EA has been forced to issue an apology, after the publisher was caught attempting to screen reviewers for Battlefield 3 in Norway.
A checklist featuring questions such as “Is he a fan of Battlefield?” and “What’s his present view on the game?” (shown below) was sent out to Norwegian games publications by EA, with the apparent intent that potential reviewers could be screened before review copies were issued.
Norwegian games writer Jon Cato Lorentzen told publication NRK (translated source below) that it “was disappointing and surprising that EA uses such tactics”.
EA Norway’s marketing manager Oliver Sveen has issued a statement in response, which reads “This should not have been sent out. We have made ??a mistake and we apologise”.
However, it’s debatable whether EA’s actions would have been classified as ‘a mistake’ without journalists in Norway speaking out.
Unfortunately, cases of publishers attempting to broker all-too-close relationships with gaming publications are not uncommon. The only way to maintain journalistic integrity is for such attempts to be made public whenever they occur.
Source: nrk.no (translated via google)