The question is, in my opinion, should bloggers receive the same benefits as press sites do when it comes to game betas. This might not be what you boil the question down to, but I don’t really factor that into my equation. So here’s what I think:
I think that some bloggers have power. Power to influence a mass amount of people, these people usually represent the game’s demographic. How does this blogger get so many followers? Because they writes about stupid shit that happens in games and people can relate to it. Many people, I would assume, feel as though the blogger is conveying the readers’ thoughts. They are connected to the blogger via opinion, and in the readers’ mind that means they’re almost the same person.
That being said, what about the press sites? Well, in my experience with these sites, they suck. I like the ones who receive early game information (weapons, armor, quests, etc) because they are useful to me. Sure, sometimes they’ll have an article worth reading about a game I’m considering, but I don’t share the same connection with them as I do with a blogger. Mainly because the blogger usually writes more frequently, and isn’t worried about offending anyone (most of the time).
Basically in my mind what it comes down to is that Press Sites have more to gain from such benefits than bloggers do. Sure, most bloggers probably don’t have nearly as many viewers as these Press Sites, but I think the ones that do should also receive these benefits. Mainly because there are a lot of people (like myself) who don’t want the candy coated scoop, we want a big pile of shit that’s as raw as it is smelly. If our favorite bloggers had the inside scoop on a game we were interested in then there’s a chance that blogger just got said game 500 new pre-orders (possibly exaggerated).
I do not think newb bloggers such as myself should be given said benefits.
The only thing this could do is help the gaming community. If the blogger was to give the game an iffy/wouldn’t recommend to my readers type of post, then the company would be able to read it and realize what they did wrong. I doubt a single blogger could derail an entire game, or even put a nice sized dent in their subscription base, but their errors will be out there for others to see.
I’d like to see blogrings. If they don’t exist yet then someone with some pull should fucking make it happen. I know I visit my fair share of mmo gamer blogs but I’m positive that there are gems out there I’m just waiting to read. Have them easy to join and ranked on popularity. If there are banner ads then pay for the hosting and if theres any leftovers split it according to hits.
Moral of the story:
1) Give the good bloggers with larger fan bases access to betas. It’s still press for the company no matter what.
2) Press site reviews are BS, especially when they have the game reviewed as an ad at the top of the screen.
3) Blogrings need to be formed as a way to centralize our efforts for free speech against the bullshit encountered in games today, as well as the good shit. Also the entertaining shit, actually mainly the entertaining shit.
That is all have a wonderful day.