Badfly Interactive Willing to Swat Away the Media?
Recently, it was reported that developer Badfly Interactive has a new approach with media. They have started giving game codes to the press based upon review scores.
Essentially, the developer provided a code for their upcoming game Dead Effect 2 to COGconnected with instructions. Now, this isn't new territory for review codes, as normally, NDAs are assigned where reviews can't be released until a certain date and so forth.
What was very concerning was the threat at the end of their message. The developer stated that if the game is reviewed poorly now, future codes will not be given.
Also, we’re working on several other games that are definitely interesting, and if your review or preview of Dead Effect 2 is very negative, you won’t receive any keys from us in the future.
So the stance of blackballing the media is... a bold move. As a regular reviewer and reporter of the business a few concerns came to mind.
First and foremost is that reviews should be as objective as possible. Forcing a positive review is anti-consumer. You'll be throwing away your integrity to lie to potential buyers. Hard truth: money is finite and so is time. Reviews help people make that decision. Now if a review is fabricated the buyer loses in the end. Time and money is wasted and these two things are hard to come by.
Not to mention the credibility you have with readers and consumers would be lost. How can they trust a media outlet that with questionable practices?
On the flipside, Badfly would be in the best position if the press agrees. They would likely receive a higher number of sales and continue on without a misstep.
As you know reviews serve as a critique of the product, so the developer would lose as well. Simply put, how would they know that their games are mediocre if it's not written?
More importantly why would Badfly embrace these tactics? My best guess is to place themselves in a better business position. Dead Effect 2 is their first console release and that appearing as a bad product doesn't set a positive precedent for their future releases. Thus they turned to bullying the media with this goal in mind.
Regardless of the reason the decision shouldn't become the norm. Honestly, it does fall in the category of shady. The irony in all of this? They've placed themselves in a bad light before the release of Dead Effect 2.
It's uncertain if Badfly will change their approach to media following this story.
For FPS fans that are interested in horror, Dead Effect 2 is now available on Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, as well as Steam.