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Author Topic: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired  (Read 4294 times)

Storm Rider

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Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« on: 30 Nov 2007, 12:12 »

So, what broke as a rumor yesterday has now been confirmed: Gamespot Editorial director Jeff Gerstmann was fired by parent company CNet Networks on Wednesday.

Everybody but CNet is saying that Eidos threatened to pull both their Kane and Lynch ads and any future ads planned for the site because of the review score, whereas apparently the management is saying (internally, they've refused to comment on the issue so far) that there were issues with an unprofessional 'tone' from Gerstmann in some of his reviews that culminated in the Kane and Lynch video (not written) review.

I'm really saddened by all of this. Not just that CNet bowed to pressure from advertisers, or that Eidos was desperate enough for a hit that they'd stoop to this level, but also because Gerstmann was an honest and funny individual who contributed a lot to Gamespot's non-review features. Their weekly gaming news podcast in particular is one that I will sorely miss.
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Beren

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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #1 on: 30 Nov 2007, 12:48 »

This really, really sucks. It's definitely the K&L thing, and everyone knows it.

Fucking CNET.
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Storm Rider

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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #2 on: 30 Nov 2007, 12:54 »

It's also worth noting that the video review for Kane and Lynch has been taken down (though naturally it's still on Youtube), and at least one of the editors of a CNet site has resigned in protest.
« Last Edit: 30 Nov 2007, 12:57 by Storm Rider »
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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #3 on: 30 Nov 2007, 13:34 »

That's a damn shame. And he was right, too, K&L didn't have a lot going for it.
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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #4 on: 30 Nov 2007, 13:48 »

This is more than a shame, it's infuriating. Eidos made a pretty bad game and the reviewer, someone whose been reviewing games for some time and certainly knows what he's talking about, played it and found it to be what it was: sloppy, unimpressive, frustrating and bland. He warned potential buyers of the game's problems. There was nothing unprofessional in the least regarding the review, Eidos is being petty and childish (if they want good reviews, they should make good games) and I honestly can't see how it's even legal to fire Gertsmann for this. He was, quite simply, just doing his job.
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ackblom12

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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #5 on: 30 Nov 2007, 14:45 »

Well, in the US an employer has the legal right to fire you whatever reason they like outside of legally protected discriminatory reasons. It's right in every contract every employee in the US signs.

This is a pretty shitty move though.
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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #6 on: 30 Nov 2007, 19:29 »

that is pretty damn shitty
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thepugs

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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #7 on: 01 Dec 2007, 09:30 »

This is by far one of the most pathetic things I've ever seen.  From my experience, Gerstmann was very well-liked, and this is such a poor move by CNet.
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bryanthelion

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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #8 on: 01 Dec 2007, 10:23 »

I guess we can't trust Gamespot scores anymore.
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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #9 on: 01 Dec 2007, 10:34 »

I guess we can't trust Gamespot scores anymore.

Quoted for Irony.
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bryanthelion

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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #10 on: 01 Dec 2007, 12:06 »


This is what gaygamer said.
Quote
December 1, 2007
Updates On Fired GameSpot Editor A.K.A. GerstGate

jeffghalo.jpg

On Friday, Asterick reported on the termination of GameSpot editor Jeff Gerstmann, allegedly for a poor review of Kane and Lynch: Dead Men, a game which was heavily advertised on the site prior to the firing. Since then, the parent company of CNET has denied that any pressure from advertisers affected the decision to terminate Gerstmann, telling Kotaku:

    GameSpot takes its editorial integrity extremely seriously. For over a decade, GameSpot and the many members of its editorial team have produced thousands of unbiased reviews that have been a valuable resource for the gaming community. At CNET Networks, we stand behind the editorial content that our teams produce on a daily basis.

Well then, I guess that's that! Except no, not quite yet. Over at Vallywag, an anonymous (but "credible") commenter by the handle of gamespot has left a series of comments purporting an insider's view into the situation. In one of the comments on the site, he or she brings up the issue of increased advertiser pressure on editorial staff:

    Our last executive editor, Greg Kasavin, left to go to EA, and he was replaced by a suit, Josh Larson, who had no editorial experience and was only involved on the business side of things. Over the last year there has been an increasing amount of pressure to allow the advertising teams to have more of a say in the editorial process; we've started having to give our sales team heads-ups when a game is getting a low score, for instance, so that they can let the advertisers know that before a review goes up. Other publishers have started giving us notes involving when our reviews can go up; if a game's getting a 9 or above, it can go up early; if not, it'll have to wait until after the game is on the shelves.

Even if this commenter is just a decent fake, his or her words reflect the fears of public frustrated and suspicious by the cozy relationship that many major game news companies and game publishers often seem to enjoy. Obviously this entire situation exacerbates those suspicions, and sadly legitimate journalists suffer as a result. The popular videogame forum NeoGAF has even decided to filter any discussion of CNET websites from its message board for the rest of the year.

Of course, apart from his status as a martyr or symbol of a potentially corrupt system, Jeff Gerstmann was also some guy who liked videogames, and for now doesn't have a job. Long time colleague, Ryan Davis, also of GameSpot, has posted some recollections (he was in a rap-ska band?) and thoughts about Jeff on his personal blog:

    I'm not afraid to say that it absolutely breaks my heart. ... Jeff was a rare constant, and this marks the end of an era for both GameSpot and myself, a fact that doesn't seem to be getting any less upsetting for me.

Hopefully the truth (whatever it is) will come to light, and these companies will find a way to make money that doesn't interfere with honest reporting. Best of luck to Jeff in all his future endeavors.

CNET Comments on GameSpot Controversy [Kotaku]

GameSpot Editor (?) On Fired Reviewer [Vallywag]

What To Say [Ryan Davis]

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Posted to Video Games on 1 December 2007 Comments (0)
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Johnny C

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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #11 on: 04 Dec 2007, 20:43 »

It just gets dumber.

For both of you who haven't read this, here's Kotaku having talked to a Gamespot employee.
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Storm Rider

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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #12 on: 04 Dec 2007, 21:01 »

Like I said on Kotaku, I really hope they all form a new site together. The HotSpot podcast was one of my favorite gaming-related features on the Net, and if they form some equivalent of it together wherever they go next I'll be less saddened by all this.
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Alex C

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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #13 on: 06 Dec 2007, 18:14 »

I'm just glad that all I have to do to vote against Eidos with my wallet is to avoid buying a shitty game. Gamespot's doing a good job of shitting on its credibility already, and it's not like patronized them often either.
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Narr

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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #14 on: 07 Dec 2007, 02:45 »

I would like to see what Gertsmann has to say about the whole thing, personally.  Anyone got a link to his own words?
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Storm Rider

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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #15 on: 07 Dec 2007, 11:01 »

Not really, because he hasn't said much of anything yet.
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Re: Gamespot Editorial Director Fired
« Reply #16 on: 07 Dec 2007, 11:15 »

If I was in his position, I'd probably be a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of making any real public statement in the midst of all this drama. He's got his future to think about and adding fuel to the fire right now probably isn't the most prudent move. It's pretty satisfying in the short term to play the martyr, but at the end of the day he's still likely going to have to go to bat for another company so it pays to act professional.
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