Bethesda's released a statement regarding its policy on review copies, and we imagine that quite a few games media writers - including ourselves - are currently sitting shaking their heads. The publisher says it won't be sending out pre-release code for any of its upcoming titles until the day before launch.
"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," the statement reads. Bethesda started this trend with DOOM, which initially raised a lot of eyebrows. Fortunately for the publisher, the shooter was a success both critically and commercially.
The post continues: "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." Bit of a weird thing to write, though, when you consider that some YouTubers have been playing Skyrim - Special Edition for weeks now.
Needless to say, we're not particularly happy about this. In a perfect world, we'd be bringing you lot reviews well before launch day so that we could help you decide whether the product in question is worth your time and money. That's pretty much the point of a review, after all.
To be fair to Bethesda, it does go on to say: "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." We can agree on that point, at least.
What do you make of this? Can you blame publishers for holding back their games, or does it all seem a bit shady to you? Stand up in the comments section below.