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Editorial Ethics and Guidelines

Conduct

We do not generally accept travel or accommodations (e.g., flights, hotel rooms, rental cars) from companies that we cover. In the event that we do, we will disclose the circumstances in any resulting coverage.

Members of our editorial team will not accept gifts (including food and drinks) in excess of $50 in value.

Polygon staffers are permitted to back video game Kickstarter campaigns at the minimum level necessary to acquire the game or hardware in question. No disclosure is needed.

Reviews

We do not score reviews, nor do we discuss review scores or opinions with publishers or developers prior to publication. Polygon awards the Polygon Recommends badge to media that it believes its readers should watch or play. To learn more about the program, read our announcement letter.

Polygon may regularly adjust its assessment of games and hardware over the life of those products. These changes will always be explained and transparent. This is done completely at the discretion of Polygon writers and editors.

Conflicts of interest

Unless specifically disclosed on their profile page, Polygon editorial team members do not cover companies (1) in which they have a financial investment, (2) that have employed them previously, or (3) that employ their spouse, partner, or someone else with whom the staffer has a close relationship. When a Polygon contributor has affiliations of prior employment experience that would represent a material conflict of interest with their reporting, that information will be disclosed in context or footnotes of their coverage.

Polygon staffers are permitted to contribute to Patreon campaigns for members of the video game industry, but they need to disclose the details of those contributions on their profile page as well as in any related coverage they publish on the site.

Sources

It is our policy not to pay sources. On rare occasions, we may contract with a source as a co-creator of content. Anonymous sources must prove their identity to Polygon to be cited in a story. We protect the identity of our sources.

Corrections

Polygon makes every effort for stories to be completely accurate upon publication. We will correct, but not remove, inaccurate stories.

Advertising

We have advertisements on our site, and they are our main source of revenue. Our parent company, Vox Media, has its own advertising team responsible for selling ad space on our site. We do not accept money or other consideration from companies as a condition or incentive to write a review or story, whether favorable or unfavorable, on Polygon. All reviews and other editorial coverage on our site are based on our editorial discretion, not on the desire of any company, advertiser, or PR firm. Advertisers don’t ask us to cover their products, and we don’t comment about their ads. Our policies do not permit placements of advertorial on Polygon. We will endeavor to clearly mark any advertisement or “infomercial” shown on Polygon as an advertisement.

Our website may also contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may be paid a commission on sales of products or services that we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships.

Giveaways

From time to time, Polygon may conduct contests and giveaways on the site for our readers. We will post rules for each contest, which will be binding on individuals who decide to participate. Giveaways of products are not, and should never be considered, endorsements of the companies involved or their products.

Professional appearances

Our editors and writers are often asked to appear in a professional capacity as experts for various television shows, news programs, radio broadcasts, or other media. These appearances do not constitute endorsement of any products, companies, or services discussed. We may accept reimbursement for our travel expenses associated with one of these professional appearances (as long as the media outlet in question is not affiliated with any company that we cover).

Product samples for reviews

Companies may send products, download keys, streaming links, screening and event invites, or other samples to our staff in order for us to assess such samples and determine whether we will provide a review of the product or work in question on Polygon. We do not accept any samples with any preconditions, such as that we will agree to provide a review simply because a company sent us a sample. Please note that companies may provide these samples before a product or work is commercially available, in which case, we may agree to an embargo with the company or its PR firm. This means that we agree not to publish a review or associated coverage until a given time.

Occasionally, we may decide to review something that has not been provided to us by a company. In this case, a staff member will either purchase the product or work for themselves — we buy a lot of games — or Vox Media will purchase the product or work for the team.

Last updated May 2021