Norweigan press accuses EA of Battlefield 3 review diddling

Wednesday, 19th October 2011 06:59 GMT By Brenna Hillier

EA’s Norwegian arm has been implicated in a review score scandal, accused of witholding review copies from publications likely to give lower scores.

According to a report from Norway’s NRK news service, translated by fansite BF3Blog, “a number” of media outlets including and GameReactor have been denied a review copy.

EA is also said to have issued outlets with a survey testing potential reviewers experience with shooters, the Battlefield 3 beta, and Call of Duty, although it’s not clear whether review copies were witheld as a result of these questionnaires.

Oliver Sveen, EA Norway marketing manager, apparently issued an apology, commenting that the survey was a mistake and would not be repeated.

Battlefield 3 releases on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 next week.

Thanks, Blue’s News.



  1. Strandli

    The survey included questions like “Do yo like previous BF games, and which ones?)”, “Do you like Call of Duty?” and similar things. So I can understand that some reviewers got skeptical, and I think it’s right. It’s not a big deal for the consumers, but it sends a clear message to EA about BS like this.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Gekidami

    So when does the review embargo end for this?

    #2 3 years ago
  3. alterecho

    There seems to be a day 1 update for BF3 and EA wants the reviewers to review the final copy, which will be available to the users Day1:

    #3 3 years ago
  4. StolenGlory

    @2 Embargo ends on Friday (as in the day after tomorrow), but I don’t have an exact time at this point sadly.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DarkElfa

    When are people going to get it that normal folks don’t have anything against big business.

    It’s big business practices like this. Abuse of the size and power of a company.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. manamana

    Business is war. Hence a Battlefield. Muha. Muhaha. Muhahahahaaaa!

    /goes into crazy mode

    #6 3 years ago
  7. polygem

    @4: this friday or 28th? after reading the gamespot link i believe it sounds more like friday the 28th. i dunno. maybe they just want to keep all the “sceptical” preorders active…all the guys like me that didn´t cancel yet but can´t wait for review after playing th console beta. but maybe that´s just the small world i made up for myself…anyway: i´d love to see a review as soon as possible.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. GrimRita

    Why do people even believe review scores any more? We all know that Bf3 is going to score at least a 9 simply due to the amount of advertising they have done across almost all media formats.

    After the whole Kane & Lynch/Gamespot affair and after what I witnessed at a publisher that will remain nameless, it simply takes the piss. Is it any wonder people turn to pirating games before paying?!

    Oliver Sveen is right. The ‘survey’ wont be repeated because next time it will be BC3 or BF3.5! lol

    #8 3 years ago
  9. StolenGlory


    This coming Friday for sure. Don’t forget, the game is out in the US on the Tuesday and everywhere else on the Friday.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. mojo

    the final version is the one the customer holds in his hands if he buys it day one. if u dont have internet the day one patch doesnt do anything for you.

    the problem isnt the fact that games get to complicated these days not to need a day one patch (there are enough examples out which proove that bullshit wrong). its just the sole issue that game makers (devs or pubs, whatever, i dobnt care its not my beer) seem unable to say “listen guys, there are some huge issues with the game still. we fix them and reales accordingly”
    I thought the oh so modern world is in such dynamic and momentum, yet ur unable to stand ur continuously trashtalk yourself
    Dont make me laugh, please.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Fin

    Surely they could review the SP portions of the game without the day-one patch?

    #11 3 years ago
  12. SplatteredHouse

    In the Gamespot article it says that the day-one patch adds real-time feedback from the beta tests. If that’s true, perhaps this is also an anti-piracy guard. If the “full” game is only released on that time, and they expect interest in it to be that high, perhaps that’s what they’re going for. That said, this survey malarkey, this close to launch does look suspicious. If they wanted to do this, they should have done so at E3, or a convention somewhere, and then there’s no appearance they’re “fixing the figures”.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. SplatteredHouse

    “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.” ”

    :/ But, they did prepare such a survey. Be what he says as it may, they still intended to poll their review copy recipients, otherwise he’s admitted to wasting company time and money, along with blemishing its reputation, for no reason.

