I have seen an industry that was laughable yet concise in the 90's and early 2000's turn into a pit of disinformation, a producer of chilling effects on things they deem fit. These sites have turned into welfare for the talentless and corrupt.
The very existence of sites such as this corrupt and distort the art and entertainment of gaming as a whole while exploiting social issues and manufactured outrage for profit.
I have a strong feeling that these people are paid under the table to give biased ratings.
1. "Under-the-table" pay is illegal for a corporation and constitutes violation of tax laws.
2a. Promoting a video game through "reviews" without disclosing it to the consumer is a violation of consumer protection laws.
2b. This has been demonstrated in the Xbox "XB1M13" fiasco.
If my suspicions of at least one of the activities can be proven true, it is in direct contravention of U.S. law AND consumer protection laws.
The publishers involved should be penalized double, imo, particularly if they can be proven to be blackmailing with review copies and/or similar anti-competitive tactics.
IGN is probably not the only review site being manipulated this way. "In theory", of course.