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Gamespot Editor Jeff Gertsmann Fired Over Kane & Lynch Review

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Gamespot Editor Jeff Gertsmann Fired Over Kane & Lynch Review

Old 11-30-07, 06:45 AM
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Gamespot Editor Jeff Gertsmann Fired Over Kane & Lynch Review

From Kotaku

Originally Posted by Kotaku
We've heard an unsettling rumor today from an anonymous tipster that longtime game reviewer Jeff Gerstmann from Gamespot has been let go. That wouldn't necessarily be newsworthy, but the conditions under which he was allegedly dismissed were. According to the source, Gerstmann was fired "on the spot" due to advertiser pressure for his review of Eidos' Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. A visit to Gamespot shows that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game has taken over the site very prominently, with backgrounds and multiple banner ads all pitching Kane & Lynch. Allegedly, publisher Eidos "took issue with the review and threatened to pull its ad campaign."

Jeff's review was certainly less than glowing. He assigned the game a 6.0, otherwise known as "Fair" on the Gamespot scale. The game is currently enjoying a Metacritic score in the 65 to 69 range, which the site describes as "mixed or average reviews." According to our tipster, it wasn't necessarily the score that was reason for Gerstmann's rumored axing, but the "tone" of the review.

Gerstmann has been no stranger to controversial reviews, as his scores of 10 for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and 8.8 for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess had sensitive internet users up in arms. It's now possible that many bitter fanboys may have had their wishes for his firing granted.

As our tipster points out, if the rumor is true, it could point to a distressing precedent at Gamespot and parent company CNet. "As writers of what is supposed to be objective content, this is our worst nightmare coming to life," wrote the tipster.

Our efforts to confirm the story with Gamespot haven't proved successful. Our current requests with PR, Gerstmann and other CNet contacts have either gone unanswered or yielded a "no comment."

Update: We did get confirmation that Mr. Gerstmann is no longer with Gamespot. The circumstances in which he was terminated or left of his own accord, however, were not disclosed.
Penny Arcade Cartoon About It:


Credibility? Credibility? Where are you?
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Old 11-30-07, 08:32 AM
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At least we got a funny comic from Penny-arcade out of it.
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Old 11-30-07, 08:38 AM
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Yet people still wonder why I decry online review sites.
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Old 11-30-07, 08:43 AM
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WTF?? I guess Gamespot or their parent company will come up with some sort of cover story for this, but it's going to be almost impossible to regain what credibility and respect they had. I think there are still good people there, on the staff, but from now on you would have to wonder about just about anything you read on the site.
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Old 11-30-07, 08:44 AM
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Wow, he was one of the few reviewers that made his gamercard public to let people see how much of the game he had played before the review hit.

I've always wondered how much pull the publishers had over the larger sites like Gamespot. That's really frightening.

It looks like a couple more Gamespot writers quit over it as well and people are canceling their GS subscriptions. Neogaf is banning all discussion of Cnet & Edios entities for support as well.

Last edited by Flay; 11-30-07 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by PixyJunket
Yet people still wonder why I decry online review sites.
Yeah, because advertising encroaching on editorial independence is a totally new problem confined solely to the internet.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by SteelgearX
At least we got a funny comic from Penny-arcade out of it.
link?
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Old 11-30-07, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by PixyJunket
Yet people still wonder why I decry online review sites.
How is this any different from the print media?

I do find it's interesting that everybody is taking the word of an anonymous "source" as gospel. For all we know, he was fired for pissing in the coffee and phoned in this story himself.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
link?
It is a the bottom of the first post.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
How is this any different from the print media?
Have I ever said anything good about print reviews? Yeah, I didn't think so.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Vryce
It is a the bottom of the first post.
I think he's wondering where the funny one is.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:25 AM
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Here is the review that got him fired: (GS took it off the site)



While he's not the best at on-camera work, I do agree with his take on the game. It's average at best.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
link?
::
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Old 11-30-07, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by PixyJunket
I think he's wondering where the funny one is.


Yeah, I didn't want to touch that part of his question. The comic got a golf chuckle from me. I didn't find it too funny.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by PixyJunket
Have I ever said anything good about print reviews? Yeah, I didn't think so.
You called out online reviews specifically.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Flay
Here is the review that got him fired: (GS took it off the site)



While he's not the best at on-camera work, I do agree with his take on the game. It's average at best.

That puts things in better perspective. Gerstman's written review isn't that bad. Doesn't feel like a 6.0 review. The video review on the other hand makes it sound worse than a 6. Still, nothing worth firing over. He was doing his job and called out a crap game for what it was.

The HotSpot podcast will certainly lose a bit of its flavor without him. Like John on 1up, Jeff was the glue of the Hotspot.

Last edited by Michael Corvin; 11-30-07 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:44 AM
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Actually, I think most of this story broke from the Penny Arcade strip, as they posted it early yesterday (normally the last strip of the week doesn't hit until Friday). It took off on GAF and elsewhere from there.

Word was that the firing order came down from CNET, not Gamespot, though I'm not sure the distinction even matters. Either way, between this, the paid off reviews, and the embargo-if-you-give-it-a-bad-score practice, "videogame journalism" and this part of the industry in general is taking some huge lumps.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:53 AM
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That really sucks. He wasn't on last week's HotSpot and, as it always is when he isn't on, the show wasn't as good.

He always seemed like a guy that genuinely loved games, loved his job and took it very seriously. If this is the real reason he was fired, that's ridiculous and I hope he ends up somewhere that values an objective review over ad money.
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Old 11-30-07, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by PixyJunket
Have I ever said anything good about print reviews? Yeah, I didn't think so.
So do you believe all media reviews are untrustworthy?
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Old 11-30-07, 10:08 AM
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That is bad news. Both for the quality of GameSpot which will suffer without him and much more so for the lack of credibility that comes with it. That makes me sick. Hope someone gives Jeff another job soon.
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Old 11-30-07, 10:23 AM
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Well, now Gamespot is on the same level as IGN to me. Adieu.
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Old 11-30-07, 10:27 AM
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Meh, you take the bad with the good in a free market capitalist society. I don't follow game reviewers real close, so I don't know any of them by name, but I'm sure if he's a decent writer and knows his games and isn't a lazy ass, he'll end up on his feet and probably in a better position than he was in at Gamespot.
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Old 11-30-07, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by fumanstan
So do you believe all media reviews are untrustworthy?
I do. Except for fantastic sites like DVDTalk.com or VideoGameTalk.com
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Old 11-30-07, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by orangecrush18
I do. Except for fantastic sites like DVDTalk.com or VideoGameTalk.com
They just haven't been offered enough by EA or Eidos or Ubisoft yet...once they are, goodbye unbiased reviews.
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Old 11-30-07, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by orangecrush18
I do. Except for fantastic sites like DVDTalk.com or VideoGameTalk.com


I'll make this promise to you guys right now. I'll fire Jeff Paramchuk if he gives Kane & Lynch a positive review.
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