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Giant Bomb claims they were denied a Borderlands 3 review copy due to 'dubious E3 coverage'.

NinjaScooter

Member
Oct 25, 2017
21,412
I wish it had came from a better source that didn't all but sell out, but there's some slight truth in what they're saying regarding some places possibly scoring low just to be arbitrary, at least to me (Giant Bomb isn't one of them though. They're pretty legit and the shit they brought up regarding Fallout 4 was beyond true).

I read Edge for years and they were the main offender of this type of scoring to me, since some of their reviews felt like they were reaching to score low, especially if the review seemed to contradict the actual score. I'm sure it's not a popular opinion, but it's not like gaming journalism is immune from this type of stuff either.
It's funny because you reached this conclusion by doing the same thing you accuse Edge of doing. Starting with a narrative and working back. You have zero proof Edge or anyone else scores games lower "just for clicks" or attention, you are making this claim most likely because that they probably score a few games lower than you would have.

"Could it be that they felt differently than I do about a game, or that my interpretation of their review text doesn't match with the score they gave? No, no they must be doing it intentionally!"
 

Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
15,202
Greater Vancouver
On the one hand, this is extremely poor form if true and basically amounts to cheating the system. On the other hand, with as much media available re: most games prior to their release -- including extended gameplay -- if you rely on a metacritic number to determine whether you buy a game, you are being a moron.
It's the same approach studios treat big genre movies with. How many initial glowing reactions do you see from comicbook.com or superherohype etc. for the next big superhero movie, while most other critics whose business doesn't revolve around these movies, aren't screened the movie until much later?

And it's not to say those movies can't be good. I enjoy the shit out of Marvel's movies etc., but they pretty brazenly are going for the 90%-100% initial Rotten Tomatoes score for those first couple weeks by way of their heavily invested fanbase rather than risking wider critical appraisal.


It's deliberately altering the message, and it's gross in both cases.

There's a reason publishers lean in on influencers etc. vs. traditional review/coverage outlets. They don't "need" the traditional outlets when they can get the word out with some Twitch streamer who is way less inclined to be critical of the thing their business is gonna invest in streaming for the next little while.
 
Nov 14, 2017
2,018
Does Giant Bomb typically reflect this sort of chicanery - when it's this blatant - in their reviews?
They don't do reviews, they do quick looks and podcast discussions. They've been doing video first impressions like that since before gaming YouTube was really a thing, and tbh it's generally a much better way to cover games. You have to have some idea of the GB crew as personalities, but when you do you can look at the footage of them playing it and listen to them saying what it feels like to play and pretty much know exactly what it's about.
 

AndyMc1888

Member
Jul 16, 2019
3
Another reason why metacritic to be used as anything other than a place to view reviews is stupid , game devs using that as a target is the base of so many issues
 

ryan13ts

Member
Oct 28, 2017
375
Edge scores games lower because they don’t feel beholden to the 7-10 that most other outlets like to use.
So, isn't that just scoring low, just to be different from other publications?

If you go out of your way to give something a 6 because most other places gave it an 8, there's a problem there, especially if the scoring system is the same (1-10).
 

Hucast

Member
Mar 25, 2019
3,213
So, isn't that just scoring low, just to be different from other publications?

If you go out of your way to give something a 6 because most other places gave it an 8, there's a problem there, especially if the scoring system is the same (1-10).
What are you even talking about? Why does using the full 1-10 scale have to mean they try to be different?
 

HK-47

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,004
So, isn't that just scoring low, just to be different from other publications?

If you go out of your way to give something a 6 because most other places gave it an 8, there's a problem there, especially if the scoring system is the same (1-10).
No it’s using the actual whole scale like critics in other medium use it. Films and music and books don’t have the inflation of scores that video games have and expectation that 6 is unplayable trash. And the scoring is not the same if pretty much everything falls in the 7-10 range.
 

Gamer @ Heart

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,350
So, isn't that just scoring low, just to be different from other publications?

If you go out of your way to give something a 6 because most other places gave it an 8, there's a problem there, especially if the scoring system is the same (1-10).
That would be a problem if you could somehow prove they conspire to do that. Is it so hard to believe a publication actually uses the whole scale and treats 5 as a metric for average/mediocre to you? A 6 can just be a six man.
 

