RPS, Affiliate Links And You

So you might notice something different at the bottom of RPS posts from now on: a small note about affiliate links and RPS’s policy regarding them. That’s because we now have a policy regarding affiliate links and their use.

Here’s what the note says:

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a few pennies. For more information, go here.

And here’s what the page it links to says about how affiliate linking policy:

You may spy affiliate links on RPS. These mean we receive a teeny-tiny commission from a retailer if you buy something after following one of those links.

CORRUPTION? Well, no, because that would be rubbish. We don’t allow editorial to be dictated by advertising in any form, and it’s the same here. In fact, if you followed a link about a graphics card, decided against it, then bought the complete works of Judy Blume that same day, we’d get a commission from that purchase instead! We’re basically trying to take money away from Judy Blume.

The links are there as a convenience to you if you’re interested in whatever we’re writing about, whether we’ve said it’s fantastic or a stinking poo, and if you buy something from that store, then we get a smidgeon of cash to spend on sweets/writers. Win-win.

We will never, ever, cover something because of a potential affiliate link, for two extremely important reasons:

1) We will NEVER allow our editorial to be affected by our advertising, because that stinks.

2) We are FAR too disorganised to pull off something like that.

If you don’t like them, please don’t click on them. In fact, say a swear at your monitor as you don’t click. If you do, and you fancy helping us out with a spot of cash, then click away. We’ll love you the same either way.

Of course, this means you might see affiliate links appearing in parts of the site in the days, weeks and months ahead. As per the policy above, we’ll make sure this doesn’t affect our editorial. If you think we’re failing to meet our own policy, or have any other problem with affiliate links, please email me right away.

(If you don’t see the message at the bottom of posts yet, then that’ll be a caching issue and it’ll appear for you in the next day or two.)


  1. Grizzly says:


    • Sleepymatt says:

      Unbearable? That depends on how much bear you have to do the bearing. Horace would like a word…

  2. Wowbagger says:

    Nice to see Duckman is still getting work.

  3. caff says:

    BRB just stocking up Judy Blume books.

  4. Plank says:

    If I want to buy something then I go and find that something. I never click affiliate links to purchase something. PCGamer has been doing this for a while. I read an article on there recently and every product they mentioned had an affiliate link???

    • Plank says:

      Here’s that PCGamer article: Try and spot the affiliated links link to pcgamer.com

      • heretic says:

        Hmm… that is a bit odd, that article really does look like it was written for the sake of affiliate links :/

        I guess it’s fine to have an article like this once in a while as research on cheap prices I would find genuinly useful but I guess seeing too much of this would be a bore!

  5. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    I have immediately bought things more than once after following a link from this site so ya look forward to a few of my pence I suppose.

  6. Zanchito says:

    I’m perfectly fine with this with the given preconditions. Explaining it also creates trust.

    • Cochise779 says:

      Absolutely. Say what you will about their style, or editorials, or even their opinions (which they have plenty of), but I find RPS does a bang-up job being honest about the things they do that sometimes drive readers of other sites nuts. I might have been thrown off by suddenly seeing affiliate links, but now I definitely won’t care two hoots that they’re there.

  7. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Can we get an assurance that the money so raised will be used for evil, not good?

    • GameCat says:

      Giving them your money you increase their daily scotch eggs consumption. Dunno if it’s good or evil for you.

      • Jac says:

        I see no problem with this and look forward to future comments sections.

        One problem I do see however, is in viewing the site on my android phone. It no longer displays images within articles and doesn’t show the authors name on the articles on the front page.

        Maybe all these pennies flying around accidentally flipped a switch, but would be marvellous if someone could take a look. (using chrome on android 6)

        • John Walker says:

          Author name on the front page is on purpose, to speed things up. But you should be seeing images. Can you screenshot how it looks on your phone and email it to me? john@rock..

  8. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I’m increasingly moving away from the ad funded internet to sites I can pay for and avoid ad’s altogether, I consider RPS to be one of those sites even though they do have some ad’s. I’ve always thought and hoped that as a subscriber, one day i’d get an ad free RPS option & this seems like a move away from that potential, which makes me a bit sad.

    If it really is a tiny amount of money and is entirely for the reader’s benefit, might it be feasible to let the readers enable or disable the feature? I’m guessing no, but I thought I should post my preference anyway.

    Keep up the good work! but please note, for my money at least, ad free is more a important feature of subscription, to me at least, than the subscriber posts. If I could have the former, I’d gladly forego the latter. I generally don’t get to read the subscriber posts anyway because they don’t show up in the rss feed until they are open to all.

    • Joibel says:

      I’m also a bit saddened. I too use a blocker which means I don’t see adverts, and . But I subscribe because I like you guys. I don’t mind you having my money, but I do mind advertising or any people who make money through advertising having my money. Even if I never click on the links, it still saddens me.

      I think this is a slippery slope. Other sites which say they aren’t going to be affected seem to end up affected 5 years later, no matter what they say. Because I say so it must be true.

