So how does IGN secure an exclusive review?

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#1 Posted by hoossy (933 posts) -

Doesn't happen so much anymore, but every now and then you see a website get the exclusives on some big title... and now I'm wondering how/why?

Yes, some people are going to jump to the conclusion that IGN has promised a fantastic review, but that seems a little far fetched to me.

Idk, maybe I'm being naive, what you do you duders think?

#2 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (3204 posts) -

Mountain Dew and Dorritos?

#4 Edited by TruthTellah (8805 posts) -

Sounds like pure promotion. aka. You believe there is a good chance that the review will be positive, and if a positive review is the only thing for people to see for a while, it's great promotion for the game. Plus, you get them to highlight it as a big happening, drawing attention to the site and the game. That's great for you both; so, you sell it to an outlet as a win-win.

In the end, no matter what their stated justification for it may be, I think the only reason would be promotion for them both. It perhaps shows some confidence in the product, but I do think it puts some pressure on the reviewer to give it a more positive rating. I'm not sure I like any outlet having an exclusive review. It does bring up real questions like this.

#5 Edited by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

Cash money

#6 Posted by Milkman (16674 posts) -
#7 Posted by TruthTellah (8805 posts) -

As PR director Tom Ohle said of embargoes and exclusive reviews:

“In some cases, you may want to align reviews with another element of your marketing campaign... Perhaps you offered an outlet an exclusive review in exchange for prominent placement or promotion, and you don’t want other reviews to hit before that one."

#8 Edited by Fattony12000 (7304 posts) -

"Hey, BioShock, we're gonna give you a 10/10."

"Hey, you can run your review early, on the biggest video game website in the world."

#9 Edited by Heltom92 (709 posts) -

Maybe I'm naive as well, but I'd like to think big developers like this wouldn't buy out reviewers. To me it sounds like conspiracy theory crap from people who have too much time on their hands and I think we would have a lot more substantial evidence of it happening if it did. I assume IGN can pull it off more because they are the biggest gaming website by far but I would be interested in hearing what someone from IGN would have to say about it though.

#10 Posted by Humanity (9056 posts) -

The logistics of buying out reviews are so absurd it's impossible to think anyone would actually indulge in this practice.

#11 Edited by StrikeALight (1114 posts) -

IGN is the world's biggest video game website. It sounds like common sense that 2k would offer them first dibs.

#12 Posted by alternate (2696 posts) -

I doubt IGN promised them a high score, so the problem now is that the publisher has pissed off a lot of reviewers and they have to hope none of them are petty enough to mark it down in retaliation.

#13 Posted by Snail (8595 posts) -
#14 Posted by twigger89 (278 posts) -

@hoossy said:

Doesn't happen so much anymore, but every now and then you see a website get the exclusives on some big title... and now I'm wondering how/why?

Yes, some people are going to jump to the conclusion that IGN has promised a fantastic review, but that seems a little far fetched to me.

Idk, maybe I'm being naive, what you do you duders think?

Readership and ad placement. IGN is the biggest video game site on the net, I'm sure IGN was willing to give better ad placement for the exclusive review and 2K probably felt pretty confident about the game to allow it to be reviewed early.

#15 Posted by monstersarehere (17 posts) -

Yeah, as most people said, they are certainly getting something back in return.

Probably not money or a good review. Some back-door deal like ad placement or some other kind of promotion. I doubt people need to hear about it, everybody talks about this game. It just needs to be in your face constantly to cave in and buy it.

#16 Posted by kishinfoulux (2282 posts) -

IGN being scummy. Nothing new here. Can't wait to see that glowing review.

#17 Edited by Blu3V3nom07 (4202 posts) -
#18 Posted by Kidavenger (3532 posts) -

If BioShock Infinite ends up being a 5 star game and Giantbomb writes a 5 star review for it and puts it up today; what trouble would they get in? Does anyone really think the publisher or developer is going to penalize anyone that gives their game a glowing review just because it's early? I can see them going ape if bad reviews started going up early but it would be insane to restrict good reviews.

#19 Edited by OldGuy (1552 posts) -

Duder, this:

#20 Edited by Dylabaloo (1549 posts) -

@hoossy: Shane Satterfield explains the situation here in his blog. But if your too busy to read it basically boils down to 2K asking them if they wanted do it and them wanting to do because it's a 2013 tentpole release. The exclusivity window maintains IGN's place on major search engines results, forever. He explains that most big video game websites are offered exclusive windows on reviews but most refuse as it looks shady and fuels internet speculation.

#21 Edited by TooSweet (381 posts) -

I just figured they get a ton of hits so it's good marketing.

