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It appears as if there's a startling turn in The Sims 4 saga following the game's fan-fallout over the missing toddlers and swimming pools (amongst other features). The executive editor at IGN has noted that the upcoming life-simulator from Maxis and Electronic Arts will have its review copies withheld until after the game is made available to the general public.
The tweet is picking up a lot of steam due to the kind of reactions that gamers and other media personnel are having to the news, mostly because the common question arises: if the game is good, finished, polished and complete, why withhold review copies?
The tweet comes courtesy of executive editor Dan Stapleton, who mentioned the following to the social media metaverse...
Instantaneously a smorgasbord of responses filed in to explain away the potential reasons as to why Electronic Arts might want to withhold the review copies for The Sims 4 until the day of release.
Tom Ohle from Evolve PR commented that...
“Might also just be realizing that the Sims audience and the core-gaming audience just aren't really the same. Maybe.”
He was quickly checked about that theory by one of Gamespot's remaining reviewers, Kevin VanOrd, who reminded Ohle that previously they had been sent many expansion packs for The Sims 3, hinting at the fact that despite being a core-centric gaming site EA still sent Gamespot review copies of the expansions early.
Ohle finally conceded his position, mentioning...
[M]erely suggesting it as a possible reason. "We know the fans will like it, media not so important" […] or "game not great."
The bigger question would be: if the gaming media who play and love games don't love the game, then why would the average gamer?
Of course, this is not to defend the position of reviewers as infallible or whatnot, but many of the outlets looking forward to reviewing The Sims 4 are most likely, I would imagine, are fans of the game.
Of course, the common theory amongst most fans on threads and forums is that all the poor press affected by EA and Maxis' decision to remove content from The Sims 4 compared to what was in The Sims 3 has come back to bite them hard on the butt, and they're aiming to dissipate some of the heat from the press by withholding review copies.
Things look even worse for wear when you consider a list of The Sims 4's shortcomings and removed features has gone public thanks to an extensive list over on the The Sims' forum.
Combining the poor media news and angry fans, it's not hard to see how EA would be skeptical about putting review copies out there too early. We can probably expect some kind of response from them soon enough regarding the situation as it continues to pick up steam.