TotalBiscuit - I will now talk about Bethesda's review policy for just over 21 mins

pants

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76tSYX6ZxsA

I think TB makes a better case for the silliness that is this new policy by Bethesda than Jim did yesterday, good on both of them to bring this case to more ears. I found myself nodding along to a lot of the tribalism and users fighting against their own self interest talk at the start. I never preorder games and I hope more people find restraint.
 

toythatkills

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Is there some reason why this is a big thing all of a sudden?

Launch-day review embargoes have been a thing for years and years and people never seemed to be that outraged before, in spite of how obviously shit this whole practice is.
 
Jul 28, 2014
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Is there some reason why this is a big thing all of a sudden?

Launch-day review embargoes have been a thing for years and years and people never seemed to be that outraged before, in spite of how obviously shit this whole practice is.
Normally it depended on the game, and normally such games with launch embargoes often include a heavy emphasis on online capability and multiplayer (or they're just shit). However, Bethesda is effectively officiating not even allowing a review to embargo with their games like Dishonored 2 (largely single player game) not being given to reviewers until launch just so that reviewers and consumers can "share" the same experience.
 

danowat

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Is there some reason why this is a big thing all of a sudden?

Launch-day review embargoes have been a thing for years and years and people never seemed to be that outraged before, in spite of how obviously shit this whole practice is.
Is it not the first time a company has come out and categorically stated that their games wouldn't be available to reviews before release?
 

SPCTRE

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Is it not the first time a company has come out and categorically stated that their games wouldn't be available to reviews before release?
And they're adressing their customers directly*.
we encourage you to wait for your favorite reviewers to share their thoughts
I can't remember this happening before.

*and hilariously so
 

King_Moc

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Is it not the first time a company has come out and categorically stated that their games wouldn't be available to reviews before release?
I think Ubisoft have been doing it to. For some games, at least. The definitely did for The Crew and the Division. Though I think they cited the mmo like nature of the games as the reason.
 

Corpekata

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The reason it's getting pushback is A.) That it's now a company wide policy, which we haven't seen before and B.) the reasoning Bethesda gave is hilariously insulting.
 

Burgess_101

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Despite the practise not being new (though in its current Bethesda form it may be), I think it's good that discussion is arising around this subject. The infighting between customers towards an idea that is so blatantly anti-consumer just baffles me.
 

pants

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Is there some reason why this is a big thing all of a sudden?

Launch-day review embargoes have been a thing for years and years and people never seemed to be that outraged before, in spite of how obviously shit this whole practice is.
This is similar but different, in your case reviewers will have had their review ready by launch, in this there's no real chance for a reviewer to complete a review of the game in the time afforded so even if reviewer x gets out a quick look or whatever they wont have had enough time to shake the game down + write 1000 words. Both are shit though.
 

danowat

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People gave this topic too much thought more than it deserves IMO
Playing devils advocate here.........purely a discussion point, it's not what I think.

Push back from reviewers who feel they aren't being courted by developers/publishers anymore?

My thoughts on the subject, there is no benefit to the consumer in this situation.
 

Corpekata

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Playing devils advocate here.........purely a discussion point, it's not what I think.

Push back from reviewers who feel they aren't being courted by developers anymore?
Pretty sure people like Totalbiscuit are THE people that are being courted. Extremely popular youtubers like him are what they are going after.

Hell, barely relevant youtubers seem to be courted by them heavily these days. Will see constant preview footage from people that have like 1000 views or something in addition to the big hitters.
 

BosSin

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I generally don't give a fuck. It is probably anti consumer, but only to those people who don't have enough patience to wait and see what the general consensus is on the quality of a game. This honestly changes nothing about how I buy games. Not only do you get a better picture on what a game is like after it has released, but if you just wait a few months it might even go on discount.
 

pants

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Playing devils advocate here.........purely a discussion point, it's not what I think.

Push back from reviewers who feel they aren't being courted by developers/publishers anymore?

