OPM Reviewer Is Pissed Off At Accusations of Corruption

Posted By | On 04th, Oct. 2011 Under News | Follow This Author @KartikMdgl

Few days ago, OPM reviewer, Dan Staines gave Batman: Arkham City a perfect score in his review. But since it was a first exclusive review from a big magazine, gamers of a popular forum totally rejected the review.

The reviewer fights back via a blog post. This is what he says, and we agree with him. Take a look at it below.

So. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a world exclusive review of Batman: Arkham City for Official PlayStation Magazine Australia. We worked hard for that review: because of reasons, I had two days to play the game and produce copy in time for deadline. And before you ask: no, I didn’t play it the whole way through before writing the review. That’s just the reality of publishing – sometimes you don’t get to do reviews in ideal circumstances.

In any case, the review has leaked onto the internet – as reviews are wont to do sometimes – and from what I can tell the reaction has been largely negative. As soon as they see the source, the game, and the exclusivity, people do the math:

Official Magazine + Big Fucking Game x World Exclusive = obvious corruption.

And look, I can understand why you’d be cynical. Games journalism doesn’t have a sterling record of quality and integrity, and – to be perfectly honest – neither do I. I’ve written enthusiastic previews for games that turned out terrible, I’ve been taken on junkets and plied with free booze and t-shirts. But one thing I have never done, and never will do, is let PR dictate my opinions.

So fuck you guys. Fuck you for your constant sneering derision, for your endless unfunny “journalist in quotation marks” jokes, for your automatic assumptions of corruption, for all the times you sent someone an email full of vile personal insults because they gave some game you like a bad score, and for all the other toxic, squalid, and puerile bullshit that defines your contribution to videogame culture. Or if you can’t do that, at least have the decency to keep your mouth shut once in a while.

Warner Bros. didn’t give me money to give their game a positive review. The only time I even interacted with Warner Bros. was when their PR rep handed me the disc. There was no editorial or managerial pressure to write a favourable review. I wrote a favourable review – a very favourable review – because I fucking love the shit out of that game.

In the end he says,

Oh, and guys? The suggestion that I wrote the review the way I did so that I could get a quote on the box is… absolutely right. You got me! Ever since I was a child, I have longed – YEARNED – for a chance to get something I wrote printed on a videogame box. Truly it is my one great ambition, my one driving passion, and to this day it remains painfully unfulfilled. I don’t know if Arkham City will be my salvation, but I can assure you that I did everything in my power to make it so.


You can read the whole thing here. Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Do you agree with him?

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  • m

    If he was payed off by Warner Bros he would never admit it.
    He’s little blog makes things even worse and makes me think he really was payed off.

    • Kartik Mudgal

      Yeah, he should have been civil there. Swearing at everybody doesn’t help his cause.

  • Yay for the countless of fucktards on the internet whom think they know everything.

  • Hate to break it to you hush404 but WB told game reviewers with Arkham Asylum that if they don’t get a certain review above certain point grade that there would be consequences next time around. Look it up for yourself or not don;t really give a f’k, what I do give a f’k about however is how ignorant jackasses can make comments like yours about people who actually took the time to be informed.

  • Personal bias enters every review. That should be a know fact. It is impossible to review a game objectively. Any for of artistic media is subjective and dictated by ones personal bias.

    But, what does happen in the media is advertising revenue, exclusives, ect. All of this will influence an authors review. And for this one to take to his blog defending himself only helps prove just that.

    The real ignorance? That would be the fools who base their purchasing decisions off of these reviews. Most just use them as ammo in an argument as if it’s a fact or absolute truth. Most need that justification to show the game they enjoyed is the “best game ever” and they are so very smart for buying and playing it. Of course these people need that. These a the people that can only afford one console and a couple games per year. Then they take their envy and jealousy out on the world wide web.

    Back to the point. Let’s use Modern Warfare as an example. Everyone in the media slams Activision for the stale franchise and their greedy behavior. From their twitter feeds to their podcast. But when the game ships, they will all score it a 9 or better to keep relations running smooth. They will never play the multiplayer online. They won’t see it’s nurmous glitches, hacks, bugs, and cheats. They will praise it anyway. So you end up with a 9-10 review for a game with a 4 hour on rails campaign with an untested multiplayer. Just wait and see.

  • Don’t really care one way or the other if he was payed off. I’m getting the game because the first was so good. I’ll decide for myself if it’s good.

  • man I don’t get gamers nowadays! These gamers or we gamers are to be the end of Gaming Industry, seriously no doubt!

    People complain about websites like IGN, Gamespot etc giving good games bad reviews and not so good game amazing review such as GTA4 “10/10.
    And then when someone gives a good game a great score (people normally complain because of lack of good scoring) everybody moans and complains.
    What gives?

    Batman AC is a game that triumphs greater than Batman AA. I like Batman but I’m not a big fan of him. Someone was recommending me to play Batman AA because it’s the best Batman game to date. Denial for a long time and later I decided to rent it. I was blown away, the game does deserve GOTY!

    Now Batman AC is coming out and looks 10x better than AA. But who knows, sequels always turn out trash when they look so great and 20x better than its predecessor.

    Of course he was paid off, who cares man, its part of journalist job to do that so the site remains creditable. And what is wrong with getting your quote on game box art or game launch trailers? If I was a reviewer, I’ll be freaking honoured that my reviewed quote was used in the game’s boxart or launch trailer.

    The problems are the gamers, gamers are ruining the gaming industry!

  • “But since it was a first exclusive review from a big magazine, gamers of a popular forum ‘NeoGaf’ totally rejected the review.”

    NeoGaf, many of those people there are douche bags!
    The ONLY good thing NeoGaf is good for is their leaking breakthroughs, that is all! Anything else part from them is just moronic, opinion, hate, boasting, show offs etc.

    I have no beef with NeoGaf but when I see how majority of them act, they are no different to the gamers who are causing problems to the industry. Who gives a damn what they think of the review? what makes them think their voice is as important as Bill Gates?

    What’s wrong with the line “one of the best games ever made”. That’s the journalist opinion. Don’t people usually say
    *Uncharted 2 is one of the best games ever made?
    *GTA 4 one of the best games ever made?
    *GOW3 one of the best games ever made?
    or even MGS4 “the best game ever”

  • LD

    From what I have seen of the game from videos and articles, this game looks to be at least as good as Batman: AA. and that game was damn near a 10 in my book. Frankly, if the game took what made AA great and built on it, I can see it being at least a near 10 score game. Unless the developers all became brain damaged at the same time I really cannot question a high score for this particular game.

    • Kartik Mudgal

      Yeah, it looks like a great game.


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