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GameSpot insider speaks of 'mass resignations'

GameSpot insider speaks of 'mass resignations'

The celebrity attitude Gerstmann developed may have been the reason he was fired, not his reviews.

GameSpot is in trouble. Not only has the firing of the Jeff Gerstmann, editor for the site for the last eleven years, had serious consequences for the credibility of GameSpot but it may also lead to mass walkouts.

An anonymous source spoke to Kotaku about the dismissal and revealed what many remaining staff members consider to be the real reason Gerstmann was fired.

Apparently, it's the fault of VP of Games at GameSpot, Josh Larson. Larson is viewed by many of his staff as being out of touch with his audience and writing team and had reportedly butted heads with Gerstmann in the past.

"People used to think of Larson as a sort of non-intrusive cousin of Bill Lumberg from Office Space—an empty suit who was more of an annoyance than a liability. Now, people are referring to him as the moron lieutenant from Aliens who sits around stunned, doing nothing as everyone drops dead around him," said the insider.

Larson apparently also asserted that "AAA titles deserve more attention", implying that the editorial team needed to re-consider scores for these larger games and the impact the scores may have.

The video review of Kane and Lynch done by Gerstmann - which was originally suggested to be the reason that Gerstmann was fired due to the savage tone - may not have been the reason for the dismissal though, even though the video was pulled from the site.

"Jeff showed up late. It was thrown together quickly, the sound sucked, there was only footage from the first level of the game—it was a mess...it was a producers decision, nothing to do with upper management," said the source.

The perception among management however was that Gerstmann was becoming sloppy and flippant with his reviews, adopting a 'celebrity attitude' which was proved by his lateness. It was this perception and lateness which may have contributed to his firing, not the tone of the review itself.

The source went on to say that a number of GameSpot writers were left in a state of "irreconcilable despair" and that although GameSpot management told staff that the termination of Gerstmann had been a mutual decision, the reality was that it was anything but.

"Our credibility is in ruins," said the source, going on to say that a number of GameSpot writers and editors were expressing the wish to leave the site and that, unless something changes quickly, CNet could be facing mass resignations of key staff members.

What do you think? Can GameSpot rise from the ashes or is it doomed to the fire? Are all game reviewers corrupt, useless prima donnas or are some of us OK? How do you judge reviews and how much of a role do they play in your purchases? Ask us questions and give us your opinions in the forums.

26 Comments

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cjoyce1980 5th December 2007, 10:04 Quote
GameSpot is going down quicker than a vegas ho!!!
RotoSequence 5th December 2007, 10:12 Quote
Things are never as black and white as they first sound, are they. Oh well - I never used Gamespot or C|net anyway :D
Woodstock 5th December 2007, 10:19 Quote
sounds like a dead site to me, stupid management (thou i never used them i just hate management that screw it up (not that the fault was solely management))
adamc 5th December 2007, 10:43 Quote
I've never really agreed with gamespot's reviews anyway... however IGN is now becoming less credible also. Bit-tech better start reviewing more Wii games :P
sub routine 5th December 2007, 11:00 Quote
An innevitable trait to the multitude of cash`in games being produced with real low quality gameplay. Compiled with games reviewers love of cocaine and money and yer ma`s inability to choose a good game unless it has "This is a good game" written on the back of the box.
Ego`s and sense will clash with the might of the developers. It`s just a pity it results in a lose lose situation for the gamer.
Angleus 5th December 2007, 12:02 Quote
meh, the whole things just kinda depressing :(
Mentai 5th December 2007, 12:13 Quote
What the insider says is quite feasible, however it was a colossal mistake to fire him coinciding with the ads for Kane and Lynch all over the site, and take down the video review without talking about it properly. It's like management made the worst decisions possible for about a week... and now imo the company is doomed. Kinda crazy, no one would know about this if it was back when there were just gaming magazines rather than websites.
CanadianViking 5th December 2007, 12:40 Quote
Stupid. Just stupid.

Although Gamestop had too many fanboys, so I'm glad they're gone in a way. But when their nest goes down, they might try to migrate.
Major 5th December 2007, 12:50 Quote
This is the Kane and Lynch video by the way, he does bash it quite hard actually, I think everyone who would watch the video wouldn't buy the game in a million years, lmao.

aBD0cUeeEQc
Woodstock 5th December 2007, 12:52 Quote
fear not, for it has been foretold that the ban hammer may fall once more
Bauul 5th December 2007, 13:05 Quote
"All game reviewers corrupt, useless prima donnas or are some of us OK?"

Come now Joe, you've been a prima donna ever since you completed The Lost Frog on the old BBC back at primary school faster than anyone else. :)
Gunblade 5th December 2007, 13:36 Quote
I have been going to Gamespot for over nine years. Four of that I have been a subscriber it was cheap, and worth it over the next best thing and probably better which is fileplanet's subscription service though their price tag is albeit much heftier.

Jeff Gerstmann was a great reviewer, comedic, and rose to a "celebrity" status for a reason. He was just plain good at what he did. Really pushing newer content for the site like burning questions, podcasts etc. all reviewers on Gamespot have some what of a following. Greg Kasavin was my favorite then following him was Jeff and Jason Ocampo blah blah, anyways. The point here is that every reviewer matters to the community. What happened has been kept under wraps and is full of speculation by everyone on the net. But Jeff did not even get a resounding last words goodbye, thats the main reason why I am up and arms about the matter. My favorite article that really means a lot to me about it all can be found here, and says more than I ever could:

http://www.gamestooge.com/2007/12/01/editorial-rip-journalistic-integrity/

I am also just commenting to say that not only is there the threat of mass resignations C|Net, it is surprising to me that no one has looked at the community portion of the story yet. Want to talk about mass resignation? I have unsubscribed as a paying member of Gamespot. So have a baffling amount of others. The most disgusting part is the forums moderators who do not allow the discussion of Jeff or Gamespot ethic etc. topics in the forums. They lock anything and everything having a hint to do with this whole fiasco. Even in the paying member forums!

