Going back to the topic of bad game journalism, the fact of the matter is that if the big game journalism sources want to be chained to the publisher, then it might be time we got rid of the game journalism establishment. If publishers don't want to send out review copies or preview copies to independent game reviewers, then they will have to stop badgering us into buying a game on launch day because we won't buy them without reading reviews.
The entire game journalism system is an outdated, broken dinosaur. It served its purpose back when game reviews came from magazines, and the games had to be printed on cartridges as preview builds months in advance, but those days are over. You can read a game review online and then download it through steam in a matter of minutes, so we do not need these elaborate arrangements between publishers and journalism anymore-- in fact, if you actually offer legit criticism, you will pretty much be an outcast in the big journalism crowd.
We need to move to a model where independent game reviewers like Angry Joe review games without any influence from the outside. He buys all of the games he reviews, and maybe I have to wait a few days longer to see his review than at IGN, but at least I know he hasn't been bought off. He actually sticks it to the big publishers when they do something bad, because he is not afraid of losing his perks (of which he has none). The Big Press cannot be trusted anymore, and in a day when any bloke with a microphone can make a video review and put it on youtube, they are not needed anymore either. Eventually enough people will realize this that bought and paid for good press will no longer be profitable to publish, and the publications that are knee-deep in this scandal will die out.
When your livelihood revolves around people trusting your reviews, there's no such thing as a gaming journal that is "too big to fail." When the paradigm shift involving how people get their reviews has finished, the sources that survive will be the ones like Angry Joe who were not dependant on the cooperation of the people whose products he is reviewing in order to make money.
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