Bethesda sent the Starfield review codes to multiple outlets almost two weeks ago, and since the review embargo is scheduled to be lifted tomorrow, fans are excited to hear what the critics have to say.
However, Bethesda has acted quite oddly while dispersing the Starfield review codes, skipping over a number of major outlets.
Why it matters: Starfield is a massive game that has garnered attention from the entire industry, making it odd that Bethesda did not provide review codes to so many outlets.
The Guardian has also not received review code for Starfield, fwiw – I have no idea why, but given that I was editor at Kotaku for years and Bethesda famously were not fans of ours, I can make an educated guess. https://t.co/n16y3sxiuM
— Keza MacDonald (@kezamacdonald) August 29, 2023
With less than two full days left before the review embargo, outlets like Eurogamer have come forward to inform viewers that the Starfield review will be released later than usual.
Of these outlets, Eurogamer’s situation stood out as the most odd.
It's one thing for Bethesda to block copies of Starfield from outlets like Eurogamer, Axios and others.
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) August 29, 2023
Digital Foundry, a Eurogamer partner who also publishes stories on the website, was given a review code and specifically instructed not to share it with anyone else at Eurogamer.
The outlet received a review code shortly after they wrote about it yesterday, and Rock Paper Shotgun has also been promised a review code. However, this still means that such outlets will be unable to publish reviews immediately after the embargo.
This situation has caused confusion among fans and critics. Metro, however, noticed a pattern and stated:
“Most US sites do seem to have review copies and it is specifically the UK that has been denied them.”
This may suggest a management issue from Bethesda in the UK, leading to the current situation.
However, SkillUp, an Australian YouTuber and reviewer, reportedly did not obtain a review code for Starfield either. Some have claimed that this is because SkillUp was too harsh with his criticisms for Fallout 76, but this is just speculation for now.
The situation has led to speculation that Bethesda is frightened of receiving a poor review from critics and cherry-picked critics that would give the game impressive scores like 8 and 9/10.
But there is little reason to believe this was the case since Bethesda has provided a plethora of review codes outside the UK.
In addition to the review code fiasco, the past two weeks have been wildly unpredictable for Starfield as numerous leaks about the game have appeared online.
A lot of information has come forward from those leaks, including details about PC performance and gameplay mechanics. However, the wait for the game is nearly over.
Following the reviews tomorrow, Starfield will be available to play for early-access users on September 1.
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