It’s not uncommon for hardware and electronics manufacturers to send samples of upcoming products to publications like TechSpot for launch day reviews. The practice isn’t limited to physical items as game publishers do the same with advanced download codes.
For the product supplier, a review serves as advertising for whatever it is they are trying to sell. For the publication doing the review, it’s yet another way to drive traffic and ultimately generate revenue to earn a living. Early reviews from the perspective of the consumer provide an idea of what to expect before dishing out their hard-earned money.
For one major publisher, things are about to change.
Bethesda Global Content Lead Gary Steinman noted in a recent blog post that when they launched Doom earlier this year, they sent review copies out just one day ahead of launch which led to speculation regarding the quality of the game. That ended up not being the case as Doom has emerged as a critical and commercial hit, Steinman said.
With Skyrim Special Edition and Dishonored 2 just around the bend, Steinman said they will continue their policy of sending review copies just one day before release.
The only “reason” that Steinman gave for the decision is that they want everyone, including those in the media, to experience their games at the same time. Those that want to read reviews before making a decision about a game are encouraged to simply wait for reviewers to share their thoughts.
That’s a pretty solid non-explanation which probably means there are some other motivating factors behind the decision (I just don’t know what they are). Your thoughts?