UPDATE: Dan Hsu reports:
Re: my Tweets, Bethesda wants to go on record that they 100% did not pressure any editorial and do not condone such activities.
We reported earlier that Bethesda was apparently engaging in some unethical marketing practices with regards to review quotes in a Fallout: New Vegas ad. Now, it looks like things have gone to the next level. Dan Hsu, former Editorial Director at 1up and now of Bitmob, has uncovered what he claims is direct review intervention by Bethesda. Here are his tweets on the matter:
One site was forced to pull its Fallout Vegas review because advertiser Bethesda was unhappy w/ score. Sad this crap still goes on.
Heard (but haven't confirmed) two more sites delaying publishing poor review scores for Fallout Vegas until Fallout ad campaign is done.
To clarify, the site's boss pulled that review because advertiser wasn't happy, against writer's wishes.
Sorry, I know how this sounds, but I can't say which site cause this guy would be fired for telling me (they'd know).
RT: JustinHaywald @bitmobshoe To be clear, 1UP has not published a review because both the reviewer and I felt he needed more time with the game.
@BenKuchera I did get a 2nd, independent confirmation on this, tho. The review was pulled by CEO, then put back up when ad campaign was over
If you work for a site and this has happened to you, let us know! If true, this is outrageous and totally reprehensible...yet not unexpected.