Thursday, January 10, 2008

Game Companies Pull Support for EGM --- A GOOD thing

I'm posting my reaction to this...

http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=8568051&publicUserId=5379799

Now, I'm pretty sure that some of the fans of these sites will be crying foul for what has happened but I agree with the course of action that Ubisoft and the other companies have undertaken. Why?

Because game reviews are taking a different landscape these days. 10 years ago, gamers only had access to gaming information through print magazines such as EGM. Back then, they wrote well and whatever biases that they had for certain products was pretty much oblivious. These days, its different. EGM / 1UP, appears at the forefront of the fanboy wars instigating rabid forum discussions with baseless rumors and pathetic reviews / impressions. This trend is not seen on EGM/1UP alone, other publications and major gaming sites like IGN and Gamespot are also at fault.

Why are these 'journalist' resorting to sensationalism? It's simple really...

The Internet.

These days, thousands of gaming sites/blogs have mushroomed all over the internet. Gaming news is spread all over the world in a matter of seconds with fanboys anticipating every second by repeated browser refresh clicks. Pictures, reviews, impressions, scans and even translations of Japanese, German, Chinese, Korean, etc etc news become available in a blink of an eye. By the time these publications publish their magazine, the news is old by the standards of the internet savvy gamer.

So publications like EGM, promote their online presence to make up for the lateness of their magazine. But how can they compete with the rest of the gaming sites/blogs is the reason why I think their site has lost credibility. EGM/1UP has put a lot of stock in their podcasts and web articles wherein much of the content happen to be baseless rumors or 'fanboy' heavy opinion/impressions. While there are gamers who still believe that the stuff EGM/1UP says holds more credibility than other small-time gaming sites, their recent streak of 'wrong' predictions and fanboy laced comments has disappointed several gamers, including me.

I am sick of reading comments, reviews, impressions of 'PAID' writers that mimic the writings of a grade schooler. I am sick of having to read comments that do nothing but fuel the console fanboy war like crazy. I am sick of reading a game preview that does nothing but project sarcasm. It's bad enough that you pay for a magazine where the news is a month old, its even worse that readers are subjected to unprofessional writing wherein bulk of the content is a matter of personal opinion.

Granted, there are some bad games and back then game companies turned to magazines such as EGM to gauge the impressions of its readers and staff after the preview article has been published. But these days, game companies need to just surf the internet and check out gaming blogs and forums just to see what the public thinks. The Internet also allowed the distribution of promotional media to be much easier than before and to some extent its completely free. We also see the rise of downloadable video game playable demos, where the actual gamer can sit there, play the game before purchasing it before making up his own mind.

The times have certainly changed for gaming publications. EGM/1UP blew an opportunity to raise their publication's standards in this day and age. These guys have contacts, they know people from all over the industry and yet they settle for subpar writing and lame opinion publication. As a gamer, I would rather they talked about the industry in a more objective manner, discuss the trends in game development and education rather than looking wistfully to the East towards Japan and its daydream game capital of the 80s.

It's very unfortunate but it just shows everyone the videogame industry continues to evolve.

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