The Jimquisition: Review Events And Boot Camps

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With the recent kerfuffle over Metal Gear Solid V being reviewed at “boot camps,” it’s a good opportunity to talk about review events overall, and why they’re total bollocks.

General rule of thumb should be – if a publisher is making you go out of your way to review their game, they should eff off. They dictate enough of the terms as it is.

Rikeus
Guest
Rikeus

WITNESS

Daryl Corey
Guest
Daryl Corey

I swear another day another reason to just say FucKonami

Ruben Plooster
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Ruben Plooster

Does the fact that Konami claimed the video twice mean that Jim is getting their goat?

Manen
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Manen

#HITTHELEVER

#FUCKONAMI

Appretaur
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Appretaur

The past four months have certainly been history in the making. I think Jim’s literally made five episodes about Konami over the span of four months (Konami is Konami, RIP PT, The Silent Hell That Is Konami, Fee 2 Pay, and this vid about Review Events And Boot Camps), and there could be even more later this year. There might as well be a playlist made with these vids and the first Konami episode he did years ago because that’s literally over an hour of total runtime at this point – and every minute is so very delicious. 😉

Thanatos2k
Guest
Thanatos2k

Oh look, Jim actually does believe in ethics in game journalism.

Honestly though, this will probably be the last time Konami gets to do this. They’ll never make another AAA console game with enough clout to get reviewers to come to them.

Anton
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Anton

You never know. Relatively inexpensive spinoffs like Rising still made the news to a significant degree – not as much as MGSV, but enough for IGN to send a vanful of “journalists”

Steffen Simmons
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Steffen Simmons

Rising wasn’t exactly a spinoff of the caliber of most spinoffs though. It was a massive endeavor with Platinum games behind it.

Thanatos2k
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Thanatos2k

Thing is, I don’t think Konami is even capable of making a game like Rising anymore.

Khitchary
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Khitchary

Jim has always cared about ethical game journalism. What on earth are you on about.

Thanatos2k
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Thanatos2k

He didn’t a year ago.

Khitchary
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Khitchary

Did you even watch the video ? Jim avoided boot camps YEARS ago. What on earth are you talking about ?

Thanatos2k
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Thanatos2k

We’re talking about ethics in game journalism. Maybe go watch his videos a year ago.

Khitchary
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Khitchary

Been watching his videos for well over a year. Since the first one (back on escapist).You make no sense at all.

Thanatos2k
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Thanatos2k

There’s a reason Jim’s face appears on the low end of the McIntosh scale.

BornFlunky
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BornFlunky

I honestly hadn’t known the boot camps were that fuckawful. Wow.

-Wow.-

Anton
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Anton

While I would agree that impressions from a GOOD review event would be positively biased, I’m pretty sure that any review done in Konami’s hell hole would be affected with a negative bias. So, if anything, it just makes those 10/10’s that much more impressive.

Shui Gor
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Shui Gor

Honestly: who DIDN’T see this coming from Konami? They already did the same thing when they launched Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and after having heard about the draconian practices in their offices and how they treat their own employees, why WOULDN’T they treat the press the same way? Just another piece of irrefutable evidence Konami has such astronomical disdain for this medium and its participants.

#FucKonami

Tropxe
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Tropxe

I raised the point of the PC disc version of MGSV earlier on another site. I was told that this is now normal for PC games. Can anyone confirm or deny this? I haven’t bought a physical PC game since The Witcher 2.

Draguss
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Draguss

It’s fairly normal for physical pc games to require steam to work these days (something I personally find very annoying), but they’re only including the basic installer and nothing else. You have to still download the whole game, which screws over everyone with a lousy connection or limited bandwidth and completely undermines the point of buying the physical copy in the first place.

Edwin Jackson
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Edwin Jackson

Well you’re not going to get a Mediocre from Immortan Joe, a Quad strike is bloody impressive Jim.

Jack Philipson
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Jack Philipson

Jim, have you seen Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’s pre-order policy? My God, it’s glorious:

http://uk.ign.com/articles/2015/08/31/deus-ex-mankind-divided-release-date-revealed?%20hub%20page%20(front%20page)&utm_content=7

Milestone_RP
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Milestone_RP

See this, Square? THIS is the kind of thing that IMMEDIATELY turns me off from a game, no matter how interested I WAS in it, and makes me want to wait to get it on a Steam Sale, just out of SPITE.