My thoughts on the subject, there is no benefit to the consumer in this situation.
TB talks about this very attitude at the start and end of the video.
 

danowat

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Pretty sure people like Totalbiscuit are THE people that are being courted. Extremely popular youtubers like him are what they are going after.

Hell, barely relevant youtubers seem to be courted by them heavily these days. Will see constant preview footage from people that have like 1000 views or something in addition to the big hitters.
But in the case of Bethesda, only those who aren't wildcards, and those who's review scores can be predicted?.

Are these the kind of outlets we really want to follow?
 

FelipeMGM

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This is similar but different, in your case reviewers will have had their review ready by launch, in this there's no real chance for a reviewer to complete a review of the game in the time afforded so even if reviewer x gets out a quick look or whatever they wont have had enough time to shake the game down + write 1000 words. Both are shit though.
Yeah, and it will result in some websites rushing their reviews to be the first

Publishers dont own anything to the press, but its kinda fucked up that they can use them the way they want. Press gets called to make interviews, previews and participate on events and thus promoting the game prior to launch by reporting those things on their media, but when launch actually comes, this publisher makes little of them.

Not cool
 
Apr 1, 2013
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I think Ubisoft have been doing it to. For some games, at least. The definitely did for The Crew and the Division. Though I think they cited the mmo like nature of the games as the reason.
Sure, but that makes sense in a way as both games as reliant on their online modes, which you can't accurately gauge in any way other than in a final release environment. Heck, it even made sense with Doom in a way as they wanted the multiplayer and Snapmap to be a big deal (that the campaign was the most warmly-received part of the package is irrelevant).

With Dishonored 2 and Skyrim, there's no reason at all why Bethesda couldn't get copies out prior to launch, and the obvious assumption would be that they are hiding something. Especially Skyrim, which a lot of people will already know through and through, and it will just be the new technical enhancements which really need any kind of in-depth analysis. Also, they've already given it out to certain streamers or YouTubers, presumably with the disclaimer that they can't say anything negative about it.
 

pants

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This isnt so much as a press vs publisher thing to me, this is the publishers trying to limit information to the consumers in an attempt to get them to make uninformed choices. Forget about the press for a minute.
 

J 0 E

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Why would you not want as much (non spoiler) information as possible to be available about a game as soon as possible?
Playing devils advocate here.........purely a discussion point, it's not what I think.

Push back from reviewers who feel they aren't being courted by developers/publishers anymore?

My thoughts on the subject, there is no benefit to the consumer in this situation.
You are not FORCED to buy it day 1 you know, you can take as much feedback as you want from different sources (youtube let's plays - reviews) AFTER the game's launch and decide.

rushing to buy anything is not anyone's fault but your own.
 

Wiseblade

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Is there some reason why this is a big thing all of a sudden?

Launch-day review embargoes have been a thing for years and years and people never seemed to be that outraged before, in spite of how obviously shit this whole practice is.
A launch day review might not do anything for the person who preordered the game, but that person likely wouldn't be swayed regardless. It's the person walking into a shop to buy the game day one or on launch weekend who really suffers.
 

danowat

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You are not FORCED to buy it day 1 you know, you can take as much feedback as you want from different sources (youtube let's plays - reviews) AFTER the game's launch and decide.

rushing to buy anything is not anyone's fault but your own.
It's the same fanatical behavior that TB is talking about in the video.
 

pants

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You are not FORCED to buy it day 1 you know, you can take as much feedback as you want from different sources (youtube let's plays - reviews) AFTER the game's launch and decide.

rushing to buy anything is not anyone's fault but your own.
Some people prefer reviews? (Not me) what does it harm you if they are available or not? I dont understand what you are fighting against.
 

.la1n

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This isnt so much as a press vs publisher thing to me, this is the publishers trying to limit information to the consumers in an attempt to get them to make uninformed choices. Forget about the press for a minute.
And that to me seems like an issue on our part as consumers. We shouldn't be making purchasing decisions until after games are out and we have the information we need to make informed purchasing decisions. This information can come from any source you want at that point. Not defending publishers being shitty but I can probably count on one hand the press sites I would trust enough that their pre-release view on a game would have any impact on my purchase.
 

