Reviewers get paid by advertisers. Big game companies are advertisers. Reviewers get free gamers from game companies. If advertising game companies don't like the reviews because, they put a strangle hold on the reviewer. I'm sure if you search around enough you can find enough cases of reviews being pulled because the company doesn't like the review.
Reviewers make good reviews by the companies that pay them. This is why some companies don't get as favorable reviews. They don't pay enough or/and the reviewer just doesn't spend as much time. There are of course where games are just bad and theirs little a reviewer can do about it.
Uh, no. I get paid by the Hearst Corporation not an advertiser. Where are you getting your information from? And free games? Not quite. You do realize the game is free, but the labor isn't? And if you can't write worth crap, you can ask all day and they'll never send you a game.
Reviewers have an obligation to report the truth. Sure, some reviewers overlook ethics, but a lot don't and just want to inform readers.
Reviewers make good reviews because they have literary skills. They have a very good command of their language and know how to make a story flow.
Then explain why reviewers went to an acitivision showing of MW2 to do the review, all expenses paid.
Then notice that the user reviews of MW2 are far lower than the critics reviews of the game
I got invited to the same event - it wasn't paid - and even if it was, I would refuse. That really, really blurs the ethics line.
If you are getting goods from a person/company and the like - and things with the person/said company go south, you'll have in the back of your mind that 'Hey, they hooked me up with a favor.' Accepting gifts is forbidden. A T-shirt? A pack of energy drinks? That's minute. However, an all-expense paid trip - if you are a journalist, you are on the company's dime to be fair and balanced.
As I stated, anyone with access to a blog can claim to be a journalist. However, unless you've had classes on libel, defamation, ethics and the like, you're just fooling yourself.
I have seen tons of instances where gifts/perks have more than swayed people's opinions on matters.
Except Joystiq Admitted that they and others accepted it and that activision paid for it:
Disclaimer: The preceding review is based on an event organized and paid for by Activision, in which media outlets were provided hotel rooms, each equipped with an Xbox 360 and copy of Modern Warfare 2. As this was Joystiq's only opportunity to review the game in advance of its release, we willingly deviated from our standard policy of not accepting accommodations and used the room. We did so because we felt that participating in this event best served the interest of our readers.
Seems to me they crossed the ethics line there
That definitely crosses the line. Now, all Activision has to do is press them "What about that free trip" and they will bend. Bad move.
@ Kasz - ads make up about 30-40 percent of the newspaper income, but Activision - and most video game companies - don't advertise with newspapers anyhow. A mag, yeah. A newspaper? No. However, the print version is what's king. To get into print - with over a million daily readers in print - and even more online - for just a $60? You can't buy that kind of advertising for that cheap.
I am going to be real and honest in my review of games. I can say that no company can say I laid ethics aside just to get a game early or the like. I'll just be content getting the game the day of release and playing it and posting my review then. If it's crap, it's crap. I am not going to hold my tongue in fear of never getting another game from folks. That's why Sony isn't sending me games. I am calling it like I see it. Even Valve sent me a review copy of L4D2, a game I had blasted for having *racist undertones,* which I admitted was wrong in my review of the game.
A professional is going to stick to the ethics standards come hell or high water. We are supposed to offer an honest view of products. The day we don't do that, we are just an extension of a game publisher/devs ad and marketing department.