Indie developer Sean Lindskog pens an interesting editorial (a repost of a blog entry he wrote) on how reviewers like TotalBiscuit now understand the fear that game developers feel when they are at the mercy of someone else. Lindskog, who developed the indie space-themed action game Salvation Prophecy compares his feelings towards a negative review on GameSpot with the DMCA take-down request filed by developer Wild Games Studios against YouTube personality TotalBiscuit.
Lindskog's point is that a negative review from a big YouTube personality can make or break a game. Commenters like our own regular contributor E. Zachary Knight strongly disagree, pointing out that using the DMCA to kill a video can have a devastating effect even on a popular channel and that Google and YouTube have no choice but to follow through with these complaints – even if they are untrue – under the law.
He also notes that developers have plenty of options to survive a negative review like pointing users to more favorable reviews, patching out gameplay issues, or simply becoming a better game developer through education.
You can read the whole blog post on Gamasutra. Lindskog deserves credit for writing a blog post that clearly flies in the face of popular opinion about the whole TotalBiscuit situation and it should be noted that reviewers can be cruel when it comes to certain games. It also should be acknowledged that a negative review from a popular source does have the potential to impact early sales of a game.