Game Revolution

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Game Revolution
Game Revolution (logo).png
Web address
Commercial Yes
Type of site
Video games
Owner CraveOnline Media, LLC
Created by Duke Ferris
Launched April 1996; 20 years ago (1996-04)
Alexa rank
Negative increase 24,201 (April 2014)[1]
Current status Active

Game Revolution (formerly Game-Revolution) or GR is a gaming website created in 1996. Based in Berkeley, California, the site includes reviews, previews, a gaming download area, cheats, and a merchandise store, as well as webcomics, screenshots, and videos. Their features pages include articles satirizing Jack Thompson, , the hype surrounding the next-generation consoles, and the Video game controversy. Cameo writing appearances include Brian Clevinger of 8-Bit Theatre and Scott Ramsoomair of VG Cats. The website has also participated in marketing campaigns for video games, including Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows.[2] To date, it is one of the oldest remaining video game review and news site on the internet.

Company history[edit]

Net Revolution, Inc., a California corporation was founded in April, 1996 by Duke Ferris as a holding company and as publisher of the Game Revolution website. Ferris served as president of the company until it was acquired in 2005 stock purchase by Bolt Media, Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1996, GameRevolution claims hundreds of thousands of daily visitors to its site.[3]


The staff of Game Revolution are annual judges at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Duke Ferris is a returning Judge for the 2010 show. Perhaps the most influential year for Game Revolution at E3 was in 2000, where they invited Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade to attend.[4] They also bestowed Black & White (video game) the Best of E3 award.[5]

Purchase By CraveOnline[edit]

[6][7] Following the bankruptcy of Bolt Media, Inc., continuing to be frequented by hundreds of thousands of visitors, GameRevolution was purchased from the assignment for the benefit of creditors by the men's entertainment site CraveOnline (a division of Atomic Online),[8] for another undisclosed sum. It has since been integrated as part of the CraveOnline community while continuing to stand alone as a popular site. The purchase was announced February 25, 2008.


GameRevolution's popularity stems from the varied and voluminous content on the site. Such content includes: Reviews, Previews, Screenshots, Videos, Cheats, FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions), Downloads, Release Lists, Features, Goodies, Comics, The GR Mailbag, Daily Manifesto, Podcast, Community, Chat, Forums, and Member Produced Content.


One of the site's most acclaimed attributes is their style of reviews, often harshly criticizing the game and developers of the game itself with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. From 1996 until 2012, Game Revolution, through their roughly two-page reviews, came to a summary in the American A-F Grading system.[9] Game Revolution claimed rightly that they had never given an "A+", and their "A" would be awarded to very few, very select games. Such games included Metroid Prime, Ōkami,[10] Grand Theft Auto III, and Halo: Combat Evolved.[11] On the opposite side of the spectrum, when faced with games they considered to be terrible, the site's reviewers would often choose to make the actual reading of the review humorous. For example, when reviewing Survivor: The Interactive Game, multiple drop-down boxes that serve no logical purpose were added to poke fun at the game. One problem with the grading system was that it caused problems when meta review sites had to convert the score to a numerical value that didn't quite reflect the grade that GR gave it.

Member reviews[edit]

Recently, members had been given the ability to write their own reviews on the website, for any game in Game Revolution's database. This caused problems where some user reviews had written reviews about games still in development, but were in GR's database (such as when GR would release a preview, or screen shots of the game). Due to the website's smaller staff, a number of games did not have reviews for them; the member reviews would fill this void.

Some GR members had been creating reviews akin to those of the main GR staff, including a mimic of GR's summary +/- system, and copying GR's somewhat humorous style and paragraphing.

These reviews were a part of the member produced content that has gained affluence since its inclusion.