EdgyDude
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EdgyDude

BS like that is why I fell zero guilt over waiting for the GOTY edition, a heavy price drop or buying used.

Helmic
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Helmic

I remember Squeenix trying this with Tomb Raider. IIRC the “if you’re good we’ll release it early” thing was done with that Portal 2 ARG. But I don’t think I’ve seen a mission locked away until X number of pre-orders are fulfilled, and certainly not stuff like artbooks. It’d be interesting to see Jim’s take on it.

SilentPony
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SilentPony

Is it even fair to trust review camp reviews? I mean imagine giving your boss or teacher a review while they’re looking over your shoulder, silently taking notes on you.

I can totally imagine Konami black listing anyone who wasn’t smart enough to give MGSV the industry standard 10/10.

BAH!
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BAH!

Surely they’d at least give a 1-point buffer? No point in being greedy.

Of course, they are getting out of the AAA market, so it’s not like they care anymore- assuming they ever actually cared, of course.

Hosokawa Productions
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Hosokawa Productions

Wouldn’t say blacklisting, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if those NDAs state the reviewer cannot give a score below 9/10 or something.

It also wouldn’t surprise me if they vetoes the word “microtransactions” from reviews or something.

SilentPony
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SilentPony

Oh for sure. Konami totally insisted on reading every single review and had full veto power on anything they wanted. They’d have been stupid not to.

Honestly it wouldn’t surprise me if Konami just wrote all the reviews themselves. As the reviewers leave some Konami exec is at the door with a firm handshake and a pre-written review.

Dara Crawley
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Dara Crawley
I’m not sure they could legally do that or would want to be so specific because someone would come forward on purpose or accident about it and Konami isn’t that careless or stupid. HOWEVER, these devs can make it their business to personally ruin the lives of anyone getting in the industry OR to put them on a list of reviewers they give limited or no access. It’s within their rights to do so of course. The reviewers have no reason to support Konami for instance. These companies aren’t their bosses nor can they stop reveiwers from buying product(nor would… Read more »
canneddirt
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canneddirt

“Secret garden”. Definitely going to slip that into conversation with the SO later.

Oren
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Oren

Huh. Something that actually is about ethics in games journalism. Who’d have thought?

Milestone_RP
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Milestone_RP

You misspelled “garme jurnalizm”.

Milestone_RP
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Milestone_RP
And this is why I watch Jim Sterling. Because he fucking GETS IT. He’s a pioneer, with the whole “funded by Patreon” thing. I do not give ONE SINGLE FUCK what publishers think of reviews, or what corporate sponsors think of them. I care about what PEOPLE think of them. People complain “look at how much money Jim makes in a year now off these videos!” They complain because they are idiots. They don’t get this is now private funding, and this just means that the Jim Sterling stock is going freaking GANGBUSTERS. And for good reason. Oh, and once… Read more »
Chris Merritt
Guest
Chris Merritt
I agree with your comment. The following is my opinion, and I apologize if its too verbose and abstract, but I actually think its true: Recently read Jaron Lanier’s Who Owns The Future? which I recommend. The free internet could degrade quickly – we have these giant ‘siren servers’ like Google and Facebook basically giving out free treats but monetizing all the human-created content. Meanwhile, the people have a new Singularity-based religion which affirms their instinct that they are living in the best time ever, headed for a digital solution to all of life’s problems, and so skepticism is nowhere… Read more »
BAH!
Guest
BAH!

The Mad Max jokes are great, Jim, but I’m just wondering how long before you cosplay as The People Eater. I thought of you the instant he came on screen for the first time, and not because he’s fat.

You know why.

Enuo
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Enuo

Any chance you could dial back on the Mad Max jokes? Yes it was a great movie, but after a while it just gets tedious.

BAH!
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BAH!

I disagree. So long as he keeps mixing it up like he does, it’s still pretty funny to me.

Jim Sterling
Guest

This is actually the last one I’ve got, I promise.

HaveSomeOatmeal
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HaveSomeOatmeal

My name is Jim. My world is pre-order DLC and microtransactions. Once, I was critic. A review warrior searching for a righteous cause. As the games industry fell, each of us
in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy…
me… or AAA developers.

