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Re: Magazines that where paid for positive reviews

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:52 am
by PostieDoc
psj3809 wrote:
Gigifusc wrote:I look back to Zoids which somehow got a great review, that was a terrible game.
I love Zoids, I would have given that game a cracking review.

Re: Magazines that where paid for positive reviews

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:39 am
by Matt_B
PostieDoc wrote:
psj3809 wrote:I look back to Zoids which somehow got a great review, that was a terrible game.
I love Zoids, I would have given that game a cracking review.
I rather liked it too, but let's face it. It's an eclectic strategy game which had very little appeal to the mainstream gaming audience of the 80s, and even if I'd have given it a positive review I'd have made that caveat abundantly clear. Still, I doubt that Martech would have been happy with it getting tucked away in the strategy sections of all the mags, and they were the ones writing the cheques.

Re: Magazines that where paid for positive reviews

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:36 am
by ncf1
The worst case of all in my opinion was Retro Gamer giving Super Mario Galaxy 2 a perfect 100%. I heard Darran was later seen having lorries sent to his house with things like golden binoculars, jewel-encrusted bird cages, and all kinds of wonderful bird-watching goodies and tasty snacks to boot... just unbelievable!

Re: Magazines that where paid for positive reviews

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:30 am
by GigaPepsiMan
Image
Pretty much everyone who reviewed this.

Re: Magazines that where paid for positive reviews

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:48 am
by killbot
GigaPepsiMan wrote:Image
Pretty much everyone who reviewed this.
I used to know one of the guys who wrote one of those reviews. He was young, just starting out in his career and had a lot of pressure applied. I felt sorry for him. I don't know if he ever knew whether it was the risk of lost advertising revenue or actual bribery that led to the pressure.

The whole system is rotten because mags and websites rely totally on ads to make money, meaning it's in their interests to dole out good reviews. Amiga Power was the last mag I trusted totally, though Sega Saturn Magazine and Nintendo Gamer had a similar attitude.

Re: Magazines that where paid for positive reviews

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:10 am
by Negative Creep
Super Play always came across as impartial, and would admit if they got something wrong in hindsight

Re: Magazines that where paid for positive reviews

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:32 pm
by binaryRooster
killbot wrote: I used to know one of the guys who wrote one of those reviews. He was young, just starting out in his career and had a lot of pressure applied. I felt sorry for him. I don't know if he ever knew whether it was the risk of lost advertising revenue or actual bribery that led to the pressure.
I met a journalist once who told me about a colleague who reviewed Haven on the PS2. The game's heart was in the right place, it had a lot of freedom to go to planets, walk around, get in a vehicle, blah blah but unfortunately it was lacking in decent controls and charisma. The review reflected this so the developer rung up in an absolute rage and essentially told him that he was completely wrong and the game deserved so much more (It really didn't). I think there's a lot of pressure from all sides in that business.

I never really trusted the official Playstation magazine. There were far too many reviews that just told you "you are such and such and must go here and do this" but never touched upon if it was actually good game or not - yet still these games would end up with an 8 or 9 seemingly without the reviewer ever raving about it. Those infamous Dreamcast Half Life reviews were the same. A lot about what a great game the original was without mentioning how it played on Sega's hardware. Apparently the review code had massive framerate issues that the reviewers were assured would be ironed out before release.

Re: Magazines that where paid for positive reviews

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:34 pm
by adippm82
I cannot remember which magazine described Killzone as a Halo beater, that was ridiculous enough, but the absolute worse one for me was Play's review of Lone Soldier on PS1, they gave it 92 %, and yes I did buy it, I remember my mate asking what the hell possessed me to buy it, I just silently handed him the magazine, a magazine never bought again to this day.

It just had to be a dodgy review as AFAIK, no other mag came close to giving it such a high mark, and it now sits on Videogamers.com's list of top ten disastrously bad games, also resides on crappy games wiki, cannot argue with that.

Re: Magazines that where paid for positive reviews

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:27 am
by killbot
binaryRooster wrote:I met a journalist once who told me about a colleague who reviewed Haven on the PS2. The game's heart was in the right place, it had a lot of freedom to go to planets, walk around, get in a vehicle, blah blah but unfortunately it was lacking in decent controls and charisma. The review reflected this so the developer rung up in an absolute rage and essentially told him that he was completely wrong and the game deserved so much more (It really didn't). I think there's a lot of pressure from all sides in that business.
I don't understand publishers who take that attitude and get aggressive about it. Team 17 threatening to sue AP was beyond ridiculous and just made them look absurd.

Re: Magazines that where paid for positive reviews

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:35 am
by Timothy Redux
the main pressure point film companies apply today is they cut off access to those reviewers who aren't 'reliable'. That's why you get all these mindless press interviews with guys called Zane dribbling over Tom Cruise of whoever. Effectively it's blacklisting

Re: Magazines that where paid for positive reviews

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:02 am
by DPrinny
One thing I have been hearing about in recent times is developers getting reviewers to not release reviews until after the release, ubisoft have been doing that with the increasingly buggy Assassins creed

Re: Magazines that where paid for positive reviews

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:55 am
by Negative Creep
killbot wrote:
binaryRooster wrote:I met a journalist once who told me about a colleague who reviewed Haven on the PS2. The game's heart was in the right place, it had a lot of freedom to go to planets, walk around, get in a vehicle, blah blah but unfortunately it was lacking in decent controls and charisma. The review reflected this so the developer rung up in an absolute rage and essentially told him that he was completely wrong and the game deserved so much more (It really didn't). I think there's a lot of pressure from all sides in that business.
I don't understand publishers who take that attitude and get aggressive about it. Team 17 threatening to sue AP was beyond ridiculous and just made them look absurd.


I can understand how having something you worked on and put lots of effort into ripped apart by a critic would be hurtful. However, if you release something commercially and want people to pay for it then that's something you have to accept. In the internet age it becomes easier for shady practices to be revealed and harder to censor negative comments. The recent Jim Stirling vs Digital Homicide saga being a good example

Re: Magazines that where paid for positive reviews

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:27 pm
by merman
Negative Creep wrote:
killbot wrote:
binaryRooster wrote:I met a journalist once who told me about a colleague who reviewed Haven on the PS2. The game's heart was in the right place, it had a lot of freedom to go to planets, walk around, get in a vehicle, blah blah but unfortunately it was lacking in decent controls and charisma. The review reflected this so the developer rung up in an absolute rage and essentially told him that he was completely wrong and the game deserved so much more (It really didn't). I think there's a lot of pressure from all sides in that business.
I don't understand publishers who take that attitude and get aggressive about it. Team 17 threatening to sue AP was beyond ridiculous and just made them look absurd.


I can understand how having something you worked on and put lots of effort into ripped apart by a critic would be hurtful. However, if you release something commercially and want people to pay for it then that's something you have to accept. In the internet age it becomes easier for shady practices to be revealed and harder to censor negative comments. The recent Jim Stirling vs Digital Homicide saga being a good example
It's also become easier for unjustified criticism or blatant negativity towards a developer to go uncontrolled.

Let's not pretend "paid reviews" were endemic. There are clear examples where a boundary was crossed, most often for guarantees of an exclusive. But the vast majority of magazine writers were giving honest opinions.