Do Gifts Amount to Bribes? Ubisoft Gives Away Nexus 7 Tablets at Press Event
Editor's Note: The following is an opinion piece and does not represent an official stance from GameSkinny on any issue or event.
--- Update: Ubisoft UK has tweeted an official response:
At a recent Watch_Dogs event some media were given tablets as gifts. This was not in line with our PR policies. Apologies for any confusion.— Ubisoft UK (@UbisoftUK) April 15, 2014
----- Original story:
There was a lot of attention-grabbing happening at this year’s PAX East in Boston. As a person who went to cover the event, there were several times that I was approached and asked to check out a game by the developers. After all, my badge said
"Media" and it is the media that helps spread the word and gets people interested in the newest games.
And while I received several fliers, business cards, and a key to the Wildstar beta that I have no use for since I am already in the beta, I was never important enough to be given expensive tech to sway my opinions.
However, it looks like some were in other parts of the world apparently.
While I was on a plane traveling back to my hometown, news broke that Ubisoft gave away free Nexus 7 tablets to attendees at the Watch Dogs event in Paris.
While I understand that it is tempting to receive gifts from developers or publishers, if a journalist or reviewer wants to gain the respect and trust of their readers, they should not and cannot receive these gifts without disclosing that they got them, or just flat-out refuse them. The reviewer should not accept anything that would compromise their review. Allowing that sort of nonsense completely discredits the reviewer and their merit as a trustworthy source of consumer information.
Reviews are supposed to tell a potential player if the game is good and deserves a buy, or if it is utter slop and doesn’t deserve a dime. Bad form on Ubisoft’s part, but it is even more disheartening that my journalist peers would accept such a gesture.
What do you think? Should gaming journalists and reviewers be allowed to accept gifts?