Bya

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,629
Lol fuck this scummy company and fuck Mr. Pedo Magician. BL3 looks boring anyways. Same old crap.
 

iboshow

Member
Oct 27, 2017
547
I thought Take Two/2K was doing the whole Bethesda approach and providing reviews a day in advance. I guess some games are treated differently?
 

Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
15,202
Greater Vancouver
Completely agree. That's we shouldn't rely on a stupid number to guide our purchase.
I mean whether or not they put a scored review out, Giantbomb still finds more value in their long-form video impressions and their podcast discussions, both of which are 2K denying their ability to do so around the time those other reviews are hitting. It's obfuscating their ability to have a discussion, either positive or negative, in the window where there would be a lot of people looking for the word on Borderlands 3.
 

Str0ngStyle

Member
Oct 28, 2017
225
No it’s using the actual whole scale like critics in other medium use it. Films and music and books don’t have the inflation of scores that video games have and expectation that 6 is unplayable trash. And the scoring is not the same if pretty much everything falls in the 7-10 range.
This is a much classier way of saying what I was thinking. A 5 should be average and anything above that should be worth playing. In this hobby lower than a 7.5 is considered garbage and thats just crazy
 

TheYanger

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
5,971
Does Giant Bomb typically reflect this sort of chicanery - when it's this blatant - in their reviews?
They rarely review anything with a score anyway, their primary form of 'review' is quick looks, which involve an editor giving an opinion about a game with no score attached, while going over what the game is for you to get an idea.

They don't do reviews, they do quick looks and podcast discussions. They've been doing video first impressions like that since before gaming YouTube was really a thing, and tbh it's generally a much better way to cover games. You have to have some idea of the GB crew as personalities, but when you do you can look at the footage of them playing it and listen to them saying what it feels like to play and pretty much know exactly what it's about.
This. I don't always agree with their opinions, but unlike most 'reviews' I feel like I can watch a quick look and have a VERY VERY good idea of how well *I* would enjoy the game in question, which is truly the most valuable way to show something.
 

MZZ

Member
Nov 2, 2017
851
I was actually excited about getting this game. I know giantbomb won't gush over it but its the one site I follow and I know how their opinions work. I was looking forward to hearing what they think about the final game but was still going to buy regardless since I liked what I was seeing in terms of gameplay. All this shady shit around the game just piles up and I don't think I am getting the game immediately at launch. I'll wait for some more opinions in a few more weeks.
 

iboshow

Member
Oct 27, 2017
547
It's funny that they're denied early access to review copies when the Giantbomb team loves GAAS.
 

Chairdeath

Member
Oct 29, 2017
74
This is just a personal anecdote but I've seen some people mention all the stuff around the release wont affect the sales.

My group of 3 co-op dudes are currently talking in our group text and I was surprised to see they have decided to skip it for a while due to the stuff coming out. These are three dudes that do not follow game news closely at all and I'm quite surprised.
 
Nov 21, 2017
291
Cancelled my Amazon order. I'll pick it up at a later date, maybe Black Friday if the price is right. I just don't like all the stuff surrounding this game's launch.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,927
If giant bomb want to Review borderlands, buy it.

2k give the key for who they want.
How is this trolling I was going to say the same thing. if a publisher doesn't want to give out review copies that's perfectly fine. It's up to them as far as who they have review it review systems have been that way for ages. Just because a popular review coverage company doesn't get the ability to review it is not anything new. This is been going on for ages in different mediums don't know why it's such a big deal now.
 

Jintor

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,271
So, isn't that just scoring low, just to be different from other publications?

If you go out of your way to give something a 6 because most other places gave it an 8, there's a problem there, especially if the scoring system is the same (1-10).
how you would come to this conclusion is absolutely beyond me. If anything it's the places trapped in 6-8 reviewland that are having issues.
 

WarRock

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,118
So, isn't that just scoring low, just to be different from other publications?

