Within the news of "Gaming Journalism" where unethical practices are the normality in which reviewers commonly black mail developers at the mercy of not only their audience but their input and expanding audience. Now before you gut me and hang me just hear me out, I have worked on various titles in the past and have seen this first hand...
The past:You see much like a site like this can grow so can sites like Rock Paper Shotgun's but they are a "Real Gaming News Journalist" you say, but oh lets take a look at their track record, well it is not kotaku bad but it has been involved with many underhanded misleading reviews with EXPOSED back door processes such as the Zoey quin with nathan grayson case, he was also with kotaku And again Nathan Grayson soon after was exposed again, and again, and again for unethical practices, Including reviewing a game made by a former colleague without mentioning it ever once. Now this isn't as bad as the Zoey Quin case but I thought I would mention it along with the pro-Anita propaganda they were pushing out and trying to force feed all of us gamers trying to tell us we are sexist for enjoying games and manufacturing evidence to do so.
But that is not what I really wanted to talk about,
What I really want to talk about:On a steam update post for fallout 4 & skyrim they posted about dishonored 2 in how they demanded a review copy right now,
They are mad over this new policy that enables them to force these developers to send them stuff for free, and they are upset because the new policy for review copies to be given out a day before release.
Their excuse on how this is anti-consumerism is because it is anti-them, they don't want to wait for the game to release before they start tearing it a new one so bethesda got tired of superiority complex and told them to wait to review it, forcing reviewers to actually wait on getting a review copy to make sure they really want to rather than shovel out the copy paste crap they have been pulling for the last decade or two.
When a reviewer, reviews a game it should be meaningful as this is someones very very very hard work, and shouldn't be taken so lightly . Their excuse for this move is "OH BAD GAMES DON'T BUY BECAUSE WE CAN'T GET MONEY OFF THE HYPE OF THE GAME AND MANUFACTURE HYPE FOR OUR SITES AND GAIN MORE MONEY THAT WAY.".
It is like if you were to demand a video out of them right now as soon as they get 3/4 the way through the process of making it, so you can judge that.
Commonly you will notice that their ads much like gamestop, IGN, and kotaqu all are games they all push forward this money to be "advertised" and in doing so receive a "positive review", this is common practice amoungst the elites. Some as going far to say pay for advertising or we will review your game badily.
The Advertising Biased Practice:
Rock Paper Shotgun pushes for advertising with them, keep in mind they also use google adsense advertising on top of this and want games advertised on their site, meaning they more than likely could review a game that goes through their advertising biasedily because they shelled out the money to push their products already.
The Blackmail:Not saying Rock Paper Shotgun has done this but many have demanded goodies special editions over hundreds or thousands of dollars in money or gifts. Now call me crazy for thinking this as of blackmail practice but with my android development experience I have seen this first hand, and with my experience with working with other studios for free keep in mind.
It works two ways, those whom auto-comply with this, those whom benefit from this practice being the norm, and those whom get trashed through the mud.
Wealthy companies like Bethesda, EA, and Activision can afford to shell out ever last cent advertising their games and doing it on every major "Gaming news outlet" and still have money left over to buy out every small company all at the same time. So this practice benefits them as it disallows for smaller indie developers to pay for their titles to be pushed on platforms via advertising and their games commonly get dragged through the mud if they can not afford any at all.
Now what is ethically wrong with all this practice of demanding review copies and demanding goodies. Well it is very well a old practice at that, unpaid for service with extremely high standards even before the product is well close to being actually finished and judging it as if it were.
Ethical issues with all this and conclusion:
Meaning the more free stuff thrown at them the more they will likely review positively regardless of quality. Meaning even the fact they are given the game will cause them to biasedily favor it over a game they had to purchase. Meaning you are not getting a honest review out of them, if you had to pay for it and they didn't.
But the review sites such as Rock Paper Shotgun have been greedy over the years finding their involvement in nearly every damn scandle there is, so is black mail really out of the question of their involvement? They could be demanding they buy adspace, they could be demanding goodies, they could be demanding a paid for review without ever once saying it is to the base consumer as well.
But we are not here to burn them by the steak now, their demands for earily access review copies is just down right out of the question, reviewers should wait, it isn't the gamers waiting like they try to pass off, it is the reviewers who are attempting to be the first ones to get in on every cash cow by targeting what is popular and trying to be the first one to the case if they are late they commonly copy paste reword practice just to grab a few views. Hence why there is little to no difference from the first review that comes out and the last with certain sites, Rock Paper Shotgun included in all that.
This practice is "Anti-"Corruption in gaming news Journalism and don't let the fools at Rock Paper Shotgun tell you any differently, that is why they are pissed. Honestly if they had to buy every game their practices would be forced to change, and this unethical give them shit for good review would be dead in the water as it should be.