Eidos Games the Critics’ Scores

I heard about this story through Penny Arcade’s podcast (minutes 14:00-40:00 of this podcast). I’ve heard about this kind of stuff in the past – where game companies try to delay bad reviews until after release. Obviously, the problem is that gamers want a reliable source to critique a game before they buy it. Game Companies want the best possible score so that more people will buy it. And so, the tug-of-war begins. Anyway, here’s an excerpt of (just the latest) game-score manipulation:

Eidos UK’s PR firm has confirmed that British sites planning on posting Tomb Raider: Underworld reviews with less than an 8.0 score are being asked to hold off posting them until Monday.

“That’s right. We’re trying to manage the review scores at the request of Eidos.”

When asked why, the spokesperson said: “Just that we’re trying to get the Metacritic rating to be high, and the brand manager in the US that’s handling all of Tomb Raider has asked that we just manage the scores before the game is out, really, just to ensure that we don’t put people off buying the game, basically.”

British site Eurogamer has already gone live with their 7 out of 10 review, which the representative said had caused “problems”.
Sources: Kotaku, Videogaming247

It’s kind of funny how Eidos just comes out and says that they’re attempting to “manage the scores” (read: make gamers think critic’s opinions are uniformly positive about the game). Didn’t Eidos learn anything from the whole “Kane and Lynch” thing? (In that situation, Jeff Gerstmann posted a 6/10 score for Kane and Lynch – also by Eidos – before it was released, and was fired because of it.) Link: “Gamespot’s Gerstmann Fired, Allegedly Over Kane and Lynch Review”, and Penny Arcade’s comic about it.

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