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What I've learned about the video game industry

[Continued] Page 2

  • PR and Publishers have double standards. Not all, but some. For example (I won't name any names), we gave a certain game a 6.5/10. According to Metacritic, that was higher than about 80 percent of the other reviews for the game, including some big sites like IGN and Eurogamer that rated the game far worse. Still, when E3 came around and we had an appointment for some hands-on time with games, we got a cold shoulder and was told that we gave a bad review to a game... even though it was higher than most other scores. WTF am I missing here. How bout instead of trying to get better scores by threatening not giving games or hands-on time, you focus on actually making a better game. A better game gets a better review score. Simple as that.
  • That last one leads into this one: companies ignore what the rating represents and focuses on just the score. This has been mentioned time and time again, but the review system is broken. It's sad that a 7.5/10 is considered a 'bad' game. So the 6.5 we gave the previous game is an 'above average' rating according to our review guidelines. But the entire gaming world operates on the assumption that anything below an 8/10 is a fail. We're not working on a 10-point scale when this is the criteria; we're working more like a grade school system.
  • There is a disconnect between the journalists and readers. The most apparent case of that is regarding Mass Effect 3, where pretty much the entire gaming world was unhappy, yet journalists were calling them babies. Yea, I get paid to write about video games, but in no way do I think I'm better or know more about every video game than any other gamer. Everything in this industry is opinion anyways, so why do some journalists act like their word is the gospel and gamers that don't agree are cry babies?
  • A lot of people don't read an entire article. If you've gotten this far then I'm surprised. I've found that, especially on N4G, readers judge an article based on the title or on other comments, and then form assumptions about the article based on that. Take the time to read if you're going to comment. Then again, I should just be thankful someone even opened by article and decided to write something — even if it is “You are a f*ckface and not a scholar.”
  • The internet is mean. That's not just gaming, but it still applies. If you want to write stuff, you've got to have thick skin and be ready to read the worst things about you that people have to offer.

tobuscus e3

  • Last but not least, readers often take something written literally and pass up on sarcasm or humor. I'm not going to point out a joke/sarcasm though, so if people want to attack something I've written, I'll run with it and act dead serious. Never assume that everyone will understand your intent with an article. Or maybe I'm just not funny. But I've had plenty of people tell me that they've liked what I've written and found it funny, so in the end it's worth it.


These are just some of my experiences and things I've learned in one year. I love video games, and writing for a site like this has opened me up to games I would have never played before. Please try to remember that you started playing video games because you found them fun.


You can follow Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ. He also like t-shirts... send him t-shirts. KCCO.

Tags: Video game industry, journalism

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