It can be hard to know what websites to trust online for technology and video game reviews. Much of the concern over the impartial reviews offered online tends to stem from readers or other publications having different options about the item reviewed.
However, sometimes the problem with determining if a website gives honest, impartial reviews, or if the website or publication is willing to take money for a positive review or squash reviews by staff that harms advertisers can be more difficult. DailyTech discovered this last year with our Pay to Play story.
There is currently a scandal brewing around Richard Kain, general manager of game industry PR firm TriplePoint, which boasts clients like EA, Telltale Games, and Empire Interactive. The problem for Kain is that he didn’t do all he could to point out that he owns a games review website called GameCyte as well.
GameCyte didn’t give readers notice that Kain also ran the PR firm, giving the impression of impropriety on the part of the website. GameCyte was started in April and reportedly uses other editors for the reviews. For his part, Kain says that he started GameCyte as a way to improve the quality of game journalism.
Kain says that his Facebook page noted that he managed the PR firm and owned the review site, but he admits to not offering adequate notifications of the link between the two websites. Some will see this as nothing more than a guy who made a mistake and forgot to give full disclosure. Others will see this as a PR firm attempting to provide positive spin on reviews for customers.
VentureBeat says that is has found no evidence that reviews of game published by clients of TriplePoint are not out of line with other game reviews on the site, lending a bit of weight to Kain's side of the story. The real question is after the smoke clears, will TriplePoint lose clients over Kain's mistake.