GamesBeat

Are We being Lied to by Game Publications?

This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

With regard to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's perception (forgive me for splurging on the topic, yet again) are we as gamers at all being lied to?  

I scoured through Metacritic's collection of "critic scores" for MW3, and found only but one review below 80. I was not seeking for reviews to back up my opinion of the game, instead, I was looking for a diversity of scores.

Precisely what I mean by a "diversity of scores"…

I don't know if I'm alone in thinking this, but something is apparently wrong if everyone feels the same way of a given piece of media, no matter how widely appealing, no matter how many nor few hours were put into the game's production, and no matter how incredibly deep the storyline. I also don't think how recent the release date can be used as justification for the conformity of review scores.

So I beg the question; do game publications lie to their readers in order to merely get hits? Or in other words, do reviewers at all cover up their true impressions of a game just so that their given site may profit as a result?

I would very much say yes. Call of Duty Black Ops was the largest selling piece of media of all time last year, and that was already eclipsed by Modern Warfare 3, so for one measly intern to write a negative, yet honest review and screw up an entire site's "credibility" among hardcore Call of Duty fans (and at this point, it seems, who isn't a Call of Duty fan, so upsetting Call of Duty fans is almost like upsetting all gamers). And in this economy, that is the last thing any lesser-known gaming site needs, and that is 1) to lack "credibility" and 2) to be different.  

According to Metacritic, the only publication either brave or foolish enough to rate Modern Warfare 3 with a 70 is Norwegian site, Gamer.no. I'm not certain as to why they made this decision other than they truly felt, as they said, "[Modern Warfare 3 has a] lack of willingness to add improvements in gameplay show a laziness often found in a complacent game series."  

No offense Gerstmann, but…

The incentive to conform is even more apparent when taking into account that Jeff Gerstmann was purportedly laid off from Gamespot due to his negative review of Kane and Lynch. This means that going with the grain can equal more revenue from the game publication's perspective because of the increase in hits and fewer layoffs from the journalist's perspective. 

What does this then mean? We should probably be much more keen to game publications' misprioritization of revenue gains over true, honest journalistic reporting; and thus, support those publications that are ambivalent to the negative perception of their reviews, and call out those that lay off otherwise honest journalists for 



Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!
blog comments powered by Disqus

GamesBeat is your source for gaming news and reviews. But it's also home to the best articles from gamers, developers, and other folks outside of the traditional press. Register or log in to join our community of writers. You can even make a few bucks publishing stories here! Learn more.

You are now an esteemed member of the GamesBeat community. That means you can comment on stories or post your own to GB Unfiltered (look for the "New Post" link by mousing over your name in the red bar up top). But first, why don't you fill out your via your ?

About GamesBeat