Jeff Gerstmann, one of Gamespot’s editors who has been around the longest, was recently fired. Rumour is that Eidos was paying Gamespot big bucks to advertise the game Kane & Lynch: Dead Men all over their site but Jeff’s honest review of the game gave it a dismal 6/10 ratings, thus obviously making the advertisement worthless. Apparently Eidos wasn’t too happy about this and it led to Jeff’s firing.
If this rumour is true then CNET, who owns Gamespot, has officially shot some of their extremities off. Anyone who has read The Cluetrain Manifesto or Gonzo Marketing knows about this kind of thing and the need for integrity when relaying news and reviews. As soon as that integrity is gone, people are going to jump ship and go elsewhere for this type of information. From the sounds of it, many people are already indicating they won’t renew their Gamespot subscriptions due to this fiasco.
BTW don’t know if this is a coincidence or not but the Eidos site is now timing out and inaccessible (however their Eidos Interactive site is still working).
Related: Blues News, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, Digg
"Whoa", as Neo would say. Just found a really great MMO gaming news site called Massively. I haven’t seen content this good since I used to read The Game Chair some years back. If you’re into massively multiplayer games and you love talking MMO design and theory, Massively has some excellent articles that you can peruse.
You know the old saying about how people are like onions in that they have many layers to them? Well the interesting thing about this is that each of these layers varies in complexity. Thus the initial surface may appear light and straightforward, yet the deeper you go, the more complexities are revealed.
What I find even more interesting about this though is how it relates to good design. Some of the best appliances, devices, or programs I’ve used take this same approach. A very simple exterior that easy to understand and use immediately but with many layered complexities that give you more control the deeper you go and more time you spend using it.
The funny thing is that I never really thought about this approach with regards to websites before, yet it could be easily applied as well. I mean just like a relationship, you start off with light chatter about everyday things in common and then over time you begin speaking about more deeper and complex issues and discussions. Therefore the initial home page of the website talks about simpler things on an understandable level and the deeper you go into the website, the more you learn about the product, service, or person and the more complex the discussions may be.
Miss Rogue writes about community freeloaders within social networks.
And don’t get me wrong, promoting your events, asking for connections and telling people about your company are totally viable, real and legitimate actions that are and should be performed within networks and communities every day. The trick is, just like a bank account, make sure you have a healthy account balance (ie. more deposited than withdrawn). As well, much like a personal bank account, it is beneficial to carry a higher balance. You never know when you’ll have a rainy day.
I look at these things on a simple relationship level and with every relationship in life, no matter what it may be, both sides should be both giving and getting something out of the relationship. I mean if one person is getting everything and the other person is giving everything, that’s an unhealthly relationship and it isn’t sustainable.
Great comment quote on Gizmodo regarding the World of Warcraft.
"I played WoW from the day it was released for over 2 years. Then I realized two things. The first was that in order to do the fun stuff you need to be part of a Raiding guild, which was no problem. But that in order to go on raids you had to do work. When WoW got as tedious as real life there was no sense in paying it anymore."
Massively multiplayer game developers seriously need to start figuring out ways that casual gamers can still participate within these games in meaningful ways. And by meaningful, I mean be able to contribute to larger community goals without having to play the game every night but instead just a few hours a week. Even better, make simple meta games within the main game so that people can contribute in simple ways using completely different interface clients (i.e. mobile phone / PDA).