GameSpot is a video gaming website that provides news, reviews,
previews, downloads, and other information on video games. The site
was launched on May 1, 1996, created by Pete Deemer, Vince Broady and
Jon Epstein. It was purchased by ZDNet, a brand which was later
CBS Interactive, which purchased CNET
Networks in 2008, is the current owner of GameSpot.
In addition to the information produced by
GameSpot staff, the site
also allows users to write their own reviews, blogs, and post on the
GameSpot won "Best Gaming Website" as chosen by the viewers
in Spike TV's second Video Game Award Show, and has won Webby
Awards several times. The domain gamespot.com attracted at least 60
million visitors annually by 2008 according to a
1.1 International history
1.2 Gerstmann dismissal
1.3 GTA V controversy
1.4 Notable staff
2 Community features
3 Paid subscriptions
4 See also
6 External links
GameSpot was founded by Pete Deemer, Vince Broady and Jon Epstein in
San Francisco, CA, out of an old travel agency building. Initially,
GameSpot focused exclusively on PC games. Its sister site,
VideoGameSpot.com, was launched in December 1996 to cover console
games. In 1997, VideoGameSpot.com became VideoGames.com for a short
period, and by 1998, the PC and console sections were united at
On October 3, 2005,
GameSpot adopted a new design similar to that of
TV.com, now considered a sister site to GameSpot.
A new layout change was adopted on October 2013.
GameSpot UK (United Kingdom) was started in October 1997 and operated
until mid-2002, offering content that was oriented for the British
market that often differed from that of the U.S. site. During this
GameSpot UK won the 1999 PPAi (Periodical Publishers
Association interactive) award for best website, and was short
listed in 2001. Following the purchase of
ZDNet by CNET, GameSpot
UK was merged with the main US site. On April 24, 2006,
In a similar fashion,
GameSpot AU (Australia) existed on a local scale
in the late 1990s with Australian-produced reviews. It ceased in 2003.
When a local version of the main
CNET portal, CNET.com.au was launched
in 2003, Gamespot.com.au content was folded into CNET.com.au. The site
was fully re-launched mid-2006, with a specialized forum, local
reviews, special features, local pricings in A$, Australian release
dates, and more local news.
GameSpot Japan in its current form launched in 2007. It provides
Japanese video game industry news, previews, reviews, features, and
videos as well as translated articles from the other
Jeff Gerstmann, Editorial Director of the site, was fired on November
28, 2007. Immediately after his termination, rumors circulated
proclaiming his dismissal was a result of external pressure from Eidos
Interactive, the publisher of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, which had
purchased a considerable amount of advertising space on GameSpot's
website. Gerstmann had previously given Kane & Lynch a fair or
undesirable rating along with critique. Both
GameSpot and parent
CNET stated that his dismissal was unrelated to the review,
but due to corporate and legal constraints cannot reveal the
reason. A month after Gerstmann's termination, freelance
reviewer Frank Provo left
GameSpot after eight years stating that "I
CNET management let Jeff go for all the wrong reasons. I
CNET intends to soften the site's tone and push for higher
scores to make advertisers happy."
GameSpot staffers Jason Ocampo, Alex Navarro, Ryan Davis, Brad
Shoemaker, and Vinny Caravella also left as a result of Gerstmann's
termination. Davis co-founded Gerstmann's subsequent project,
Giant Bomb, and was later joined by Shoemaker and Caravella. Navarro
became the community manager at
Harmonix and in 2010 joined up with
Whiskey Media, a family of sites that includes Gerstmann's Giant Bomb
site, to be part of their new site Screened.com, focusing on cinema
and television. Navarro later returned to Giant Bomb, where he
currently works as a Senior Editor.
On March 15, 2012, it was announced that
CBS Interactive, the parent
GameSpot operator CNET, had acquired the
Giant Bomb and
Comic Vine websites from Whiskey Media. As part of the deal, the
non-disparagement agreement between Gerstmann and
CNET was nullified,
allowing him to finally speak publicly about his termination over four
years prior. Later that evening on GameSpot's On the Spot web show,
GameSpot VP John Davison appeared on camera with Gerstmann, marking
Gerstmann's first appearance on the
GameSpot web site since November
2007. In the segment, Gerstmann revealed that his firing was in fact
related to the low review score he had given to Kane & Lynch,
though his explanation cited other similar events that led up to the
termination, including a 7.5 (good) rating given to Ratchet &
Clank Future: Tools of Destruction by Aaron Thomas, then an employee
GTA V controversy
In 2013, GameSpot's Carolyn Petit was hit with 20,000 comments, many
of them critical and violent, after Petit characterized Grand Theft
Auto V as "politically muddled and profoundly misogynistic."
