Madden 11 Pre-Release Reviews Limited to Single Event Viewing (Update)

Posted May 5th, 2010 at 1:50 pm

(Update) According to a statement from EA, they are in fact going to send out review copies before the review embargo is lifted. They did not however deny that there will be a “review event” held or detail the timeline involved with that and when copies would go out.

Not too long ago Activision took a lot of heat for a review tactic they used with Tony Hawk: Ride. Any publication that wanted to publish a pre-release review was granted the opportunity to do so by attending a play “event”. They provided a window of a few hours to play the game there and then use that experience to write the review. They did not send out copies of the game to the media to use for review.

Most publications passed on that and rightfully criticized anyone who would review a game under those circumstances. THR of course ended up getting critically panned and the event was proven to be an attempt to cover up the games flaws and get the few positive reviews out before the bad buzz could spread further.

Now it appears that EA Sports is going the same route with Madden 11 (see update as this statement isn’t quite true any longer). According to a tweet by Garnett Lee of Shacknews, pre-release copies of the game will not be provided to the media outlets. Instead they will be holding a review “event”.

unfortunate development of the day: no pre-release Madden for review; going to be review by event instead. That’s a shameless than a minute ago via Seesmic Web

Needless to say this is a very concerning development. Now, it doesn’t mean that there is necessarily trouble with Madden 11. The game will be on full display at E3 so general impressions will be wide spread early on regardless.

What this indicates is that EA is pushing Madden 11 to the casual crowd and feel that the early impressions may be better than those that come after playing it for hours and days in a comfortable environment. Activision pushed out statements and so-called reviews from “Mommy Blogs” touting how great THR was. Most everyone saw through that though. That is the concern here, the types that will accept these guidelines and review based on such limited play-time in an environment that is not right for reviewing a game, are not going to properly analyze it. That might be exactly what EA wants.

It also should be noted that online play would obviously not be evaluated under these circumstances. Any publication that reviews based on an event such as this will have severely damaged their credibility and EA will likely be criticized for going this route just as Activision was.

Received this as an update:

Press will be receiving early boxed copies, before the review embargo. We just aren’t sending out early code for debug units.

The reason is to give a much more in-depth experience – ensuring the press experience online, offline, all the new features, and get immediate attention/access to the development team.

  • JBreeze

    lmao why do you guys continue to buy madden? Why? It makes no sense to me at all.

    Obviously the main issues for the franchise is:

    Custom playbooks not being implemented, wonky animations for running, catching and on defense, bad halftime shows, so-so commentary, recycled commentary lines that people will get tired of hearing after 1-2 months into the game, HORRIBLE A.I., a sucky franchise mode, a sucky superstar mode & a sucky superbowl celebration.

    Damn. Thats a lot of suckey-ness

  • assrapeymcgee

    madden fucking sucks

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  • jbeav

    read it, and i dont give a a rats tale. They did it to cover for the fact this article got out. they probably got some real work done to tweak it more. Madden always gives up gimics for the GAMePLAY they been in business sense 89' they should have gameplay down by now. they should be adding new features like create-a-play mode. wait that isn't new. the chain gang was in madden 98 and 99. Locomotion was in 09' and 10' i bet they do something with locomotion next year to. what they need to do is actually try to make a football game. i have no doubt they could make the best football game of all time, but they don't try to. its sad. once the license is up, groups like backbreaker and 2k will ruin madden and force them to make a good game for once.
    im tired of the same crap in a different color.

  • jbeav

    haha, yo, i gave madden 09 a chance and quit after that. aint buying this crap. i know a crap load of people on this page aint buying this crap. Sales will drop, maybe something really small because most of the public does not really get into the gameplay as much but, alot of people arent going to buy the game because they are tired of EA's crap.

  • jbeav

    NCAA even looks like the same ole' crap. they are pretty much madden 10 with ncaa teams. and updated rosters. im not buying EA's sports game period. Until they try to make a good game, im not budging.