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Raekwon

Eidos' "Ministry of Truth" flexes its muscles

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This story starting to appear on numerous sites now...

http://www.electricpig.co.uk/2008/11/21/lo...d-until-monday/

Lara’s been getting her eager fans in hotpant sighting anticipation up to today, the release date for her next tomb raiding jaunt. But fears the game hasn’t quite got journalists on her side has led Eidos to try censoring early reviews.

Guy Cocker, a games journo from Gamespot UK exposed the crafty tactic in a Twitter post on Wednesday saying: “call from Eidos–if you’re planning on reviewing Tomb Raider Underworld at less than an 8.0, we need you to hold your review till Monday.”

Eidos’ UK PR firm, Barrington Harvey even confirmed the ploy. “Thats right. We’re trying to manage the review scores at the request of Eidos” they told Videogaming247.

When asked why, the PR reportedly told the gaming site: “Just that we’re trying to get the Metacritic rating to be high, and the brand manager in the US that’s handling all of Tomb Raider has asked that we just manage the scores before the game is out, really, just to ensure that we don’t put people off buying the game, basically.”

Before games are released they’re sent to all the major games publications, with most reviews published just before, or on the date a game hits the stores. The Metacritic website creates aggregated scores, and of course, a low Metacritic rating means less people will go out and buy the game.

Eurogamer and OXM UK have already posted scores of 7.0, something which is bound to irk Eidos.

Sadly it’s not the first time review scores have caused a row. Last year Gamespot’s Jeff Gerstmann got his P45 sent to him after trashing Kane & Lynch in a review and failing to bow down to advertising pressure. it outraged the gaming community, and rightly so.

Put simply, massaging review scores to squeeze a few more first-day sales out of consumers is just plain wrong. But if anything good came from Gerstmann-gate it’s that gamers are now more review savvy.

But do game reviews actually matter anymore? Currently Tomb Raider’s metacritic score sits at 78 per cent, but with a user average score of 9.0, or 90 per cent it seems gamers are quite happy to vote with their feet.

This is completley unnacceptable if you ask me. It has always seemed obvious that publishers twist reviewers arms for good reviews (Far Cry 2!), but it simply cannot happen. It's either a good game or it's not.. they have to deal with it. They want a good review? they should give their developers more time to make a good game, or find new developers.

I'm impressed with TRU and think CD have done a great job, but as for Eidos.. they seem to be struggling financially and as far as I'm concerned, they are digging their own grave.

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It seems Eidos is developing a bit of a reputation for this kind of thing. First the Kane and Lynch incident last year now this. Really, they're just going to harm their reputation in the long run if they keep doing these sorts of things.

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It seems Eidos is developing a bit of a reputation for this kind of thing. First the Kane and Lynch incident last year now this. Really, they're just going to harm their reputation in the long run if they keep doing these sorts of things.

Exactly. I'm really glad this news leaked, as I'm convinced this goes on more than we're made aware of, but if stories like these do get leaked, it might help prevent it in the future.

To support the above story tho', take a look at this .- there are currently three reviews for the PC version of TRU on metacritic. What score did they ALL give it?

post-5-1227466531_thumb.jpg

Hmmm... Coincidence?

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The fact that they are scared of the threat and just give 80, makes it worse, if ya ask me... :/

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It doesn't make sense considering Eurogamer gave it a 7/10 days before the Gamespot one was to be issued. Me just thinks it's a case of putting people off Eidos titles rather than any genuine complaint or concern. PSU also gave it a 6/10 and the Oz Official PS Magazine gave it a 5, again, all days/weeks before Gamespot.

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Eidos is starting to make a bad name for them selves. Really quick. If they would have released the PS2 version as planned (or at least explained why).. they probably wouldn't have to worry about this. It seems they are scared that people aren't going to buy it unless some game site reviews it ALL good. Desperate, much?

Am I the only one that doesn't care what kind of 'score' these sites give? I usually go by what actual PEOPLE have to say in their independent reviews -- not by a number. :P

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Desperate, much?

Yup.. Eidos is in serious financial trouble.. They have made a loss of £100 million in 2008. Desperate is the right word. Sad thing is.. they don't need to be like this.. It's a good game.

Am I the only one that doesn't care what kind of 'score' these sites give? I usually go by what actual PEOPLE have to say in their independent reviews -- not by a number. :P

I try not to base my opinion too much on them because I don't trust them.. but if the game has bad reviews with the big sites, I will usually avoid it. If it has good reviews, then i'll invesitage further to find out what gamers are saying..

It doesn't make sense considering Eurogamer gave it a 7/10 days before the Gamespot one was to be issued. Me just thinks it's a case of putting people off Eidos titles rather than any genuine complaint or concern. PSU also gave it a 6/10 and the Oz Official PS Magazine gave it a 5, again, all days/weeks before Gamespot.

How do you mean mate? The quote from Eidos PR firm suggests that the reason they are trying to stop bad reviews is because early reviews like the ones you mentioned have dragged the metascore down and they need it to be pushed up. To be honest, the reason why I believe this reviewer who works for gamespot is because he's risking his job (very seriously) by posting this. As Shrensh briefly mentioned - another guy at gamespot already did get fired for giving a bad review to an Eidos game.. It's seriously out of order imo.

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they're so desperate now to be better than core that they resort to this... pathetic

Just to clarify actually.. Eidos is just the publisher of all TR games. They didnt design or make any of them. Basically, in the old games, Core did all the hard work and Eidos nag them to finish it faster, burn the game to a CD Rom, design a pretty box, and make the money. Then as Eidos pushed Core a bit too hard and Core couldn't handle it*, so they replaced Core with Crystal.. and do the same thing. So they're not really trying to be better than Core.. They're just trying to make more money (and doing a pretty crap job of it, it has to be said).

*that's not meant as a dig to Core Design.. I think AOD would have been a reasonable game if it hadn't been so rushed in the end and Core had a more clear idea of what they wanted to do with it at the start.

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How do you mean mate? The quote from Eidos PR firm suggests that the reason they are trying to stop bad reviews is because early reviews like the ones you mentioned have dragged the metascore down and they need it to be pushed up. To be honest, the reason why I believe this reviewer who works for gamespot is because he's risking his job (very seriously) by posting this. As Shrensh briefly mentioned - another guy at gamespot already did get fired for giving a bad review to an Eidos game.. It's seriously out of order imo.

I mean the only review site that seems to have gotten the memo about "Don't post a score less than 8" is Gamespot. The review embargo was lifted on Thursday when Eurogamer and IGN revealed their reviews (7/10, 7.5/10, IGN UK gave it 8.5/10). Gamespot would have done it the same day, yet they didn't and they're apparently putting it down to "Eidos told us". But... no other site with a lower score didn't not post their review. They all posted them.

I usually wouldn't give a second thought to saying something bad about Eidos but to me, this fiasco just seems someone has an agenda. Look at me, the conspiracy theorist :D.

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Sometimes Eidos seems like a bunch of ruthless money-hungry power-thirsty men. However, I love TRU so far. I can't imagine anyone giving it a low score.

I was wondering why Game Informer didn't review TRU though the month it came out... perhaps it'll be in next month's issue.

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