The Jimquisition: On Publishers Controlling Game Reviews

http://www.patreon.com/jimquisition
http://sharkrobot.com/collections/jimquisition-merch

As Bethesda proudly announces it will no longer provide review copies until the day before a game launches, The Jimquisition decides to deliver some hefty side-eyeing.

This news came just as your very own Jim Sterling found out EA considers him a “wild card” who isn’t to be trusted with high profile games like Battlefield 1.

Game publishers have been steadily manipulating the review process for years, and when you consider how shitty the “AAA” game world’s become… is it any bloody wonder?

Camilo Fernández
Guest
Camilo Fernández

The more this companies try to screw you for your honest work, the more I feel confident for supporting you in patreon. Fuck’em, and thank god for you.

galactix100
Guest
galactix100

Bethesda are beginning to prove themselves just as shitty as the likes of EA and Ubisoft. First that shit with the Fallout 4 season pass and now this.

Sperium3000
Guest
Sperium3000
Allan Weallans
Guest
Allan Weallans

I keep saying it, but the only ‘good’ pre-order incentive is a discount. Extra content? Wow, extra content for a game I don’t know whether I’ll like or not and therefore have no way of gauging the value of? Huh. The thing is, as far as I’m concerned, what you’re paying for a game isn’t what you think it’s worth (how could you possibly know that?); it’s how much you’re willing to risk on it being good. The higher the risk is, the lower the price should be. Being that pre-orders are inherently more risky than buying a game after… Read more »

ManuOtaku
Guest
ManuOtaku

Lately, After all that has transpired with streamers, YouTubers, etc, this is not so surprising, since they cannot control traditional journalism, especially independent journalism, the only thing left to do is things like this, i expect this to just expand even more.

Anton
Guest
Anton

Jim, you’re just generating drama…. for attention…. or for the clicks… something something ethics in journalism.

David James Booth
Guest
David James Booth

I’d only buy a ‘AAA’ game, after reading/watching reviews from yourself/Ben Croshaw, and then watched some of it on twitch. Does anybody expect anything new, inventive or imaginative from AAA games anymore? Doom was successful because it went back to the oldest well of them all… sure its good, but it was good twenty years ago. That’s why I rely on reviews, it takes a lot to convince me to shell out for a AAA game when big developers seem to be stuck in a creative rut 99.9% of the time. These publishers are just missing out on early sales… Read more »

RuRiK_87
Guest
RuRiK_87

I am not all against pre-orders since it makes sense for when buying online and digitally, however I think they should only open up to two weeks before the game launches and not months before.

carg0
Guest
carg0

“While we will continue to work with media, streamers, and YouTubers to support their coverage — both before and after release — we want everyone, including those in the media, to experience our games at the same time.” what a bunch of unmitigated, unadulterated, 100%, f*ing bullshit. let’s run this nonsense through the ol’ BS filter, yes? Translation: “We don’t want our customers making informed decisions about their purchases. We want them to buy our products because we tell them to, sight unseen, through our carefully controlled propaganda. And the only way we can achieve this with maximum efficiency is… Read more »

Terriosaurus Hex
Guest
Terriosaurus Hex

It’s kinda crazy really, I mean, look at Hollywood…do they pull this shit? Their budgets are commonly in the double digit millions, but they don’t attempt to exert as much control and shady business practices with their customers. Games are slowly being pushed towards “services” instead of products of art and entertainment. Services that are under strict control to be cut up, piecemealed out and taken away whenever the publishers decide. Ownership is an illusion they want you to have. Keep feeding less and less, keep the grip tighter and tighter and the profit margins will increase. The shareholders will… Read more »

Aisha clanclan
Guest
Aisha clanclan

I’m happy with reviewers not getting advice copy’s their been such corporation with critics and reviewers .
Take the kind of funny guys were sucking konami dick to get exclusive advice copy’s of MGS 5 ,other critic that have their own agendas like fuck konami or just getting paid to give good reviews.

goodbyejojo
Guest
goodbyejojo

i wanted to buy the boxed version of overwatch origins edition, because blizzard’s pc boxes are cool, but my local store didnt have it because it was all sold out on day one, so i couldn’t wait for it, so i bought the digital version, couple of months later, the boxed version showed up in my local store, it felt like it taunted me, i still kinda want the box, but im not sure if im gonna pay the full price for it, but hey, battleborn pc retail is like -70% permanently discounted, i might grab that instead.