    “is he a fan of Battlefield?” “is he a fan of Call of Duty?” “has he expressed enthusiasm or concern for BF3 – what are they? This is a joke, right…EA did this for a laugh?

    #13 3 years ago
  14. polygem

    @8:i hear you. but what´s good about early reviews is that you can see gameplay of the final game. i do not trust reviews too much – still i read and watch them for the games i am interested in…

    @9: ok then. that´s great. forgot about na realease being earlier like always. bring on bf3 reviews this weekend!

    #14 3 years ago
  15. alterecho

    I only quoted the gamespot article. I too think its fishy business.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. OrbitMonkey

    All this skullduggery to ensure BF3 has a better metacritic than CoD? Surely not :o

    #16 3 years ago
  17. vicheous

    I’ll probably have this before NRK then cause i’ll be playing this weekend ;-) I buy so many games that my store ships them when they get them(heck i got rage 10days early from the store lol)… Norway FTW

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Talkar

    Why do people care what a review says? Can’t a person decide for themselves if a game is good or not? I’ll admit i read reviews, but that is mostly just to laugh at the author at the review and then jump back into the game xD For example, a reviewer on GameShark said that StarCraft 2 is a bad game, and his reason was among others that it required micro management. You can’t say a game is bad if it is because it requires you to play o.O

    #18 3 years ago
  19. GrimRita

    @18 – the problem is a double edged sword. If you take a gamble on a game and it turns out crap, you’ve wasted £35+.

    There was a time when reviews could be trusted but because metacritic bs is so important to companies like EA, they simply pull stunts like this to ensure that they get a high score, regardless of the end product.

    Is it any wonder that people turn to downloading games first to see if they will end up buying it or not.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. OlderGamer

    I am not a CoD fan, I am thinking no way BF3 beats CoDMW3 on metacritic scores. Slanted reviews or not. Hard to imagine that CoDMW3 gets anything less perfect 10s.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. OrbitMonkey

    What I love about today reviews, is how 8/10 is considered bad by a seemingly large amount of folk out there :D

    #21 3 years ago
  22. YoungZer0

    @21: It’s quite sad, really. I still think a game with a 6 out of 10 should be considered as very good.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. OlderGamer

    Its because no one wants to have a game that is average. Mags don’t want avg games on their covers, websites don’t want em on their pages, game pubs don’t want to be seen as putting out avg games, and in truth gamers will buy the game more if they see a supper high score instead of an avg one.

    But as time goes on, a 7 or a 8 has become an avg score. Maybe it will even inch higher to 8 or 9. Of course the result has become that reviews are worthless, even if the reviews themself haven’t been bought off, the very fact that so many games all get such high scores, it gets tough to distinquish a truly great game from an avg one or even a bad one.

    No doubt that BF3 will get a sky high score from most major reviews(ones with major cash flows being tied into advertising will be esply favourable I imagine). Same being true for most major AAA games with any kind of decent marketing budget.

    Thats one of the reasons I enjoy finding gems like some of the arcade/indie style games.

    And on that note, run, don’t walk to download Dungeon Defenders. Its simply amazing, and no one had to pay me to say that.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Old MacDonald

    There are plenty of mistakes here. Bad translation?

    First, and Gamereactor were not denied review copies. They were in fact selected, along with PressFire, as the only three recipients of prerelease review code of the PC-version in Norway.

    But along with that selection came the question sheet, which was according to EA Norway something that had been decided internationally. Pressfire refused to answer the questions while answered the basic questions but didn’t answer questions they felt were improper. What Gamereactor did I don’t know.

    The root of NRK’s complaint doesn’t seem to be the questions themselves, though, but the fact that they were not among the sites deemed important enough for a prerelease review code.

    Oh, and finally “Norweigan”? Isn’t that a bit like writing “weiner”?

    #24 3 years ago

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