Yes, it is shocking.

It sounds as if, to avoid any pre-release criticism, EA might be falling back on the corny old tactic of withholding review copies of The Sims 4 until release day. That’s what’s being reported by IGN reviews editor Dan Stapleton, at any rate.

“EA tells me no one’s getting access ahead of release,” writes Stapleton on the ever-present network that is twitter.

Now, we haven’t had direct confirmation of this from EA or Maxis either way, but if IGN are getting turned down for early review copies that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the games press. I can also tell you that after initially offering an interview opportunity, Maxis has been dodging our attempts to follow up with that.

It’s possible this is something to do with The Sims 4 generating a fair amount of publicity for removing key features from the series.

While release-day review code isn’t unheard of, bigger budget titles from larger publishers tend to be available at least a few days prior to release. For The Sims 4 to not be available (assuming Stapleton has got that right) is a massive warning sign. I cannot stress this enough: do not pick this game up without first hearing some impressions from game sites or other sources that you feel you can trust.

The Sims 4 is coming out on 2 September in North America, 4 September in Europe and 5 September in the UK.

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