Bethesda Studio announced on their website that they will be limiting review copies of their games reserved for media to one day before release. This comes in the wake of multiple games holding reviewer copies until close to, or even after, the games release date.
While games like Mafia 3 cited technical issues as a reason for withholding, Bethesda studios limited the release of Doom to a day before release for seemingly no reason. After the recent news, it would reason to believe that the purpose was to see just how it affected the games reviews and sales.
At Bethesda, we value media 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 reviewers to share their thoughts.
As a result of the one-day window, reviewers are concerned that the playthroughs will be rushed, as they will be rushing to get their pieces out in time to still be relevant. Consumers will be forced to either take Bethesda game on faith and buy day one or will have to rely on the reviews.
The difference with these reviews is that they will either be tainted as a result of not playing the game to their completion. Just take one look at the two upcoming Bethesda releases and it’s plain to see that one day is not enough to experience the full potential that the games have to offer – with Skyrim clocking in at well over 100 hrs and Dishonored 2 eliciting multiple playthroughs.
Bethesda plans to enact its new policy on their upcoming releases, with Skyrim Special Edition is slated for a global release on October 28 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, while Dishonored 2 releases globally on November 11 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Only time will tell what type of effect this situation will have on the games reviews, but be sure to stay tuned to The Nerd Stash to find out!