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HaloMasterVI
11-15-2002, 07:37 PM
<B>This is a translated article from Official Dutch Playstation Magazine Issue #17. (http://www.opm2.info)
The hardcore-articles of the past few months were usually about trivial stuff, but after the things that took place in the gaming-world the last few months, I feel obliged to swipe at the foundations of the gamesindustry. The last straw is the fact that Rockstar and Take 2 don't allow us access to the review-disk of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

But the trouble already began during the time that Rockstar's previous game, State of Emergency, was released. Again, we didn't get a reviewcopy, but I was offered to play the game for a day at the London Rockstar office. Based on that, I would have to write the review, something I refused to accept. So we had to wait for the retail-version, which not only resulted in a late review, but also in a far lower score (65%) than most other magazines.

However, life goes on and the storm was over soon enough, until there was a first press-trip for GTA Vice City. Rockstar clearly remembered my angry mail to Dan Houser (the big chief of Rockstar), because they never asked me what I would return for an exclusive scoop. It didn't take long for me to find out, through a befriended magazine, why they never asked. Rockstar and Take 2's demands for an exclusive peek at the game were extremely high: two covers, an x number of preview-pages and review coverage with a minimumscore of 95%. Yep, especially the last bit threw us back.

After discussing the matter with the rest of the OPM2-team, we decided not to publish this information in the magazine, because we didn't want to burn bridges and take the potential risk to lose the GTA Vice City review. Until the last moment we were made to believe that we could review the game at the office of the local distributor as long as we wanted (for 2 or 3 whole days). This, supposedly, to prevent that the game would be copied illegally. Bull**** ofcourse, because a few weeks before the GTA Vice City review was ready, Rockstar and Take 2 announced that the November-issues of magazines appearing before the end of October (ie all of them), were not allowed to publish a review. What we were allowed to do however, was publishing an extended preview (review without a conclusion), in trade for a GTA Vice City cover on the magazine.

To do so, we had to go all the way to Munich. We only got one day (less than 8 hours) to test the game. In the meanwhile, it was also pressed that the pre-arranged score was no longer in effect (yeah right, everybody in the gamesindustry knew about it by now, and they didn't want such practices to be made public in the press).

The people at Take 2 and Rockstar may jump high and low while denying a pre-arranged score ever occured, but look at the scores State of Emergency got in the exclusive reviews in some magazines, and you know enough. If Rockstar and Take 2 think, that I'll do everything to please them and agree with their high demands, then they're badly mistaken. As far as I'm concerned they can stick that extended preview/review which we aren't allowed to give a rating up their *******.

In my magazine there will only be reviews of games which we could test for ourselves on our own pace. That's why there is no preview/review without a rating or whatever other magazines may call it, but just a lot of other highlevel reviews. But to keep you informed, we import the US version (which will be released on October 28.) and put the review on our website before november 8. You can read about what we think about the European version of Vice City in the December-issue.

I don't want to slate magazines which obeyed to Rockstar's and Take 2's wishes. They probably don't have huge amounts of funding and can use all the revenue they can get. Rockstar and Take 2 use that cunningly to their advantage, but if a big magazine like ours condone these practices, then it's won't take long before other publishers will be doing the same. The result: publishers who control the gamemagazines and readers who can no longer find a reliable source to check if a game is good or bad. If that ever happens, that'll be the day I sell my consoles and join the local chessclub. At least they play fair.
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Pathetic Rcokstar, greedy lazy punks!

Bigwig
11-15-2002, 11:57 PM
yeah Rockstar has a lot of whores but they are cool whores. GTA 4 will be on XBL in 2004 so lay off of em for a while. BTW I played GTA Vice and its overrated with lousy graphics.