RPG Site Ethics Statement
RPG Site began life as a destination entirely developed by fans. We have a vested interest and long-term commitment to providing the best possible content to our readers - primarily because they represent the place where every single one of RPG Site's staff came from.
In line with that, we take holding ourselves and our coverage to a high standard very seriously. Building the relationships that allow us to bring great, quality content to the site is important to us, but even more important is ensuring we retain our integrity and a strong editorial code of ethics while doing that.
To be plain, the matter of what is and is not acceptable is in the eyes of the RPG Site team fluid and often dependent on the situation. We believe firmly in the ability of our writers to make a call on what is or isn't appropriate, and further still in the site's Editors to make calls above and beyond that if necessary.
With that noted, here are some overarching notes on how we operate, for transparency:
On Reviews, Events & Travel
RPG Site is a niche publication with a limited budget. Trips to visit a developer that incur the cost of flights and hotels are by and large out of our budgetary reach, for instance. If a publisher offers to pay for such a trip, we will weigh the value of the coverage such an event will generate for our readers against what we would be accepting and make a decision based on that. If we choose to accept, we will be up front with readers, indicating the trip was funded externally and by who in all content generated from it and any future review coverage for that title.
We will always make these calls on a case-by-case basis, and have in the past turned down many offers when we have felt the value provided is not good enough. When we accept travel or accommodation, we disclose it. Non-essential elements of a trip, such as gifts, will always be rejected. Staff reserve the right to accept food & drink laid on at events if there is no other option easily available, as is often the case.
As a general rule we do not attend review events where reviewing a game takes place under unnatural circumstances or under the gaze of a Public Relations or Marketing representative of a publisher. Our reviews are always conducted in as close to 'natural' circumstances as possible - similar to how our readers will experience the game on launch. If we attend events as above described for a game, the end result will only ever be a preview or feature, and will never have a score attached.
On Things We Receive for Free
While readers should take it as a given that RPG Site receives the games it features from publishers free of charge, we still are careful to disclose that fact. Any game received from the publisher will have that fact noted at the end of any coverage generated from the copy received.
We do not accept any items that don't directly help us to do our job. Any items sent to us unsolicited beyond that will be given away to charity or via competitions. We also do not permit staff to sell or trade sample products received. These things can be given away but must not ever be used for profit of any kind.
On Rumours, Sources & Corrections
Stories on RPG Site will be reported as impartially as possible but also no doubt with the eye of the writer behind it as a subtle influence. Our primary goal is to be consistently reliable and fair while remaining as objective as possible in how we present news.
We do not pay sources, and we do not publish rumour without first attempting to verify it. If a source wishes to remain anonymous, we respect that. We are very careful about what we post. We accept that even then we can get it wrong, and when we do, we will correct any story either with an all-new one or by adjusting the original story while keeping its original context intact - posts will be amended, but never removed.
On Objectivity & Reviews
All reviews on RPG Site should be treated as subjective, as outlined in the Review Guide on our FAQ page. They are the opinion of an individual member of staff, and while proof-read and sub-edited by other members of the RPG Site editorial team for quality, balance and fairness, any review will always represent the opinion of an individual after substantial time with the game in question.
We encourage second opinions from other staff, and encourage respectful discussion of points of a review readers disagree with in the comments. Our reviews should never be treated as objective, however. The same can be said for any other opinion pieces.
While we strive for impartial objectivity in our news reporting, we are also proud to draw a line under that and embrace subjectivity in other content. In the case of reviews, previews and other opinion-driven content, we do not believe fair and subjective are mutually exclusive.
RPG Site's Advertising is mostly handled by third party companies that editorial staff have no contact with. Even when handled internally, the two worlds are kept entirely separate: Our advertising will never impact our editorial, as we would consider this a wholesale betrayal of our readers.
If a game is advertised on RPG Site through direct sales as opposed to through a third party, that fact will be noted on all content for that game not only for the duration of the advertising campaign, but in perpetuity.
RPG Site also features affiliate marketing links, meaning commission may be paid to the site based on clicks that lead to sales. We have made a decision to not take Affiliate Commission funds as profit. Instead, Affiliate Marketing proceeds are only ever used as funding towards equipment and product for the site and its staff (such as import copies of titles for review, video equipment, travel & other expenses) and never taken as profit.
The site does not publish advertorials and never takes payment from publishers or other companies for content.
On Relationships & Conflict
Due to its genre-specific focus, RPG Site naturally has a closer relationship with some companies we deal with more regularly than others. This also leads to cordial relationships with employees of those companies. We consider these relationships vital to building the success of the site. However, these are professional relationships. If they ever go beyond that, it will be disclosed within content.
Staff are permitted to back Kickstarter Projects and Patreon Pages - however, if any coverage they produce is related to one of these games or individuals, it must be noted and disclosed to readers in all instances.
Last amended: December 28th, 2015