GameSpot Editor Fired For Low Review Score
Now, we don't want to blame this on big business, but it seems it just might be the culprit, and the Internet's biggest video game website may have suffered a loss of reliability because of it.
By now, it's likely that most of you have heard about it: GameSpot has evidently fired Jeff Gerstmann, and at first, the reasons behind his departure remained somewhat murky. There was speculation that his relatively low score handed out to Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (a 6.0) was the cause, as it's clear Eidos spent a lot of money plastering advertisements all over GameSpot. But that speculation may have turned to fact, as our sources tell us this is indeed true- Gerstmann was fired, and it was because of that review. But how can a reviewer get fired for a low score for a game, you might ask? What about integrity and all that good stuff? Well, when the industry in question rakes in about $11 billion/year, quite simply, money talks.
GameSpot does have to pay their staff, after all, and traffic and ads are required for that to happen. Eidos must've expected a more receptive score from the site that promoted the snot out of their game, and when they didn't get good results, they threatened to yank the campaign...and with it, the funds. When Jeff refused to change his score, that was the end. But isn't GameSpot themselves the bad guy in this scenario, perhaps promising better scores for bigger ads? But whatever. All we can say is we're none too happy to post this story...
Disclaimer: We already mentioned it, but we'll repeat it just in case: we have not heard directly from GameSpot, Eidos, or Jeff Gerstmann regarding this matter, so any of the above (besides the firing) is a combination of second-hand information from inside sources and our own speculation. Perhaps one of the involved parties will provide the public with an official reply regarding this matter.
11/29/2007 Ben Dutka