Policy centre • Eurogamer.net Editorial Policy
Eurogamer.net is a website about video games and gaming culture.
We publish in-depth reporting, analysis and criticism related to video games. We also run a YouTube channel that complements the written content we publish on this website.
This editorial policy sets out the ways in which we go about our jobs. If you feel that our work has fallen short of these standards, please contact the editors.
We report stories as we see them, as accurately as possible.
When reporting information that may not be publicly available or which may paint an individual or organisation in a way they find disagreeable, we always seek comment.
If we receive new information after publication, we update our existing story or add a new one as necessary.
When notified of potential factual errors in our work, we will attempt to verify them and publish a correction if a mistake has been made.
We also offer anyone mentioned in a story a right of reply. If you feel you or your company has been misrepresented or wish to expand on a story please contact the editors.
We do not publish information received from sources (named or anonymous) without attempting to confirm it with additional sources. We protect the identities of anyone who provides information to us anonymously. We do not pay sources for information.
When reporting on information revealed by another publication, we always provide prominent credit and link through to the original work.
Sometimes our work requires us to travel to report on events, games, people and organisations. If we accept travel and accommodation from a third party to facilitate our editorial coverage, then we disclose it within the relevant article(s).
Eurogamer.net reviews tell you whether or not we liked something and why. Our reviews aim to equip you with enough information, analysis and context to decide whether you will find a game interesting.
We select games for review on the basis of what we feel will interest you - whether that's in terms of the game's quality, content or profile.
We select reviewers based on their experience with a series, game, genre or platform, but always aim to balance specialist knowledge against a wider understanding games and game design.
The review is discussed with an editor or editors before publication, but remains the professional judgement of the reviewer. Recommendations (see below) are set by the reviewer; editors may propose changes to them but these are only ever made with the reviewer's agreement.
We expect our writers to spend enough time with a game to understand it intimately, but this is not an exact science and the requirements of different games vary greatly. We trust and expect our reviewers to make informed judgements about what is appropriate. This situation is also influenced by the availability of review materials; we may delay a review if we are not satisfied with the time available.
What we review, and when
We only review games from retail copies, or versions that are identical to a retail copy of the game. We do not review from pre-release "debug code", or alpha or beta versions.
Because we only review retail copies, games will rarely if ever be reviewed from publishers' review events. We may still attend these events for the purposes of other coverage.
We will make every effort to ensure that our experience of a game matches that of the majority of players - for example, by applying 'day one' updates where relevant.
To further ensure that our experience matches players', we only review games that require an internet connection after they have launched and have fully representative player populations.
If a game does not require an internet connection but we judge the online features to be of crucial importance to the majority of players, we will also review it after launch with a fully representative player population.
In the above cases, review timing will be at our discretion, but should be as early as possible while seeking to be thorough and representative. When delaying a review until after launch we will often publish initial impressions before launch, or as close to launch as is practical, if there is no prior access.
We only review final public release versions of games. We do not publish full reviews of 'Early Access' games, or games in alpha or beta testing (though we will often write articles that subject these games to appropriate levels of scrutiny). When games are released as episodic series, we will only publish a full review of the complete series - though we may publish impressions of individual episodes, especially the first.
We always seek to publish authoritative reviews which we don't need to update. If a game's circumstances change in a specific but important detail, we may update a review or change our recommendation, but these cases will be exceptional. If a game's circumstances change in more general and highly significant ways, we may publish a full re-review.
We sometimes review gaming-related products and media: for example, books, board games and films. These reviews do not use our recommendation system.
Until 10th February 2015, Eurogamer.net scored games out of 10. Since this date, we no longer use reviews scores. Instead we offer a single sentence summary, plus an additional recommendation badge, if appropriate:
Recommended games are just that. They're the games that we find most interesting, most exciting and most fun; the games that we want to bring to your attention.
Essential games are the best of the best. They're games that thrill us to the core, that get to the heart of what video gaming can and should be. We only expect to see a handful of Essential games every year.
Avoid is not so much for games that aren't to our taste as games that have serious flaws in design, technology or concept - flaws that make them impossible to recommend spending your money or time on. Again, we expect to use this badge only rarely.
Many games will not be tagged with any of these badges. This does not mean we think they're bad games. They will cover a pretty broad spectrum of quality, but typically they'll be games with some qualities to recommend them but about which we have reservations. Those reservations will be significant, but perhaps not significant enough to dissuade players with a particular interest in the game.
