UPDATE 5.45pm UK: An hour after the publication of this blog, Eurogamer was provided Starfield review code by Bethesda. As stated below, our review will not be completed before embargo - but we can now begin our work to provide you with Eurogamer's judgement of the game.
ORIGINAL STORY 4.30pm UK: Just two days away from Starfield's review embargo, Eurogamer is still to receive a copy of the game from Bethesda.
No publisher is obligated to provide a copy of their game to us, but it is important we are able to be transparent with you, our readers, about the delay this will have on the Eurogamer coverage you expect, especially as it has become clear that copies of the game are abundant elsewhere, and in particular in the US.
Access to the game appears to have been heavily restricted in the UK, where Bethesda has also not provided copies of Starfield to other websites and YouTube channels owned by Eurogamer parent company Reedpop. Meanwhile, some other UK outlets have been provided access through Bethesda's US arm.
Throughout the past two weeks, since copies of the game were made available to the media, I've spent hours trying to discuss the issue with Bethesda, and the matter has been repeatedly flagged to both Bethesda and Microsoft at senior levels.
I have been told Eurogamer will receive a copy at some point but, even if this happens today, we are now well past the point of being able to appraise such an enormous RPG at the same time as other outlets this week.
Ultimately, delaying Eurogamer's access to Starfield means a delay to you reading our verdict. It also means our score will join the industry's critical consensus at a later point, after outlets that were initially picked by Bethesda. Rest assured, however, that Eurogamer's Starfield review will be published as soon as we're able, once we can give this important release the playtime it fully deserves.
The same is also true of our guides coverage. Our brilliant and hard-working guides team will still cover Starfield with the depth and detail they have built a reputation for - just later than we'd have hoped.
Lastly, a note on Digital Foundry. You should expect to see relatively prompt coverage of the game by Rich and his team after a separate delivery of Starfield code was provided to them. However, this was provided alongside instruction to me by Bethesda that no other parts of Eurogamer were granted access. This was an unprecedented request, but one I ultimately felt compelled to honour to ensure the access granted to Digital Foundry was not subsequently impacted by any other mandate.
Late-arriving review copies are not uncommon, but access this far behind so many other outlets is extremely unusual - particularly for a game of Starfield's promience. It has, thankfully, been a very long time since Eurogamer was impacted by a similar situation, and cases such as this are very rare across the industry. We look forward to playing Starfield and providing the quality and breadth of coverage you expect and deserve.
Thanks as always for reading.