No Press Events
No one at Vortainment will attend press events on a publisher’s dime. We will not accept invitations to be flown out for press events or for “hands-on” time with games.
This ban also means no one at Vortainment will ever attend a review event (this is where publishers fly reviewers out and the game is played in a controlled environment).
Vortainment does not accept gifts of any value. Publishers, if you send these, we’re likely to send it back to you. Of course if we do receive any gifts, we’ll inform our readers and let them know what course of action was taken; either gifts returned, donated, or simply trashed.
We do accept review copies of video games, DVD/Blu-ray, and books. If we receive a product for review we’ll always disclose that the product was provided by the publisher.
No, we don’t consider review copies to be gifts; we consider them necessary for the site, since if we had to buy every game there wouldn’t be many reviews posted.
Vortainment is not now, nor will we ever be, included in Metacritic or any other review aggregator. Metacritic is bad for the developers, bad for the consumers, and bad for the reviewers. We don’t want to be a part of that crowd.
As a result, we no longer use the games media standard of a 10, 20, or 100 point scale that only operates on one end of the spectrum. We use a full five star scale without half stars. We go from 0, the worst of the worst, all the way to 5, the best of the best. You can read all about our review scale here.
Review copies have no influence on the amount of stars a game receives. We aren’t concerned with pleasing the PR reps or the publisher’s in general. All review copies sent to us are done so under the agreement that we’ll provide an honest review of the game. Our number one priority is to inform our readers on our honest opinion of a game, publishers don’t matter to us.
This is pretty simple. We’re proudly hosted on WordPress.com and this means we aren’t concerned with advertisements. This is a hobby site ran by volunteers, not a job. You won’t find annoying and intrusive ads on our site.
As part of the WordAds program, ALL ads are handled by WordPress and their partners. We have no say over any of it. We also, on occasion, link to products we talk about on Amazon as we are part of their Associate program. Affiliate links are always disclosed.
In the interest of complete disclosure, we make roughly $1 for every 1,000 people who see an ad. Most of our visitors are using ad-blockers, so we’re making practically nothing from these ads. That’s okay, we use ad-blockers too.
Since we can’t sell advertising, we aren’t reliant on gaming publishers to keep the site running. Those of you who can see ads on the site, enjoy your Cheerios commercials and random lists about what celebrities are doing.
UPDATE (April 27, 2013): There have been some gaming ads on the site recently (most notably an ad for Metro: Last Light). We don’t have any say over the ads, so these ads are coming from WordPress (well whoever they use) and we can’t control what types of ads are displayed. So if you see a gaming ad on the site, know that it isn’t there because we’re getting paid by the publisher to put it there.
UPDATE #2 (November 5, 2013): We have removed our ban on giveaways, but will be much more selective about them in the future. Don’t expect many, but we do allow them now.