      • Premium User Badge

        Wosly says:

        I too subscribe because I like this site and I want the content to continue at quality. This change affects integrity that I assume when it comes to opinions on content put forward in reviews and otherwise.
        In the end, it benefits RPS to say “this thing is the best” to generate clicks whether that’s true or not.
        I don’t mind if posts are clearly labelled as advertorial posts, but if revenue-generating links are in-line on other editorial content, the slope is agreeably slippery.
        I am thankful for the information as well, but I will be on my toes now and will be much more likely to cancel my subscription if I feel like the content slips in any way.

    • thelastpointer says:

      Man, I’d so subscribe for an ad-free RPS.

      • Grizzly says:

        I’d totally do that for any website I visit frequently.

      • Kefren says:

        Yes, me too, and my axe. Adblock Plus means I can use the web on my PC and enjoy the experience, but when I browse RPS on my phone or Kindle it’s awful. Slows everything to a crawl, and seems to take finger presses as clicks on the advert sometimes, whisking me off to somewhere I didn’t want to go. I rarely do other than emergency browsing on any device but my PC now, it’s just so clunky.

        • heretic says:

          There’s adblock on android :) personally I don’t use adblock on desktop as it’s ok but mobile websites are completely unusable with adverts, rogue adverts will literally direct you away from the webpage to a storefront…

  9. Philopoemen says:

    I generally browse using NoScript, so I’ve never actually seen the ads on this site.

  10. Thurgret says:

    Perhaps RPS will be able to afford an edit button now?

    • Grizzly says:

      I somewhat suspect that this will not truly happen unless RPS moves to a different comment system entirely such as Disqus.

    • teije says:

      Pfah on your lack of faith and craven wish for an edit button.

      Every comment on RPS is perfectly recorded in the great book of humanity’s deeds and can never be erased from the wheel of history.

    • caff says:

      I think we can all copulate without an edit btutn.

    • unacom says:

      nope. that would be dishonest.

  11. SaintAn says:

    RPS is the only site where I’m okay with you adding more ads. It’s really the only good gaming site I’ve found besides the now dead Joystiq and I’d love for RPS to stay around and improve.

  12. dsch says:

    Sounds fine. I’ll even go out of my way to use it if I remember. Also, thanks for turning off the whole all posts are on an infinite page thing.

    • GWOP says:

      But it was so thematic! A stream of endless articles, just like Horace.

    • Barberetti says:

      Agreed. Holy shit it was annoying.

      • MajorMonkey says:

        I’m glad to see the back of that ‘feature’, which would send me further down the page when using the back button. Hopefully it wont make a return.

    • Ejia says:

      Oh my gosh yes, I absolutely DESPISED infinite loading.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gnarl says:

      Well I hate to be the bearer but in a recent supporter article Mr G Smith did mention that “it will return one day in future, after some other work is done.” Hopefully just after the return of the edit button.

    • Person of Interest says:

      As a former hater of infinite scroll, RPS made me a pro-scroll convert. For me, it performs well, seems to work as intended with back buttons and reloads, and saves me time when I inevitably need to catch up on “one page plus one” worth of articles. I hope to have it back soon.

  13. GWOP says:

    That is a wonderful header image.

  14. InfamousPotato says:

    Well, I hope that RPS gets a decent amount of money out of it. I thought I remember reading awhile back that internet writers are paid very little, so any way RPS can find to get more money unobtrusively sounds great (I really appreciate that RPS has decided against all pop-up ads so far).

    • John Walker says:

      We try to pay above the industry standard, and considerably above the sorts of sites you might be thinking of. It’s important to us that writing for RPS is fairly paid.

      • Sin Vega says:

        Writing scum here. Can confirm that RPS treat me touchingly well, to the point where tiny tears of sweat well up in my micro-heart, which is how we humans work, right? I mean, I’m not asking for confirmation, I’m just saying on it, as is normal. Right?

      • thelastpointer says:

        Very nice to hear that. I often complained about the sub-standard site structure (no edit button, non-scaling image popups, avatar picture so complicated I still haven’t managed to do it), but I’m completely behind you allocating RPS moneyz on writers instead of HTML wizards.
        I’ll try and complain less from now on.

  15. rexx.sabotage says:

    Okay, I may not like you guys enough to become a subscribed supporter (I’m still sore over the way John treated Molyneux and all that drama over the indecent that shall not be named) but, there have been countless times RPS inspired an instabuy and I totally think you guys deserve that kickback.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      I agree. John should have been much more aggressive with him.

  16. Raoul Duke says:

    I’m totally ok with this and I trust you guys not to give in to the temptation of spamming links for random crap just to go for commissions.

    In addition, if I can pay the same price that I was going to pay for something but give you guys part of the money instead of Amazon or whoever, then that’s definitely a win-win.

    By the way, maybe you can use the money to change your mobile advertising. I don’t know about anyone else but I get a huge, ugly block of ads/links on every article. This block is typically at least as prominent as the article itself and is almost universally total crap – articles about magical health supplements, dating sites etc. I really hate it, to the extent that it really makes me not want to look at the site on a mobile device.

  17. dorobo says:

    TLDR but a nice pic :)