One of the many perks in working at a video game media company is getting advance copies of games like Battlefield 3. Aside from testing our secret-keeping merit, it helps us get our reviews out in due time. Unless you work in Norway.
In order for journalists in the Norwegian media industry working for Press Fire/Dagbladet, Gamer.no, and Gamereactor to receive an advance copy of Battlefield 3 for review, they had to first fill out a questionnaire. The thing is, the questionnaire appears heavily weighted. So much so that answering the "wrong" question might land a reviewer empty handed. See for yourself.
The questionnaire asks for:
Did the reviewer personally review BFBC2 or Black Ops?
What score did he give it?
What is his past experience with Battlefield?
Is he a fan of Battlefield?
Is he a fan of Call of Duty?
Has he been playing BF Franchise? BFBC2? 1943? BF2?
Has he expressed enthusiasm or concern for BF3? What are they?
Did he play the beta? Did he enjoy it / get frustrated with it?
What is his present view on the game?
Who is EA trying to fool? This list of questions reads like a paid market research study screening process, and if EA doesn't like your answers -- because, perhaps, the reviewer doesn't like Battlefield and does like Call of Duty -- then they won't send you a copy of the game. I get their desire to earn outstanding reviews, but this seems an awful lot like trying to process and filter a journalist's freedom of speech.
Hoping, no doubt, to quell the apparent controversy, EA Norway's Marketing Manager Oliver Sveen issued a statement asserting that this questionnaire doesn't follow his company's policy, and that EA doesn't actively pre-screen reviewers. The Escapist quotes him as saying, "This should not have been sent out," and "We have made a mistake and we apologize."