Bethesda has released a statement via its website detailing how it intends to handle distributing review copies for future games. As seen with the release of DOOM earlier this year, the publisher will now send all titles to media outlets just one day before they’re due to go on sale at retail, beginning with this week’s Skyrim: Special Edition.
In explaining the decision, Bethesda states that it values media reviews and tries to “learn from them when they offer critique,” but will continue with the new policy as it wants “everyone, including those in the media, to experience” its games at the “same time.”
While many will undoubtedly see the move as an attempt to protect the reputation of games whose quality has been called into question, Bethesda says that the positive reception received by DOOM proves that this isn’t always the case.
Earlier this year we released DOOM. We sent review copies to arrive the day before launch, which led to speculation about the quality of the game. Since then DOOM has emerged as a critical and commercial hit, and is now one of the highest-rated shooters of the past few years.
That’s fair enough, then, but what about those that prefer to read reviews before deciding whether or not to purchase an anticipated title? Simply put, you’ll just have to wait a little bit longer for your “favorite reviewers to share their thoughts.”
As of now, we can’t see there being much of a fuss over Bethesda’s decision, but will that change when (or if) they up publishing a title that exhibits glaring faults? Only time will tell.