#22 Edited by bartok (2469 posts) -

Blow jobs lots and lots of blow jobs

#23 Edited by me3639 (1753 posts) -

Easy business decision from both sides. I would just like to know how much IGN threw at 2K for this exclusive.

#24 Edited by Krakn3Dfx (2489 posts) -

I haven't cared about what IGN says for years, so an early review from them of Infinite, or any other game, isn't going to matter much to me, but I'm sure there are a substantial number of people out there still consider their word to be gospel.

I do love IGN's "Review in progress" bullshit. Why just post a review when you can have people click over and over again?

"Our exclusive review of <game> will be published this Thursday evening, March 21 at 9pm Pacific/12am Eastern Time. Until then, keep checking back with IGN every day for more exclusive <game> content during BioShock Week! It’s a lot like Shark Week, except the sharks are clouds."

Don't forget your Ovaltine.

#25 Posted by KatyGaGa (285 posts) -

so, it got a 9.5.

I guess its cliche to get excited, so I won't.

#26 Posted by TurboMan (7506 posts) -

9.4/10

I might as well cancel my pre-order. Good luck on finding your next job, Ken Levine. This game is a BUST.

#27 Edited by kishinfoulux (2282 posts) -

You mean an exclusive review game got a high score? And this is why gamers are always crying foul and accuse outlets of being bribed. Fuck IGN. This is gross, but I expect that from them.

#28 Posted by Rasmoss (455 posts) -

Kotaku reviews IGN's reviews of Bioshock Infinite. Heh,

Here

#29 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2469 posts) -

Has an exclusive review ever lead to a bad or mediocre score? There you go.

#30 Edited by NecroMongo (64 posts) -

Maybe it was worth a 9.4/9.5 even without the bribe?

#31 Posted by Winternet (8014 posts) -

Not going to lie, I thought it was going to get a higher score than a 9.4 (whatever that means).

#32 Edited by FFFFFFF (75 posts) -

IGN: 'We want to review this early and our site is kind of a big deal. It will push sales for you and ad revenue for us. Also, Metacritic weights us very highly.'

2K: 'Okay, but only if your score is... let's say... 9.5 or better.'

IGN: '9.5/10'

I'm sure the IGN reviewer legitimately feels like its a great game, so if the score was going to be that high you post it and everyone wins. If the score wasn't quite that high you bump it a little, as there is pretty much no difference between a 8.6 and a 9.4 anyway because a 100 point scale is retarded.

And I'm sure if they thought the game was trash and wanted to give it a 4.0 (do they ever give bad games scores like 4.1 or 3.9? Or do they just use that as high-score wiggle room?) that they would have just waited.

#33 Posted by Humanity (9056 posts) -

Well Ken Levine did a 44min interview with Giant Bomb. What wasn't shown was the wads of cash Levine was sticking behind Jeffs tracksuit waistband as he drooled all over himself mouthing FIVE OUT OF FIVE over and over again while Patrick kept trying to get Ken to look at some new iOS game he downloaded.

#34 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1826 posts) -

I haven't cared about what IGN says for years, so an early review from them of Infinite, or any other game, isn't going to matter much to me, but I'm sure there are a substantial number of people out there still consider their word to be gospel.

I do love IGN's "Review in progress" bullshit. Why just post a review when you can have people click over and over again?

"Our exclusive review of <game> will be published this Thursday evening, March 21 at 9pm Pacific/12am Eastern Time. Until then, keep checking back with IGN every day for more exclusive <game> content during BioShock Week! It’s a lot like Shark Week, except the sharks are clouds."

Don't forget your Ovaltine.

But yet im sure if there was an early review on here youd praise it to be gospel

#35 Posted by Rasmoss (455 posts) -

Exclusive reviews are fucking gross. I don't get why more people don't have a problem with them. They don't exist outside the games industry.

#36 Edited by connerthekewlkid (1826 posts) -

@rasmoss said:

Exclusive reviews are fucking gross. I don't get why more people don't have a problem with them. They don't exist outside the games industry.

Well for one youre talking about gross yet you linked to a Kotaku article

#37 Posted by Herk (189 posts) -
#38 Posted by TruthTellah (8805 posts) -

@herk said:

@connerthekewlkid What have I missed? Why are kotaku gross?

People don't take kindly to Kotaku round these here parts.

http://i2.minus.com/iJYmSq6TkOK5E.png

#39 Posted by TruthTellah (8805 posts) -

@humanity said:

Well Ken Levine did a 44min interview with Giant Bomb. What wasn't shown was the wads of cash Levine was sticking behind Jeffs tracksuit waistband as he drooled all over himself mouthing FIVE OUT OF FIVE over and over again while Patrick kept trying to get Ken to look at some new iOS game he downloaded.

