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BF3 Norwegian Review Shenanigans Alleged [Updated]

BF3Blog has a report by way of Norwegian news outlet NRK on what would appear to be attempts to manipulate review scores for Battlefield 3 by determining who receives review copies of the upcoming shooter sequel based on their preconceptions about the game, its beta test, and the competing Call of Duty franchise. They reproduce a questionnaire asking questions about potential reviewers including their review scores of previous Battlefield games, whether they are a Call of Duty fan, and even their present view of the game. They also note that: "A number of Norwegian gaming outlets, including popular ones like and GameReactor*, have been refused review copies of Battlefield 3 due to their review scores of past Battlefield games." They also quote a portion of an apology from EA Norway marketing manager Oliver Sveen saying: "this should not have been sent out. We have made ​​a mistake and we apologize. This is not something that neither should have happened earlier or what we intend to continue."

*Update: We received a note from one of the publications mentioned in this story, as Gamereactor writes to explain: "We would like to have our name removed from the article, we have received a preview code and have not had any problems with EA. We have had nothing to do with the 'shenanigans'. it seems to be a matter between EA Norway and a major newspaper, why dedicated gaming media are mentioned also must be a misunderstanding." The contact was from their Danish arm, but they operate as one entity, and say none of their Norwegian colleagues can understand why they were mentioned in this article.

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31. Re: BF3 Norwegian Review Shenanigans Alleged Oct 19, 2011, 05:58 Dr. D. Schreber
Prez wrote on Oct 18, 2011, 21:59:
I just don't know who to trust anymore. I mean, I could be cynical and assume every media outlet review is bought and paid for (when in truth I think only about half are - the other half is just unabashed fanboyism/'haterism' ) and rely solely on word of mouth from my peers. But then take me an nin - we seem to have similar tastes, and I agree with most of his comments on most games, but he absolutely HATED Borderlands while I thought it was a blast from start to finish. I get the feeling if I just listen to my peers I'd end up missing out on a lot of games simply due to differing tastes.

Then people wonder why I own like 1000 games - I live in fear that I will miss a game I would love if I don't buy them all! I certainly can't trust the gaming media...

Or, you could just do your own research. Type the name of a game into Youtube; if you see something you don't like in one out of ten gameplay videos, it's probably a fluke or at least not a deal breaker. If you see it everywhere, it'll probably piss you off. Instead of trusting single reviews, compare multiple reviews; if one of them says some aspect of a game is BS, it's probably the reviewer's bias. If many reviews all criticize the exact same thing, chances are it's a legitimate problem. Since you know how reviews work, you should be able to filter out the smoke and get to the useful information. If you know the system is broken, don't trust it.

Beamer wrote on Oct 18, 2011, 22:54:
Lots of Stuff

I'm guessing the tl;dr version of this is "there is no conspiracy, there doesn't need to be a conspiracy, a conspiracy would be more effort than simply running a business because businesses do shit to make money."

That's all well and good, but as the end consumer, I don't feel (nor do I think I should feel) any less violated for being the victim of consumer-unfriendly business practices just because it doesn't involve a conspiracy. Whether or not it's a dude twirling an evil mustache in a smokey room filled with high-level players deciding how to screw over the little people, or a normal dude in a normal office just conducting business as usual shouldn't really matter.

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