Electronic Arts' Norwegian division was caught with its hands in the cookie jar earlier this week after a number of publications spoke out against its Battlefield 3 reviewer grooming process. The publisher was sending out sneaky surveys to outlets, finding out about the reviewer's likelihood of giving BF3 a high score before deciding to send a review copy.
Such questions include:
Did the reviewer personally review BFBC2 or Black Ops?
What score did he give it?
What is his past experience with Battlefield?
Is he a fan of Battlefield?
Is he a fan of Call of Duty?
Has he been playing BF Franchise? BFBC2? 1943? BF2?
Has he expressed enthusiasm or concern for BF3? What are they?
Did he play the beta? Did he enjoy it / get frustrated with it?
What is his present view on the game?
Of course, a PR person's job is to try and get positive buzz for its games, but this definitely rubbed some people the wrong way and it makes the whole review process less trustworthy. EA Norway eventually addressed the issue, blaming the survey on "human error" and apologizing for the "mistake." Quite a big mistake, there!
For the record, I recently confirmed Destructoid's BF3 review copy and there were no extra conditions or surveys, so everything looks above board in the US.
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