Or How I Stopped Worrying and Realized that Ethics in Gaming Journalism Are Non-Existent
We've suspected it for some time now. I've had numerous people tell me about it, and today Bloodlust was kind enough to post some unofficial quotes on our forums from the Bethsoft forums which indicate that Bethesda has an exlusivity deal with Game Infomer with regards to their article on Fallout 3.
They'll have given GI an "exclusivity agreement" (as they did with
magazines around Oblivion's release), meaning that that magazine will
have the exclusive rights to those screenshots for a couple of
weeks/months. Then Bethesda can post them.
... Yep, it's an exclusivity agreement. With Oblivion this lasted until
their next issue officially hit the shelves, although I'm not sure if
this one will last as long.
The more exclusive an article is the more important it is for the
magazine. In the case of TES IV and FO3 it was important enough to be
the cover story, which is great for the game developer. If half a dozen
magazines were running the same article it's less likely they'd give it
preferential treatment since it is no longer a selling point.
If this is the case, it's really sad. Journalists are supposed to be impartial, reporting only on the news as they see it (or games in this case). What we have hear is like if a Member of Congress only gave interviews, news, press releases, etc. to one newspaper on the condition that they only write good things about him. It's a marketing strategy. This is not journalism....this is corporatism at it's finest, and almost the entire gaming industry has sunk to this level. As a famed member of the community said to me:
No wonder mainstream news press doesn't take game journos seriously. It's embarassing.
It's a sad day when gaming fan-sites run by volunteers with no real professional journalistic experience are the closest thing you can get to real journalism.