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Eidos Review Corruption-Age: Batman Edition

Burai

shitonmychest57
Oct 19, 2006
6,707
0
1,245
Yes, those lovely guys from Eidos are at it again, allowing magazines to break their strict embargo for Batman: Arkham Asylum reviews if they give the game 90%+ and put the game on the front cover.

http://ramraider.blogspot.com/2009/07/eidos-seek-90-score-cover-for-arkham.html

Unlike our no-longer-regularly-updated blog, corruption in the games industry has so far failed to go into hibernation. In the week that Eidos has breathed its last, they’ve decided to go out with a bang by brazenly attempting to artificially hype up their forthcoming Arkham Asylum release.

Several mags have their review code already, but have to sit on their reviews until a hateful embargo expires at the end of the month. But Eidos, ever the helpful fellows that they are, have been offering a way around this embargo. If you dedicate the cover of your mag to Arkham Asylum and guarantee a score of at least 90%, Eidos will allow you to run the review early.

We know that one editor has already valiantly told Eidos to fuck off, but we can’t tell you which to protect our Anonymous Dark Knight. We also asked the usually chatty UK Officially Corrupt Xbox 360 Magazine editor Jon Hicks about it, who tellingly clammed up tighter than a nun’s cunt at the mere mention.

But what of the others? Well, there’s an exciting way to find out in the form of a game that you can play at home over the next month called “Spot The Corrupt Arkham Asylum Review”. You see, Arkham Asylum is a decentish release that’s not quite up to par when it comes to variety and depth. This means even the most charitable outlets should settle at no more than the 80s in their verdicts, but don’t be surprised if you see a few 7s from the pseuds.

This means that if you see a mag turn up within the next few weeks (ding!) that features Arkham Asylum on its cover (ding!) and gives it at least 90% (ding ding ding!), you have a winner.

Exciting…

When will they learn?
 

SapientWolf

Trucker Sexologist
Jul 4, 2004
35,733
0
0
That's par for the course for European gaming magazines, which is why I ignore all their reviews.
 

Rotanibor

Member
May 11, 2006
1,524
0
0
www.twitch.tv
Its going to be exciting watching what magazines come out in the next couple weeks.

If this story hits big, and they haven't printed yet, I'd almost expect them to try and retract the cover or lower the score. Something along those lines.
 

Lost Fragment

Obsessed with 4chan
Jul 22, 2005
16,453
0
0
Yeah, this is a pretty commonly known practice, I'm pretty sure.

A Sony PR rep also once threatened to pull a scheduled interview I had because of a review score of mine that wasn't as good as she would've liked. Film at 11.
 

Keyser Soze

Member
Jun 8, 2004
51,971
4
1,450
37
Ireland
This is not a big thing and happens all the time with various companies.

Almost every company sends "how is the review going" questions which hints they could be set to let sites put up the review early.

They set the embargo, so it really is up to them if they want to let a few sites break it to try and get good news out the door early.
 

OnPoint

Member
Jun 4, 2007
24,217
1
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www.indiegames.com
I think all magazines should enact a strict no-cover policy for games that have reviews in the same issue. It would help dissuade some of this nonsense, or at the very least, make it less obvious.

Maybe a strict no 90%+ rating guideline too, eh? lawlz
 
Apr 13, 2006
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Having played Arkham Asylum, I don't necessarily think all 90%+ review scores should be treated with suspicion. It's a tremendous game.
 

Danthrax

Batteries the CRISIS!
Nov 19, 2005
16,993
1
0
Northeast Ohio
www.dudebro2.com
Keyser Soze said:
This is not a big thing and happens all the time with various companies.

Almost every company sends "how is the review going" questions which hints they could be set to let sites put up the review early.

They set the embargo, so it really is up to them if they want to let a few sites break it to try and get good news out the door early.

yes it IS a big thing. it's deplorable. it's essentially bribery that leads to consumer deception.
 
Apr 13, 2006
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OnPoint said:
What are they paying you?

Yes, well done.

Obviously, it's a deplorable tactic, but I'm just saying I think it's better than Rammy makes out. That's a pretty strong hint from him that Edge is going to give it a 7, though.
 
Oct 16, 2006
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Danthrax said:
yes it IS a big thing. it's deplorable. it's essentially bribery that leads to consumer deception.

If you don't take reviews with a grain of salt, you deserve to be deceived. This is enthusiast press reviewing a subjective experience--objectivity isn't really a possibility, so of course the system will have corruption.

You have at least a couple of choices: find reviewers that you trust and who have demonstrated similar taste to you and then stick with them if you're going to use reviews as purchasing guides -or- play the game for yourself and decide for yourself, then read reviews as critiques, rather than consumer reports.
 

Lost Fragment

Obsessed with 4chan
Jul 22, 2005
16,453
0
0
Danthrax said:
yes it IS a big thing. it's deplorable. it's essentially bribery that leads to consumer deception.

I don't see how people can blame Eidos or other companies for this sort of thing. Their job is to sell games, not to make sure that coverage of their games is unbaised. It's the gaming media's job to filter the PR speak from the real talk.

