Anyone remember if Jeff Gerstmann talked about mock reviews?

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AssInAss

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Jeff Gerstmann has mentioned mock reviews a couple of times in articles but I specifically remember him talking about it here on the Bombcast, or am I getting this wrong?

In case you don't know, mock reviews are basically internalreviews done by journalists/critics for the publisher so they get an estimated metacritic score and whether that game will be worth funding or something. You get paid a lot so some critics do it, and even Jeff was tempted to finish one before Giant Bomb became a thing. Here's an article where Jeff talks about it.

http://kotaku.com/5957810/the-contemptible-games-journalist-why-so-many-people-dont-trust-the-gaming-press-and-why-theyre-sometimes-wrong

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Nightriff

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He certainly talked about it on a bombcast before, can't narrow it down to an episode let alone a year that episode could've happened...I want to say Ryan was still with us. Sorry couldn't be more specific.

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#3  Edited By Corevi

He's talked about it in a Jar Time as well. No clue which one though.

I've actually done mock reviews before. Can't say for what company or what games but I will say this, they weren't very good. I just needed the money and was at the time entertaining the notion of possibly pursuing a career in the storied profession of Video Games Man.

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#6  Edited By AMyggen

@assinass said:

Jeff Gerstmann has mentioned mock reviews a couple of times in articles but I specifically remember him talking about it here on the Bombcast, or am I getting this wrong?

In case you don't know, mock reviews are basically internalreviews done by journalists/critics for the publisher so they get an estimated metacritic score and whether that game will be worth funding or something. You get paid a lot so some critics do it, and even Jeff was tempted to finish one before Giant Bomb became a thing. Here's an article where Jeff talks about it.

http://kotaku.com/5957810/the-contemptible-games-journalist-why-so-many-people-dont-trust-the-gaming-press-and-why-theyre-sometimes-wrong

If I'm not mistaken, this is the most in-depth Bombcast discussion on the subject:

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It's also a great discussion on ethics in the gaming media (almost an hour from 2012, right after the shit that went down in Eurogamer back then, Dorito Pope etc.). Jeff talks about how he almost did a mock review in between getting fired from GS and starting GB because he was curious of how it worked, but it fell through because he said to the publisher that he would only do it if he could do it for free (the same story as in the Kotaku piece maybe? I can't access that article right now for whatever reason). He also talks about not wanting to hire people who have done mock reviews.

edit: The YT video is of the same clip as the one SethPhotopoulos posted above me, but in one instead of four parts.

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#7 MattyFTM  Moderator

I haven't checked, but I believe he mentioned it in the talk he did at NYU. And he's definitely talked about it on at least one Jar Time, but I don't know which one.

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#8  Edited By planetfunksquad

EDIT: Goddamnit, someone beat me to it. Too slow :(

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@corevi said:

@sethphotopoulos: @planetfunksquad: What is it with that video that makes it quadruplicate itself?

It's in four parts, but just click on my linked video. It's of the same Bombcast clip, but just one video.

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#12  Edited By AssInAss
@amyggen said:

@assinass said:

Jeff Gerstmann has mentioned mock reviews a couple of times in articles but I specifically remember him talking about it here on the Bombcast, or am I getting this wrong?

In case you don't know, mock reviews are basically internalreviews done by journalists/critics for the publisher so they get an estimated metacritic score and whether that game will be worth funding or something. You get paid a lot so some critics do it, and even Jeff was tempted to finish one before Giant Bomb became a thing. Here's an article where Jeff talks about it.

http://kotaku.com/5957810/the-contemptible-games-journalist-why-so-many-people-dont-trust-the-gaming-press-and-why-theyre-sometimes-wrong

If I'm not mistaken, this is the most in-depth Bombcast discussion on the subject:

Loading Video...

It's also a great discussion on ethics in the gaming media (almost an hour from 2012, right after the shit that went down in Eurogamer back then, Dorito Pope etc.). Jeff talks about how he almost did a mock review in between getting fired from GS and starting GB because he was curious of how it worked, but it fell through because he said to the publisher that he would only do it if he could do it for free (the same story as in the Kotaku piece maybe? I can't access that article right now for whatever reason). He also talks about not wanting to hire people who have done mock reviews.

edit: The YT video is of the same clip as the one SethPhotopoulos posted above me, but in one instead of four parts.

THANK YOU

And to @sethphotopoulos

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Looks like I have some more stuff to listen to again.

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Why exactly are people who do mock reviews frowned upon?

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#15  Edited By NTM

I'm curious as to why you want to know. If it has to do with any reviewers now, and recent reviews.

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@feathered said:

Why exactly are people who do mock reviews frowned upon?

I think it's a really thankless job as a writer, because you're still doing the same job that Jeff or whoever does at GB when he plays and reviews a game, except then your review never gets to the see the light of day and you never actually get to convey your thoughts on that game to a wider audience. The only people who read it are a bunch of suits, and even then they probably only care what numerical score you gave it so they can estimate what Metacritic it will get.

So you're kind of doing a disservice to your craft by writing all this stuff that will never get published, and you maybe can't ever put in a portfolio for a resume since you sign NDAs and whatever.

In theory, the feedback would help improve the game or something, but I think the mock reviews are done super late in the process, pretty close to the finished product. So you're not really helping, you're just acting as a canary in the coal mine, and if the game's mock reviews are all pretty bad, it just gives the publisher enough advance warning to cut off marketing and cut their losses, and maybe adjust the review embargo to release day, or not even send out review copies. So your mock reviews aren't helping make games better, you're just helping the publisher cover their ass and not waste money pushing a game that is going to suck.