So I was finally able to eek out some free time and thought I'd stop by here to say hello to all my friends that I haven't talked with in over a month. Much to my dismay, the first thing I see upon loading the site is the story about Jeff Gerstmann. It seems the Sh!t has really hit the fan here, and this is just the thing I have been looking for.
I am not out to get anyone or anything like that. It's just that when Greg Kasavin left for EA a year ago, I felt it was a little strange, sudden, and that there was more to the story than met the eye. It also hurt a lot, because Greg was sort of a role model for me and someone I really looked up to. He was the reason I finally made an account here and became active after lurking about the site for years. Then there was Jeff. I never liked him as much as Greg. I down righted hated his reviews most of the time, but he could be quite funny on occasion. Oh, and there is no denying that with Greg they made up Gamespots image. Don't get me wrong, there has always been a great team of professionals here at Gamespot to make it the place it has become known for, but in terms of image, as a long time Gamespotter I can tell you that the image has always been Greg and Jeff. When Greg left there was only Jeff, and now Jeff is gone. So now I feel like "who is there now?"
That's not the reason I'm leaving though. The reason I am leaving is because of why and how Jeff's employment of over a decade was terminated, which was the result of pressure from an advertiser. I was aware that Jeff gave Kane and Lynch a bad review when his review went live. I was also made aware by other people who had played the game and reviewed it that it wasn't too good. What Jeff did with that review was step on the toes on Gamespots new upper management. The new upper management that has no clue how to handle gaming journalism and editoral. That management was stupid in the interest of making big money and made promises to the advertisers they couldn't keep. Then, when Jeff put his review up he stepped on upper managements toes by making them look really stupid in the eyes of the advertisers. He showed the advertisers that the new upper management couldn't keep the promises they made, which pissed them off. Long story short, corporate politics come into play, things trickle down, and Jeff gets the boot for doing his job, and being the tough cynical reviewer he is, and delivering an honest review, which is completely and totally wrong in my eyes.
Now, understand that it's not Jeff being fired that has me upset here. What has me upset is everything that took place behind the scenes and led up to the firing. It's dishonest and just plain wrong. I like the community aspect of this place. I've made a lot of friends here and had a lot of good times over the years. However, Gamespot is a news site, not a social networking site. If I wanted social networking I would be on MySpace, or Facebook, or something like that. What I come here for is the news, reviews, and editorials. The community aspect stuff is just a nice bonus that I partake in on the side, sort of like a delicious side dish you get when ordering a full meal at a restaurant. You eat it and it's good, and you eat the main dish you ordered and it's good. You have a good meal and are happy you came to the restaurant and spent your money. Likewise, if the side dish is bad you don't eat it, but if the main meal is good you are also satisfied. However, if the main dish you ordered is bad then you aren't going to be happy even if the side dish is good. You're going to send it all back to the kitchen, complain, and go some place else and not come back. That's what I'm doing here. I'm sending the main dish I ordered back to the kitchen.
Gamespot lost all credibility in my eyes over this, because it shows their scores are up for sale through advertising. "How do you wanted your game scored? Oh, well how much are you willing to pay? I'm sorry that isn't nearly enough. That much will only get you a 6.5 or 7.0 at best." I can't in good conscience go to and partake in a site that has that for it's business practices. I'm sorry. They claim to be dedicated to giving unbiased news, reviews, etc. Yet, what they are giving everyone is anything but unbiased, and now that people see that it makes people, such as myself, who have listened to Gamespot, followed them, and had faith in them over the years feel pretty stupid. When I come to a news site, such as Gamespot, I want unbiased accurate news, previews, and reviews. Gamespot just showed me and everyone else that that isn't what they have been giving. I come here for a grilled strip steak, and they are giving me fried chicken wings. I'm sorry, but that's not what I ordered!
Gamespot isn't the site they used to be. The Gamespot I knew, fell in love with and joined is gone. Now it's time for me to move on. At least I can say with great pride that my own indie video game review site won't be guilty of this sort of travesty when it finally goes live in 2008. Yes that's right. MY OWN video game review site. That is the project I mentioned getting involved in a few months back, but truth be told it is something I started up and have been working on on the side for a couple years now. Greg K leaving and Gamespot redoing it's review criteria gave my system a real kick start and made me make it a priority. Now with what has happened here and to Jeff it's beyond a priority. So look for Brutally Honest Gamers in 2008. We will be looking for you.
So long my friends. May fame and fortune find each of you one the road ahead.
-Will Ferrel aka Cerza