The review embargo for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will not lift until midnight of the launch day, which is a concerning sign that EA wants to prevent any potential negative review scores from affecting the sales of the game. The majority of video game developers and publishers will send out review codes to gaming journalists before a game is released, in order to give them time to finish their reviews before the game hits store shelves.
The journalists who agree to receive the codes and write the review are also agreeing to an embargo that restricts the date and time when the review can be published. There are no hard rules for when embargos should lift, but most companies will allow reviews to be published a few days before the game is released. It's generally seen as a bad sign if a review embargo happens on the day that the game is due to be launched, as it shows a lack of confidence in the final product and a fear of a negative response from critics. A review embargo that lifts after launch is understandable for multiplayer-focused games, but Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is single-player only, with no multiplayer components.
The previews for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order have been positive, so it's surprising to learn that the review embargo for the game doesn't lift until midnight on the launch day. Metacritic has confirmed on Twitter that the reviews for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order won't go live until release day in most regions, meaning that consumers won't be influenced by any potential review score if they want to purchase the game before launch.
A review embargo that lifts close to launch is usually seen as a sign of fear of a negative response. This isn't always the case, as the review embargo for Doom didn't lift until launch day and that received a positive response from both fans and critics. The review embargos that lift early are seen as a sign of confidence among developers and publishers, as was the recent case with The Outer Worlds. The positive reviews of The Outer Worlds speak for themselves and it shows that Obsidian Entertainment knew that it had struck gold.
EA has shown off Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order at E3 2019 and other gaming events throughout the year and the response to the game has mostly been positive. It's possible that the delayed review embargo is not an attempt to hide any issues with the game, but it's a bad sign nonetheless. It should be noted that Screen Rant will not be receiving a review code for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order until the game is already available to purchase, so our review will also be delayed until after launch.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will be released for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 15, 2019.