Conflict of Interest?

General and high profile video game topics.
bluenote
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Re: Conflict of Interest?

Postby bluenote » January 1st, 2017, 8:38 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:So I posted a tweet the other day asking why other video game sites don't give out below-average grades, and someone pointed out that if they did, that company would pull their ads.

This brings up an important point. In theory, video game critics should be objective/unbiased to a reasonable extent. However, they are basically being financed by the video game publishers. Isn't this a blatant conflict of interest?

Do other industries have this problem? Is there a solution?

I think the current model lets publishers basically "have their way" with critics and consumers alike.


I would be curious what examples you have of this. I see bad reviews on ign, us gamer, gamespot, etc. Is there a game that is generally hated that got great reviews? I guess this may happen the odd time but I don't see this as the norm.

I'm not being a smartass, just genuinely curious.

jon
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Re: Conflict of Interest?

Postby jon » January 4th, 2017, 12:30 pm

This is something that I noticed a few years ago. Of course with their basically being one magazine, EGM, it was understandable that there would be intense pressure to put in a positive review. I think the main culprit here is that there's so few games, which is ridiculous. For there to be 1 football game across the entire video game industry, including computer games, is unfathomable. Imagine being a reviewer with all that pressure to give a crappy Madden game glowing reviews or his career is over. How video games degenerated to this incredibly depressing situation is hard to understand considering we're supposed to be a progressive society. My memory is not that fresh but it seemed in the early to mid 90's magazines like Gamepro were at least a little subjective. At least back then there were middle to lower tier publishers with one foot out the door that reviewers could safely be objective about. I don't follow modern gaming much but it seems like every game that comes out is released by a huge publisher with 300 man teams. What a joke. I was thinking the other day about how the only opportunity for would be developers is to work on big name projects with huge teams. Maybe there's the same amount of people employed to make games, but instead of them being spread out on a lot of games they're all on these huge AAA projects with 300 man teams.

crimefighter
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Re: Conflict of Interest?

Postby crimefighter » January 4th, 2017, 7:07 pm

Some people don't like to be told their s*** stinks, ESPECIALLY that "publisher" known as Digital Homicide.

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Hardcore Sadism
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Re: Conflict of Interest?

Postby Hardcore Sadism » January 5th, 2017, 12:05 am

It's the same way with review sites who give glowing reviews for Apple products when they have similar issues that competing brands got average to low scores over.

Why ever face the facts when you can feed your family?

wur
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Re: Conflict of Interest?

Postby wur » January 22nd, 2017, 4:52 am

I don't see it as an issue; I can see how the average game might be a B- or B, in the 70-80 percent range. I think there are minimum standards that publishers have nowadays, and game design is a subject that is taught in colleges; so most companies can make a "alright-to-good, generic game" with some amount of effort. That's like a B- in school.

Honestly there were a lot more bad games in the "classic" days: look at all the honestly bad stuff that was produced in the 2600 era, and into the NES era. Also, you might notice there's a general increase in quality over the generations: there are fewer bad games for the NES than for the 2600, and likewise fewer bad games for the SNES than for the NES. Not only was there a greater and greater understanding of what makes a game "good" that developed over the years, there was also rising costs for development to weed out truly bad developers.

twilighthotel
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Re: Conflict of Interest?

Postby twilighthotel » January 22nd, 2017, 9:31 am

Seeing that the Critic is reviewing a large number of games from 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35+ years ago, the idea that anyone in the thread should be questioning him or his integrity is hogwash.

But if someone wishes to believe he was paid off to give a B- to Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey (N64) or an A to Kings of the Beach (NES) over a decade after their respective releases, that is their own business :roll:

Sut
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Re: Conflict of Interest?

Postby Sut » January 22nd, 2017, 10:07 am

wur wrote:I don't see it as an issue; I can see how the average game might be a B- or B, in the 70-80 percent range. I think there are minimum standards that publishers have nowadays, and game design is a subject that is taught in colleges; so most companies can make a "alright-to-good, generic game" with some amount of effort. That's like a B- in school.

Honestly there were a lot more bad games in the "classic" days: look at all the honestly bad stuff that was produced in the 2600 era, and into the NES era. Also, you might notice there's a general increase in quality over the generations: there are fewer bad games for the NES than for the 2600, and likewise fewer bad games for the SNES than for the NES. Not only was there a greater and greater understanding of what makes a game "good" that developed over the years, there was also rising costs for development to weed out truly bad developers.


I agree with this post. I'd say sixth generation onwards I've not played many awful games. A lot of average or mediocre games sure, but nowhere near as much tosh that was on early systems.

I've yet to play a PS4 game which would receive less than a C.
Gaming since the Acorn Electron.

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velcrozombie
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Re: Conflict of Interest?

Postby velcrozombie » January 22nd, 2017, 12:34 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:This brings up an important point. In theory, video game critics should be objective/unbiased to a reasonable extent. However, they are basically being financed by the video game publishers. Isn't this a blatant conflict of interest?


I agree!

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scotland
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Re: Conflict of Interest?

Postby scotland » January 22nd, 2017, 2:06 pm

...and when everyone's super, no one is!

There seems to be 2 ideas of rating games here - basically a pass/fail or a distribution. Giving every game that meets the basic criteria an above average game is just a pass/fail system. A distribution or ranking system actually helps differentiate differences in quality within all those games that already meet the basic criteria.

Its like why your car has a gasoline gauge and not just a 'low fuel' warning light. You want the precision to know the difference between full, half, quarter of a tank full of gas and not just 'has gas/hasn't gas'. Even if every game made meets basic requirements, don't you want to know what else they bring to the gaming table?

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Rookie1
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Re: Conflict of Interest?

Postby Rookie1 » January 23rd, 2017, 12:36 pm

velcrozombie wrote:
VideoGameCritic wrote:This brings up an important point. In theory, video game critics should be objective/unbiased to a reasonable extent. However, they are basically being financed by the video game publishers. Isn't this a blatant conflict of interest?


I agree!

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I never went to them for reviews of their own games, though some of them were pretty objective. This was more for strategies, hints, codes, and previews.


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