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Game Site Space For $$ 41

Wagner James Au writes "Thought y'all would be interested in part two of my 'Preview Ho' series for Kotaku -- in it, a media buyer tells me how Gamespot and Gamespy sells editorial space on their sites to big publishers for thousands of dollars. In other words, the games you see on the front pages of those sites are often there because publishers paid for that privilege. In their defense, Gamespy's Vice President of Content Publishing tells me the practice is 'pretty common both in print and online'." Nothing surprising here, but it's interesting to see it laid out like this.
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Game Site Space For $$

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  • No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by grub ( 11606 )

    Thought y'all would be interested in part two of my 'Preview Ho' series for Kotaku

    No, I'm not.
    • No, I'm not.
      That makes two of us. Although for all I know, you aren't interested because you don't read Gamespot, Gamespy, or even play videogames. I do read (and subscribe) to gamespot, but I'm still not interested because everyone has always known that Previews show off the good parts of the games to come.
    • G-pinions and other similar non-commercial (not yet at least) game review sites tend to provide quality info on games with less fat.

      http://www.g-pinions.com/ [g-pinions.com]
  • by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:24PM (#15020374)
    I've heard that you can even buy editorial space on a website called slashdot. Pot, meet kettle.
  • I read a rant by someone who works as a game reviewer that said that they have a hard time evaluating games fairly. Since a) they don't pay for their own games and b) they play so many games (2 or 3 full games per week if I remember right) it gets tough. That's why small innovations are weighted far more heavily than the acutal "Fun Factor" of a game. I review games at my own site, SkorchedEarth [skorchedearth.com], it's small and personal. Sites like these are the reviews I trust, because it's more of a recommendation fro
    • I review games at my own site, SkorchedEarth [skorchedearth.com], it's small and personal. Sites like these are the reviews I trust

      Yeah, I tend to trust reviews I write myself, too. : p
      j/k. I'll hafta go check out your site when I get home.
    • I tend to trust larger sites more than smaller sites, simply because larger sites have more to lose by being exposed as corporate shills. I think in this case the editors of both Gamespot and Gamespy are pretty clear that some positioning is for sale, content is not.

      Any idiot can write a game review (no offense, I'm not referring to your site at all!), but it takes time and a track record to build trust with the public. No trust = no credibility, and honestly, credibility is the only thing they have. Re
  • by davebgimp ( 849855 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:39PM (#15020516) Homepage
    Just because whoring out editorial space is 'pretty common both in print and online' doesn't excerpt the editors from being ethically corrupt as journalists. When you sell a publication's editorial space, be it online, magazine or whatever, it's no longer editorial. It's advertorial and as such, should be clearly marked, much like those "special advertising sections" you see in Time and other mags. There's no real recourse or anything other than consumers and journalistic peers calling other publications out and holding them responsible, but really...journalism, whether you're covering world affairs or the mating habits of squirrels is a profession and as such, has ideals, ethics and rules off conduct. It's just depressing.
    • It's advertorial and as such, should be clearly marked, much like those "special advertising sections" you see in Time and other mags.
      It is. It's marked by the word preview. I guess it's easy to mistake that 'P' for an 'R', it does only differ by a angled downstroke after all.
      • Um, what?

        A preview is what game site give you before the title is released. Hence the "pre" preposition.

        A review is what you get once the game has been released (or in the case of magazines, shortly before when they have a final copy to work with). "Re" meaning "again" here.

        Now we get to the shared root -- "view." There is no necessary viewing of the material in an reviewtisement. It is most likely just some guy pushing the product without opinion, therefore a lie.
  • Road and Track gives great reviews to "Select" autos because the auto makers buy tons of add space.

    Hardware review sites and prints give great reviews to hardware because they get lots of free hardware and lots of cash for *other things* *cough*addspace*cough*.

    I will tell you how great NewEgg.com has been because they send me all kinds of *Good Stuff*.. but damnit I have to pay for it.. :(
  • the bloody games industry pays worse than the entertainment industry, and yet, makes more money on its titles than movies do link [npr.org] HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?
  • Those sites don't have any reviews on them anymore anyways, prettymuch screenshots an movies of upcoming games.

    I remember when those sites used to be useful!

    Does anyone know of a site that still reviews games and accessories? It seems like Amazon is your best bet these days.

    It most likely is because there are so many games out there these days that it would require a huge staff to review.
    • Re:Reviews (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ford Prefect ( 8777 )
      My favourite game reviews site is probably Eurogamer [eurogamer.net] - surprisingly, it's Europe-centric (conveniently for me), and I've found that the reviews (and previews) are usually well worth reading. It's helped get me to broaden my gaming horizons a bit, too - I bought Darwinia on the basis of the Eurogamer review, and found it to be one of the best games I've ever played.

      As for GameSpy, someone from one of their sub-sites [planethalflife.com] recently asked if they could make my MINERVA [hylobatidae.org] mod the level-of-the-week, or something. Unfortu
  • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @05:06PM (#15021246) Homepage Journal
    ...I get all my game reviews from trustworthy and unbiased sources like Official PlayStation Magazine and Nintendo Power.
  • "games you see on the front pages of those sites are often there because publishers paid for that privilege"

    OH PSHAW! The next thing you'll tell me is that reviewers write positive slanting reviews of games to keep the ad dollars flowing in from major publishers!
  • To some extent marketing costs plays a role in the visibility of a game but really good games, and I mean really really good games such as World of Warcraft just sell themselves....Right? I know good "indie" movies sell themselves that way see "the blair witch project". Or are there just to many titles out there that we can't see the forest for the trees?
    • To some extent marketing costs plays a role in the visibility of a game but really good games, and I mean really really good games such as World of Warcraft just sell themselves....Right? I know good "indie" movies sell themselves that way see "the blair witch project". Or are there just to many titles out there that we can't see the forest for the trees?

      I actually think that was the problem in The Blair Witch Project.

  • Google Adspace for $$$
    Newpaper Adspace for $$$
    Billboard Adspace for $$$

    But seriously, it's just common business practice. Is it that 'suprising'?
    • No, it isn't, and it's absolutely endemic throughout pretty much all forms of media. TV, newspapers, magazines, internet, you name it. I've worked as a journalist in the past, and I found it frightening how often our agenda was being dictated by advertisers. Most magazines have content that's been influenced in choice and style by advertisers, ditto for lifestyle TV shows, and pretty much everything involving travel in any medium is backed by an advertiser at some point, as just a couple of examples. Not to
  • Guess that makes it just that much harder for the Independant and small studios, what few are left
  • Its all part of the IGN monopoly. Even beta testing games now requires a FilePlanet or 3dGamers account. Very frustrating. It is difficult to tell what games are good, but its easy to tell which games have publishers with deep pockets. Nick D http://www.filenuts.com/ [filenuts.com]
  • A follow-up story in GameDaily's media column [gamedaily.com] does a good job outlining why this is problematic. Their final point is a really good one - now that there's some level of confirmation of what we've always suspected, what's gonna change? An excerpt:

    "Now is the time for the blogs, the fervent fan sites and news aggregators to step up. The game blogs and alternate videogame news sources should do everything possible to keep this story alive while maintaining their own integrity. If these compromise stories are

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