I dont know the solution to the problem.
Basically the industry is currently like this.
It heavily relies on pre orders, many games been put up for sale a year before release.
Big name games will usually have E3 footage, but in recent years this footage has often been different to the final product in terms of quality/features in a bad way.
Playable demos been released before the game, seems infrequent now days, so consumer cannot try before purchase.
Games are focusing more and more on multiplayer with even now some games been multiplayer only, since multiplayer enjoyment depends on popularity of game, gamers will be pressured to either pre order or purchase early after release.
Hype is built up via promotion campaigns, fanboys, advertising and often is all thats needed to sell a game, pre release vidoes usually feature very little continous gameplay.
Pre order game content bonuses's are now rife in the industry.
Day 1 patches also starting to get more and more common which suggests quality of development is dropping although it could be a deliberate anti piracy measure.
Independent reviewers who have gave games bad reviews have been hit with copyright claims from developers of games, to get the review taken offline.
All major review sites get free copies of games (usually pre release), but are subject to embargoes until a set date, when they all release reviews same time, this will often be very close to release date, or same time as release date.
Now only approved companies (typically ign, gamespot etc.) can post gameplay footage on youtube from many publishers, this has led to a drought of gameplay footage as everyone is scared of been copyright striked. This tightens the relationship between ign and the publishers, ign get monetisation exclusivity on their videos, in return I suspect favourable reviews are given.
Games with big marketing budgets tend to by coincidence get favourable reviews, even if the game is bad, since the review companies need to look credible they will give some good games bad scores so they can look balanced. Typically jrpg's and low budget games are the victims.
People who get free copies dont necessarily get paid but they wont want to bite the hand that feeds it, so they realise if they give unfavourable reviews, their supply of free products may get cutoff, hence they may choose to not do a review instead of publishing a bad review. Some people have had to sign review contracts stating they not allowed to negatively portray the product.
Whats the solution?
as I said I dont know, I think one solution could be to ban pre ordering, that would also kill of all the pre order exclusive rubbish that currently goes on, but I fear this would instead just lead to a surge of people ordering/buying on release day, so wouldnt necessarily solve the problem.
I think the game industry could regulate that a playable demo that reasonably represents the game in terms of visual quality and features should be launched at least 1 month before the game goes on sale. In the 1990s playable demos were very common. I remember ff13-3 E3 demo, the media were able to play it at the event, but this didnt get released to the public until about 14 months later, just 2 weeks before release, the exact same demo, they just deliberatly delayed it, of course many games have no playable demo at all.
Day 1 patch ban? but this could lead to bugs been artifically kept in place to honour the ban. Instead maybe regulation that states if a game has to be patched on day 1, all DLC has to be free or consumer refunded 25%. Or if a game has a unpatched bug left in place (to try and circumvent the rule) the penalty still applies.
I would also regulate any released game has to be supported 2 years after release, laltely many games either dont get patches at all for bug fixes, or the devs will patch but give up within a few weeks, they abandon the product at that point. Again in the 1990s, it was not uncommon for games to have bugfixes 3-4 years after release.
Any promotional footage is not allowed to be FMV's, should be gameplay footage, cutscenes ok if rendered using gameplay models. Footage is not allowed to shift from scene to scene rapidly, so has to be minimal 30 secs continous footage.
Require publishers to release multi genre games with good budget spread instead of exhausting existing IP's. e.g. activision is the biggest culprit here, on consoles they plunder COD IP annually, on PC its WoW. They dont actually release that many different types of games compared to say ubisoft, kanomi, square enix, namco etc. even EA has a wide range compared to activision.