Yesterday, Bethesda announced that it will be now sending review codes to the media one day prior to the release dates of its games. And, naturally, a lot of people pointed the gun at the big publisher and criticised its decision. But you know what? Things are not as bad as they seem. In fact, things are fine and the only ones that will be affected by this new decision are the big gaming sites and no one else.
You see, most big gaming websites want to have a review at launch date in order to get as many hits as they can possibly can. This new policy from Bethesda, however, destroys those plans. Not only that, but it puts everyone in the same situation, and it will be up to the reviewers to… do their work.
One reviewer may rush in order to write a review as soon as possible, while another may take his/her time in order to provide a proper article. This is precisely why there are deadlines for Reviews/Previews. And, as you may already know, some reviewers are unable to fully experience their games due to strict deadlines. And that’s what should worry you. Not Bethesda’s new policy, but reviewers who are doing their best to write a review so that they can meet their deadline.
Ultimately, gamers should be concerned about the review/preview policies of the media/gaming websites… and not about whether a publisher will send a review/preview code two or three weeks prior to a game’s release. The publisher has the right to withhold sending review codes. Hell, the publisher even has the right to decline sending review codes.
Let me repeat that last one. The publisher has the right to decline sending you review codes. And this comes from us; a PC gaming website that has been blacklisted by a respectable number of publishers. Yes, some publishers declined/decline/will decline sending us review codes. But you know what? Instead of crying and pointing the finger at them, we went ahead and purchased their games. Because we don’t give a sh*t about the publishers. We care about our readers, and our readers were interested in those games. And this is what every gaming website should be doing.
So, as a gamer, Bethesda’s decision should not worry you. AT ALL. No one is forcing you to buy a game before reading lots of reviews. No one is forcing you to buy a game at launch date. And no one is forcing you to pre-order a game.
Hell, even Bethesda encouraged gamers to wait for reviews before purchasing their games.
“We also understand that some of you want to read reviews before you make your decision, and if that’s the case we encourage you to wait for your favorite reviewers to share their thoughts.”
All in all, we find it a bit ironic that there is an uproar about Bethesda’s decision. Because this new policy will not affect you; the gamers. Unless of course you’ve been secretly writing for a big gaming website. So stop pre-ordering, wait for the reviews to hit the Internet, and then purchase your favourite games.