It would seem that the behind-the-scenes machinations have already begun in earnest. According to a top Norwegian news outlet, EA Norway have been caught withholding review copies of Battlefield 3 to publications they feel might give the game a low score, having issued a questionnaire to journalists enquiring into their gaming practices and FPS preferences and experience.
NRK report that a number of Norwegian gaming outlets, including the popular Gamer.no and GameReactor, have been refused review code due to previous scores of Battlefield games. Additionally, it's suggested that EA Norway sent out a bunch of questions to prospective reviewers asking just how much experience they've had with the franchise thus far and what scores they've given, whether or not they're fans of rival shooter Call of Duty and if they tried the beta.
According to BF3Blog, who translated the report, EA were swift to catch onto the situation and issue an apology. EA Norway's marketing manager Oliver Sveen apparently issued a statement saying 'this should not have been sent out. We have made a mistake and we apologize. This is not something that neither should have happened earlier or what we intend to continue'.
Do bear in mind that publishers go into convulsive fits these days if their flagship titles get an 8/10 or lower, which makes all of this perfectly understandable and totally fine, naturally.
Battlefield 3 drops next week and will probably be pretty darn good.