Ladies and gentlemen, I would advise you to all to duck as there will almost certainly be a large amount of splatter coming from every fan near you as a result of the news I have to share.
Primotech has a story up claiming insider information regarding the firing of Gamespot reviewer Jeff Gerstmann. Mr. Gerstmann recently awarded Eidos' Kane & Lynch: Dead Men a 6.0 score while Eidos was pumping a large amount of advertising cash into Gamespot, and shockingly this pissed off some of the higher-ups. In a much less sarcastic instance of the word "shocking" instead of merely admonishing him -- which would have been unethical in its own right -- the powers that be fired Mr. Gerstmann (and may have slapped his wife). Here's a quote from Primotech:
According to a fellow Gamespot contributor and close friend of Gerstmann who wished to remain anonymous, the editor was fired Wednesday morning because of his negative review of the game, which he awarded a 6.0.
While there is no official confirmation on this issue, it's unlikely that Gamespot is going to publicly admit they canned a reviewer for honesty based on advertiser pressure. Though, if they do I'd be willing to bet that they themselves would be sacked moments later. That move, of course, will go without any public comment for fear of further commentary causing even more sacking, and the endless cycle of Pythonian sacking jokes that would inevitably ensue.
(Side Note: This upcoming Penny Arcade comic is either strikingly prescient or strikingly something else smart-sounding that means whatever I'm trying to say. -- Nex)
[UPDATE TROIS: Thanks to topgeargorilla and Vegas, there's also word that Gamespot editor Tim Tracy is leaving the site as well. Is it related? Will Greg Oden help the Blazer's playoff hopes? Who shot J.R.? More news as it becomes available. -- Oedipus Nex]
Now please start a firestorm of public outcry in the comments or Niero might fire me to appease whoever the hell it is that funds this place.
[Publisher's Note: Nex, you're promoted! I hereby crown you as our new senior editor of news about Gamespot, but only on the condition that you say nice things. On a serious note, Jeff was at GS for ten years and has the reviewer's portfolio equivalent of War and Peace -- this is a pretty big deal. I cannot wait to see the tapdance their PR people are brewing up tonight. In the meantime, check out Destructoid's Kane and Lynch review -- proudly unfiltered.
Ron also informed me that he's supposed to represent them at the Spike TV awards... so next week should be interesting. Nex, Destructoid is funded on my hopes, dreams, and tall deck of credit cards so nobody is going to get fired here for speaking their mind. Linde does reserve the right to stab you, though. -Niero]
[FURTHER UPDATERY: It seems like more info comes to light by the minute and according to a piece by Wired's Susan "Voice of Reason" Arendt things may not be as the Internet assumes. Here's a quote from a Gamespot insider:
The ads went up and the Eidos brouhaha was settled over two weeks ago. Jeff got fired yesterday. Furthermore, I'd heard a few people tell that he'd already been skating on thin ice for "unprofessional reviews and review practices." I don't know much about that, though, so I can't say one way or the other. My gut tells me that he got canned for larger reasons.
I suppose we won't really know what happened until Mr. Gerstmann himself settles the rumors, but at this point the cat is out of the bag, running around the living room and clawing the hell out of Eidos' leg, regardless of whether the cat is an invention of conspiracy theorists or not. -- Reality Nex]
(Photo courtesy of The Lonestranger Network)