Posted on December 6, 2007, Jonathan GameSpot Officially Responds to Gerstmann Firing
“Gerstmanngate” has pretty much been sweeping the internet for almost a week now. Since then speculation has run rampant — with most people drawing the conclusion that Jeff Gerstmann was fired due to an unfavorable review for Kane and Lynch — and a lack of any explanation from GameSpot has only added fuel to those fires. So now the site has posted an article addressing some of the main questions raised about the whole incident, which they apparently couldn’t do sooner due to “HR procedures and legal considerations.” To summarize, their side of the story is that Gerstmann’s employment was terminated due to an unrelated internal review, and the re-wording of his review, removal of his video review, and presence and quick absence of Kane and Lynch skins for their site all happened for different reasons. It was all bad timing and a big coincidence.
This article is one of the first steps toward restoring users’ faith in GameSpot, and an internal review of the incident and controversy is under way. However, at no point in its history has GameSpot ever deviated from its review guidelines, which are publicly listed on the site. Great pains are taken to keep sales and editorial separated to prevent any impression of impropriety.
As you can imagine, there’s already hundreds of responses to this article from people who don’t seem to be buying any of it. We’ll have to see if they do manage to restore faith in their readers, but it’s looking like the damage has already been done.