Yukinari

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We need more threads about TB's discussions because theyre quite good even if i dont agree with all of them. I love that he acknowledges that you shouldnt put your trust into a massive company and learn to have reasoned skepticism.
 

TheJoRu

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Pretty sure people like Totalbiscuit are THE people that are being courted. Extremely popular youtubers like him are what they are going after.

Hell, barely relevant youtubers seem to be courted by them heavily these days. Will see constant preview footage from people that have like 1000 views or something in addition to the big hitters.
I'm not sure they're trying to court popular YouTubers just because they're popular. Popular can both be the best and the worst thing. If those popular YouTubers are reliably and easily swayed by hype and marketing, and tend to give out high praise, that's awesome for Bethesda. But if they can't be trusted to give out high scores to everything, and are popular too, then that's a very bad thing to them.

I'm not a fan of TB, but he appears to have quite a lot of integrity, so I'm not sure that's something Bethesda premieres. Him being popular only makes it worse.
 
May 11, 2008
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Is there some reason why this is a big thing all of a sudden?

Launch-day review embargoes have been a thing for years and years and people never seemed to be that outraged before, in spite of how obviously shit this whole practice is.
It's not an embargo. The reviewers aren't receiving code to the day before - so they can't review for release. Go watch some of videos explaining this.
 

FelipeMGM

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This isnt so much as a press vs publisher thing to me, this is the publishers trying to limit information to the consumers in an attempt to get them to make uninformed choices. Forget about the press for a minute.
I get the point you trying to make but, who's job is to tell you about those infos on the game? I dont think you can exclude them from the equation.

And this is Bethesda, who has called journos ''press sneak fucks'' in the past. They clearly have a grudge against the press
 

correojon

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This isnt so much as a press vs publisher thing to me, this is the publishers trying to limit information to the consumers in an attempt to get them to make uninformed choices. Forget about the press for a minute.
Nailed it. What a disgusting practice...and it´s even Bethesda who has had the courage to do this, when their big games are usually a bugfest at release.
 

pants

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And that to me seems like an issue on our part as consumers. We shouldn't be making purchasing decisions until after games are out and we have the information we need to make informed purchasing decisions. This information can come from any source you want at that point. Not defending publishers being shitty but I can probably count on one hand the press sites I would trust enough that their pre-release view on a game would have any impact on my purchase.
I never do, we as neogaf dont (i would hope) but we're a tiny sliver of the people who buy games, stuff like COD, GTA and such doesnt sell on good word of mouth, it sells on hype and early reviews. This isnt so much for our brand of consumers either
 

Donos

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Normally it depended on the game, and normally such games with launch embargoes often include a heavy emphasis on online capability and multiplayer (or they're just shit). However, Bethesda is effectively officiating not even allowing a review to embargo with their games like Dishonored 2 (largely single player game) not being given to reviewers until launch just so that reviewers and consumers can "share" the same experience.
Did Bethesda said it like that? If yes then smh.
I could understand it for a MP title when they don't have the resources to allow press to play on servers pre release or invite them to a few MP days but for something like DH2 with SP content, it's really laughable.
 

Quonny

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As someone who never buys games on release day this policy in no way effects me. But it is good to get it out there for awareness.
 

danowat

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Some people prefer reviews? (Not me) what does it harm you if they are available or not? I dont understand what you are fighting against.
I think the point is that there is a "must have" culture amongst gamers, they are avid consumers of new media, they want the latest and greatest game to play on release date, they fear missing out if they don't.

I'm just as guilty as the next man on this, publishers love it, and they are pushing the boundaries of what will fly further and further, knowing that there will always be a subset of the community that will buy it sight unseen.
 
