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Eidos Tampering Review Scores Again?

A recent blog by The RAM Raider is suggesting that Eidos is tampering with the review scores of the upcoming game Batman: Arkham Asylum, or rather, "artificially hyping up" the forthcoming release. Eidos will be responsible for publishing the game in Europe on August 28; the game hits that States for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 three days prior through Warner Bros. Interactive. Slated as an action-adventure stealth game, Arkham Asylum heavily borrows the storyline from the original comic book series where Batman must re-capture all the inmates from the Arkham Asylum (Bane did this in the Knightfall series).

Typically publishers--or rather their associated press contacts--distribute early copies of the game to the press and high-profile gaming websites, allowing plenty of time for reviewers to encompass the full game and its additional features. In return, said parties must hold off on publishing their reviews until publishers give the green light. If the press and websites violate the agreement, early copies will no longer be provided in the future.

However, according to the blog, Eidos is offering a way around the embargo with two conditions: dedicate the front cover to Arkham Asylum and give it a score no lower than 90-percent. By fulfilling those two requests, websites and gaming mags can publish the reviews whenever they choose. While the blog offers no substantial proof, the author does indicate that one editor refused the offer, but the "usually chatty" UK Official Xbox 360 Magazine editor "clammed up" at the mere mention of the conditions.

The blog goes on to call Arkham Asylum "a decentish release" but not entirely worthy of a 90-percent review score. It's safe to assume that the reviews aren't expected to publish until the actual release date, or the week thereafter. Any articles showing up before then--and branding a rather high score--may be subject to Edios' negotiations.

Eidos has tampered with review scores in the past. The company and its various PR firms requested that editors sit on reviews of Tomb Raider: Underworld that scored under 8 out of 10. The company admitted that it wanted to control its overall Metacritic score until a week after the game's release. "Just to ensure that we don't put people off buying the game," an Eidos press contact admitted.