IGN Reviewer, Rowan Kaiser Low Ball Review Score of Stellaris, History of Bias

Today, IGN as well as many other publications set live their reviews for Stellaris by Paradox Interactive, the only difference is Rowan gave a notably bad score to the game in an other wise sea of good reviews.

(Editorial Note: Stephen Baldwin was named in the article when it should have been Adam Baldwin)

Even IGN’s Italian branch gave the game a 93/100 with other sites such as Destructoid, PCWorld, TheSixthAxis giving the game and 80 to 90 in score. With all the praise the game is getting, Kaiser’s review sticks out like a sore thumb. Normally this would not be an issue, as all reviewers very, but in the case of Kaiser there very well maybe some larger questions here.

In July of last year, Kaiser publicly vented about issues they personally took with Paradox and their endorsement of controversial and noted cancer survivor John Bain, more famously known as Total Biscuit, a long standing game personality, get his start in 2005 when he ran World of Warcraft Radio and has generated an ever gowning presence in the gaming media sphere. Bain in 2013 took hard line stances for consumer advocacy making him popular among those entrenched in the hashtag Gamergate. Here is where the turmoil begins.

Kaiser openly lied and made libelous comments about Bain linking to Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a theory video linking to many major conflicts of interest involving indie developer Zoe Quinn, which was posted months before the hashtag Gamergate was brought to life by actor Adam Baldwin. Bain received a flood of harassment because of the false allegations made by Kaiser, causing noted online personalities such as JonTron, Ian Miles Cheong, Jim Sterling and Minecraft Creator Notch to throw their support behind Bain, who took time away from social media because of abuse leveled at him.

Users of Reddit are not surprised by scoring, user Shippoyasha stated:

Wouldn’t be surprised. Vindictive scoring is becoming commonplace. As horrific as that is for any reviewing scene.

Others where more apprehensive, user ThrowawayTechJourno went on to state shortly after:

Lets see what quality reviewers think of the game first before writing this review off as authored by an aggrieved party with an axe to grind.
(doesn’t make Rowan any less of a dimwit, of course).

The lingering question remains, why would a reviewer, who has an open and well documented bias against Paradox Interactive, be allowed by editorial staff, to review a game by said company?

Michael Jordan


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