florian
Guest
florian

Say, could you review some nice indie games at those times instead? Since everyone else will be posting a review of the aaa title of that day I’d be happy to read such a review. ^_^

Mandrake42
Guest
Mandrake42

The counter productive thing with the whole concept of this is I generally won’t buy a triple A game without reading some reviews first. By leaving it til the last minute, they essentially ensure I won’t buy a game on day one. Which often means that, by the time reviews are out, I’ve basically gone “Well fuck it, might as well wait for it to come on sale now.” Back when reviews were out a week or so early, if a game was getting good write ups from reviewers I trusted, Id be hyped for it on release day and… Read more »

Giorgos Katsas
Guest
Giorgos Katsas

The moment Chip opened his mouth, I screamed along with Jim, had a sandwich in my mouth, totally worth it. As for the topic, sleazy practice. Forces people to be even more impatient with their money. Pre-order culture has started to piss me off, I really wanted Jim’s opinion on Titanfall 2 a few days ago only, considering I loved the first one and his review about it was one of the more level headed ones, only to find out that he was blacklisted. I mean, I like what I have seen this far about the game and I am… Read more »

Sharadufobash
Guest
Sharadufobash

I think pre-orders feed on the habit modern consumers have of enjoying the experience of getting excited about a product, of getting hyped. Being as I hate the my life and the entire human race and so joy no longer exists for me, I can look on this situation from the outside. When I saw people getting so excited for Fallout 3 or 4 or whatever it was, I thought the whole thing looked like a bonding process – people enjoying the shared experience of expecting joy, like kids in the line for a fairground ride. I think the experience… Read more »

aimei66
Guest
aimei66

Gotta love the industry right now; most companies at least try to look like they value their most loyal customers, but AAA companies seem determined to screw them over. Whether it’s broken games at launch, hidden turds or price drops days after release, they really know how to show they care.

The world needs wild cards more than ever.

TheCreativeWelshman
Guest
TheCreativeWelshman

Here are my rules for pre ordering games

Research the company first
If there is a lot dlc for pre order don’t pre order
If there are no reviews at least a week ahead of time don’t pre order
If all you see are pre order bonuses before any game play is shown don’t pre order
Only pre order Nintendo stuff
Research Indies before pre ordering from them

Keep these rules in mind and you won’t go wrong.

Kev' Bryant
Guest
Kev' Bryant

I know some people are going to request a “Wild Card” tee, so I’d like to +1 that.

I’d also like to ask for a Jim plush again. I’ve got a daughter on the way; who’s going to watch over her, Toy Story style?

Erich Fromm Hell
Guest

Marvellous. More industry bollocks. Oh well… This just represents the latest dribbling deposit of cynicism I can add to the stack that’s built up over the years like layers of sedimentary rock.

Klasodeth
Guest
Klasodeth

The funny part about this is that it punishes the review sites that were bending over backward to please the developers/publishers much more than the sites that already managed to get themselves blacklisted/greylisted. At this rate, there won’t be much incentive for reviewers to pull punches when reviewing a flawed game.

iThinkMyCatIsAFlea
Guest
iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

@Bethesda/All publishers: Thanks! Thanks for withholding review copies. Thanks for trying to trick me into buying your unfinished, buggy, dlc laden games. Thanks for trying to stop reviewers from telling me that your games are unfinished, buggy and full of microtranactions. Thanks for releasing fake, misleading advertising materials to further trick me into buying your games.

Thanks for nothing.

Artemiy
Guest
Artemiy

Well, called it. High five e’ryone.
But yeah, shame on those devs and publishers. And stop preordering videogames.

AnGer
Guest
AnGer

I’d prefer it if every review site went the same route you did. It would be difficult at first, but, this could be a long-term gain for the audiences and sites alike if publishers were removed from the evaluation process.

The only games I preorder nowadays are Atlus’s and Falcom’s. Never go wrong with these and their stuff gets rare too fast at times.

Rachel McVeigh
Guest
Rachel McVeigh

With less reviews of games out before launch, post launch DLC & patches, it is getting riskier and riskier to buy a game on launch day. There is a huge likelihood that you’ll be buying an unfinished game with bugs due to be patched out. DLC is also getting more expensive, so you could end up paying nearly €100 for a game at launch (€70 for game + at least €20 for story DLC), that is not including the special edition if you decide to get that. Unlikely other media, (T.V., film & books) games are an expensive hobby for… Read more »