[Updated 9:24AM PST] In an incredible act of total lameness, Eidos UK is blocking reviews of Tomb Raider: Underworld that are less than 8/10. This is a horrible case of press manipulation and shows that Eidos lacks confidence in its product. According to Joystiq:
"Reps from the UK PR firm for Eidos have confirmed that they're asking publications not to release any reviews for Tomb Raider: Underworld below an 8/10 until Monday. The firm says they're doing so at the request of Eidos, which is trying to manage the scores for as long as it can. The game is currently sporting a 78 on Metacritic."
It's interesting that Eidos cares so much about middling reviews. In the past, Tomb Raider sequels sold well no matter the quality of the game or the review scores garnered. This action by Eidos reeks of insecurity. Oh Lara...what have you come to?
Update: Videogaming247 has new information from Eidos UK. The site quotes Barrington Harvey (Eidos UK's PR firm) director Simon Byron as saying:
"Our original NDA stated that in order to receive an advance copy of the game, reviewers agreed not to post reviews ahead of 5:00pm, Wednesday 19th November 2008. Nothing else. No further obligations whatsoever. As an ex-journalist myself, I firmly believe in editorial integrity and the right to express an individual opinion. As an agency, we never - ever - make demands of the press in terms of awarding scores; at the end of the day, they are free to score as they wish. Barrington Harvey has been working hard to ensure the launch scores of Tomb Raider Underworld are in line with our internal review predictions over the launch weekend - but to suggest that we can in some way “silence” reviews of the game is slightly overstating our influence."
The statement does not really address the accusation that actions were taken after the NDA was signed. It looks like the PR agency is spinning things (big surprise) to show that it does not influence review scores. The contention is that it's preventing certain outlets from releasing certain scores until Monday.