Five-star rating adaptation[edit]

In January 2012, Game Revolution announced that it would change its letter grading to five-star ratings, with half-star increments (this five-star rating is currently in use today[12]). According to Nicholas Tan:

First and foremost, switching to a five-star scale allows Game Revolution to control how our grades are interpreted. Occasionally, our letter grades are taken out of context and must be explained, to our detriment, and yes, I'm intentionally keeping the whos and the whats vague. Suffice it to say, the letter-grade system prevents us from, among other things, receiving titles and ensuring that our voice is not misunderstood nor misused.
Letter grades, bluntly, don't come off as a professional system and correlates to, well, school. I mean, the last time I took letter grades seriously was in college and the last thing I want to think about when I play a video game is my GPA (unless we're talking about Dance Dance Revolution). Still, the five-star scale is more recognized not only internationally, but also as a critical scale, as it is used in review for other widely accepted artforms like music, food, movies, and literature. It's about time video games be included in that circle.
And really, we're still going to be as critical as we were before. An A = 5 stars, A- = 4.5 stars, B+ = 4 stars, and so on until an F = 0 stars. The D and D- must share the half-star grade, but apart from that, the letter grades and the star grades have a one-to-one correspondence. In other words, the change is essentially cosmetic.[13]


Before a game is released, developers will commonly release information about their title. This information is compiled together into a look at upcoming titles written by members of staff. These previews are an informative look into such aspects apparent in the unfinished game such as the style of gameplay, story, and graphics. Also included is information about the developer.

Recently Game Revolution featured a preview of Reset Generation for the N-Gage 2.0. The cross-platform action-puzzle video game impressed the staff with its many cultural references, and in turn the preview was highlighted on the N-Gage Blog.[14]


The screenshots section is an easy to navigate look at images released for many upcoming titles. There are commonly numerous images of characters and unique gameplay aspects.


The videos in this section of the site are similar to the screenshots in that the videos are also released by the developer for the purpose of publicity. Videos commonly include trailers, clips of gameplay, and insight into all concepts that can be viewed and heard that the developers desire to show.


The cheats section has many applicable cheats for current and past video games as well as walkthroughs, or step by step solutions of games. Many are user created and list different methods to cheat in a game, examples being unlocking items, or enabling the popular God mode which makes the player invulnerable to losing.


The FAQs section consists of a number of Frequently Asked Questions and answers about popular titles. These are commonly user created and help answer questions about gameplay or other aspects of the titles.


The downloads section has a number of demos, addons, patches, and even free games that can be downloaded through the site, or commonly through mirrors, onto a computer.

Release lists[edit]

The release lists is, simply, a list of release dates for upcoming games on varying consoles and the PC.


The Goodies section is a compilation of various media about games. There are videos, whether in cartoon or live action form, that discuss games or on the topic of games that can be viewed inside of GameRevolution. There are also a number of games that can similarly be played in site.

Web comics[edit]

The website brings together and links various online comics of varying popularity that are commonly related to video games. The particular comics presented have fluxed and changed over the years, such as the removal of Penny Arcade years ago and the inclusion of ActionTrip through the CraveOnline purchase. As of January 2014, Game Revolution has begun producing its own web comic called GR Strips, weekly comic strips which pokes fun at the video game industry. GR Strips is a collaborative effort between the staff of Game Revolution, as well as Australian artist Craig Brown and his brother Morgan, writing and editing many of the comics.

GR Mailbag[edit]

Game Revolution also has a GR Mailbag (previously "Moron Mailbag"), a way of showing their personal responses to the numerous hate-mail they receive. However, the mailbag is not limited to hate-mail, and has included junk and complementary mail as well.[15] Almost every response Game Revolution posts is intended to be humorous in nature, usually poking fun at the sender or the e-mail's contents. The Mailbag is updated the least out of the site's content, which is often pointed out by the creators as a running gag.

Daily Manifesto[edit]

The Manifesto is a section updated daily with personal and gaming news and interests of the GameRevolution staff. It commonly has links to popular gaming news or entertainment videos.