If you go out of your way to give something a 6 because most other places gave it an 8, there's a problem there, especially if the scoring system is the same (1-10).
"Opinions that do not conform to the majority don't exist and are just claims for attention"
 

ryan13ts

Member
Oct 28, 2017
375
No it’s using the actual whole scale like critics in other medium use it. Films and music and books don’t have the inflation of scores that video games have and expectation that 6 is unplayable trash. And the scoring is not the same if pretty much everything falls in the 7-10 range.
You're right in that other forms of media doesn't usually have a need for inflated scores like games can. However, with a 7 being 'average' in gaming reviews ( for better or worse), it sticks out if they're one of the few scoring that way and could lead the casual reader to think something is extremely eh (a 5 with them), when they might actually consider it decent.

I'm not definitively accusing them of anything, but I'm just saying low scoring for reasons alternative to the quality of product isn't completely outlandish (Especially with all the game journalism scandals that have happened in the last 10-15 years) and something that could potentially happen with any type of journalist's review, regardless of the form of media it is.

what makes you think they’re doing this and that they don’t just think the game is a 6?
It was just the frequency of how often it was. They may have graded differently than others as mentioned above, but there was a still noticeable pattern of them scoring games at a lower score than other magazines/sites, and it stuck out more with games of critical acclaim nearly everywhere else. Obviously can't say it was intentional or for other reasons, but it's still something I observed (And others have too). That's basically my thinking on it.
 

ShrtAttnGmr

Member
Feb 7, 2019
112
How is this trolling I was going to say the same thing. if a publisher doesn't want to give out review copies that's perfectly fine. It's up to them as far as who they have review it review systems have been that way for ages. Just because a popular review coverage company doesn't get the ability to review it is not anything new. This is been going on for ages in different mediums don't know why it's such a big deal now.
It is an effort by the publisher to try and drive the day one narrative, just like Jeff stated. They will certainly buy their own copies, and cover the game on their podcast and through a quicklook.
 

JABEE

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,531
It feels like other developers are a lot better at gating who gets to review a game early. Coming up with BS excuses just draws attention to what they are doing.

I don't know why any outlet would publish a review given the restrictions provided in the other thread.

Giant Bomb getting cut out just transparently shows what they are doing. This was pretty clear before for anyone else who is privy to the way this process works.
 

Sei

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,458
LA
Feel like GiantBomb only reviews games that are notable. Don't even think they would have reviewed this, other than maybe talk on the podcast?
 

Diablos

has a title.
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,673
That is some bullshit. 2K sucks and Borderlands is a stale franchise. I hope it tanks. I've long held this opinion, and I know a lot of people enjoy BL... but if they're going to wave their dicks around like this, they deserve the criticism in spades.
 

m_dorian

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,941
Athens, Greece
This must be either intentional or idiotic.

Every single big game launched normally and without any fuss about the review codes, why this launch should be different?
 
Nov 2, 2017
521
You're right in that other forms of media doesn't usually have a need for inflated scores like games can. However, with a 7 being 'average' in gaming reviews ( for better or worse), it sticks out if they're one of the few scoring that way and could lead the casual reader to think something is extremely eh (a 5 with them), when they might actually consider it decent.
You're treating the 7-10 scale as if it's some natural and unchangeable fact about the world. It exists because outlets choose to use their scale as such. If other outlets don't do it, that's not them being contrarian in order to stand out, it's showing a consistency that other outlets lack (since most places on the 7-10 scale will never outright talk about how their reviews might as well be ranked 1-4 because they don't use over half the scale).

If I run an outlet about games with an audiophile focus, and I scored Borderlands 3 a 4/10 because the gameplay's so-so and the writing's bad, but, man, you gotta hear how fucking atrocious this game sounds, that's not being negative for attention, that's an outlet that has a focus and understands their audience.

This sounds dangerously close to "objective game reviews" territory, where you're treating the 7-10 scale as an immutable fact of the universe and anyone who deviates is obviously only doing so for clicks, because why else would you deviate from The One True Standard?
 

JABEE

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,531
The publisher are under no obligation to send review copies to anyone. If it was me, I would not sent copies to a publication if I had reason to believe they would not recommend it.

They’re running a business, not a public service.
The people should know the early outlets were hand-picked to massage the reviews coverage.

I'm glad Jeff let people in on the process of publishers manipulating things to get a desired score.
 

TheYanger

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
5,971
Feel like GiantBomb only reviews games that are notable. Don't even think they would have reviewed this, other than maybe talk on the podcast?
The podcast and quick look IS the review from them. They very rarely give anything an actual score, but anyone that watches them knows this.
 

