Bethesda Announces Backwards Review Policy

Bethesda Announces Backwards Review Policy

Bethesda has announced officially that it will only send out review copies of games to publications one day before release. They have been doing this since the release of DOOM, which was a critical success, but because of this policy speculation was rife about its quality.

They give their rationale as wanting everyone to experience their games at the same time. And that if people want to wait for reviews before they buy a game, then they should simply wait, as they don’t have to buy the game on release.

Both of these things are essentially true. However in practice, Bethesda is not sticking to them, and it does not work out that way.

For starters, Skyrim Remastered has been given to certain sites and ‘influencers’ before release. The problem being that their new policy is not a blanket one, they can easily give out codes and copies to publications they know will review them better than others, and leads to the undesirable possibility of the way games used to be reviewed in the early 2000’s, with publications essentially bidding on exclusive reviews much earlier than anyone else, leading to debacles such as Drivergate.

In addition, they have a special pre-order bonus letting you play the game a day early. That isn’t the same time for everyone then either.

The problem with this policy is mostly for the consumers and reviewers. They will be forced to get into companies good books to be chosen to get a code early, so that they can actually have something up on release of the game, as most people only read the earliest reviews before deciding if they should or shouldn’t purchase. This creates an imbalance in which reviewers are far more likely to want to impress the companies with great deals rather than reviewing the game honestly – which is bad for the average consumer expecting all reviews to be somewhat unbiased.

Of course, it’s the companies right to do this. These are their most prized assets after all. In the end it’s a bad omen for consumers and gaming publications, but Bethesda will probably do just fine. I don’t personally see this becoming a huge issue until they have some kind of scandal – a game that is awful upon release which everyone expected to be good and preordered without any reviews available, or even worse, false good reviews.

To read Bethesda’s statement, click here.

Related posts

Disqualification after ‘Rape’ Tweet – Game Slang VS The Real World.

Disqualification after 'Rape' Tweet - Game Slang VS The Real World.

Hungarian Starcraft II pro disqualified from tournament for 'Rape' Tweet

IGDA Names and Shames Online Harassers with the GG Autoblocker

IGDA Names and Shames Online Harassers with the GG Autoblocker

IGDA Names and Shames Online Harassers with the GG Autoblocker

Hello Kitty Movie has 242 Million Dollar Budget

Hello Kitty Movie has 242 Million Dollar Budget

Sanrio, the company behind the cutesy mascot (that is actually not a cat, apparently), announced that a movie is going to made based on the character. Whilst little to no details have emerged as of yet, the main thing that stands out is that the film could have a budget between $162-$242...

PSA: Batman Arkham Knight

PSA: Batman Arkham Knight

  This is a quick PSA, as today marks the release of Batman: Arkham Knight. The game is the latest in a long line to be marred by poor technical releases. The game comes locked natively at 30 frames per second, even on the highest set ups. This looks like a deliberate effort to keep...

Sega to allow mods for Mega Drive titles on Steam

Sega to allow mods for Mega Drive titles on Steam

Sega to feature full steam workshop support in its new Mega Drive Classics Hub, allowing players to add mods to the games they own.

AI learns how to build Super Mario levels by watching YouTube

AI learns how to build Super Mario levels by watching YouTube

An AI that can create sections of Super Mario simply by studying Youtube videos. Wow.

World Surprised as Activision Tease New Call of Duty with Screens – News

World Surprised as Activision Tease New Call of Duty with Screens - News

  News just in! Activision to release another Call of Duty game! Who would have thought it? After years of successful titles, and the franchise practically printing money, Activision will be releasing a new Call of Duty title in 2014. The title was teased for a fleeting moment at...

Nintendo to Develop Mobile Games; Announces New Hardware

Nintendo to Develop Mobile Games; Announces New Hardware

During a press conference in Japan, Nintendo has announced changes that could shake up its entire video game business. The first, is that a partnership with Japanese mobile firm DeNA will result in them releasing games on mobile devices, and the second is them announcing a new piece of hardware...

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer

The Force will be with you... next Christmas!

Leave a Reply