The age of Gamespot being my main source for anything gaming especially reviews has come to a grinding halt. Though over the years I only used it for reviews and downloads. For other sites do the news of the gaming industry much better. And over the years I have become a complete PC gamer. So the words of PC Gamer Magazine, and sites like Bit-Tech mattered more to me. It's sad though to depart with something I went to religiously everyday since I was 10! It was part of my child hood Gamespot lol.
wolff000 5th December 2007, 14:48 Quote
I never really like gamespot in the first place. since they are owned by a big company that can afford to have a losing site for a little while I doubt they will fold. i think this will eventually blow over people will forget and go back. As far as game reviewers go, I'd say most are corrupt and can't be trusted all that much. There are exceptions and I think Bit-tech is one of them. Penny arcade had a great article on this a couple of days ago. They said that most most reviewers are reviewing the game because they have too not for the sheer enjoyment of playing. Trying to beat a game on a deadline so you can give a review doesn't seem like a good formula. It would get dull grinding away levels just to get to the end. It seems you would miss the fun part with that kind of approach and most games would get repetitive and boring.
Major 5th December 2007, 14:52 Quote
Only reason I use Gamespot or IGN is when I am buying a game for my brother on the DS Lite, and that's not everyday, maybe once every few weeks.
Redbeaver 5th December 2007, 14:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianViking

Although Gamestop had too many fanboys,

u serious?

lol oh god...poor souls.... IMHPO (P=personal), gamespot reviews are biased junk... oooh that was harsh. sorry, cant get any more gentle than that. C|net is ok tho... i used the sites a few times, download some stuff, hardware reviews are "ok"... but Gamespot? come on....

go read bit-tech instead ;)
CardJoe 5th December 2007, 15:01 Quote
Every game reviewer I know does it for the joy, not under pressure etc. For all but the biggest games, deadlines are fairly lax and, to be honest, Penny Arcade doesn't understand it all that well. They're fine to amuse yourself with but, when it comes down to it, they too are just guys who play a lot of games for free. If you'd seen the type of swag, freebies, incentives and phoney friendships that those guys surround themselves with then you'd think THEY were the corrupt ones. No game reviewer I knew ever got free DS lites etc.

Hell, the most impressive thing I got was a bunch of free T-shirts and, to remain unbiased, I nearly always give those away. Ironically, the only thing that I kept for myself was a Kane and Lynch branded satchel, which broke the week I got it and which I only use because my other bag has the words "THATS THE SECOND BIGGEST MONKEY HEAD I'VE EVER SEEN" written on it in nail varnish.
ssj12 5th December 2007, 15:06 Quote
let gamespot rot, no lose in the internet game review market. IGN FTW!
steveo_mcg 5th December 2007, 15:30 Quote
Quote:

I find that very hard to read, i don't know why he's insisted on having the breaks with the K&L images. I don't know if he's trying to be ironic but it really doesn't help his point.
Angleus 5th December 2007, 15:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Every game reviewer I know does it for the joy, not under pressure etc. For all but the biggest games, deadlines are fairly lax and, to be honest, Penny Arcade doesn't understand it all that well. They're fine to amuse yourself with but, when it comes down to it, they too are just guys who play a lot of games for free. If you'd seen the type of swag, freebies, incentives and phoney friendships that those guys surround themselves with then you'd think THEY were the corrupt ones. No game reviewer I knew ever got free DS lites etc.

Hell, the most impressive thing I got was a bunch of free T-shirts and, to remain unbiased, I nearly always give those away. Ironically, the only thing that I kept for myself was a Kane and Lynch branded satchel, which broke the week I got it and which I only use because my other bag has the words "THATS THE SECOND BIGGEST MONKEY HEAD I'VE EVER SEEN" written on it in nail varnish.

When this whole thing kicked off, I don't think anyone was accusing reviewers of being corrupt, it was the issue that the story was presented as a reviewer being sacked for giving a game a low score, and this is of course not something that we as a community want to see happening.
It is beginning to look now as though the whole thing is a lot more complicated than that and may in fact have nothing to do with the Kane and Lynch review at all, which to be honest, is what I want to hear.
<A88> 5th December 2007, 16:17 Quote
I'm kinda fed up with reading about it tbh.

<A88>
Major 5th December 2007, 17:48 Quote
Amon 5th December 2007, 18:54 Quote
Gamespot's reviews were more sensible back in the day, up until around 2000 or earlier. After then, they were a total joke (look at their reviews for the Halo sequels).

I thought Kane and Lynch was a good game. At least 7.5 or more in my book.
freedom810 5th December 2007, 21:45 Quote
Ive been at gamespot for about 3 years but now that both rich and jeff are gone its rather boring.
So i created an acount here :) Ive always checked the news on this site and find it intresting but never got round to trying to the forums even though it ses too at the bottom of every bulletin.
It seems good so far.
Rebourne 6th December 2007, 04:24 Quote
I never liked GameSpot, their reviews never had any benchmarks or graphical settings comparisons. What the hell is up with that? I don't know about you, but I need my statistics.
CanadianViking 6th December 2007, 05:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by freedom810
It seems good so far.

It's good here, just don't look Relix in the eyes.
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