Pulling a DOOM again.
Don’t expect early reviews for The Elder Scrolls Skyrim: Special Edition, Dishonored 2, or any other Bethesda game going forward. The publisher has announced that it will no longer be sending review copies to press outlets early- instead, they will be sent out just a day before the games’ release, meaning that day one (or earlier) reviews for Bethesda’s games are no longer going to be a thing (especially given how deep and extensive Bethesda games often are).
If this were any other publisher, I’d have raised a remark here about Bethesda not having enough faith in its products to send out early review codes- but that doesn’t appear to be the case here. Instead, it sounds like Bethesda will still be sending its games to streamers and Let’s Players on YouTube and Twitch early. It’s just official media who now have to wait till the day before release. This probably reflects the changing state of gaming culture, and how YouTubers and Twitch streamers are now more influential than official review outlets.
It’s not like Bethesda have not had success with this strategy, either- DOOM was released earlier this year with no pre-release reviews, and went on to do exceedingly well critically and commercially. It sounds more like, much like Nintendo, Bethesda have their pulse on where the industry is headed. You and I may hate that- but we’re eventually going to end up there anyway.