Blast Away the Game Review’s Ethics Statement – V. 3.12.2019 (updated)
In the light of many requests on how our company goes about our ethics regarding business, reviews, hands-on impressions, and ‘early access to games’, we’ve decided it is important for – you – our reader to know our policies. Below you will find a guideline regarding these practices and our policies regarding them. If any of our policies are questionable, please use the ‘contact us’ form in our drop down menu in the ‘about us’.
Conduct Regarding Travel/Gifts/Disclosure:
Our team will not accept travel or the accommodations for said travel from any developers or companies that we work with or cover. This includes the act of renting cars, flights, and or hotel rooms. If we are to review a game at a publisher-sponsored event, we will disclose that within the review with a policy statement.
If a member of our team is given a gift, this includes foods, drinks, and items; they must disclose the items and obtain and will be restricted upon the gifts received. If more is accepted, the writer can, and maybe put into review regarding the consequences and actions taken. At gaming events, it is not uncommon that we will see a writer obtain a swag bag. However, this information must be disclosed to our team and will require further assessment upon doing so. Actions from there will be determined by our team.
Our writers, reviewers, and contributors are allowed to back video games on Kickstarter or crowdfunding sites in order enhance their campaign chance – but only at the minimum level necessary to acquire the game, hardware if they are to cover it. If they exceed that minimum amount, we do require them to disclose it and let the readers be aware of their participation in said crowdfunding campaigns.
Review Score Policy:
We strictly forbid our reviewers to discuss review scores with publishers, developers, or even members outside of the team before the review is published. If it is, the review will be removed, and deemed invalid upon closure of this information.
We here at B.A.T.G.R. do allow our writers to adjust their assessments of games, hardware, and products over the course of the lifespan of the game. Like most publishers, we will make note of these changes as well as explain to them while they may seem transparent to others. We do this completely at the discretion of our team.
Conflicts of Interest:
As this has become a residing issue among practices in recent days, we do not allow our writers to (1) cover companies they are financially involved with, (2) have worked for or have family working for, (3) employs a writer’s spouse/love interest. We do request of our writers to disclose relations with those within the industry and highly suggest them to ensure that our writers remain unbiased upon disclosure of this information. If an issue is to arise because of this, we will disclose it upon the written material, and have it be read at the reader’s discretion with this information.
B.A.T.G.R. does allow our writers to contribute to Patreon campaigns for members of the video game industry but will require our members to disclose the details of those disclosures within their “about the writer” information as well as on any related coverage they publish on our site.
Sources of Information:
As with most businesses, it is strictly within B.A.T.G.R.’s policy not to pay our sources. There are rare occasions, we may contract (when the time comes) with a source as a co-creator for content we will display on our webpage. If the information is obtained within a cited story, we will allow anonymous sources to prove their identity to us here at B.A.T.G.R. We will also ensure the protection of identities of our sources who wish to remain anonymous.
Corrections to Content:
As with many publications, we strive to remain completely accurate upon our publication of stories and information. If we find stories, reviews, and information to be incorrect, we will correct it, but not remove any content from our page.
Advertising on our Website:
While we do run ads on our site, we do not intend on selling advertisement space across our site nor do we encourage clickbait articles from our writers. We also do not accept money or other consideration from any companies as a condition or incentive to write a review or story for them, whether favorable or unfavorable, on the behalf of B.A.T.G.R. All reviews and editorial material on our website is based upon the discretion of our editors and the team itself.
Please note that this does mean our site may or may not acquire cookies, using them for our ads to better serve you content you may find of interest. We, however, do not obtain nor do we keep cookies ourselves for any purposes what-so-ever.
As with most publishers, we here at B.A.T.G.R. are presented with an opportunity to do contests and giveaways to our reader base through our website or our social media outlets (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and or Google+). We will, as with many places, post rules for each of our contests, which will be binding our contests who decide to participate within these giveaways. The giveaways of the products we do giveaway are not, and should never be considered as a place for endorsements of the companies who are involved with these products.
Some of our giveaways may be out of the sheer kindness of our own writers who believe that our viewers deserve a chance to win a unique prize we see fit to them. Please note that any personal information given to us will be held at our discretion, but will never be given away to third-party affiliates (i.e. companies we work with or PR firms), and will never be sold for any form of profits.
Like many gaming news outlets, we are often given a chance to attend events, speak with companies, or any form of outlet. These appearances that we will make do not constitute as an endorsement for those companies or our own. When attending events, speaking with developers, or requested to see a product, we will look at travel expenses, possible reimbursement for travel expenses, and or arrangements for our writers to take time from their personal life in order to have a professional appearance (we will restrict this based upon outlets that we are not affiliated with or game companies we may or may not cover).
Product Samples for Reviews/Impressions:
It is not unusual for companies to send games or other products (including samples) for our team to review. This will include samples of a game or even a limited playable demo of a title that will assist us in deciding if we will provide a review for a product. We do not accept any samples on any preconditions, such as, that we will be required to agree to a review simply because the item, code, or game was sent to us. This means we will obtain the right to refuse the review if forced upon us.
Our team does hold the right to request to be on a review list for a title if we see the opportunity is fit and we have time to do so. We may also be provided with samples before a game or item is readily available for the public, which in this case, we do and or may agree with the embargo date that is in place by the company and or its PR firm. This means we will not publish our reviews or speak of them or the associated news that accompanies them until a given time presented to us.
As a team who does not earn a source income from our website or what we do, it is not uncommon that we will purchase a game in order to review. In this case, a team member will be allowed to purchase a product for themselves (trust us, our team goes through a lot of games) and review them at our own expense and present the developer, publisher, and or PR team with a link and disclosure that the game was purchased at our own accord.
OpenCritic Consideration for 2019
In 2019 we have opted to enhance our user experience as well as our ability to reach more viewers and assist in giving critical feedback about some of today’s sleeper hits and heavy hitters. To do this, we have opted to apply for OpenCritic, a website that works as an aggregated scoring system through the use of multiple websites and their review score data.