Exclusive Early Reviews of Video Games, a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

Recently, Bioshock Infinite, Produced by 2K Games and Developed by Irrational Games Studios, was finally released on March 26th. A few days before the game hit shelves at retailers, IGN was given exlusive rights to an early review. What a shocker, they gave the game an amazing score of 94/100 (Even though personally I have completed Bioshock Infinite and the game did deserve such high praise). But my question is why did IGN get an early review of Bioshock Infinite and what was the purpose of it?

Because 2K Games gave IGN early access to their game, you would think they IGN would give the game a higher score. The people at IGN are then able to post the first review online and increase traffic on their website. To me, this should raise a bunch of red flags in the eyes of consumers who are interested in purchasing the game. I feel this is a marketing tactic to try and upsell the game and help each other out in the process. Think about this, if the reviewer were to end up giving the game a less than satisfactory review, the developer will most likely avoid giving them exclusive rights to their next big title they are working on. Not only that but how do we know as a consumer that there wasn’t a deal already in place between the two companies ? For example, who is to say that 2K games only allowed exclusive early access to IGN only if they gave the game nothing lower than an amazing review (Much like the 94/100 that they ended up giving)? That didn’t sit right with me which is why we took IGN’s review of Bioshock Infinite with a grain of salt.

Would you trust exclusive early reviews? Do you wait until you have a couple different sources to help you make your decision to purchase the game? What is your opinion on the exclusive early reviews for video games?

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