Gamespot Editor Fired Over Kane & Lynch Review?

kane_lynch_gamespot.jpgWe've heard an unsettling rumour today from an anonymous tipster that longtime game reviewer Jeff Gerstmann from Gamespot has been let go. That wouldn't necessarily be newsworthy, but the conditions under which he was allegedly dismissed were. According to the source, Gerstmann was fired "on the spot" due to advertiser pressure for his review of Eidos' Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. A visit to Gamespot shows that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game has taken over the site very prominently, with backgrounds and multiple banner ads all pitching Kane & Lynch. Allegedly, publisher Eidos "took issue with the review and threatened to pull its ad campaign."

Jeff's review was certainly less than glowing. He assigned the game a 6.0, otherwise known as "Fair" on the Gamespot scale. The game is currently enjoying a Metacritic score in the 65 to 69 range, which the site describes as "mixed or average reviews." According to our tipster, it wasn't necessarily the score that was reason for Gerstmann's rumoured axing, but the "tone" of the review.

Gerstmann has been no stranger to controversial reviews, as his scores of 10 for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and 8.8 for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess had sensitive internet users up in arms. It's now possible that many bitter fanboys may have had their wishes for his firing granted.

As our tipster points out, if the rumour is true, it could point to a distressing precedent at Gamespot and parent company CNET. "As writers of what is supposed to be objective content, this is our worst nightmare coming to life," wrote the tipster.

Our efforts to confirm the story with Gamespot hasn't proved successful. Our current requests with PR, Gerstmann and other CNET contacts have either gone unanswered or yielded a "no comment."

Update: We did get confirmation that Mr. Gerstmann is no longer with Gamespot. The circumstances in which he was terminated or left of his own accord, however, were not disclosed.


    Sooooo professional journalists are meant to be lenient when advertising is involved.


    grow up

    @Brendan: you grow up, reality is they are PAID by the games industry. It's not an ideal world.

    Keep the pressure on Kotaku, and get to the bottom of the story. He may have been fired for other reasons then this review and is just spinning this out to get a story for himself.

    Either way gamespot's public relations department better get into damage control mode.

    This doesnt suprise me money rules evrything its been kmown for a long time that this goes on in the gaming industry.

    So Penny Arcade's latest comic ( isn't just a silly parody?


    While I never took much stock in Jeff's opinion, he is entitled to it and makes a living out of it.

    Does this mean that all the positive reviews we read for games that generally aren't that great are because publishers lent on review websites?

    So far the review is still up so that may mean this tip is not legit, or were the publishers just happy to get Jeff fired as it sets a precedence?

    sooooooo the big guy is gonna force the little guy to be fired because they made a hopeless game? thats just complete bs! take it like a man and crank a proper game out!

    I have been listening to Gamespots HotSpot Podcast since coneception and I can count with ONE hand how many times he has been absent. He was on the latest one aswell, if that is certainly true then maybe Eidos/IO should have made a better game for Jeff to review as I'm sure he knows what he is talking about....

    Nice One Eidos you spoil sports

    So Gamespot reviewers aren't allowed to keep their jobs unless they allow themselves to be bribed into dishing out fake and meaningless reviews? Wow what a surprise.....Not. I take it this means that Gamespot "reviews" are now totally redundant and merely an advertising tool of publishers due to the fact they're rigged from behind the scenes. Commonsense says that this will also arouse suspicion and possibly damage the repuations of other reviewers. Is bribing supposedly independent reviewers even legal? Does such constitute unfair trade? Hell surely firing someone for doing their job isn't legal either....

    If you make a shit game, expect a shit review. It's as simple as that. Publishers need to shut up and stop crying. Trying to basically censor the fact their game is a failure just because they've made a wrong decision by publishing a SHIT product is highly unethical. Hey there's a phonebooth on the corner, go call the WAAAAAAmbulance.

    "@Brendan: you grow up, reality is they are PAID by the games industry. It's not an ideal world."

    I take real offense to this. Knowing some people in the games industry and knowing some people in the reviewing side of things as well who work both online and in games I can tell you this. That whilst companies do indeed, more than you realise, throw favor around to encourage better scores, 99 percent of the time sites and magazines will not currie favor from this, unless of course they're the official magazine for that console, hello Driver 3 and OPSM2...

    The simple fact of the matter is, that wether or not they give Gamespot money to advertise Kane and Lynch, this should NOT EVER impact the decision on which the review is based. You will find this is actually an ILLEGAL business practice.

    It makes you start questioning all online sites, all games distributors, the ethics and standards behind them... one simple action such as this, has a butterfly effect so massive it's not funny.

    So thanks Eidos, you're a real class act. Maybe you'd like to start suiing me to shut up now? Get me fired? God knows I'd love for you to try...

    If you've just spent 30 million dollars on a flop, you're going to do everything in your power to try and make back that money. Yes, its infuriating, unethical and quite probably illegal, but thats the reality of it.

    I think this sort of thing is much, much more prevalent than people realise.

    Meh gamespot cant be trusted i hear they HAVE to give 360 games higher scores over wii and ps3.

    bias much?

    Its funny how most of the people can't read at all. Listen Eidos has nothing to do with this, Gamespot Fired his rear, which tells you they must of found some suspicious stuff not to there liking.

    Seriously stop crying and pointing the finger at the publishers, do you know how many great games get bad reviews from Critics, its a freaking shame. Gamespot is a biased site all there scores shot down PS3 games and praise crap like Halo 3 which brought Nothing to the table and no different to halo 2. Its basically a Halo 2.5 which slightly better graphics and weapons and etc. Online play is very fun but the story sucks its short. Halo 3 is garbage and im a Halo fan and im telling you this. The reviews that Halo 3 got was not fair and was a travesty.

    Justice has been served and im hoping gamespot will get checked cause there is definitely some foul play going on at the site. I been on the site for a year and after going on a bigger and better site not full of fanboys and etc called i saw how biased Gamespot and IGN are, they never rated any PS game high that really deserves it. And the fact they rush a game cause of a deadline to meet and crap. Assassin Creed is a prime example of a bad reviews that game ruled.
    Rachet and Clank got some mediocre score by IGN and Gamepot.

    Stop thinking this is Eidos fault they can complain but they can't do anything to fire Jeff he got fired Cause Gamespot found something on his rear. You people are backing up Jeff for no reason. Im glad he's gone he's has made bad reviews. And one little tidbit you left out of your comments is this

    "According to our tipster, it wasn't necessarily the score that was reason for Gerstmann's rumoured axing, but the "tone" of the review."
    "As our tipster points out, if the rumour is true, it could point to a distressing precedent at Gamespot and parent company CNET. "As writers of what is supposed to be objective content, this is our worst nightmare coming to life," wrote the tipster"

    Looks like non of you actually read the article.

      And it looks like you can't write, spell, or talk worth shiat. Would "of"? Wrong form of "there" multiple times? Different "to"? Go back to grade school, you illiterate twat. Ugh.

    Gamespot should be victim to a class-action lawsuit as users PAY for subscription to a obviously bias an marketing-funded site.

    This site has clearly been biased for years and this is most obvious with the ratings to all the next-gen games, most notable on the 360 with very weak and unimpressive games like perfect dark getting a 9/10 when its single player was crap and its multiplayer had 1/10th the features of its predecessor from a DECADE ago

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