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Call of Duty: Black Ops review event, press gifts detailed
Written by Daniel   
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 19:18

From ARS Technica

When you work for a gaming outlet with a large audience, Activision can make your life very good. The publisher has made a habit out of offering posh "review events" for the press instead of simply sending out early code. When the reviews arrive, few discuss the free vacation they were given.

This is why we were so impressed to see a full description of the event held for Call of Duty: Black Ops reviewers in GamePro. The short story: Activision spent a lot of money to make sure reviewers were impressed before they even played the game.


"Two weeks before the game's launch, I was flown from San Francisco to LAX; from there, I was driven to Santa Monica airport where I was given a flight helmet customized with my gamertag," Tae Kim wrote about his experience reviewing the game. "I was then put into a helicopter and flown to Ojai, California, a small town about two hours north of Los Angeles. After landing in a field, I was driven to the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, where I was given a posh suite to stay in for three days." The suite had a 360, a copy of the game, and a nice 3D television hooked up to a surround-sound system.

There was a separate area with 30 stations set up so reviewers could try the multiplayer portion of the game. "I was also given a Mad Catz Call of Duty Black Ops branded headset," Kim wrote. "At the end of the trip, I was allowed to keep the flight helmet and the Mad Catz headset. All travel and accommodations, including food, were covered by Activision."

Our point is not to call out GamePro, because it is one of the few outlets that described these conditions and disclosed the entire review process. That's classy, and frankly, it's something we need to see more of. Many other outlets didn't offer context for their early reviews, nor did they disclose freebies like the helicopter ride.

It's a hard choice for outlets...

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