Is EA Not Issuing Review Copies of Titanfall on PC?

titanfall-bannerI’m used to not getting review copies of games from publishers. In fact, I would be exaggerating if I said that my success rate is better than 1 out of 10. So I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t get a copy of Titanfall to review.

However, I quickly noticed something. Not only was I not doing a Titanfall review but nobody is doing a Titanfall review. At least, not on PC. A quick look online shows that either nearly no one is getting PC review copies or Microsoft swung a deal so the PC embargo is later than the Xbox One embargo.

My email from a PR firm working for EA on Titanfall gave me the standard line of “high demand and limited quantity for review purposes.” I’ve gotten that line before, including on games where that limited quantity is no quantity of review copies.

If you were to check Metacritic last evening, you would have seen the following review tallies and aggregated scores. Xbox One is on the top and PC is underneath. (Xbox 360 is a couple of weeks from release.)

titanfall-metacritic-xb1
titanfall-metacritic-pc

Granted, if you were to look now, that’s probably changed. Given that the game launched at midnight and some people have early copies of the game, I’d hazard that it’s likely that there are PC reviews for you to look at right now.

That being said, I find it odd that there would be 27 reviews of the game on Xbox One at the same time that no one has reviewed the game on PC.

The final piece of evidence that would indicate that there aren’t any early PC review copies of Titanfall on PC is this YouTube comment by prominent YouTube personality TotalBiscuit.

titanfall-totalbiscuit

So if TotalBiscuit and his other much-watched colleagues aren’t getting review copies of Titanfall, did anyone actually get review copies of Titanfall on PC?

This whole post is based on circumstantial evidence but I think that this might be a case of if there’s smoke, there’s fire. The evidence I’ve found causes me to deduce this to two possibilities: 1) EA is not sending out review copies of Titanfall on PC but only on Xbox One; or 2) Microsoft worked out an early Xbox One review embargo as part of its exclusivity deal with EA that gets XB1 reviews online 12 hours before PC reviews.

I don’t particularly like either possibility because there’s nothing for people who pre-ordered Titanfall to go on as a reason to cancel their PC pre-order. The former is very concerning because why wouldn’t EA want early reviews of Titanfall in the wild before launch. The latter is slightly concerning because it’s a bit shady but at least it’s not completely hiding something. And even though the two builds are likely to be fairly similar, there will be some PC specific things that need to be noted in a review of the PC version.

I’d hope that all publishers would ease up on review embargoes and issue more review copies for big titles so we can get more opinions and sooner than we’re used to. I’m not holding my breath, though.

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About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on March 11, 2014, in Games and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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