I’ve taken to calling the games media a public relations and marketing adjunct of the major game publishers. In exchange for access from the publishers, those publishers get preferential coverage. Sometimes, it’s an implicit agreement. A PR agent for one publisher told me that they would be more inclined to play ball with me if I gave them regular preview coverage. That led to the intentionally disingenuously named “hype train” and trailer roundup blog posts.
However, many writers and publications don’t really tip off which preview coverage has legitimate journalistic or informational merits and which is just disingenuous hype piece. While I don’t have to do that, some really big publications act as hype machines for publishers and developers and show no remorse in doing free publicity work.
The ever insightful TotalBiscuit examines how publications are pulling the wool over your eyes and why you shouldn’t believe the hype.