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Ubisoft At Center Of Another Review Score Scandal?

What is this now? The obligatory end-of-year scandal? It happened towards the end of 2007 with the Gerstmann/Eidos/GameSpot fiasco and now, it may have returned.

According to Destructoid citing German publication "Computer Bild Spiele," it seems Ubisoft demanded a high score for Assassin's Creed II in return for a review copy. Obviously, this news is quickly making the Internet rounds and not surprisingly, gamers are irate about the possible scandal. Here's the quote in question:

"Our reviews are tough, but fair. We will not give up our independent scores for the sake of a timely review. This holds true for Assassin’s Creed 2. The publisher asked us to guarantee the score 'sehr gut,' otherwise we would not receive a review copy, thus we will publish our review in next month’s issue. We’d be more than glad to give the game a ’sehr gut’, but only if it deserves it."

"Sehr Gut" is the magazine's label for "A-Grade," which of course is an excellent score and one that would certainly up the sales of this hotly anticipated sequel. However, as we all know, publishers are not supposed to influence a critic's opinion in any way, regardless of whatever gifts they feel like handing out. I will reiterate one thing, though, before everyone flips out: we get review copies all the time for games. Have done so for many years. We get all kinds of crazy stuff, from little collectible items to bigger stuff like backpacks and t-shirts but this has never once affected our score. In fact, all this stuff we get has become so common in our eyes that it doesn't sway us one bit; it's just commonplace. And at the same time, no publisher has ever once approached us with anything that even remotely sounds like a hint, bribe, or threat.

That being said, we won't deny the validity of this publication's claim. We just don't want everyone to get the wrong idea and think that if Ubisoft sends me the White Collectors Edition, I'll just magically give it a great score 'cuz I got cool stuff. Ain't never gonna happen around here, my friends. Just so you know. :)

11/8/2009 9:01:16 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (40 posts)

Hexen
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 9:52:58 PM
Reply

It was stupid of Ubisoft to even attempt it.I'm sure the game will be great and all but they will most probably lose some credibility and some potential costumes will lose faith in the title(the ones that pay attention to scores anyway).

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kevinater321
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 10:02:17 PM
Reply

D*ck move guys, d*ck move...

Last edited by kevinater321 on 11/8/2009 10:02:30 PM

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kevinater321
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 10:03:15 PM

Just wondering why is d*ck a swear word on this site?

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SnipeySnake
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 10:39:27 PM

Because ducks are annoying.

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Banky A
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 11:04:58 PM

Because people stand and sit on 'decks'.

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Qubex
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 12:10:45 AM

That is a slam duck for Ubisoft!

Q!

"i am home"

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Deleted User
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 10:10:35 PM
Reply

Gerstmann-gate took place at the end of 2007, not 2008.

I don't understand why people go gaga for Assassin's Creed. It's nothing special. Unless they offer a 3-day, 2-night stay at The Venetian in Las Vegas inside the box, I don't want it in my PS3.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 10:13:13 PM

That's a good move Mr. Hat, you get a thumb.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 11:02:29 PM

Jesus, time flies.

Anyway, fixed.

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Qubex
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 12:11:37 AM

Creed-gate?

Q!

"i am home"

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 10:12:25 PM
Reply

Not surprised, they clearly want to get the ball rolling so as to begin whipping other reviews in line, and/or maybe the game isn't so great.

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Douchebaguette
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 10:20:31 PM
Reply

Would be quite funny if Activision bribed Computer Bild Spiele to make such a quote [with AssCreed II going head-to-head against Modern Warfare 2 and all].

Joke aside, I have nothing more to say...other than tsk tsk tsk.

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Aftab
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 11:32:53 PM

...Or if they received a copy of AC2 in the mail along with a death threat signed by Al-Tair or Enzio.

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LanSolo
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 10:59:19 PM
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It's too bad that someone in the promotion area of Ubisoft would choose to do that, because I'm sure their actions certainly don't reflect the integrity of all the hard-working people at Ubisoft. They produce great work, and I'm sure Assassin's Creed II will be a killer game. It's too bad that one ass clown at the company chose to play dirty pool and sully the company's reputation.

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___________
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 11:04:17 PM
Reply

hmmmmmmmmm.
maybe that explains the 5/5 OPM gave it.
i mean dont get me wrong im really excited for this, besides U2 and R&C it was my most anticipated title for the year.
but reading this certainly does not strike confidence in me.
come on ubisoft your better than that, especially their Montreal studio.
they have released some of my favorite games in the PoP series, there still yet to release a game i dont like.

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Banky A
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 11:06:24 PM
Reply

What...
What's the scoop?

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NiteKrawler
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 11:24:46 PM
Reply

So I guess we are all assuming that some magazine we've never even heard of deserves more loyalty than a regularly successful, innovative, household name company that many of us have loved for years? Household to gamers of course. All I'm trying to say is that there is no proof they did or did not do it. As far as I'm concerned, they didn't.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 11:46:32 PM

I think they want to weasel their way into the smaller publications first to establish a foothold.

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Qubex
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 12:12:52 AM

World, that is plausible reasoning... why not? Gives them some sort of advantage as the hype machine builds and spins into over drive.

Q!

