From what little experience I’ve had as a “gaming journalist” (as in, I was attached to a gaming news site as a provider of news to our audience and went on “press trips” and to “press events”), gaming journalism is so crippled it cannot be called journalism anymore. And it’s not only the journalists fault, but also the industry itself.
As a European, I cannot speak for others, but every press event I went to was hosted by PR people. It was populated by PR people. Every Q&A was with PR people. And what do PR people do at these event? They fill you with the same corporate bullshit every press-release they sent out before the press-event and they do not provide you with actual new information. Every question a journalist asks that is not already answered by the gazillion press-releases they sent out since the game was announced, is answered with “no comment”, “you’d have to ask the development team that (followed by, no, you cannot talk to the developers, they are busy” and “I’ll have to get back to you via e-mail (which they never do, and when you try to follow up on them, your editor-in-chief gets an email asking to stop harassing their PR people)”.
The only thing these press events are good for are some early hands on (a whopping 5 minutes if you’re lucky) and asking questions already answered so you sound like an arse, but noone really calls you out on that because of the third reason; it’s one big circle-jerk, celebrating how we all got together and saw early footage of the game everyone is eager to see.
So anyone in the gaming “journalism” putting themselved above their audience is an idiot. You have to play absolute crap-games for reviews (while you have a perfectly enjoyable of even top-ranking game begging to be played on your shelf), you work shitty hours, impossible deadlines, keeping up with everything about anything and in return you get maybe a handful of games early that you actually enjoy (but you can’t enjoy them at your own pace, because deadlines are lurking) and you get 5 minutes of early hands-on at dreadful events filled with morons who either can’t or won’t read press-releases and ask retarded questions like “will this game revolutionize multiplayer?” (yes of course it will, PR people are not going to tell you “no, multiplayer was an afterthought, so we just tacked on some netcode and here’s hoping for the best”.
I know for some getting early access to anything is like the Ark of the Covenant, the pinnacle of their existence, I even know of a few people who walk around these events with full fledged wood, that’s how exited they are.
But truth is, it’s really not. So while guys like Arthur and Ben are douches, they’re just part of a circle designed around the very principle that getting early access and “inside info” is the highest attainable goal. Both the gaming-industry and the “journalism”-sites surrounding it have no desire nor need to change the status quo. The industry is content with feeding non-information to the news-sites and those news-sites are content with not having actual news as long as they get their e-penis wanked by the industry.