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