This is a reprint of my editorial that appears in the February issue of EGM. A lot of people are talking about it thanks to Video Game Media Watch, Kotaku, Joystiq, etc. -- so I thought I'd put the original text here for people to read.
It used to be game companies would pull advertising if they wanted to punish a magazine for unfavorable coverage. In more recent times, they're pulling the coverage as well. It's an interesting setup: Don't let us see the games, and we can't write anything bad about them. But don't let us see the games, and we can't write anything good about them, either.
Gamemakers have been taking issue with our reviews for as long as EGM's been around (almost 19 years now). It goes with the territory: Be honest and tough with your critiques, and you're going to **** just about everybody off at some point. But when I took over as editor-in-chief in 2001, I also wanted us to get more real with our previews. I was tired of the press-release rehashes our industry had become accustomed to, so I asked for more sincerity and opinions from our writers and editors. Naturally, you have to be fair -- the products aren't finished yet, after all -- but judging from reader feedback, our opinionated previews have been a hit.
Except with some game publishers, of course. Less-than-totally-positive previews don't sit well with those who are used to those press-release rehashes. Combine that with our candid reviews, and you can imagine the consequences that we have to face constantly.
For the time being, you'll get little, late, or no coverage of the following products: anything Mortal Kombat (they didn't like our reviews), anything from Sony's sports department (ditto), and now, anything from Ubisoft (it seems our coverage of Assassin's Creed was the last straw). So in case you're wondering why you're seeing so little of these games in our magazines and on our websites, now you know.
What do we do now? Nothing. We won't treat these products or companies any differently, and we'll just cover them to the best of our own abilities, with or without their support. Because, after all, we're writing for you, the reader -- not them. Posted at Wed, 09 Jan 2008 12:02:55 PST