#1 Posted by PlipO (141 posts) -

It is an accusation that I've seen a few times at GameTrailers but is there any truth to it?

Has it ever been proven that Gametrailers accepted money in return for favourable reviews?

#2 Posted by MikeJFlick (444 posts) -

Who goes to gametrailers for reviews?

#3 Edited by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

Game Trailers is a terrible source of reviews to begin with since they have no qualms spoiling events in games in said reviews.

#4 Edited by Cameron (607 posts) -

Who is making these accusations? Idiots in the comments section, or other websites? If you go to any popular video game website there will be idiots in the comments who disagree with the review and claim that the reviewer must have been paid off.

#5 Edited by Zekhariah (695 posts) -

I doubt it. Any sort of really blatant conspiracy would kill any long term trust toward the publication, all of the writers, and the publisher. And you would have to use a major publication in an exclusive review scenario, so just shutting it down so you can have one below-board deal does not seem worthwhile.

It is kind of funny how conspiracy theories tend to run toward large entities doing items that are against their long term self interest, or of irrelevant value to them. Like the typical prepper stuff.

What will occur is astroturfing. Fake forums accounts with longer term build ups. But those can blow up in rather spectacular ways, and there are serious limits to how on-board people will ever be with two new random forum accounts talking up game XYZ.

#6 Edited by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

EGM and the new Aliens game.Best example of compromised reviews.

#7 Posted by TangoUp (314 posts) -

General rule of thumb. If the website explicitly or snidely rebukes gamers more than publishers/developers then it's obvious where their priorities lie. That said, I only visit GameTrailers for their video reviews but their video player doesn't stream well in my location.

So Youtube LP's are better for me.

#8 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (6012 posts) -

Hold on a sec. " Puts on Foil hat. "

Don't you guys know that there's a vast network of paid off game reviews. This is so because the freemasons want to control our interests so that when we realize we have superpowers we know that with great power comes great irresponsibility.

#9 Edited by UlquioKani (1206 posts) -

I only visit GT for their review. I have almost never been disappointed with a game they have rated highly. Apart from the Tom Clancy games but after buying 3 of them and not liking any of them, I kinda feel like it's my fault.

So I hope they ain't being paid, even if they were, I haven't been dissapointed. If they were only accepting money for games they knew were good so they didn't need to inflate the Score then they are geniuses.

#10 Posted by Jimbo (10008 posts) -

It's far more insidious than direct bribes. Probably more harmful too, because the existing business model makes all ad-funded review sites (which is to say, all review sites) susceptible to it.

#11 Posted by gogosox82 (424 posts) -

I doubt this is true. I used to go to gametrailers until they did their redesign somehow ended up with a worse video player than the last one, then i just gave up and don't visit their anymore. I never thought their reviews were bought. Maybe a little higher rated than i would have rated, but you can basically say that about any major gaming site out there so that's not saying much.

#12 Posted by Pr1mus (3956 posts) -

#13 Edited by bgdiner (293 posts) -

I enjoy Gametrailers more for its original content, such as Pach-Attack and Bonus Round, than for its reviews. However, I am consistently impressed by the quality of the reviews, which I think is unmatched throughout the industry. You get a quick, quality review in around ten minutes, with plenty of gaming footage and information too. I've never noticed favor being given to certain games; when GT doesn't like some part of a game, they'll dock it accordingly at the end of the video. Yes, sometimes I don't agree exactly with the score, but it's not as if scores are being inflated to such a degree that such blame could be cast. I think Gametrailers has been a steady and popular presence in the gaming world over the past few years, and I highly doubt they would sully that reputation by accepting bribes.

#14 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Gametrailers is the only website I've seen that has someone who seems to know what they are doing when reviewing fighting games. (the footage, I saw some actual combos on some)

#15 Posted by mtcantor (951 posts) -

Has any major website ever been proven to have been paid off for higher review scores ever?

#16 Edited by pyrodactyl (2364 posts) -

@mtcantor said:

Has any major website ever been proven to have been paid off for higher review scores ever?

Pretty sure it's common knowledge that some if not the magority of famitsu reviews are bought in some way. But the main reason seems to be *cause of japan* so it dosen't really apply to regular western focused website like GT, IGN, gamespot or giantbomb.

#17 Edited by flasaltine (1713 posts) -

I am always wary of sites like Gametrailers and IGN. Sometimes those big name reviews are accompanied by special treatment backgrounds, exclusives, and ads on the website.

#18 Posted by Sinusoidal (1824 posts) -

@flacracker said:

I am always wary of sites like Gametrailers and IGN. Sometimes those big name reviews are accompanied by special treatment backgrounds, exclusives, and ads on the website.

Hear ye hear ye! How am I supposed to trust a review of a game on a website laden with ads for said game? I know the game reviewers have to make money somehow, but if your very source of revenue is the thing you are supposed to be criticizing, we have a problem.

#19 Posted by FourWude (2245 posts) -

The irony of people in this thread saying conspiracy theories regarding compromised reviews are stupid, is that you're posting on a website created because its co-founder Jeff Gerstmann did not want to compromise on his review of Kane and Lynch and kow tow to advertising money.

So yeah.