"i am home"

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Darwin1967
Sunday, November 08, 2009 @ 11:53:11 PM
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The only score that matters is the one I give a game...in other words, I don't care what others say, it's my own personal experience w/ a game that counts most. If I listened to every review I would have missed out on some great games. Besides, my online game rental service, has more than once, also saved me from spending $$ on crap ass games that got decent scores.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 12:17:08 AM
Reply

So, technically we don't even know if this really happened, it's just the magazine's say? I mean it's not like this hasn't happened before so why is everyone here freaking out saying Ubisoft is crap for it when we don't even know it happened? But oh well, i don't care, because of AC1 I'll have to wait a couple months for AC2, too much other stuff.

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Geobaldi
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 12:28:43 AM
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My expectations aren't very high anyway after the last game.

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Jawknee
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 12:50:06 AM
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The first one was a steaming pile of ____. I was hoping this one would be better but it doesn't look any better. I guess this says something.

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chewy102
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 1:31:39 PM

Steamy pile? Maybe not "that" bad but it wasn't that good either. The world was very well done, the story and gameplay was where it lacked. Id have to agree that AC2 looks to be more of the same, just hope that there's more than 4 side-missions to get intel on a target.

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NiteKrawler
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 10:16:18 PM

I'm sorry...the story lacked? I thought it was great. Dealing with the greater good and how gray the world really is. And the concept of genetic memory was awesome.

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just2skillf00l
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 1:12:51 AM
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I thought the first one was a decent game. It was just sort of boring at times. There was no change of pace. Everything was simply kill, run, jump, climb and keep running and jumping. The game felt very repetitive which made for too many deja vu moments. I was glad to here that there will be a change of pace in this one. You will still be running and jumping and climbing because you sort of have to but it will be more interactive, engaging, and mostly diverse. That's why I'm going to take a stab at it next tuesday.

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Oxvial
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 1:22:38 AM
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Well I still don't beat the first one there's always other game that appeals me more to get played than the first one.

isn't a bad game but it lacks that charming ''unknown factor '' that the great games has that makes you stay in your house and send your friends invitations to hang out to hell and stay in your room until you beat it.

not going to buy this one in a long time...also next year gonna be rape to our wallets =S.

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 4:34:09 AM

The problem with AC1 is that it was unbearably repetative. it is a good game, but after you've done the third chapter you begin to realise the games objective isnt going to change. i think it just needed more contact with the story, like the part where you have to hit the enemies with the logs (and that hilarious guy complains about breakin his legs), if the objectives we more unique like that i reckon it would be interesting, AC2 has the chance to be a brilliant game.

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johnld
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 1:33:55 AM
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damn, i miss jade raymond. sadly, thats one of the reason i bought assassins creed, although i will say it wasnt my kind of game and wont be playing it again anytime soon.

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Random_Steve
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 2:15:14 AM
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im assuming that this mag is german? but yea, AC2 does look amazing and i'll def get it at some point, but R&C is where its at for me atm

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Corak
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 5:41:04 AM

It is german. And it is the gaming spin off of our biggest yellow press papers "Bild".
So I wouldn't trust their scours anyway.

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Deleted User
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 5:04:04 AM
Reply

Guys. Making games today cost SOO much money that every little review counts for them. They need the reviews for better sales. I think they went about it the wrong way though, IF they did indeed tell that site to give them a great review.

If they are so worried about a fair review they should only give copies of the game to those REPUTABLE SITES that does give into account the money and time put into and everything else. I mean if it is a decent game give it no less than an 8.5 imo.

End of Line.

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frostface
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 6:51:05 AM
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I just want to know where I sign up as a games reviewer and get all the free stuff before everyone else does. Of course the integrity of this site has never been put under question. We (all us members) have the best reviewers here in my opinion.
But this does suck that Ubisoft would do this (if they did infact do this).

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556pineapple
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 10:00:34 AM
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As long as they fixed the main problems from the first one, they shouldn't need to bribe. And as long as they fixed the main problems from the first one, I'll probably get it.

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Alienange
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 2:04:01 PM
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What utter BS ! You don't think that maybe Computer Bild Spiele asked for a pre-release and Ubisoft told them to blow it out their ass? Wouldn't be the first time a publication got mad and published nonsense because they were stiffed by someone.

And using Destructoid as a source now are we? Thought you hated them...

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 @ 5:57:17 PM

I do. I can still separate business from pleasure...or in this case, hate. ;)

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Mr Bitey
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 3:05:35 PM
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I'm one of those people who bought the first Assassins Creed and was disappointed with it. Yes it was a fantastic game, but the repetitive nature took the fun out of it. The game never really realized it's full potential.

Ubisoft have openly stated numerous times that the sequel has more variety to the missions this time around. So I've pre-ordered it. I doubt that I'll be disappointed.

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Nick Maim
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 4:13:59 PM
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Ubisoft is a solid company. Either the game site was looking for hits, or someone at ubisoft is shit-disturbing. Either way, this is smelly.

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ExhumeART
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 5:12:31 PM
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Haha I'm still gonna buy it, and so are thousands of others. M$ has been pulling this crap off for years, just with bigger bribes. Good grade with one copy? You get a good grade for at least $10,000.

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ExhumeART
Monday, November 09, 2009 @ 6:39:50 PM

And yes, I realize that those two points I made are completely non sequitur, whatever.

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