I'm beginning to feel obsolete. I don't mean because of my readership of four. I mean, mostly, that I'm talking about three-year-old games when what I really want to talk about is CNET firing Gamespot editor-in-chief Jeff Gerstmann for his Kane & Lynch review -- a 6.0 that wasn't quite in harmony with the massive advertising dollars publisher Eidos sunk into the Gamespot front page.
This comes on the heels of Ubisoft apparently throwing a hissy fit over Eurogamer's Assassins' Creed 7 score, and withdrawing all advertising from the site. It's not wholly surprising that in the game industry this is how business is done. It's a little surprising that Eidos, whose one big hit long since descended into comic irrelevance, can still throw their weight around like they're the Corleone family. (Incidentally, my reasons to take less and less of an interest in Deus Ex 3 are piling up -- see previous entry.)
What really burns me up is that this is all over something so insignificant. Like Eidos gives a shit what Gerstmann says, they care about the number. And, by the way, so does everyone else. Review scores. What other industry has this absurd preoccupation with an arbitrary two digit number? Who among those deeming Gerstmann's firing long overdue for giving Twilight Princess an 8.8 (an 8.8? be still my heart!) can recall a single word from that review?
Writing in games (ostensibly the subject of this blog) is not a very popular field, but writing about games? Pissing in the wind. The whole system would run just as well were journalists replaced with random number generators. The content of reviews doesn't matter. All that matters to the wider gaming public is whether the review has a politically acceptable score and whether or not it asserts the superiority of any specific gaming console. Even a less reactionary commentator like Penny Arcade's Gabe is gaining a reputation as an anti-review advocate or something equally asinine. What a completely thankless profession.
I love games. I don't like this industry at all.