Some time ago, you may remember reports coming out on Bethesda's overhauled review policy. The publisher essentially stopped dishing out review code early to gaming sites like Push Square, effectively eliminating any reviews of its games before they released. By many, this was viewed as an anti-consumer act, since people looking for reviews wouldn't be able to find any until after the games had launched.
But over time, Bethesda has slowly but surely backtracked on its controversial stance, as Pete Hines explains to VG247. "We’re constantly iterating and reevaluating. It just didn’t make sense," Hines states. "We did it the first time because there was the whole thing about transparency and companies needing to be transparent."
Hines continues: "Then it ended up being the focal point and, honestly, we were tired of reading reviews where the first paragraph spent more time talking about our review policy than the game. So we decided we’re not going to keep drawing attention to it – we’ll send out copies and maybe people will start talking about the game instead of talking about policies. So we did."
To be frank, the policy seemed stupid to begin with and it seems even stupider in hindsight. Hines' words don't really give much away with regards to Bethesda's internal situation, but it's clear that the publisher soon realised that it had screwed up after implementing the policy.
Naturally, we're happy that Bethesda's backtracked on all this. We like to think that we provide high quality reviews that help you lot decide whether or not you want to buy a game, and if we're not getting review code early, then it's not really fair on our readers. Hopefully this is the last we hear of such a policy.