Gaming My Way

22 Nov

Eidos Trying to Manipulate Tomb Raider: Underworld Review Scores

That’s right. Eidos wants European reviewers who rate Tomb Raider: Underworld lower than an 8.0/10 to hold off on posting their reviews until Monday. That way, the game’s average score can remain high for awhile and they won’t “put people off buying the game.”

Excuse me? Seriously, they’re actually admitting this? Kudos to them for owning up to what they’re doing, but it’s still a highly dishonest way to try to manipulate ratings to boost sales. I have tip for you Eidos: if you want people to buy your games based on good review scores, make a game that deserves good review scores.

If reviewers hold off on posting bad reviews, then people get a skewed look at the game. While that might be good for Eidos, it’s bad for those who want to know if they’re making a sound purchase when buying a $60 game. I don’t care about Eidos’ bottom line. I care if I have fun with their game. Reviews help people to determine if a game will be fun for them or not. Actively trying to suppress negative opinions reeks of trying to decieve consumers into buying a game not worth their money.

Fortunately, a few sites have gone ahead and posted lower scores already: check out Eurogamer’s and OXM UK’s reviews. They did the right thing, and posted their reviews when they were ready, regardless of what Eidos wanted. That’s because they understand that their job is to tell us if they think the game is a smart purchase. At least, I’m assuming that’s why, and I like to assume the best until shown otherwise.

In conclusion, Eidos should really come up with a better PR strategy than supressing bad review scores. It’s highly dishonest, and while it may get a quick sale from some people, it will hurt your reputation in the long run. Instead, as I said earlier, try making a game that deserves higher scores, and you’ll likely get them.

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