Apr 1, 2013
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This isnt so much as a press vs publisher thing to me, this is the publishers trying to limit information to the consumers in an attempt to get them to make uninformed choices. Forget about the press for a minute.
Yeah; this is why it seems like Bethesda are trying to hide something. Skyrim is a known quantity yet they're still being very cagey with the footage and coverage they're getting out there.

I know a lot of this comes down to pre-order culture so those of us who do this are at fault, but I'm a bit of a hypocrite as I have The Last Guardian, Gravity Rush 2, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Spider-Man on pre-order. I normally don't pre-order much any more (not really since the PS2 days) but I got a really good deal on these four and ended up paying £32 each.

How many days before his army harasses every female dev on Bethesda's team?
Female? Does TB pander to the GG crowd, or something?
 
Jul 28, 2014
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To me as a reader of reviews, the effect is identical.
It is eventually identical. For the most part, review embargos still happen all at once when the embargos are lifted even if it's on Launch day. With this thing Bethesda's doing, do not doubt that you'll be waiting even longer to see how a game is through reviews because the reviewers have to get to it at the same time as a normal consumer with the detriment of playingas fast as they can to get the review out when it's still useful.

Also they wanted you to wait for your favorite reviewer to finish the game while also enticing you with pre-order DLC, they can fuck right off.
 

Kyari

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Personally I don't care, if I want a game so much to buy it day one, I don't think reviews will affect my decision.
You and 99% of consumers, which is why this entire thing is baffling to me. Reviewers getting upset they can't inform their audience at a time where people are finding reviews increasingly less relieved to their consuming habits.
 

Dynasty

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Publishers started taking advantage of the gamer's rush to buy games with early access fees / editions


blame the gamers.
If a game doesn't send out review codes it normally is a bad sign and if we accept what Bethesda is doing now maybe more publishers will follow, making us unable to know which games are trying to hide something. Who do we blame then? Gamers like you who are ok with less well information about games day 1?
Why should gamers that like being informed, who like spending there money wisely, who like playing games at release to be able to talk about it and avoid spoilers, be punished by gamers like you who don't mind the minimum amount of information being available on release.
 

danowat

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Why should gamers that like being informed, who like spending there money wisely, who like playing games at release to be able to talk about it and avoid spoilers, be punished by gamers like you who don't mind the minimum amount of information being available on release.
There will still be plentiful information, it's just that the information you receive will be carefully curated (see NMS) and show just what they want to show.
 

pants

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You prefer reviews? wait for it and then decide.

Beth's decision won't affect you.
I've been gaming since the 80s, I can very much tell you I'm not bringing this up for my own sake because a) this wont effect me (right now) as I dont care for pre order knick-knacks b) the video games climate is very very different today people dont wait anymore, they buy on hype alone, and this is a move by publishers to maximize the exploitation of that set of early buyers by giving them as little as possible reason to abort via withholding information on potentially flawed games.

Also the decision will effect me long term as publishers skew more this way and start including things generally seen as core game into pre-orders in order to coax more users into the 'get fucked nerd' slice of the venn diagram while deliberately closing off avenues to make an informed decision on whether it is worth the risk of getting a pre-order for the now pre-order exclusive MP maps etc.
 

pants

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I normally don't pre-order much any more (not really since the PS2 days)
I too used to pre-order quite a bit when it was the only way of securing a limited print or import copy before the markets opened up and digital came along
 

danowat

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I've been gaming since the 80s, I can very much tell you I'm not bringing this up for my own sake because a) this wont effect me (right now) as I dont care for pre order knick-knacks b) the video games climate is very very different today people dont wait anymore, they buy on hype alone, and this is a move by publishers to maximize the exploitation of that set of early buyers by giving them as little as possible reason to abort via withholding information on potentially flawed games.

Also the decision will effect me long term as publishers skew more this way and start including things generally seen as core game into pre-orders in order to coax more users into the 'get fucked nerd' slice of the venn diagram while deliberately closing off avenues to make an informed decision on whether it is worth the risk of getting a pre-order for the now pre-order exclusive MP maps etc.
All that said, could there be an issue that the AAA games market is unsustainable without all these value added items?