, then I can just laugh in your face.

And why do you keep saying "calm down" when he isn't raging? I hope you don't just do that to take away his credibility ;)

#42 Edited by CptBedlam (4439 posts) -

@Maelstrom said:

Edit: The guy who wrote the 10/10 review that the OP is talking about admitted that he didn't even finish the damn game!!! How the hell can you give out a perfect score yet not experience the ending? What a crock of sh*t review.

Wow ... he is going to regret that blog he wrote.

#43 Posted by LiquidPrince (15609 posts) -

I agree with him, ya jerks.

#44 Posted by stise (88 posts) -

@iAmJohn said:

@stise said:

Probably the most ridiculous exclusive review I've ever read was Play magazine's exclusive review of Afro Samurai. It was the length of a cover story, included interviews with the game's design and art team, and claimed the game "transcended numerical score".

Dave Halverson is a cancer on the industry. Remember the time he gave Sonic 2k6--AKA the game where Sonic makes out with a human and is also broken as shit and barely a working game--a 9.5? I do.

But no, it's cool guys, he did the right thing and took Sega to task for not fixing bugs he was promised would be fixed by later dropping the score by a whole point to an 8.5!

Ha, really? Yeesh. I have no experience with the magazine or reviewer outside of that Afro Samurai story. Sounds like a stand up guy.

#45 Posted by iAmJohn (6091 posts) -

@L33tfella_H said:

@iAmJohn: Christ man, calm down. You're only proving my point that you're losing your shit over nothing. Like he said, if the review is "bought", bring some proof.

Alright, point one, if you really think I'm losing my shit over this, you're sorely mistaken. Point two: I have all the proof I need in the fact that the review exists. Do you really think Warner Bros. is really going to allow an exclusive review to be published that's anything less than stellar? The entire reason to have an early review out, if you're a publisher, is because you can make it part of your marketing. It builds buzz for your upcoming game to have early reviews like that, and you can use those reviews as part of your advertising (and if you don't think being able to air an ad the week the game's out with press quotes like "10/10 THIS GAME IS AMAZING!" is highly beneficial to publishers, I'm going to suggest that you don't understand anything about anything). Add in the fact that the only way a exclusive review can even happen is if the publisher tells the press outlet that they are the only ones allowed to break embargo and publish on X day at X time while everyone else can publish on Y or Z, and you're really going to tell me that there's no proof that the review wasn't bought in some way?

Even if this is one of those cases where they already had the review and WB decided to "reward" them by letting them publish early, how is that any more acceptable?

#46 Posted by steelknight2000 (416 posts) -

Writing a review just to get your name on the box is not a thing to be proud of.

#47 Posted by Joeyoe31 (820 posts) -

While we're at it, why not say anime is for jerks too. Bunch of assholes.

But seriously this guy is right.

#48 Posted by laserbolts (5309 posts) -

This guy is awesome and people that bitch about review scores are fucking twats.

#49 Posted by N7 (3570 posts) -

THERE IS SOMETHING ON THE INTERNET THAT DISPLEASES ME! I SHALL LET THE WORLD KNOW!

#50 Posted by msavo (7522 posts) -

@laserbolts said:

This guy is awesome and people that bitch about review scores are fucking twats.

No one's bitching about the score. People are skeptical of an exclusive review, as they should be.

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