For the purposes of maintaining a high-profile presence within Google search results, we pass through a star rating which may be displayed when searching for our reviews: games tagged as Essential will display five stars, games tagged as Recommended will display four stars, and games tagged as Avoid will display one star. All other games will display three stars. We do not feel this misrepresents the intentions of our recommendation system, but for the avoidance of doubt, this is not the 'real' score.
As a courtesy to game creators and publishers, we will notify of them of any recommendation badges their games have received - but only after the review process is complete and up to 24 hours before publication. We do not disclose the text of a review before publication.
In the course of our work we speak to game developers, publishers and other organisations, liaising with creative and public relations personnel, and always seek to conduct ourselves professionally.
In order to receive materials and access, it is sometimes necessary to agree to embargoes that bind us to publishing content after a certain date and time. It may also be necessary to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA), which we only do if we are satisfied the NDA will not compromise or inhibit the honesty and integrity of the resulting work.
In the event that a company stops talking to us completely (sometimes referred to as 'blacklisting'), we will do our best to deliver the same high standards of reporting, fairness, analysis and criticism without being swayed by the circumstances. Out of respect for individual game creators and their work, we will not refer to these incidents in public unless there is a strong editorial imperative to do so - e.g. the integrity of the publication is under threat, or publication of critical information such as highly anticipated reviews will be delayed as a result.
The Eurogamer.net editorial team does not accept promotional items or other gifts from publishers and creators. We only accept games, items for review and things that enable us to do our job (i.e. consoles and peripherals). Items received may not be sold or traded.
If we receive promotional items without requesting them, they will be sent to the charity GamesAid for sale or auction.
Staff and contributors are not permitted to do "mock reviews" for or provide paid consultancy to game creators. New staff and contributors may not write about a company they have worked for in any capacity within the last two years.
Advertising and commercial activities
Eurogamer.net's editorial and advertising departments are separate. The content that appears on the Eurogamer.net site and YouTube channel is entirely at the editors' discretion and is never influenced by commercial considerations.
Our advertising team believes in being fair, honest and transparent in our dealings with advertisers.
We do not accept advertising that obscures content (i.e. interstitials or overlays), that plays sound automatically or that features offensive content. Additionally, we do not accept inappropriate advertising content and will act to remove it if it appears on the website. If you believe adverts on the site are falling short of these goals, please contact us.
We sometimes link to retailers (e.g. Amazon) and receive money from any purchases made. These links do not influence editorial decisions in any way. They only appear in articles related to the product in question and use neutral language, for example: "Order [this product] from Amazon."
Eurogamer.net is owned by Gamer Network Ltd. The company publishes a variety of websites and YouTube channels including GamesIndustry and USgamer. It also has commercial partnerships with other websites such as VG247, Outside Xbox, Rock Paper Shotgun and Nintendo Life. These publications are operated independently of Eurogamer.net and have their own policies.
There are local editions of Eurogamer published by local teams in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Poland and Portugal. The Eurogamer.net editorial team collaborates with each of these local sites, although they produce the majority of their own content and have their own editorial values, which may mean that games are sometimes rated differently.
In addition to its websites, Gamer Network operates other games-related businesses:
- Gamer Events, which runs the EGX consumer gaming events and the GameHorizon conference
- Gamer's Edition, a crowdfunding platform for physical special editions of games
- Gamer Creative, a creative agency offering advertising and website design services
These businesses are separate from Eurogamer.net's editorial department. Eurogamer.net will always disclose its relationship when covering activities operated by its parent company, Gamer Network. Any such coverage is entirely at the editors' discretion and is never influenced by commercial considerations.
These principles extend to coverage of Gamer's Edition products and the games on which they are based. The Eurogamer.net editorial team can choose to cover these products or not, just as they would any commercial third-party product. Any coverage will be treated in the same way as all Gamer Network content: it will not be subject to prior approval and is subject to the teams' editorial standards as normal. Reviews will not be influenced. This also holds true for anything published on Eurogamer.net's social media and YouTube channels.
Any website coverage of Gamer's Edition products will disclose Eurogamer.net's relationship to Gamer's Edition. For the avoidance of doubt, any website coverage of the games on which Gamer's Editions are based will also disclose this relationship.
In the case of Gamer Events, the relationship will be disclosed on articles about the event itself (e.g. announcement of playable games) but not on coverage generated from our attendance of the event (e.g. game previews, interviews).
To learn more about Gamer Network itself, please check out our corporate site.
All Gamer Network staff are aware of this editorial policy and stand by it individually and collectively.
Oli Welsh - Editor, Rupert Loman - CEO.