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This is "Shoe," editor in chief of Electronic Gaming Monthly. If you need proof this is me, you can email me at my address listed in the magazine.
I just wanted to respond to one of the most unprofessional posts I've ever seen in my life.
When I first heard about this post by Neil, which has circulated to the Gaming Age and Gamers.com boards, I was concerned. We pride ourselves on reviewing only REVIEWABLE CODE, even if it means our reviews will show up a month or two late. It's not worth the scoop to us if we're reviewing incomplete products and causing readers to lose faith in our reviews system. (Case in point: Metroid Prime...we saw code a few weeks ago, and it was near final, but Nintendo says it's technically not reviewable, so we waited...even though it'll make our reviews late, after the game's already been out.)
Anyway, we then checked with Sierra (DHV's publisher) and verified with the reviewer and reviews editor. Yes, 100% for certain, the disc we got was REVIEWABLE. We did get an incomplete version a few weeks before that (at a DHV press event), but Sierra told us that earlier build was not for review, so we did not review it. Later, they sent us a reviewable. The disc was marked as such and Sierra confirmed it. So, we reviewed it. I just got off the phone with Sierra again to triple check ALL of this, and yes, 100% for certain, they sent us a reviewable disc, and that was the one we played for our review.
Now, IF that disc was somehow not reviewable code because of some miscommunication or error between the developer, Fox and the publisher, that's very unfortunate, but it wasn't our fault. No way did we intentionally review incomplete code, no way were we trying to get the scoop in, no way were we trying to make anyone look bad (why would we?). I don't know what else could've been done. We were told it was reviewable. It was marked reviewable. We got direct confirmation it was reviewable. We reconfirmed that confirmation that it was reviewable.
What Neil said here is a direct lie...libel, if you must.
In the end, I don't care if some insecure developers must make up some lies to justify poor review scores. I care about the trust of our readers. So, to make extra, doubly, extra, super sure, we're re-asking Sierra for yet another reviewable disc.
Yes, it's quite possible that somewhere, between the developer and publisher, that someone screwed up majorly and gave us the wrong disc and told us to review it, so we'll look at the game again to make sure. But Neil, Bits, Sierra, etc. have to take responsibility for their own screw-ups and admit fault instead of lying in a public forum and pinning the blame on us.
Trust that we take this seriously, and if we find out we got the wrong code, we'll re-review the game in an upcoming issue. Not for Neil, not for Sierra...but for the readers who trust we'll review the finished games, despite game-company screw-ups.
Thanks for listening,
p.s. If Neil/Bits simply disagreed with our review and said it was bulls***, that's another story. Opinions are opinions. We all have 'em, and they're never going to agree. I don't have an issue with that. I'm only commenting on Neil's accusation that we were never sent reviewable code.