Hello! We've just published a revised editorial policy for Eurogamer.net - the page formerly known as How We Work. This document covers the philosophy, practices and ethical standards of our reporting and reviewing here at Eurogamer, and explains how we handle the relationship with the commercial aspects of our business (such as advertising) and our parent company, Gamer Network.
The revised policy is based on the previous version and very close to it in spirit; it underlines Eurogamer's proud 15-year tradition as an independent gaming website with high standards of accuracy and professionalism, clear separation of editorial and commercial activities, and thorough attention to detail in everything we do. There are some substantial revisions and additions to the previous version which have been prompted by a couple of things in particular: Gamer's Edition, a new Gamer Network venture announced today that crowdfunds physical special editions of digital games; and the new review system (without scores) that we introduced last month. It's a pretty long read, so here's a quick guide to what's changed and why.
You can read more about Gamer's Edition in our coverage of the announcement. In short, Gamer's Edition will produce physical special editions of games that wouldn't otherwise get them, using a preorder system based on a crowdfunding model with a minimum number of orders - ensuring that Gamer's Editions will only be manufactured if there's a big enough demand from the games' communities. The first Gamer's Editions are of Hotline Miami and its sequel, and Papers, Please.
The Gamer's Edition business within Gamer Network is completely separate from our editorial department. It is entirely at the discretion of the Eurogamer editorial team whether, and how, to cover Gamer's Editions and the games they are based on. Commercial considerations and relationships will never influence our coverage, which will never be subject to prior approval by partners or clients.
This is exactly how we have handled our relationships with advertisers, and coverage of their products, for the lifetime of the site. Here at Eurogamer and Gamer Network, we've always had a tradition of a clear separation between our editorial and commercial activities, and over the last 15 years we've got pretty good at it. I'd like to think that we've earned the trust to cover Gamer's Edition and the related games fairly and responsibly - and that I've earned the trust to tell you that I think it's a really cool idea (I do!) without assumptions that my boss is holding a P45 to my head. At any rate, I'd urge you to check out the Gamer's Edition website and judge for yourselves.
However, it's important that we are transparent with you, so all coverage of Gamer's Editions and the games they are based on will disclose the business' relationship to Eurogamer. This is also true of the events run by Gamer Network, such as EGX and Rezzed.
Check out the 'Gamer Network' section toward the end of the document to find out more.
We occasionally link to retailers such as Amazon on the website, and Gamer Network receives a small percentage on purchases made. This isn't a new thing - it was previously handled by a small box on the side of article pages, but from now on will be done in text links within the article. We only link to products relevant to the article in question (such as games or PC hardware) and the links do not influence our editorial decision-making in any way. We'll only use neutral language in these links and we won't promote them on our social media channels.
You might have seen examples of these links in our pick of the best Wii U games, which we published yesterday. You'll start seeing them cropping up more frequently in our day-to-day coverage in the near future, but they should be pretty discreet.
Retailer links are referred to at the end of the 'Advertising and commercial activities' section of the editorial policy.
The new reviews policy reflects the changes we introduced last month: the removal of review scores and introduction of our new recommendation system; only reviewing from retail versions; and reviewing online games after launch. If you read the article I wrote announcing the changes last month and were familiar with our previous reviews policy, there won't be anything here to surprise you.
There are a couple of additional small changes worth pointing out, however. When we still used review scores, we would occasionally run reviews of Early Access or games or games in commercial beta testing without scores. As we can no longer make such a clear distinction between these articles and finalised reviews, having dropped scores altogether, we'll no longer review these titles. We'll still publish articles about them, though.
Also, we'll no longer be reviewing individual episodes of episodic games, saving our final review for the full series once it's complete. Again, you might still see articles about earlier episodes - particularly series debuts.
There are three segments of the document covering reviews: 'Review process', 'What we review, and when' and 'Review recommendations'. You'll find these in the middle of the policy document (and also, separately, linked at the foot of all Eurogamer reviews).
And, as ever, if you have any comments or questions, let me know in the comments below, by email at oli at eurogamer dot net, or via private message here on Eurogamer - my username is Oli.