The 2008 retrospective lists continue to roll in, and every time I see one I feel the need to comment on it. Without fail, once I’ve written my piece I simply delete the draft and worry about something more important.
I finally struck gold today. PC World has a list of 2008’s most overrated games (which covers consoles, despite the whole “PC” thing in their name). I have no problems with how PC World feels about the quality of each of the games, but I do get irked when professional journalists fail to do even a little bit of homework or editing. I am referring to their complaints about Call of Duty: World at War, which contain the following quote:
After all, the original developers were conspicuously AWOL, leaving game-creation duties to the underwhelming Treyarch
When I read “conspicuously AWOL”, I see words meaning “noticeable,” and “gone without permission.” Neither of these are true in the case of World at War. I remember reading various news pieces over the years mentioning how Activision is now using a “leapfrog” development scheme wherein franchises are tackled by different teams each year. I also read about Infinity Ward fighting to gain exclusive rights to the series for all games post-World at War.
But my memory is proof of nothing, so I looked for some example sources. That took me about two minutes, and I know there is more info floating around the ‘net. The bottom line is that Treyarch developing World at War was not a surprise to anyone. It was known for a good year before release.
For all I know the author did in fact know these things, but in that case I would suggest a better editor for their next list. Since this is gaming related, Internet journalism, however, it is likely that he had no clue, and the community bleeds a little more thanks to such amateurish work.
Actually, I do a disservice to amateurs. While I can only speak for myself, I know I have made factual errors in at least a few videolamer articles. Because we are a small site that is responsive to the audience, we have been able to catch and correct them. I may very well send an email to PC World, but I expect no response, or one that is scathing and insulting because I pointed out how bad they are at their job.