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.
â€œThatâ€™s right. Weâ€™re trying to manage the review scores at the request of Eidos.â€
When asked why, the spokesperson said: â€œJust that weâ€™re trying to get the Metacritic rating to be high, and the brand manager in the US thatâ€™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 donâ€™t put people off buying the game, basically.â€
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: “Gamespotâ€™s Gerstmann Fired, Allegedly Over Kane and Lynch Review”, and Penny Arcade’s comic about it.