If an outlet does make their review more favorable to get special treatment from a publisher, then that is deplorable. But welcome to the wonderful world of games journalism, a sub-industry where actions that would create huge controversy in other fields of journalism are the norm.
 

D2M15

DAFFY DEUS EGGS
Jun 9, 2004
4,124
0
0
Hero of Canton said:
Obviously, it's a deplorable tactic, but I'm just saying I think it's better than Rammy makes out.

Everything is better than RAM Raider makes out, except UK magazine writer salaries.
 

Marty Chinn

Member
Jun 6, 2004
31,449
0
1,585
AniHawk said:
Yeah, this game's gonna suck. Big surprise.

Actually, given all the hype lately and the positive impressions, it would be a big surprise if it sucked suddenly. This move by Eidos is worrying though about what the quality of the game does end up being. Heck if people don't release reviews early then it miht say nobdy thinks it's any good.
 

Keyser Soze

Member
Jun 8, 2004
51,971
4
1,450
37
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Look!

Embargo's are set by the publishers to get news out all at one time. (This could be seen as deplorable in itself). If a company want to let sites break the embargo (WHICH THEY THEMSELVES SET) then it is not a big thing. It is in fact good marketing. If sites care so much, they of course don't have to follow what the company asked, and wait until the real embargo is up.

If the review was written favourably in exchange to be published early, then there is a probalem, and people should be ashamed. However, if it is a legit review, and the publisher allows it to go up early, and both sides agree, then there is nothing wrong.
 

Moz La Punk

Member
Jan 17, 2007
2,872
2
0
The Netherlands
This is pretty normal guys.

As long as the score/opinion isn't changed, it's not that big of a deal. Just wait for all the reviews.

It should potentially just mean that the people who really like the game get to publish the reviews first. It's kinda sad, yes, but very common in the industry and CERTAINLY Eidos is not the only one to do this.
 

OnPoint

Member
Jun 4, 2007
24,217
1
0
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Hero of Canton said:
Yes, well done.

Obviously, it's a deplorable tactic, but I'm just saying I think it's better than Rammy makes out. That's a pretty strong hint from him that Edge is going to give it a 7, though.

Don't be bitter because they didn't let you run the review early

I'm joking, of course. I don't really think Eidos is paying the Hero of Canton, as Canton is already paying you. Reviews are purely objective and the game should, in theory, be eligible for any score on the scale if played without slant or slight. But the fact that magazines bend to these sales... well, it's sad to a good deal of people who expect more from them. Maybe they shouldn't, but it'd be nice if we could trust the words and numbers put to paper (and/or webpage). Yes it happens in all types of reviews, but this is one of the main reasons we typically see 'lol' follow the term 'gaming journalism.' It'd be nice if there were some kind of board to prevent these types of things from happening.
 

Sloane

Banned
Jun 17, 2004
4,703
0
0
Now, that's just common practice. Can't really blame Eidos for that, only the magazines which run with it.
 

batbeg

Member
Dec 2, 2007
13,073
0
835
Tulsa, OK
You see, Arkham Asylum is a decentish release that’s not quite up to par when it comes to variety and depth. This means even the most charitable outlets should settle at no more than the 80s in their verdicts, but don’t be surprised if you see a few 7s from the pseuds.

Am I the only one who finds this really funny? I mean, shit, why have the reviews at all if we've already mathematically deduced the aggregate score from preview material and impressions?
 

legend166

Member
Jan 31, 2007
19,429
0
0
Keyser Soze said:
Look!

Embargo's are set by the publishers to get news out all at one time. (This could be seen as deplorable in itself). If a company want to let sites break the embargo (WHICH THEY THEMSELVES SET) then it is not a big thing. It is in fact good marketing. If sites care so much, they of course don't have to follow what the company asked, and wait until the real embargo is up.

If the review was written favourably in exchange to be published early, then there is a probalem, and people should be ashamed. However, if it is a legit review, and the publisher allows it to go up early, and both sides agree, then there is nothing wrong.


The problem is this completely opens up the door for dodgy rules.

Let's say I work at IGN (or 1up, or whoever). I just finish playing this game, and think it's a pretty good game. I give it an 8. But all I have to do to get that first review that will bring a whole bunch of hits to my site is bump it up to a 9. Don't you think it's dodgy? And unfair to sites that aren't willing to be corporate shills?
 

Stink

Member
Oct 4, 2005
1,400
0
0
batbeg said:
Am I the only one who finds this really funny? I mean, shit, why have the reviews at all if we've already mathematically deduced the aggregate score from preview material and impressions?

Perhaps we should consider knocking another point off the score for being entirely predictable and lacking in any kind of gameplay innovation / imagination then?
 

Phthisis

Member
Aug 15, 2006
4,865
0
0
AniHawk said:
Yeah, this game's gonna suck. Big surprise.

Actually, it doesn't (surprisingly). I've played several hours into it, and I loved almost all of what I experienced.
 

