The reality is this: publishers generally hold the enthusiast press in utter contempt, and they have for a long time. This disdain began as scorn for the enthusiast media’s roots in videogame fandom, rather than traditional journalism from “respectable” publications, but it has since metastasized into a veiled but nonetheless seething anger over the advent of the Internet and with it the rise of fan sites, forums and blogs over which publishers can exert little pressure, let alone control. The contempt emanating from the publishing community, by the way, is not limited to the enthusiast press. In our view, it extends to publicists, whom certain executives believe can and should be able to dictate the nature of their coverage and secure review scores of a certain magnitude. It even extends to their own developers, for whom Metacritic and Game Rankings scores can dangle as precipitously as the sword of Damocles, as if these executives were incapable of determining for themselves the quality of their games and taking action accordingly. This even though, ironically, said executives have little respect for any individual reviewer whose score, when aggregated with those of his fellows, makes up the rankings they employ so assiduously.
And just in case you were unsure Croal was right, Joystiq, thanks to the magic of caching, maps out the differences between the pre- and post- firing versions of the Kane and Lynch review.