Update: Gamespot's Tor Thorsen weighs in with his personal commentary on writing the story: "I know many of you out there are going to see this as the latest in a series of attempts at damage control. Guess what? You're right. It is damage control, because--let's face it--GameSpot has taken a beating over the past week. However, just because it's damage control doesn't mean we're being disingenuous or misleading."
After nearly a week of non-stoprumor, speculationanddiscussion fueled by insufficientcomment from all parties involved, GameSpot has finally opened up and answered many outstanding questions surrounding the Gerstmann firing controversy. Tor Thorsen's recently posted On the Spot Q&A contains official comment on numerous matters that GameSpot was unwilling or unable to address before. Among the important new information revealed in the piece:
Gerstmann's firing followed " an internal review process" by management.
Eidos did express displeasure with Gerstmann's Kane & Lynch review, though GameSpot is adamant that this displeasure did not cause the review to be edited, the video review to be pulled, or Gerstmann himself to be fired.
On why the text review was edited: "The copy was adjusted several days following its publication so that it better meshed with its score, which remained unchanged." (Is this fair? Read the edits and judge for yourself).
The Kane & Lynch video review was taken down because the "audio was deemed inferior due to a faulty microphone. There were also concerns about the limited amount of footage that was unrepresentative of the game in the review." It was not put back up immediately because the busy holiday release schedule left "insufficient resources to reshoot and re-edit the video review." The version that was reposted recently is identical to the original and was put up "in the spirit of full disclosure."
Eidos' Kane & Lynch ad buy was made weeks before the firing decision or the review were made. The prominent front page "skinning" of the site was automatically removed at midnight on Nov. 29, when the ad buy was previously scheduled to run out.
Tim Tracy's departure was "completely unrelated."
The company is coming up with this information now because of the "widespread misinformation that has spread following Jeff's departure."
While the full Q&A still won't directly address the specific reasons for Gerstmann's departure (citing "accordance with California State Law"), it does sufficiently explain almost all the outstanding issues surrounding the matter and should do a lot to quiet this controversy. Whether or not it actually will depends largely on whether readers can accept these explanations after six days of effective "no comments" left the rumor mill to grind out of control.