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IGN’s executive review editor Tom Marks recently revealed that they have been denied access to the review codes for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League by Warner Bros.—and I know why.

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League: IGN Reportedly Denied Review Codes. Here’s Why I Am Not Surprised

It has become almost a tradition for media houses to get review copies/codes of games ahead of the release. This makes it possible for them to write and publish reviews before the game’s official launch. The idea is that such reviews will help gamers decide if they should buy the game or not.

“Unfortunately, we won’t have a review of Rocksteady’s new game-as-a-service looter shooter for you right away, as codes have not been sent ahead of time—in fact, Warner Bros. Games informed IGN that it has declined to send us codes at all,” Marks wrote in a post published on Saturday, January 27, 2024.

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This is not the first time that a reputable media house has been ignored by a publisher. Last year, Eurogamer called out Bethesda for not sending them review codes ahead of the launch of Starfield. Bethesda eventually handed them the code.

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League: IGN Reportedly Denied Review Codes. Here’s Why I Am Not Surprised

“To be clear, this sort of situation is exceedingly rare in my experience,” Mark wrote on X, “and it’s not going to change anything about how we cover games – Suicide Squad or beyond.”

Well, the issue with early reviews of games is a sort of twisted web. You will likely feel different depending on which side of the divide you stand. For example, If I were a developer or publisher, I would be more inclined to hand out review codes to people I think will say something good about my game, knowing the massive cult followership and trust that some media houses command.

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Media houses as powerful as IGN can influence sales if they massively praise a game or cost the developer/publisher hundreds or thousands of dollars in sales if they speak ill of the game. If you have been a follower of IGN, you will know they have not been impressed with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.

IGN’s preview opinion allegedly forced Rocksteady to prematurely lift Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League alpha test NDA

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League: IGN Reportedly Denied Review Codes. Here’s Why I Am Not Surprised

IGN’s director of video content strategy Destin Legarie published a post on January 9, 2024, titled “Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Preview – We Played it and Didn’t Like it”. Although he praised the story, he hated the fact that players will have to kill some of the characters they have loved—a dumb point if you ask me because the entire Suicide Squad franchise is dark-themed, anti-hero stuff.

Well, a few days after that publication, Rocksteady announced that it had partially lifted the NDA from the alpha test which allowed those who participated in the test to openly talk about the game. Like many, I believe that was a damage control.

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I think Rocksteady and Warner Bros. are optimistic that if more people who participated in the game’s alpha test spoke well about the game, it would drown the negative preview published by IGN. In fact, it was a desperate attempt to restore a positive image ahead of launch.

Therefore, it is no surprise that Warner Bros. has declined to hand out a review code to IGN. Giving IGN a review code would be akin to handing your enemy who already stabbed you another knife to finish you off.

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League: IGN Reportedly Denied Review Codes. Here’s Why I Am Not Surprised

If they talk ill of the game just before launch, there will be no time for emergency damage control, and it will reflect in lower sales. Additionally, their views may rob off on other reviewers who may not want to say something contrary to IGN.

However, from the side of a gamer, such a move can be judged as stamping out honest game reviews and turning video game reviewers into hype men for upcoming games. A gamer with a meager spending budget will always want to be sure that they are getting their money’s worth.

In my view, I think gamers should learn to experience each title on their terms rather than judging a game based on what someone else said about it. It is important to mention that no two individual gamers will have identical interests. While IGN complained about the unending conversation between the characters in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, I have seen a few people describe the conversations as witty and humorous.

Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.


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