Friday, December 4, 2009

A look at the controlled review environment

Kotaku's Michael McWhertor addresses the always pertinent issue of invite-only review events. Of course, as the budgets for games get bigger and bigger, so do the promotions and events in the lead up to released dates. But this poses an important quandary for professional games-journos who get put up in posh hotels and fed to review the latest and greatest game.

This quote from Dan Hsu really sums it all up though:
"As long as the game reviewers can treat the product fairly and objectively, the same as if he were playing at home or in his own office, I don't see a big problem with this," Hsu says of the conditions. "It's either that, or if you want a truly untainted review, stop listening to the professionals and get your feedback from the community instead."
While working at Game Revolution, I heard about the Italian getaway review even Ubisoft held for journalists there to review Assassin's Creed 2. Sometimes I can't believe publishers don't believe in the merit of their own product to ensure a good review. Assassin's Creed 2 can certainly hold it's own, and I couldn't imagine how beat down I would be if I were forced to play through the game in a 2-day period of time. Here's hoping this trend finds its way out.

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