News: Amid reports of strong sales, Atari is accused of buying high scores for Driver 3 from UK publishers.
Scandal is brewing for Atari's Driver 3 as high profile UK news sites SPOnG and gamesindustry.biz are reporting that Atari may have "bought" high scores for the game in exchange for access to early review code.
The situation began on the SPOnG message boards as a poster named "Intello Jello" proceeded to say that he worked for a UK games magazine and that in exchange for early review code for Driver 3 (and the first reviews anywhere), Atari demanded a score of 9 out of 10. Interestingly, PSM2 UK, one of the first magazines to publish a review, gave the game a 90 out of 100. Another UK magazine, Xbox World, was given a sticker on the Driver 3 promoting the high score (again, 9/10) they awarded the game. Both magazines are published by Future Publishing.
SPOnG and gamesindustry.biz have both written excellent articles on this growing controversy that I think anyone interested in game journalism should read.
Meanwhile, Atari has released a press release crowing that Driver 3 topped the UK sales charts for the PS2 and the Xbox during it's first week of release.
This is going to get very interesting before it's all over. We here at Gaming Target will keep you posted on all of Driver 3 happenings and we'll have our own Driver 3 reviews very soon.