CNET Denies 'External Pressure' Caused Gerstmann Termination

Update: Over on the blog, we have some interesting comments left on Silicon Valley gossip rag Valleywag claiming to be from a GameSpot editor. We have reason to believe they're legit, but since we can't definitively confirm it we're keeping it relegated to that part of the site.

Original story (Nov 30, 2007 5:14pm CST): GameSpot owner CNET has addressed allegations that GameSpot executive editor Jeff Gerstmann was fired due to his negative review of IO Interactive's Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (PC, PS3, X360), which is published by CNET advertising partner Eidos.

"We do not terminate employees based on external pressure from advertisers," CNET spokesperson Sarah Cain told Joystiq, though she refused to specify if Eidos had attempted any such pressure.

Though Gerstmann was far from the only one to paint a critically negative picture of IO Interactive's latest--for example, check out our own review of the game--many believe Eidos was upset with his take given that it had heavily advertised Kane & Lynch on GameSpot, to the point where the page could be understandably mistaken for the official Kane & Lynch site.

Said ads were removed from the site shortly after the story broke, as was Gerstmann's particularly harsh video review of the game. When asked why the video review was taken down, Cain noted that the text review now includes a note reading, "this review has been updated to include differences between the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions and a clarification on the game's multiplayer mode."

Cain refused to elaborate as to why the video review could not be edited in a similar manner.

The latest round of rumors suggest that Gerstmann's termination may be a result of multiple incidents in this vein, and was not caused by one sole act.