What is this now? The obligatory end-of-year scandal? It happened towards the end of 2007 with the Gerstmann/Eidos/GameSpot fiasco and now, it may have returned.
According to Destructoid citing German publication "Computer Bild Spiele," it seems Ubisoft demanded a high score for Assassin's Creed II in return for a review copy. Obviously, this news is quickly making the Internet rounds and not surprisingly, gamers are irate about the possible scandal. Here's the quote in question:
"Our reviews are tough, but fair. We will not give up our independent scores for the sake of a timely review. This holds true for Assassin’s Creed 2. The publisher asked us to guarantee the score 'sehr gut,' otherwise we would not receive a review copy, thus we will publish our review in next month’s issue. We’d be more than glad to give the game a ’sehr gut’, but only if it deserves it."
"Sehr Gut" is the magazine's label for "A-Grade," which of course is an excellent score and one that would certainly up the sales of this hotly anticipated sequel. However, as we all know, publishers are not supposed to influence a critic's opinion in any way, regardless of whatever gifts they feel like handing out. I will reiterate one thing, though, before everyone flips out: we get review copies all the time for games. Have done so for many years. We get all kinds of crazy stuff, from little collectible items to bigger stuff like backpacks and t-shirts but this has never once affected our score. In fact, all this stuff we get has become so common in our eyes that it doesn't sway us one bit; it's just commonplace. And at the same time, no publisher has ever once approached us with anything that even remotely sounds like a hint, bribe, or threat.
That being said, we won't deny the validity of this publication's claim. We just don't want everyone to get the wrong idea and think that if Ubisoft sends me the White Collectors Edition, I'll just magically give it a great score 'cuz I got cool stuff. Ain't never gonna happen around here, my friends. Just so you know. 🙂