Bethesda, developers of Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and publishers of Dishonored, DOOM and Wolfenstein, have recently changed their Anti-Consumer Review Policy to now only send out ‘Media Review Copies’ one day before release.
They add that they are outlining the policy now because it was implemented for DOOM, and due to them sending out review copies one day before release, many speculated the reasoning was because of the quality of the game. However, since DOOM was highly praised by media and gamers alike, the policy will be continued for the releases of Skyrim: Special Edition and Dishonored 2.
Media, Streamers, and YouTubers will continue receiving coverage before and after release and have support from Bethesda. Hand-picked YouTubers, Streamers, and journalists currently have hands-on time with the Skyrim: Special Edition and are releasing their own gameplay footage. Bethesda has addressed the issue of the policy being anti-consumer and issues a statement to the gamers who would want to read reviews before they make any financial decisions:
“At Bethesda, we value reviews.
We read them. We watch them. We try to learn from them when they offer critique. And we understand their value to our players.
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.
With the upcoming launches of Skyrim Special Edition and Dishonored 2, we will continue our policy of sending media review copies one day before release. While we will continue to work with media, streamers and YouTubers to support their coverage — both before and after release — we want everyone, including those in the media, to experience our games at the same time.
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 reviewer to share their thoughts.”
The policy previously allowed media outlets a week or a couple of days before release to test the game, write a review and then release it for the consumer’s benefit.