FreezePeach

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,491
My oh my folks, it's almost like Gearbox and 2k dont have a history of being total trash or something. If only we could have seen this trend of behavior before.

FUCKING SHOCKED I TELL U, SHOCKED!
 

Lucael

Member
Oct 3, 2018
21
if a publisher doesn't want to give out review copies that's perfectly fine. It's up to them as far as who they have review it review systems have been that way for ages.
The point is that when they are ignoring some outlets they're basically ignoring their readers. By journalism standards (if they still have meaning in this world) news organizations represent their public and even if you're talking about politics or movies or videogames people should be allowed to have different point of views to make their decision when voting someone, picking a movie to watch or buying videogames.
 

Mr_Moogle

Member
Nov 2, 2017
2,079
I would never buy a Pitchford game anyway but this kind of fuckery makes the decision even easier.
 

MadLaughter

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,154
"They have the right to do this"

Sure they do, but we all also have the right to now be extra hesitant about any Gearbox or 2K release because they do not have the confidence in their game or developers to give review copies to people who are more likely to be critical.
 

KuroNeeko

Member
Oct 25, 2017
892
Osaka
No reason to doubt Mr. G on this and just further cements my disdain for both 2K and Randy.

I'll pick this up used, if at all. I'd rather spend my money, and more importantly my time, supporting a team like Bungie (for GAAS schlooters) or the plethora of other companies that have created great content without the messy ethical complications.

Speak with your wallet, y'all.
 
Oct 27, 2017
822
Going back and watching the Unfinished for this is the clear smoking gun here.

It's funny because in my minds eye i don't remember it being as scathing as it is although i vividly remember them not being big on it. I remembered it as "it's more borderlands" but watching it again they really really don't care for the game and chalk it up as something that's beyond it's time.

Doesn't help that abby taps on how all the drama and everything surrounding the game will potentially impact whether she buys the game or not.
 

wollywinka

Member
Feb 15, 2018
164
It's funny because you reached this conclusion by doing the same thing you accuse Edge of doing. Starting with a narrative and working back. You have zero proof Edge or anyone else scores games lower "just for clicks" or attention, you are making this claim most likely because that they probably score a few games lower than you would have.

"Could it be that they felt differently than I do about a game, or that my interpretation of their review text doesn't match with the score they gave? No, no they must be doing it intentionally!"
Edge does score lower than other publications, a lot lower.

 

collige

Member
Oct 31, 2017
5,077
Edge does score lower than other publications.

That doesn't say anything about their intent behind the scores, which is what was brought up. If anything, I would say that the fact that their review scores are consistenly below the average makes it less likely they're doing things just for clicks
 

Winterreise

Member
Feb 28, 2018
1,569
For everyone stating that Giant Bomb has no "right" to a review copy: you're correct, and Jeff Gerstmann obviously knows this. He's been in the industry since the dawn of time. It wasn't his point.

His point is that 2K's statement of review copies not being widely distributed for "security" purposes has a lot less credence to it when you find out that Giant Bomb was informed behind the scenes that it was their E3 dialogue that resulted in them not getting a review account.

He's not saying they should have received a copy, he's saying their "security" statement seems like a bullshit excuse to him that holds no water given the correspondence he's had.

Giant Bomb was literally founded because of Jeff's standards of ethics in games journalism surrounding reviews resulting in his firing from GameSpot. It's a really odd choice on 2K's part to make a statement like this to him.

Jeff Gerstmann is not only still a threat, but now he has dad strength.
 
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TheYanger

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
5,971
Nobody is 'entitled' to a review copy, but it's definitely a huge red flag when companies start to go against standard procedure for stuff like this. Just like when they decide nobody gets a copy, it usually doesn't bode well, this is even more brazen and shitty than that.
 

MDR

Member
Jun 21, 2018
48
Another reason why metacritic to be used as anything other than a place to view reviews is stupid , game devs using that as a target is the base of so many issues
I think a lot of devs don't stress that much about the MC. The problem most likely lies with the publishers, investors and such setting goals based on MC. And also how MC affect sales numbers. As with this specific case, based on the shadiness of gearbox, I think they are more involved in this decision about review codes.