Jeff Gerstmann, longtime game reviewer and one-time Kotaku podcast guest, is widely seen to have been fired from gaming site GameSpot in 2007 due to his negative review of Kane & Lynch. That game's developers consider the episode "sad."
Blame GameSpot for firing a reviewer possibly due to the content of his reviews? Blame publisher Eidos (now owned by Square-Enix) for possibly complaining about the review enough to pressure GameSpot? We still don't really know who pushed hard enough to cost Gerstmann his job, but the Kane & Lynch developers say that they were just bystanders to the drama.
Videogamer.com spoke with IO Interactive's Carsten Lund, now game director on Kane & Lynch 2, who told the site:
"The Gerstmann-gate thing we know nothing about, actually. We know as little as you guys might know. We were watching from the sidelines as developers, and it was sad. It was not really nice, but we couldn't do anything about that. So there's actually nothing for us to say."
Producer Hakan Abrak described the dev team as "bystanders" to the Gerstmann situation.
In 2008, the first game's director, Jens Peter Kurup, was quoted by GamesRadar as saying "there was something in the tone of that review that was tough on people, and on me." But the developers were never seen, no matter how much the Gerstmann's review hurt, of having advocated for the firing.
Gerstmann has moved on, having founded GiantBomb.com. GameSpot continues to be among gaming's top websites. And IO Interactive is set to release Kane & Lynch 2 this year.
IO: Gerstmann-gate got 'out of hand' [VideoGamer.com]