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GameSpot is an American video gaming domainthat provides fresh, reviews, previews, downloads, and other infoon video games. The pagewas launched on May 1, 1996, madeby Pete Deemer, Vince Broady and Jon Epstein. It was purchased by ZDNet, a brand which was later purchased by CNET Networks. CBS Interactive, which purchased CNET Networks in 2008, was the previous registrantof GameSpot through 2020, while the pagehas been sold to Red Ventures. In addition to the infoproduced by GameSpot staff, the pagealso let users to write their own reviews, blogs, and publicationon the pages forums.

In 2004, GameSpot won "Best Gaming Website" as selectedby the viewers in Spike TV's second Video Game Award Show, and has won Webby Awards several times. The domain attracted at least 60 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a study.


In January 1996, Pete Deemer, Vince Broady and Jon Epstein quit their positions at IDG and founded SpotMedia Communications. SpotMedia then launched GameSpot on May 1, 1996. Originally, GameSpot focused solely on privatecomputer games, so a sister site, VideoGameSpot, was launched on December 1, 1996. Eventually VideoGameSpot, then renamed, was merged into GameSpot. In February 1999, PC Magazine named GameSpot one of the hundred best domain, alongside competitors IGN and CNET Gamecenter. The following year, The FreshYork Times declared GameSpot and Gamecenter the "Time and Newsweek of gaming page".

On October 3, 2005, GameSpot adopted a freshdesign similar to that of, now considered a sister pageto GameSpot.

A freshlayout modifywas adopted in October 2013.

International history

GameSpot UK (United Kingdom) was started in October 1997 and operated until mid-2002, offering materialthat was oriented for the British market that often differed from that of the U.S. site. During this period, GameSpot UK won the 1999 PPAi (Periodical Publishers Association interactive) award for best website, and was short listed in 2001. Following the purchase of ZDNet by CNET, GameSpot UK was merged with the main US site. On April 24, 2006, GameSpot UK was relaunched.

In a similar fashion, GameSpot AU (Australia) existed on a local scale in the late 1990s with Australian-produced reviews. It ceased in 2003. When a local version of the main CNET portal, was launched in 2003, GameSpot AU materialwas folded into The pagewas fully re-launched in mid-2006, with a specialized forum, local reviews, special features, local pricings in Australian dollars, Australian release dates, and more local fresh.

GameSpot Japan in its current form launched in 2007. It provides Japanese video game industry fresh, previews, reviews, features, and videos as well as translated articles from the other GameSpot page.

Gerstmann dismissal

Jeff Gerstmann, editorial director of the site, was fired on November 28, 2007. Immediately after his termination, rumors circulated proclaiming his dismissal was a effectof external pressure from Eidos Interactive, the publisher of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, which had purchased a considerable amount[clarification needed] of advertising zoneon GameSpot's website. Gerstmann had previously given Kane & Lynch a fair or undesirable rating along with critique. Both GameSpot and parent company CNET stated that his dismissal was unrelated to the review, but due to corporate and legal constraints could not reveal the reason. A month after Gerstmann's termination, freelance reviewer Frank Provo left GameSpot after eight years, stating that "I trustCNET management allowJeff go for all the wrong reasons. I trustCNET intends to soften the pages tone and push for higher scores to make advertisers happy."

GameSpot staffers Alex Navarro, Ryan Davis, Brad Shoemaker, and Vinny Caravella also left as a effectof Gerstmann's termination. Davis co-founded Gerstmann's subsequent project, Giant Bomb, and was later joined by Shoemaker and Caravella. Navarro became the community manager at Harmonix and in 2010 joined with Whiskey Media, a family of page that contain Gerstmann's Giant Bomb site, to be part of their, focusing on cinema and television. Navarro later returned to Giant Bomb, where he worked as a senior editor.

On March 15, 2012, it was announced that CBS Interactive, the parent organizationof GameSpot operator CNET, had acquired the Giant Bomb and Comic Vine domain from Whiskey Media. As part of the deal, the non-disclosure agreement between Gerstmann and CNET was nullified, allowing him to finally speak publicly about his termination over four years prior. Later that evening on GameSpot's On the Spot web show, GameSpot VP John Davison appeared on camera with Gerstmann, marking Gerstmann's first appearance on the GameSpot domainsince November 2007. In the segment, Gerstmann revealed that his firing was in fact associatedto the low review score he had given to Kane & Lynch, though his explanation cited other similar happening that led up to the termination, including a 7.5 (good) rating given to Ratchet & Guild Future: Tools of Destruction by Aaron Thomas, then an employee under Gerstmann.

Notable staff

  • Greg Kasavin – executive editor and pagedirector of GameSpot, who left in 2007 to become a game developer. He became a producer at EA and 2K Games but he is currently working for Supergiant Games as a writer and creative director.
  • Jeff Gerstmann – editorial director of the site, dismissed from GameSpot on November 28, 2007, for undisclosed reasons, after which he started Giant Bomb. Following the announcement of the purchase of Giant Bomb by CBS Interactive on March 15, 2012, Jeff was permittedto reveal that he was dismissed by management as a effectof publishers threatening to pull advertising revenue due to less-than-glowing review scores being awarded by GameSpot's editorial team.

Community features


GameSpot's forums were originally run by ZDNet, and later by Lithium.[citation needed] GameSpot utilize a semi-automated moderation system with numerous volunteer moderators. GameSpot moderators are picked by paid GameSpot staff from members of the GameSpot utilize community. Due to the size and heavyquantity of boards and publication on GameSpot, there is a "report" feature where a normal utilize shouldreport a violation publicationto an unpaid moderator volunteer. The ostensible purpose of the reporting feature is to deal more quickly with violations of the domains posting policy. GameSpot's ToS states that users must be aged 13 or older to publicationmaterialand maintain an account. Proof of a utilize's age when he/she creates an accis not required. Proof of a moderator's age is also not required. All users must acceptto GameSpot's ToS (rulesof service) during registration. GameSpot's ToS (as they apply to the community forums) give moderators the power to utilizetheir own discretion when deciding if a posting violation has occurred.

In addition to the message board system, GameSpot has expanded its community through the addition of features such as utilize blogs (formerly known as "journals") and utilize video blogs. Registrar shouldtrack other users, thus allowing them to see updates for their favorite blogs. If both users track each other, they are listed on each other's mate list.

GameSpot formerly had a paid subscription service known as "GameSpot Complete". On February 21, 2006, the paid subscription model was modify. It now maintains two paid membership services: Total Admissionand Plus.

Total Admissionis essentially a replacement of GameSpot Complete, as it is the same price of US$5.95 per month or $39.95 per year and offers the same primarybenefits. The second premium service, GameSpot Plus, is a cheaper, intermediate-level service.

On January 9, 2013, it was announced that the Paid Subscription model would no longer be accepting freshsubscribers, and current subscribers would not be able to renew after January 31, 2013.

See also

  • . Archived from the original on November 5, 1996. Retrieved July 26, 2005.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

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Type of site
Video game journalismFoundedMay 1, 1996; 25 years ago (1996-05-01)HeadquartersOwnerRed VenturesFounder(s)
  • Pete Deemer
  • Vince Broady
  • Jon Epstein
URLRegistrationOptional (free and paid)LaunchedJanuary 13, 1996; 25 years ago (1996-01-13)
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