Last week Bethesda stated in a blog post that they will no longer send out pre-launch copies of their games to reviewers. Lots of people are upset over this, and the main argument is that this decision is anti-consumer. However, I disagree.
Some would argue that Bethesda wants you to pre-order their games before reviews come out. In other words, they want you to blindly give them money. And while I'm sure that's partly true because publishers are in this business specifically to make money, they say in the post if you aren't comfortable pre-ordering before seeing a score, then wait. Don't pre-order their games, or any games for that matter.
The whole reason for doing something like this is to make sure the game sells as many copies as possible. It is a fantastic business move, because now they can avoid people cancelling pre-orders due to unfavorable reviews. In the past, review copies of games were with withheld, because a game was bad. However, with the release of Doom and its critical and commercial success, Bethesda has proven they can change that way of thinking.
Now we don't get review copies of games at Nerd901 (we aren't bigger enough), but even if we did, I don't think this would hurt our reviews of games. We will review a game when we see fit, because we don't have to worry about chasing clicks. Some news outlets have said out right this will hurt the quality of reviews, but others like Kotaku have said they will review Bethesda's games when they can.
Outside of the games media, some fans are crying about this, because now they won't know if they should pre-order a game. If you're on the fence about pre-ordering games, then don't do it. In the past, we pre-ordered games to ensure stores would have enough copies, but that isn't a problem anymore with downloading games. Now the main incentive to get games early is so you can have some special skins or a mid-level weapon. Amazon also gives Prime customers 20% off for pre-ordering a game, but you can do that until two weeks after the game launches.
Basically a lot of people are crying foul, because Bethesda wants to control the conversation on their games until the release date. That is their choice. Games media is upset, because it will now be a race to get coverage up, and drive traffic to their sites. They are angry about this because it affects their bottom line, and they have every right to be angry. However, as consumers we have the ability to vote with our wallets. So if you aren't fond of Bethesda's new policy, then don't pre-order their games. You shouldn't be pre-ordering games anyway, because you are paying for an unfinished product.