#20 Edited by connerthekewlkid (1843 posts) -

@flacracker said:

I am always wary of sites like Gametrailers and IGN. Sometimes those big name reviews are accompanied by special treatment backgrounds, exclusives, and ads on the website.

Hear ye hear ye! How am I supposed to trust a review of a game on a website laden with ads for said game? I know the game reviewers have to make money somehow, but if your very source of revenue is the thing you are supposed to be criticizing, we have a problem.

You do realize theres alot of ads on this site too?

#21 Posted by McGhee (6075 posts) -

I would like to make all game publishers aware that I can be bought for almost any price.

#22 Posted by Sinusoidal (1824 posts) -

@connerthekewlkid said:

@sinusoidal said:

@flacracker said:

I am always wary of sites like Gametrailers and IGN. Sometimes those big name reviews are accompanied by special treatment backgrounds, exclusives, and ads on the website.

Hear ye hear ye! How am I supposed to trust a review of a game on a website laden with ads for said game? I know the game reviewers have to make money somehow, but if your very source of revenue is the thing you are supposed to be criticizing, we have a problem.

You do realize theres alot of ads on this site too?

I don't come to Giant Bomb for reviews.

#23 Edited by Winternet (8060 posts) -

Don't believe any review ever. Problem solved!

#24 Edited by MattyFTM (14434 posts) -

Reviews don't get bought. It just isn't feasible in the real world. People come up with conspiracy theories and stuff, but it's all nonsense. For a start, paying off one reviewer serves no purpose. Having one review scored significantly higher than the rest doesn't heighten the games profile at all. Paying off GameTrailers would be a total waste of money.

Secondly, if the news broke that a major game developer was attempting to pay for a review score, it would be the single biggest news story to hit the gaming world since the West & Zampella story broke. Heck, it would probably be bigger than that. If you're a gaming journalist, and you have an email sitting there from a publisher offering to pay for a review, are you going to accept a meagre pay-off for an inflated review score, or are you going to use that email as evidence to break the story of your career? A story that will make you extremely well known and ensure you have a well paid job in games journalism for life? You're going to do the latter. Every single time.

And for that same reason, it's not worth the risk to the publisher. If that story broke, it would ruin the publishers reputation. Why risk that over an inflated review score?. They won't risk their entire reputation over one review score. Or even several review scores. It's not worth it.

Moderator
#25 Posted by Quarters (1888 posts) -

Weird, never heard people say that about GT. I actually greatly enjoy their reviews, outside of the occasional spoiler. In a way, they are the best reviews around, because you get to see everything they are talking about with straight video evidence. It gives you a far better idea of what the game is actually like compared to most review sites.

#26 Edited by Slaegar (740 posts) -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8R4BAQf7is

Its hard to say whether or not GT is money hatted. But they are terrible.

#27 Edited by madman356647 (377 posts) -

Matty hit the nail on the head. If a reviewer was compromised, the gaming community would turn on that site so quickly. Their rep would be destroyed.

I feel like people need to stop worrying about paid reviews versus personal review bias (aka "I think this game should score high, so a low review is BS" or vice versa). A review is designed to answer the eternal question "is x worth buying?" The obsession on what the number -should- be feels like a fools errand.

Hell, look at DMC. Brad liked it and everyone acted like he came into your house and kicked their puppy.

#28 Posted by Abendlaender (2889 posts) -

I like watching GTs reviews but I would never ever trust them, especially after their Stalker review where they complained about good AI. Also there is the Uncharted 2-Modern Warfare thing mentoined in the video by @slaegar. My main source is GB, RPS and my intuition.

They have some good features though, I really enjoy their Retrospectives.

#29 Edited by ProfessorEss (7523 posts) -

@tangoup said:

If the website explicitly or snidely rebukes gamers more than publishers/developers then it's obvious where their priorities lie.

I don't mean to be "that guy" but that sounds a lot like Giant Bomb to me.

#30 Posted by RenegadeDoppelganger (418 posts) -

I have never seen any proof that GT accepted money to give a game a favourable score. Given how sensitive most gamers and the press are to this sort of thing I'd imagine someone would have broken the story by now.

Honestly any major outlet that accepted money for favourable reviews probably wouldn't last long. Hell, I imagine the first people to speak out against that would be other publishers who felt like they weren't being treated fairly.

#31 Posted by Gamer_152 (14113 posts) -

I haven't heard about this GameTrailers case specifically, but I think a lot of the talk about compromised reviews is just dumb and something that the gaming community would be better off without. I think there's a fair argument to be made that some distance should be kept between the publishers and the editors/reviewers that we sometimes don't see with the way certain sites advertise games, but these accusations that get thrown around that some sort of movie-style backroom deal happened where "X secretly slipped Y a bunch of movie for this review" are laughable. It wouldn't make sense for either party to try to make that kind of deal, and anyone who I've ever heard from the gaming press speak on this says they've never seen it happen before or only very rarely seen it happen.

Nobody should be asserting these crazy theories without evidence, and I think it says something sad that when we see a review that's not in line with other reviews, the first thought of many isn't "It's normal for there to be a diverse set of opinions", but "They must have been paid off and their review is invalid!".

Moderator
#32 Edited by Cold_Wolven (2297 posts) -

For a site as big as GT there is no real reason to take the risk of being compromised, that site looks like it has no trouble receiving advertisements since lately its advertisers aren't even game related.