I think that's exactly what happened. I've seen the tapes. I've tasted the chemical trails on the video. This is the truth right here.

#40 Posted by Rasmoss (455 posts) -

@rasmoss said:

Exclusive reviews are fucking gross. I don't get why more people don't have a problem with them. They don't exist outside the games industry.

Well for one youre talking about gross yet you linked to a Kotaku article

I have literally no idea what you're saying.

#41 Edited by 49th (2732 posts) -

I don't have any problem with this. 9.4 suggests the game is not garbage which is all I need to know at the moment.

#42 Posted by Humanity (9056 posts) -

@humanity said:

Well Ken Levine did a 44min interview with Giant Bomb. What wasn't shown was the wads of cash Levine was sticking behind Jeffs tracksuit waistband as he drooled all over himself mouthing FIVE OUT OF FIVE over and over again while Patrick kept trying to get Ken to look at some new iOS game he downloaded.

I think that's exactly what happened. I've seen the tapes. I've tasted the chemical trails on the video. This is the truth right here.

I mean seriously, we all know every good review is bought anyway so whats the point? Why do you think games have 30 million dollar budgets? Obviously like 10 million is set aside to pay off reviewers from various video game websites, then they gotta go into every Gamestop and 7-11 and pay THOSE guys too. When I bought Mass Effect 3 I wrote a scathing review for it and right before I hit the submit button an EA representative showed up at my door with a large briefcase full of skittles, and money. Naturally I think Mass Effect 3 isn't all that bad.

#43 Edited by zenmastah (891 posts) -
#44 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

makes me wonder why any game ever gets a bad review if reviews are so easily bought.

why waste money on adverts and expensive shoes if all you need to do is slip a reviewer a monkey and you got a glower on your mits.

#45 Posted by BoG (5187 posts) -

Can I just say that I hate how he talks about a plot twist in the review? He says "OH YOU WERE EXPECTING A PLOT TWIST AND IT IS THERE. AND YOU'LL WAIT AND WAIT AND BOOM IT'S HUGE AND YOU WON'T SEE IT COMING."

Thanks, I don't just assume that plots are going to twist. Thanks.

#46 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (436 posts) -
#47 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4202 posts) -

Well, Its Ryan McCaffrey, so he's easily excitable. Him giving it a 9-4 is pretty predictable.

Even now he's not really an IGN. he's still more a KOXM personality, in sheep's clothing. Give him like 2 years and he'll stop saying KOXM in the Podcast Unlocked.

#48 Edited by mostman (248 posts) -

@humanity said:

@truthtellah said:

@humanity said:

Well Ken Levine did a 44min interview with Giant Bomb. What wasn't shown was the wads of cash Levine was sticking behind Jeffs tracksuit waistband as he drooled all over himself mouthing FIVE OUT OF FIVE over and over again while Patrick kept trying to get Ken to look at some new iOS game he downloaded.

I think that's exactly what happened. I've seen the tapes. I've tasted the chemical trails on the video. This is the truth right here.

I mean seriously, we all know every good review is bought anyway so whats the point? Why do you think games have 30 million dollar budgets? Obviously like 10 million is set aside to pay off reviewers from various video game websites, then they gotta go into every Gamestop and 7-11 and pay THOSE guys too. When I bought Mass Effect 3 I wrote a scathing review for it and right before I hit the submit button an EA representative showed up at my door with a large briefcase full of skittles, and money. Naturally I think Mass Effect 3 isn't all that bad.

If you had just stopped before the second to last sentence - this would have been pitch perfect. You just couldn't go all out could you :)

#49 Edited by eloj (493 posts) -

@rasmoss said:

Kotaku reviews IGN's reviews of Bioshock Infinite. Heh,

Here

My review of the Kotaku review of the IGN review of Bioshock Infinite is now up.

Please note that any reviews of my review SHALL remain under embargo till the 23:rd of March. (pre-embargo exclusivity deal still available)

#50 Posted by WarlockEngineerMoreDakka (432 posts) -

Meh. >_>

Exclusive reviews are silly things that cannot be trusted- at least not immediately.

If all the other 'journalistic' sites come out with similar reviews/scores, then the 'exclusive' element will be rendered mostly moot. Because signs would be good that it would've gotten that high a score anyway.

So we'll see how it flies once the rest of the internet get their grubby hands on it. :P (I unfortunately must suspect the good old "Anything under 9/10 is complete crap" belief will be taking effect for Infinite)

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