For the last few years we've maintained a public "How We Work" document that makes it clear to anyone who uses the site what policies we have in place to govern our actions.
Following recent events, we've decided to update these policies. Some of the additions were already informal guidelines and some are based on internal discussions in recent weeks.
While these discussions were going on we chose not to attend a Call of Duty review event pending a final decision on how we would approach such things in future. As a result, our review of the game will probably be a couple of days late next week.
You can read the whole updated "How We Work" document if you like, or alternatively here are the key additions:
- We do not attend "VIP" review events at hotels or abroad.
- If it is ever necessary to review games at a company's offices then we will cover travel and accommodation costs ourselves and disclose the conditions under which the game was reviewed.
- If we accept travel or accommodation from a company then we disclose it.
- We will only accept games, items for reviews and things that enable us to do our job (i.e. consoles, peripherals).
- Games and other items received through work may not be sold or traded. If they are no longer useful for work then they will be given to the GamesAID charity.
- Staff and contributors are not permitted to do "mock reviews" for or provide consultancy to games publishers.
- Staff and contributors may not write about a company they have worked for in any capacity within the last two years.
The discussions that led to these changes involved the whole editorial team and none were taken lightly. Our goal was to make sure that we can provide the best possible editorial without compromising any of our values or falling short of your expectations.
Adding full disclosure to our site is something that makes a lot of sense and I regret that it has taken us this long to agree on it. However, I do not believe it is something readers will encounter very often - review events and features that require travel or accommodation were once commonplace in the age of print but have become increasingly rare.
Also, it's important to note that we never stop discussing how we work internally and it's inevitable that these policies will evolve as we go on. I will continue to talk about changes publicly as and when they're made because I believe in transparency and accountability.
Beyond that, I hope the site can speak for itself. I've worked on it for over a decade, and a lot of people put a tremendous amount of hard work and love into it every day of the year. Our commitment to creating great content is as strong as ever. Thank you for reading.