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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Conspiracy Sunday's: Is the Main-Stream Gaming Media Tainted?

The current virtual guerrilla warfare being waged on the Internet has the Main-Stream Gaming media to blame.

The battle between console owners has been a fierce battle of the words with some trolling with elegant grace. In my many years in gaming I've  never seen the gaming community so fractured and segmented before. Many may ask "why has gaming become a rabid angry war of words?".  I believe the answer lies in the way the "Main-Stream Gaming Media" goes about doing it's business.

Today we will look into the a  popular gaming website and I will provide my opinion on why, I believe there is a hidden or tainted agenda when it comes to Main-Stream Gaming Media. Please be advised that my views are based on the all mighty dollar aka: "Cha Ching".

IGN.com

"New York, NY, September 8, 2005 - News Corporation announced today that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire IGN Entertainment, Inc, a leading community-based Internet media and services company for video games and other forms of digital entertainment, for approximately $650 million in cash"  Coincidentally the Xbox 360 was released on November 22nd, 2005, in the United States and Canada; December 2nd, 2005, in Europe and December 10th, 2005, in Japan. The PlayStation 3 was later launched in Japan on November 11th 2006 at 07:00 and in United States on  November 17th 2006.

Oh and let us not forget "Jan. 6, 2011GameStop (NYSE: GME), the world's largest video game and multi-channel entertainment software retailer, and IGN Entertainment, the leading online media network for video game enthusiasts, have announced an exclusive, large-scale partnership that combines content from IGN with expert review content from Game Informer Magazine to make GameStop.com a single destination for gamers who want to maximize their game experience."

Now you may be asking how the fuck does all this ties into the main-stream gaming media being tainted.  Well, for one News Corp and Microsoft have a very special relationship.  Back in 2009 Wired.com wrote an article about NewsCorp threatening to pull the company’s news articles from Google and putting them on Microsoft search engines instead, in return for an undisclosed payment. In April 2008 Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation was in talks with Microsoft about joining in its contested bid for Yahoo, according to people involved in the discussions.

Conspiracy Theory:  NewsCorp purchases IGN in September for $650 million dollars the following month Microsoft's Xbox 360 debut's 364 days before the PS3.  During this time period and beyond IGN has had a love feast with all thing Xbox related. Back in August 2007 it was revealed by Metafuture a new game review watchdog blog that inflates or deflates a review score based upon the reviewers history of awarding that score multiple times. The analysis of both IGN and Gamespot reviews revealed a large rightward shift of the good 'ole bell curve, possibly confirming what many have believed for years (cough, cough; "get'n pay'd to review games").

IGN's average review score was a whopping 8.0, and the site heavily favors evenly rounded scores. Gamespot, while a little more balanced and even in their curve, has an average review of 7.0. So either there are a butt load of great games we're overlooking, or something fishy is going on.

Now also consider IGN's one year honeymoon with the only next generation video game console on  the market.  Ad dollars and hits enables a large site to survive.  With many developers debuting their games on Xbox 360 during it's launch, they had to let millions of gamers around the world know their game existed.   The best way to accomplish this besides television ads,will be a large main-stream gaming website with 28 million unique users(IGN).  So in theory developers paid IGN to have their games get favorable review scores to help cement the early success of the Xbox 360.

There is something strange going on this generation in gaming, there is no denying it.  The proof is out there in the open, the way the gaming community is so segmented.  And not let's forget the total imbalance of review scoring that we see across the board between PS3 and Xbox 360 games. You may call me crazy or delusional, but there are unscrupulous and shady back door dealings going on in the main-stream gaming media, money is being exchanged in indirect ways and direct ways-to ensure a "Console King" is crowned.

[Sources: Wiki, IGN,WSJ,Metefuture,Wired]




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