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The Cyberpunk 2077 Review Drama (John Walker article for Kotaku)

Nick R

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I read that and came away wondering what his point was. None of that is a new issue, it's been a problem for years. There's no great insight there about the review system either, though I do like how he couched it all with "well *my* scores are good."


The comment about "trustworthy" sites also seemed a bit rich, especially as he talks about how aware of the problems games journalists are and how they police themselves.


As for one of his central points - scores, and effectively questioning the integrity of those sites handing out 9s and 10s to a bugged game - well just look at the thread here where plenty are enjoying it and saying how good it is despite bugs. Is their opinion untrustworthy too? 


I want my 10 minutes back, basically. 



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I love how many of these sites try to tell you how hideous a company is, yet still push endless pages about tips and tricks for the demonic companies products. I understand integrity doesn't bring in the dollars, but it is incredibly transparent. 


Also, the hypocrisy of many of these sites when it comes to crunch is an absolute joke. Asking their staff to smash through a game in less than a week to hit the embargo date, yet openly shit on video game companies for crunching. Now just to be clear, I have been in the trenches of a crunch filled nightmare, and honestly, it was an experience that has left a permanent scar on my very being. Sounds dramatic, but it is true. Crunch in any form is something that should be truly eradicated. 


Death threats are fucking vile, and name calling is shite, but these things are not solely a problem within the video games industry. They are widespread issues that need to be engrained educationally into our kids, that threats of any kind are unacceptable. However, if you are putting yourself on a pedalstool (...) In today's world, you need to take the good with the bad, and respond positively wherever possible, and do not bite angrily(especially publically) to criticisms levelled against your content. It is not a one way street where gamers are bad, journalists are good... Or we can criticize a video game, but don't fucking dare criticize our review, ESPECIALLY if you have an audience. 


Online games journalism is often a platform for pointing out the problems within the video game industry, and opening people's eyes to the problems we all face, no matter which part of it we come from. Yet many publications fight so desperately to stay afloat they often attack the very people they could have discussions with and crikey, possibly provide a positive influence.  Hypocritically selling what they are shitting on, and excluding people with different views. 


I am a left leaning cis white married male, with so much to learn about my own unconscious bias, but even when I believe I am right, I don't call anyone with opposing ideologies names. You bunch of Trump supporting right wing bastards you...


Man did I get carried away...


TLDR: there are haters the world around, don't bite to them and spew vitriol back, try and have a discussion if you can. Also the hypocrisy of many publications is not a conspiracy. 

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I thought it was interesting. Print mags raised X pounds from advertiser's each month and Y pounds from readers buying the mags.  If Y is greater than X then it's easy to see where the magazine's responsibility should lie. The internet pretty much replaced magazines with websites where 100% of the revenue comes from the advertisers and sites could really struggle if a major advertiser pulled out.  The purpose of reviews is to advise and protect the customer but that "customer is always right" mentality is flawed when the advertisers have the power to keep the journalism afloat. No point giving the customer the best service possible if you're going bust, but that opens up the huge flaw in the business model. You're running a website that steers people away from crappy games  but you're funded by the people who make those crappy games and they will be upset if you do exactly what you are supposed to be doing.


But then the article above presents the new purpose of reviews - validation. On a forum like this we look forward to new releases, with threads often appearing months , sometimes years before the game is released. We pour over the press releases and become invested.  We have preorders and midnight launches and we want the games to be great. Back in the 1980s I'd onlylearn that a game existed because of the magazine review, but today the review comes five years later than your first insights.  The review doesn't help you make the right choice, it confirms that you were right all along when you got excited about that game ages ago.  Reviews have become additional information where they used to be all you had. And if your review website merely serves to validate existing opinions it's a lot easier to keep all sides happy and make money.


But what I liked the most about that article was the point (that's easy to forget) that we, the forum dwellers, the Otaku, the Puff Pastry Hangmen, are not the mass market. Most people do not obsess and take it as seriously as we do. The article itself will not be seen by 99% of the gaming audience.  Cyberpunk is flawed, especially on the consoles that the majority still own and will be £20 in Asda fairly soon. There are hundreds of new releases and the mass market will probably forget about this game in a couple of weeks as the cycle moves on. There are hardcore Steven King fans pre-ordering his next novel as we speak. It's not out for a year, but as I'm not a fan the release will come and go and I probably won't even notice. 



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