As much as you might cherish pummeling IGN-created Virtua Fighter 5 character 'Ryuutoushi,' the unprecedented pairing of press and publisher warrants investigation. A Sega-sponsored contest in which an IGN reader is selected to design a game character would be one thing, but IGN editors contributing content for Virtua Fighter 5?
Digging deeper, we discover that 1UP's James Mielke has also created a VF5 character, writing on his 1UP page, "I'm pretty sure I can die happy now, knowing that no matter how many additions there are to the series, that I am part ... of Virtua Fighter history." As it turns out, Mielke and presumably IGN, along with other members of the gaming press, won their right to design for VF5 by placing high enough in an "editor's tournament" hosted by Sega last year.
Sure, it hurts deeply that Sega neglected to invite us; knowing that Kietzmann would have mopped the floor with Mielke and his editor ilk. Of course, Sega would have rejected his poorly disguised efforts to bring back Hornet (from Fighters Megamix), but still...
In all seriousness, should we be concerned that critics have contributed, however casually, to Virtua Fighter 5? Can we really trust the opinions of those who have been charmed by thoughts of immortality within the game? There is certain danger in crossing this line.
Note: the press-created characters are not playable, but will appear as opponents in various modes throughout the game.
[Via PS3 Fanboy]