A news story on consumer website GameSpot has officially announced the departure of the site’s editorial director Jeff Gerstmann but provided few reasons for his exit, following days of intense Internet rumors concerning the manner of his leaving.
Gerstmann had been employed at GameSpot for over a decade. At the end of last week, rumors began to emerge, initially from website Penny Arcade
, that he had been terminated from his position following complaints from Eidos Interactive over his review of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
– which was being prominently advertised on the website.
With no communications from either Gerstmann or GameSpot to confirm or deny the story, internet speculation ran wild over the weekend, with the website only formally announcing the departure
late last night.
Citing legal constraints and the company policy of parent CNET Networks, the news story claims that details of Gerstmann’s exit cannot be disclosed publicly. Gerstmann has indicated similar legal restraints in comments over the weekend. However, GameSpot has denied that the departure was the result of pressure from an advertiser.
"Neither CNET Networks nor GameSpot has ever allowed its advertising business to affect its editorial content," said Greg Brannan, CNET Networks Entertainment's vice president of programming. "The accusations in the media that it has done so are unsubstantiated and untrue. Jeff's departure stemmed from internal reasons unrelated to any buyer of advertising on GameSpot."
"Though he will be missed by his colleagues, Jeff's leaving does not affect GameSpot's core mission of delivering the most timely news, video content, in-depth previews, and unbiased reviews in games journalism," said Ryan MacDonald, executive producer of GameSpot Live. "GameSpot is an institution, and its code of ethics and duty to its users remains unchanged."