Haiku Friday[edit]

A weekly feature of the Daily Manifesto occurring most every Friday, where users post Haiku in the comments related to that day's Manifesto. Winners are chosen the following Monday, and win prizes such as games, T-shirts and other merchandise. On some occasions the staff has also given out beta keys to upcoming games.


Recently, GR added a podcast to its already extensive range of personal input from the staff. The GR podcast mostly pertains to video games, but also contains humorous commentary on world politics and news. The podcast is usually updated Friday evenings both on the website, and off iTunes.


The feature section commonly includes articles about important gaming events as the Nintendo Summit [16] and other developers' personal and public congregations and displays. For a number of years it has also contained the GR Awards for Best,[17] and Worst,[18] of a year in gaming, as well as having buying guides for the Holiday Season.[19] There are also a number of bizarre and unique articles describing phenomena in the gaming community, or simply, interesting news for gamers.

Jack Thompson controversy[edit]

Sometime in August 2005, Jack Thompson contacted the Lou Kerner of Game Revolution and requested he remove an ´offensive´ AIM buddy icon from an affiliate site of Game Revolution known as Kerner complied and had the offending icon removed immediately. However, Thompson saw the removal as an admission of guilt and contacted the NYPD to have Kerner arrested. However, no such action was taken. Duke Ferris, another employee of the site, wrote an article [20] on the matter and humorously pointed out the ridiculousness of the entire situation. To drive home this point, he even chose to present a primitively drawn image which had Thompson being devoured by a crocodile, and then challenged Thompson to go ahead and have him arrested. It is unknown if Thompson responded to the article.

Article regarding video game violence and youth violence[edit]

Perhaps Game Revolution's most revered article (as evidenced by its consistent referral by various video game websites[21][22][23]) was Duke Ferris's composition regarding the current public controversy with video games and its connection with violent youth. Ferris openly criticized the matter, and offered several bits of data to prove that there is no discernible connection between two. In fact, he points out that this year's youth has been the least violent in several years, yet political figures and the media have made it a point to make the issue seem the exact opposite. As with the style of the site the article can be considered humorous in nature. The original article can be found here.[24]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ " - Movies , TV Shows and Video Games including Harry Potter". Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  3. ^ " Traffic and Demographic Statistics by Quantcast". 2013-10-24. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  4. ^ [1] Archived October 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ [2] Archived July 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Archived from the original on August 29, 2008. Retrieved June 19, 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "CraveOnline Acquires GameRevolution". Reuters. 2008-02-25. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  8. ^ [3] Archived February 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Mr. Media Coverage (November 9, 2006). "The Perfect Score". GameDaily. Archived from the original on March 8, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Okami for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. October 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Halo: Combat Evolved for Xbox (2001) MobyRank". MobyGames. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Grade System". Game Revolution. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  13. ^ Tan, Nicholas (January 4, 2012). "On Switching From Letter Grades to Five Stars". Game Revolution. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  14. ^ " - n-gage Resources and Information. This website is for sale!". Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  15. ^ "GR Mailbag". Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  16. ^ "Nintendo Summit 2008". Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  17. ^ "GR's Best of 2007 Awards". Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  18. ^ "Worst of 2007 Awards". Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  19. ^ "Holiday Gift Guide '07". Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  20. ^ "You Don't Wanna Know Jack". 2005-08-10. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  21. ^ Kotaku staff (2005). "Do You Want to Know the Truth About Violence?". Kotaku. Retrieved September 16, 2007. 
  22. ^ GP Staff (2005). "Good Reading.... Check 'em Out". Game Politics. Retrieved September 16, 2007. [dead link]
  23. ^ "Website review: CAUTION: Children at Play - The Truth Abo...". StumbleUpon. 2005. Retrieved September 16, 2007. 
  24. ^ "CAUTION: Children at Play - The Truth About Violent Youth and Video Games". Retrieved 2012-06-30. 

External links[edit]