gamesTM is a popular games magazine from the UK. Along with Edge, I find it to be of generally higher quality than its counterparts here in the United States. Reading through issue 66 this morning, I was surprised to see this comment on the top of page 18:
Following the publication of the review of Assassin’s Creed in issue 64, gamesTM would like to offer our sincere apologies to the game’s producer, Jade Raymond, for any offence caused by any references to her in the article. The review was written without malice and was not intended to in any way belittle Miss Raymond’s efforts in the production of the game.
Curious. I went back to check the review in issue 64. Here is an excerpt:
Arriving on the back of two years worth of hype, Assassin’s Creed has a lot to live up to. Promises of complete freedom, entirely emergent gameplay, and a huge, endlessly explorable world have been touted for months, with producer/mascot Jade Raymond wheeled out at every possible photo opportunity.
Looking back on the article now, I’m surprised I didn’t notice the comment before. It’s highly insulting to refer to Jade Raymond as a mascot and to insinuate that she was “wheeled out” for photo ops. Doing so discredits her professionalism and abilities as a producer of a highly successful new franchise.
Jade is certainly an attractive woman. And she has served as the spokesperson for Assassin’s Creed on numerous occasions. Whether you want to attribute that to a public relations scheme is up to you and your tin foil hat. I suppose it’s possible. But isn’t it more likely that Raymond is simply good at her job?
Furthermore, Jade Raymond should not even be mentioned in an objective review of Assassin’s Creed unless it is simply to identify her as the game’s producer. The quality of the finished product has absolutely nothing to do with how many times its producer has appeared in public. I’ll admit that my experience with Assassin’s Creed is limited to the introductory tutorial, so the rest of the gamesTM review may be entirely correct. It is ironic, however, that their apology appears in the same issue as their discussion of Jeff Gerstmann’s firing from GameSpot. Perhaps CNet is not the only company dealing with integrity issues.