Computer Bild Spiele of Germany has, on its December cover, a blurb touting an "Assassin's Creed 2 SKANDAL!" It alleges Ubisoft wanted a score of "very good" before it would turn over a review copy of the game.
Says the publication:
Our reviews are tough, but fair. We will not give up our independent scores for the sake of a timely review. This holds true for "Assassin's Creed 2″. The publisher asked us to guarantee the score 'sehr gut' [very good], otherwise we would not receive a review copy, thus we will publish our review in next month's issue. We'd be more than glad to give the game a 'sehr gut', but only if it deserves it.
I've sent an email over to Ubisoft's PR to give them the courtesy of a response. Any that comes will be printed here.
But despite the fact this behavior has strong precedent, keep in mind this boils down to he-said Ubi-said. And it boggles the mind, from what we've all seen so far, that Assassin's Creed II would need such strong-arming to get a good score. But who knows. There is a ton of money riding on a game's Metascore, providing motive enough.