On the Gerstmanngate
Though I worked on Kane & Lynch for Io Interactive, which is owned by Eidos/SCI, this entry contains only my personal opinions and viewpoints and does in no way, shape or form represent anyone else’s opinions, include Io Interactive, Eidos or Sci. I’ve often linked to Gamespot and the Hotspot podcast, so it’s no secret that Gamespot has been my go-to site for reviews and what not.
Because of this mixing of my professional and personal lives, I don’t feel able or comfortable commenting on the actual Gerstmann affair itself. Currently, I don’t know much more than any of you—which as it turns out, is nothing.
And even if I did, I wouldn’t write about it.
It’s paradoxical how this story, which is being run as ‘marketing destroying games journalism’, is itself being kept alive purely by rumors, anonymous sources and speculation, which must surely be just as big a cause for concern.
Let’s be absolutely clear about this. Right now, as I’m writing this—and I’ve kept myself well informed on this whole ordeal—there is no official reason for Gerstmann’s firing. None. Nothing. Zilch. The only thing that has been confirmed is that Gerstmann is no longer with Gamespot. Everything else. Everything else, is conjecture. Guesswork. Rumors. Hearsay.
No one, but a handful of people, know why Gerstmann and Gamespot parted ways, or under what conditions.
Despite that, this thing has grown to such proportions that even Gruber is posting about it. And I hold Gruber in very high regard; he is without a doubt one of the best writers in the blogosphere when it comes to keeping his arguments and sources factual and his conclusion sober. Yet, there it is.
I’ve only read a single sane article about all of this, and I’ll quote one of its many striking observations, despite its length, here. If you read only one thing about ‘Gerstmanngate’, make it this article by Jonah Falcon
The other problem is that writers are reporting rumors as fact, and visibly biased. It is â€œclearâ€ that Gerstmann was fired due to a low review score given to a game with major advertising on the site. Why? According to most of these websites, correlation is causality. No other facts are needed, such as the fact that Gerstmann was fired two weeks later when the last of the major game releases had been released and reviewed â€“ an obvious time to release an editor. The reason for Gerstmannâ€™s firing has not been disclosed, with Gerstmann claiming he is legally unable to reveal why, and CNet only stating that it was not due to the review. This doesnâ€™t stop a major site like GameSpot being harmed by the reputation, and worse, the backlash suffered by Eidos and the Kane & Lynch developers, who are perceived as complicitous, as well as backlash to the game itself, which suddenly receives additional, undeserved negative feedback. #
On the one hand I feel a kinship and love for the blossoming gaming blogs. On the other I think they’re a bunch of bumbling amateurs with no grasp of what damage their handling of this serious situation is actually causing.
I saw some guy on the Gamespot forums say something to effect of ‘It’s us against them now! Us against them! We’ll teach them a lesson they’ll never forget!’
The problem is, there is no ‘them’; it just us…