1. That Black Ops event is insane. I can’t image how much money got dumped into that stupid publicity stunt, but I’m now gladder than ever that I didn’t buy that bland, buggy game from what seems to be the new EA.

  2. Early reviews can make or break a game — the many very negative reviews of the Xbox release of Brink recently show that. The game will probably never recover as a result. (Why they didn’t finish the damned thing and release first on PC, the core gamer for a demographic for a game like that, remains unknown. Stupidity at the corporate level, one assumes.)

    So I can understand why publishers want to control the message as much as possible, have pet journalists feel beholden, spread payola around like the radio handlers of the 1960s, all of that. But it is, of course, loathsome and dishonest and makes games worse when $50 million turds get 9/10 reviews mainly because of marketing dollars spent.

    Also, tangentially: anyone else noticed how Ars Technica has become the bastion of honest, mature, even muckraking games journalism in recent times? Good on them.

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