Sidrat Flush
Guest

Witness

Chris
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Chris

I know Jim said he was done with Mad max, but can you give us a dramatic reading of this on the next Podquisition? Please?

Tropxe
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Tropxe

I think he just does it because he likes getting things sprayed onto his mouth.

Fallen Prime
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Fallen Prime

This is why I come to you for my games news rather than any of the other major outlets. You’re far enough above all these practices to be able to shine a light on them, and removed enough from the practitioners to not have to watch your step as you do so. Their dickish monetization of your content aside.

Ciaran O'Brien
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Ciaran O'Brien

I was really torn about watching. If I did, I’d risk giving Konami et al. some revenue via contentID shenanigans. But if I didn’t, I would not get to listen to Jim’s soothing mouthwords.
In the end I think I made the right choice. Konami might get a fraction of a cent due to me watching this video, but I got to see a grown man in a dressing gown spray his face orange while wearing a squid hat. Whereas Konami are still arseholes that nobody likes.

Helmic
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Helmic

Adblock. Glorious adblock. Zero impact on Jim Sterling, keeps dishonest companies like Konami, Sony, and Activision from making money for abusing a fucked up copyright system. Disable it for sites you want to support.

Drkarate
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Drkarate

God damnit, Im gunna have that fucking David the Gnome theme song stuck in my head for a week now.

Dave Dogge
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Dave Dogge
It’s a tricky one when a games reviewer gets invited to a “time limited” sitting where a pre-release game review event is being held-you half expect to be handed a bottle of lube and towel at the entrance to it all. I agree it can create an uneasy / uncomfortable environment for both parties and induce guilt into any reviewer who is pampered by the company that has created the new video game. Maybe the lube, the towel and the pampering should be reserved only for game previews and announcements and non-review promotions but still .. that uneasy relationship can… Read more »
Edwin Jackson
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Edwin Jackson

I don’t think Konami care.

Dave Dogge
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Dave Dogge

Some remember Konami in the arcades of the 80’s with Salamander etc. different times, we need a fund raiser to print 100 “CAREnami” T-shirts and have them delivered to Konami staff .. here is a link to the directors, maybe we can start here .. http://www.konami.co.jp/en/corporate/data/profile.html

Helmic
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Helmic
I find it much more important that reviewers I personally trust review a game than any site with exclusive access reviews it first. I’m willing to wait a while to get a quality review from someone with similar tastes as mine. It’s unrealistic to expect that we can somehow make boot camp reviews not so lucrative by ignoring them, people are still going to want to read if that game they’re looking forward to so much is any good, but we can learn to be incredibly suspicious of such reviews and send traffic to smaller sites and channels that get… Read more »
Boss
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Boss

I wonder if there will ever be action against publishers who flag videos with copyright strikes without there actually being any violation in the video. I can see harassment being an actual legal issue, with actual monetary damages, and could lead to a lawsuit (probably rolled into class action because some publishers just love this practice). Maybe once they see that they’ll lose money, they might stop being asshats…

Unless they are Konami, because fuck Konami…

LiteYear
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LiteYear
Unfortunately, YouTube treats Content ID claims (which are distinct from Copyright Strikes, in that Content ID claims are automated and claim the monetization rights, while strikes I believe have to be issued manually and take down the video while harming the creator’s status with YouTube) as if they are always issued justifiably, and that I believe they also view Content ID claims as mere inconveniences, It doesn’t really matter to YouTube that this video was claimed four times by Content ID, even by the same company twice. There used to be a policy on YouTube that, if you were part… Read more »
Edwin Jackson
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Edwin Jackson

Hopefully this will be the last time we see a Konami badge on a game, at least a game we want to play.

NeilS52
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NeilS52

You nailed it, Jim. Review events are the worst and it gives publishers more power that they shouldn’t have.

In terms of the PC physical release are they the only ones to pull that shit? I would have to look, but I bought a physical copy of Spec Ops: The Line that had something similar. Made me download Steam and have a Steam account to play it. I could be wrong though, but I’m to lazy to check.

BAH!
Guest
BAH!

Remembering off the top of my head, Two titles with Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection and certain titles with the Rare Replay were download-only even though there ware physical discs involved. Also, the “physical” version of Duck Tales Remastered on the PS3 and Half-Life 2 were just download vouchers in a case. Konami isn’t the first, certainly, but they’re the first AAA publisher I know of to have done it in a while.