Recently IGN ran an article titled “Why Do People ‘Hate’ EA” a hard-hitting, objective work of game journalism and an early contender for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Journalism. This company, this community, this family of journalists at IGN has one of the highest Alexa ratings of any video game website, and excellent support from advertisers (But not outrageously so) with a criminally underrated forum, but is still widely regarded as one of the worst websites on the internet.
This might be marked up to the apparent lack of journalist ethics in allowing one of their “reporters” to appear in a major game published by Electronic Arts, then giving that game a near-perfect review. However, most people have forgotten about Mass Effect 3 and there is little doubt that “Hating” IGN is a thing that people do.
I hoped that one of the talented and brilliant contributors at IGN would be willing to speak with me and it turns out that Colin Campbell was gracious enough to talk to us at the DoEE. Campbell wrote the now infamous “Hate EA” article.
“It hurts to be perceived as part of an unscrupulous organization that sacrifices a functioning user interface for a site design that crams advertisements into every free pixel on the screen” said Campbell, “but those advertisements help IGN deliver the quality content our readers have come to expect.”
While Campbell’s charming demeanor and piercing intellect make a strong case for the rampant advertising and difficult navigation, there is still some suspicion among gamers that IGN might be engaging in some sort of Quid pro quo exchange with major video game publishers.
“Nonsense” insists Campbell, “Just because Electronic Arts gave us beta keys to their game Star Wars: The Old Republic, and we in turn gave them out to readers who paid us a fee for our IGN Prime membership does not mean that we directly profited from our relationship with EA or that we owe them some sort of softball feature article in return.”
“Besides,” added Campbell “there are all sorts of other benefits to joining IGN Prime. It’s not like we sit around a boardroom and say, ‘okay, how can we can squeeze five dollars out of this guy because he won’t realize what we’re doing’. We’re actually trying to squeeze seven dollars out of people”.
“Right now IGN Prime has amazing offers that provide beta test access to blockbuster games like Starvoid, and Renaissance Heroes. Plus there are a dozen other games that we’ll be happy to tell you about after you pay us to sign up. That’s pretty cool. A month of IGN Prime is certainly the best way for a gamer to spend seven dollars, right?”
We may never know why people see IGN as a purely malevolent organization, but surely the most mature and intelligent gamers are above this sort of “Hate”.
*The United States Department of Electronic Entertainment is a humor site, not affiliated with any government agency.