Just in case you weren’t aware, review scores are very important to game publishers and developers. If a game gets a bad review score, it won’t sell as well and would hinder the profits of Triple A game companies. In the worst case scenario, publishers might try to bribe reviewers to get a higher review score thus getting more profits. Sadly, this has happened as recently as 2007. This incident is the most famous case of reviewer bribing.  Gamespot reviewer Jeff Gerstmann left his job in 2007 reportedly due to a negative review of Kane and Lynch. 

For more information before I go more in depth in the story:

http://kotaku.com/5893785/yes-a-games-writer-was-fired-over-review-scores

According to the article, Gerstmann gave Kane and Lynch a score of 6.0 out of 10 and he reportedly was “called into a room” and “terminated” because they believed that he couldn’t be trusted to review any games. It’s insane that a reviewer could be fired because he gave an honest review of a game. Watch gameplay of Kane and Lynch or just play it. It’s a glitchy, unpolished mess.

Can review scores even be trusted anymore? If review companies can’t be trusted, how are people going to know if they are making a safe choice when they’re buying a game and figure out whether they will enjoy the game or not. This kind of corruption is unacceptable. It alienates the fans of video games because they are getting screwed out of the honest reviews and, as in everything, trust is a very important thing to have.

Even more depressingly, game companies also blacklist reviewers that give repeated low scores to their games. The fact that publishers try and censor negative opinions is awful. That is direct violation of the Fair Use Law. The Fair Use Law states that you can use copyrighted material such as games if you state the copyright and you use the material in a “review” or “parody” or is “transformative” which means that it adds something more to the content. The fact is that game companies use DMCA Copyright Takedown Strikes to take down Youtube videos that have negative opinions. Most of the time this has blown up in the face of the people who issue the takedowns because this takes the situation into court and when Youtube sees the use of the Fair Use Law and the video can end up being restored and everything going back to normal.

Hopefully, in the future, this kind of corruption can be stopped and we as gamers can have an honest games journalism industry and have genuine reviews. Also, people’s opinions on crappy games can be heard and they will not have their free speech rights violated under the First Amendment and the Fair Use Act.

For More Information of Fair Use Check Out this Website:

http://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/fair_use.html

For the page of the Kane and Lynch franchise check it out here:

http://eu.square-enix.com/en/games/kane-lynch-2

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