Home Gaming Eidos Trys to Delay Negative Tomb Raider: Underworld Reviews

Eidos Trys to Delay Negative Tomb Raider: Underworld Reviews

4 min read


Shacknews is reporting that in an effort to keep Tomb  Raider Underworld High on the rankings on Metacritic, Eidos has a PR firm tasked with trying to convince publications and websites to hold off on their reviews if the scores are below a certain score.

A story on 1up refers to the story first being broken when GameSpot U.K. journalist Guy Cocker posted on Twitter that he received a call from Eidos’ PR firm, saying that if Underworld was going to get a score below 8.0, they wanted the review delayed until Monday, which is three days after the game’s release on Friday. Videogamer247 then contacted the U.K. PR firm, Barrington Harvey, which confirmed they were indeed calling publications to try and quell negative reviews. This is scary stuff, and doesn’t bode well for the reviews industry at all.

That’s right. We’re trying to manage the review scores at the request of Eidos,” a representative said. Explaining why, the representative said, “Just that we’re trying to get the Metacritic rating to be high, and the brand manager in the U.S. 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.”

That statement right there opens up a whole can of worms as to why we even bother reading reviews for games anymore, isn’t the purpose of a review to allow the consumer to make his or her mind up as to whether or not to purchase the game?

However, a statement released by Simon Byron, one of Barrington Harvey’s directors, insists that demands made to delay reviews were never made, and publications are free to put their reviews up whenever they like, whatever the score. “Our original NDA stated that in order to receive an advance copy of the game, reviewers agreed not to post reviews ahead of 5:00pm, Wednesday 19th November 2008. Nothing else. So I guess we can call everyone else liars then?

No further obligations whatsoever,” the statement read. Byron noted that there are already scores up that are below 8 out of 10, and explained that, “As an ex-journalist myself, I firmly believe in editorial integrity and the right to express an individual opinion. As an agency, we never — ever — make demands of the press in terms of awarding scores; at the end of the day, they are free to score as they wish.” I would really like to believe him but the facts already lead to something way deeper beneath the surface here.

The statement did, though, admit that “Barrington Harvey has been working hard to ensure the launch scores of Tomb Raider Underworld are in line with our internal review predictions over the launch weekend,” which is where things get dodgy. Is withholding information not that same as lying about it? Sure, they’re not demanding that reviews be suppressed, but they are asking for reviews to be delayed, which is almost the same thing in my book.

Especially over a weekend, where I’m sure a lot of games purchasing would take place. Imagine checking Metacritic on the friday and seeing Tomb Raider has a average of 8.0, going out and buying the game, checking Metacritic again on Tuesday only to find it’s score has dropped to a average of 6.0, not very nice. This behaviour is misleading to the very people that keep these companies in business.

I’m at the point now where don’t believe the hype about games anymore, there’s been far to much controversy surrounding games reviews lately to honestly believe anyone’s opinion anymore. It’s a sad day for us consumers, a sad day indeed when we can no longer trust our enthusiast press to give actuate reviews games or in this case be allowed to in a timely manner.

On a quick ending note, 1up also noted that you may  likely remember, this would make for Eidos’ second reviews controversy just within the last 12 months, after the Internet erupted around Kane & Lynch when it seemed as though then-GameSpot executive editor Jeff Gerstmann was fired over his negative review of the game. Both Eidos and GameSpot, however, denied that was the case.

Source : 1up, Videogamer247, Shacknews

Last Updated: November 24, 2008


  1. Goose ZA

    November 24, 2008 at 15:16

    Wait what?… sorry… I got distracted by the boobs at the top of the page…


  2. Goose ZA

    November 24, 2008 at 15:24

    But back on topic, this is very disturbing news indeed.

    I don’t bother much with reviews these days as there are way too many 100’s flying around lately. Seems every highly anticipated release is getting 100. 100 is a perfect game. That is impossible. I wish scores would adjust themselves back to school grading levels. 60% was a C. 70-80 was a B. Not amazing, but still good. 80 and up was an A which was a job very well done.

    There have been too many that have got it wrong in both directions in my opinion. Fortunately I went out and bought the games despite their poor reviews and I’m glad i did because I would have missed out on a lot of fun.


  3. Murderface

    November 24, 2008 at 15:30

    What? me worry?


  4. Scotty777

    November 24, 2008 at 15:40

    ha ha ha ha ha


  5. Rudolph

    November 24, 2008 at 15:49

    I agree… As soon as a game gets 100, it means that no other game can ever be better than that game. Which is just stupid


  6. Bboy

    November 24, 2008 at 16:48



  7. ferver

    November 24, 2008 at 19:44

    I agree with gooze. Reviews have lost much of their strength.
    It’s true that lately we’ve been particularly spoiled with so many great games coming out, but all reviews turn around 100%, which one do we choose?
    If you check out Gamespot’s older games, the reviews were much more strict and games received a 9 only if they really deserved it, and a 7.5 was considered a good game. Now, if the game is below 8, it’s considered bad.

    And Eidos trying to cover the reviews doesn’t suprise me that much. I’ve been a fan of Tomb Raider since day one, and the last episodes were (to say the least) not that great. Tomb Raider is the main franchise of Eidos, and the era for this game has passed so now if the game receives bad reviews, and sales don’t follow, they could go bankrupt, or at least be in financial difficulty…

    But still, can’t they be sued for what they did?


  8. LazySAGamer

    November 25, 2008 at 00:54

    someone mentioned ….. ooooooo pretty


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