Games journalism, back when we were all young bucks with spotty faces and an infinite capacity for fizzy lager drinks, used to work like this: you’d be sent game review code far in advance of its release, and you’d be able to publish your review days or even weeks before street-date. This system was expected and indeed necessary for magazines, with their weeks-long production cycle and de facto chokehold on gaming criticism. When gamers went to game shops, they’d thus have at least a working sense of what might or might not be worth their hard-earned.
Today, especially but not solely for websites, it’s become pretty much standard to be embargoed from publishing a game review until the day the game goes on sale – so not until the opportunity to buy the game has already come about.
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