Bethesda asserts controversial review policy

Bethesda Games affirms that they will release review copies of games only one day prior to the commercial release date.
Sam Medley,

In an official statement found on their website, Bethesda Game Studios (maker of games such as the Elder Scrolls series and Doom) reiterated that they will continue their policy of sending review copies of their games to media outlets "one day before release." Stating their support for review outlets, YouTube channels, and content streamers, the publisher is instituting this policy to encourage customers and reviewers alike "experience [their] games at the same time."

Overall, reactions to Bethesda's stance on review copies have been fairly negative, as consumers and reviewers alike flocked to Twitter and other social media outlets to express their concern. Ben Kuchara with Polygon wrote a scathing article decrying the policy as a bad move for the industry, particularly for consumers. The conclusion drawn by the writer for Polygon is that Bethesda intentionally wants to restrict information surrounding a game prior to launch in order to obfuscate poor quality product and gain revenue from customers by hoodwinking them into buying shoddy games. Further, Kuchara stated that this policy is "wiping out any change players will have to learn about the quality of a game before it's released," resulting in unrealistic expectations being set for game launch. This, in turn, will create higher dissatisfaction among gamers who pre-order or purchase games at launch.

Martin Robinson at Eurogamer echoes this sentiment, calling the policy "anti-consumer" and "riddled with inconsistencies." They advise consumers not to pre-order games, calling the practice "a mug's game, which makes the machinations of publishers... all the more distasteful."

Bethesda is set to release The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition later this month on October 28th for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.


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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2016 10 > Bethesda asserts controversial review policy
Sam Medley, 2016-10-28 (Update: 2016-10-28)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.