Eyemus Lutt

Member
Feb 7, 2007
991
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880
Australia
I honestly don't see the problem here.
And just because someone happened to like Batman more than someone else and gave it a high score in the 9's, it automatically means their lying and have been bought off by Eidos? Bullshit.
This should go to show everyone that they should be reading the actual reviews instead of looking at the number anyway.
 

acm2000

Member
Jun 18, 2007
6,259
790
1,420
England, UK
why is that corrupt? its a normal embargo, which you can break if you happen to like the game enough, if you do, you would put it on the cover anyway, no self respecting magazine would give the game a higher score just to break the embargo, eidos is just insecure
 

SamBishop

Banned
Jun 6, 2006
1,779
0
0
www.totalplaystation.com
Soooo.. What happens when someone actually likes the game enough to give it a 9 and was already slated to put it on the cover anyway? Not saying it's gonna happen, but thanks to Bloggy McDecree if someone even likes the game to the point where they deem it a 9, they're already sickly with the Eidos taint by association. Even if it happens months from now.

The really shitty part is if a game like this were to get scores like that early on from an outlet (or reviewer, I suppose) that was a big Batman fan, they would instantly be called a shill, even though opinions are, y'know, opinions. Not that Eidos should have even put that kind of thing forth because it would insult someone already ready to give the game a glowing review, but this is hardly unheard of in the industry.

It really does fuck over those that love a game regardless.
 

MightyKAC

Member
May 4, 2008
3,856
2
785
Joseph Merrick said:
I just pre-ordered. You could die right now and no one would know. :O

Here's the difference between me and you, I refuse to pay money to a company that decides that strongarming consumer magazines into posting a deceptive review is a good buisness practice.

You, your just an ignorant tool.
 

MightyKAC

Member
May 4, 2008
3,856
2
785
SamBishop said:
Soooo.. What happens when someone actually likes the game enough to give it a 9 and was already slated to put it on the cover anyway? Not saying it's gonna happen, but thanks to Bloggy McDecree if someone even likes the game to the point where they deem it a 9, they're already sickly with the Eidos taint by association. Even if it happens months from now.

The really shitty part is if a game like this were to get scores like that early on from an outlet (or reviewer, I suppose) that was a big Batman fan, they would instantly be called a shill, even though opinions are, y'know, opinions. Not that Eidos should have even put that kind of thing forth because it would insult someone already ready to give the game a glowing review, but this is hardly unheard of in the industry.

It really does fuck over those that love a game regardless.

Eidos has a really easy out here.
1. Lift the embargo
2. Let the reviews say and write what they want
3. Debunk Ramraider
4. Profit
 

legend166

Member
Jan 31, 2007
19,429
0
0
SamBishop said:
Soooo.. What happens when someone actually likes the game enough to give it a 9 and was already slated to put it on the cover anyway? Not saying it's gonna happen, but thanks to Bloggy McDecree if someone even likes the game to the point where they deem it a 9, they're already sickly with the Eidos taint by association. Even if it happens months from now.

The really shitty part is if a game like this were to get scores like that early on from an outlet (or reviewer, I suppose) that was a big Batman fan, they would instantly be called a shill, even though opinions are, y'know, opinions. Not that Eidos should have even put that kind of thing forth because it would insult someone already ready to give the game a glowing review, but this is hardly unheard of in the industry.

It really does fuck over those that love a game regardless.

Blame Eidos, not the messenger.
 

MightyKAC

Member
May 4, 2008
3,856
2
785
Opus Angelorum said:
OnPoint
Banned
(Today, 09:37 AM)
Reply | Quote

I thought that comment was hammer worthy.

Kinda like this one??

Joseph Merrick said:
I just pre-ordered. You could die right now and no one would know. :O

Or even this one???

MightyKac said:
Here's the difference between me and you, I refuse to pay money to a company that decides that strongarming consumer magazines into posting a deceptive review is a good buisness practice.

You, your just an ignorant tool.

Wait how'd that get there??!!!
 

shintoki

sparkle this bitch
Oct 9, 2007
29,361
0
1,200
The entire gaming press is a bunch of bullshit of "Scratching each others back".
Exclusive Review of a game I got for free from the company, Aka more hits for my site and positive press for their game!

The publishers know how many of these "Review" sites would roll over and die the minute they deny them their free review copies, and they would have to go buy the game with their own money the day it's released. So it's cheap advertisement and we could just put "conditions" on the negative ones.

And the Reviews know, being more than generous to a publisher is going result in more exclusives, press copies, and most importantly getting the reviews out before the game is out.
 
Apr 19, 2005
12,668
1
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MightyKAC said:
Kinda like this one??

Or even this one???

Wait how'd that get there??!!!
doesn't seem very likely that was the post he was banned for

edit: quoted the wrong post. arr whatever
 

tahrikmili

Member
Sep 30, 2004
5,632
0
0
Boycotting EIDOS games (and now by extension SE games, which I never bought anyway) was possibly the best gaming purchase decision I made in 2008.

EIDOS, Square Enix, Atari. Fuck you.