A couple of weeks ago, at Eurogamer’s Expo, there was one other panel that took place. In a room alongside the megalithic auditorium that housed the developer sessions was a cosy gathering of five games industry figures, discussing the complexities and secrets of reviews. Hosted by Eurogamer’s Ellie Gibson, the panel featured PCGamesN’s James Binns, Eurogamer’s features editor Martin Robinson, Ubisoft PR Stefano Petrullo, and shiny-fat-faced, mad-eyed me, attempting to share some realities behind the reviewing process.
The session came about in response to previous years’ Ask Eurogamer sessions always being about reviews and review scores. So the plan was to go a bit deeper, for a panel to discuss it amongst themselves, and to take questions from the audience.
A couple of notes. Mr James Binns, proprietor of PCGamesN, seems to slightly misunderstand my pointing out that our reviews are more popular after a game is released than before. Rather than chasing hits by being “first”, I was observing that the reverse is true – people prefer a review as part of ongoing discussion.
And I think it’s important to be very clear that RPS takes no truck with the suggestion given that a PR or publisher is owed a warning if a game is to be given a bad review. We don’t think that, and we don’t do it.