Greg Kasavin – executive editor and site director of GameSpot, who
left in 2007 to become a game developer. He became a producer at EA
2K Games but he is currently working for Supergiant Games as
writer and creative director for Bastion.
Jeff Gerstmann – editorial director of the site, dismissed from
GameSpot on November 28, 2007 for undisclosed reasons, after which he
started Giant Bomb. Following the announcement of the purchase of
Giant Bomb by
CBS Interactive on March 15, 2012, Jeff was allowed to
reveal that he was dismissed by management as a result of publishers
threatening to pull advertising revenue due to less-than-glowing
review scores being awarded by GameSpot's editorial team.
GameSpot's forums were originally run by ZDNet, and later by
GameSpot uses a semi-automated moderation
system with numerous volunteer moderators.
GameSpot moderators are
picked by paid
GameSpot staff from members of the
community. Due to the size and massive quantity of boards and posts on
GameSpot, there is a "report" feature where a normal user can report a
violation post to an unpaid moderator volunteer. The ostensible
purpose of the reporting feature is to deal more quickly with
violations of the website's posting policy. GameSpot's ToS states that
users must be aged 13 or older to post content and maintain an
account. Proof of a user's age when he/she creates an account is not
required. Proof of a moderator's age is also not required. All users
must agree to GameSpot's ToS (terms of service) during registration.
GameSpot's ToS (as they apply to the community forums) give moderators
the power to use their own discretion when deciding if a posting
violation has occurred.
In addition to the message board system,
GameSpot has expanded its
community through the addition of features such as user blogs
(formerly known as "journals") and user video blogs. Users can
track other users, thus allowing them to see updates for their
favorite blogs. If both users track each other, they are listed on
each other's friends list.
GameSpot formerly had a paid subscription service known as "GameSpot
Complete". On February 21, 2006, the paid subscription model was
changed. It now maintains two paid membership services: Total
Access and Plus.
Total Access is essentially a replacement of
GameSpot Complete, as it
is the same price of US$5.95 per month or $39.95 per year and offers
the same basic benefits. The second premium service, GameSpot
Plus, is a cheaper, intermediate-level service.
On January 9, 2013, it was announced that the Paid Subscription model
will no longer be accepting new subscribers, and current subscribers
will not be able to renew after January 31, 2013.
GameSpot Game of the Year awards
^ "Gamespot.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved April 1,
^ "GameSpot.com WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". WHOIS.
2016. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
^ "Results of Spike TV's 2004 Video Game Awards". Archived from the
original on June 14, 2006. Retrieved June 9, 2006.
^ "Site Profile for gamespot.com".
^ Navarro, Alex (July 14, 2006). "Burning Questions: July 14, 2006".
Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved March 23,
GameSpot Redesign: Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved September
GameSpot UK Winner, PPAi Awards 1999". Archived from the original
on September 26, 2007. Retrieved October 7, 2006.
GameSpot UK Short Listed, PPAi Awards 2001". Archived from the
original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved October 7, 2006.
GameSpot UK launches". April 24, 2006. Archived from the original
on June 11, 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2006.
^ a b c "Spot On:
GameSpot on Gerstmann". GameSpot.
December 5, 2007. Archived from the original on July 25, 2008.
Retrieved December 24, 2007.
CNET Denies 'External Pressure' Caused Gerstmann Termination".
Shacknews. November 30, 2007. Retrieved December 24, 2007.
^ "Farewell, Games". agfun4.
CBS Interactive. January 4, 2008.
Retrieved May 19, 2014. date=June 2014
^ Orland, Kyle (January 14, 2008). "Gamespot staffer Alex Navarro
quits in wake of Gerstmann-gate". Endgadget. Retrieved January 14,
^ Orland, Kyle (February 4, 2008). "Gamespot exodus continues: Ryan
Davis to leave". Endgadget. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
^ Bissell, Tom (September 25, 2013). "Poison Tree". Grantland.
Retrieved January 14, 2018.
^ Kasavin, Greg (January 19, 2007). "To Live and Die in L.A." Archived
from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
Jeff Gerstmann - Virtual Fools Archived March 14, 2008, at the
GameSpot and Giant Bomb, Together". GameSpot.
March 15, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
GameSpot Forums". GameSpot. Archived from the original on August
14, 2005. Retrieved June 22, 2007.
GameSpot revamps subscription model". GameSpot.
Retrieved January 14, 2018.
^ a b c "
GameSpot sign-up page". GameSpot.
CBS Interactive. Archived
from the original on March 21, 2007. Retrieved April 3, 2007.
^ "GameSpot's Paid Subscription Service is Ending: FAQ". GameSpot. CBS
Interactive. January 9, 2013. Archived from the original on February
6, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
GameSpot at the
Wayback Machine (archived November 5, 1996)
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