Publisher Ubisoft has risked provoking the wrath of the consumer press once again by admitting that it will not be supplying pre-release review copies of upcoming racer The Crew until the day before the game arrives.
We know that many of you will be eager to turn to experts for their professional advice,” the publisher said.
While we totally understand (hey, we read reviews, too!), The Crew was built from the beginning to be a living playground full of driving fans, so it's only possible to assess our game in its entirety with other real players in the world.
For this very reason, The Crew will be available to media to begin their reviews when the game launches on December 2nd. There will be absolutely no embargo on any type of coverage once the game is available for sale.
While we fully anticipate that you might see some reviews immediately at launch – largely built around the preview sessions we facilitated during the past months or the limited content of the closed and open betas – they won't be based on optimal conditions or reflect the finished game.
We sincerely hope everyone will take the time to customize their ride as they progress through all five regions, explore every corner of the map solo and with friends, dive into our competitive and cooperative mechanics, race to the end of the main campaign, choose a Faction and compete with your crew in Factions Wars, and so much more.”
The publisher has told reviewers that the game's servers will go live at 11am on Monday.
Ubisoft earlier this month found itself at the wrong end of a sometimes quite fierce media backlash after imposing a post-launch review embargo for Assassin's Creed: Unity. Some sites were so incensed that they refused to run any future reviews under the same conditions.
The publisher subsequently said that it was looking to change the way in which it works with reviewers.
It must also be noted that while the noise surrounding Unity's launch was significant – so significant, in fact, that it had a temporary effect on the company's share price – the disruption was in many ways short lived and does not seem to affected the game's commercial performance.