Home » Forums » Game Culture » Games & Media

7 replies [Last post]
ZippyDSMlee's picture
Joined: 2006-09-30

[QUOTE]Atari goes after site after it posts negative, early review

By Ben Kuchera | Published: June 23, 2008 - 11:25AM CT

It's a well-known fact in the world of game reviews that publishers wish to control every step of the process. They decide who receives early access to the titles, they make the rules about when the reviews can be run, and they can pick and choose which sites or magazines get the highly coveted "exclusive" review of big-name titles. What happens when a site goes against this system and runs a review before the embargo is up on a copy of the game not given to them by the publisher? In the case of Atari and a gaming site in Germany called 4players, the publisher simply sues.

The argument is that since press copies of the newest Alone in the Dark title had not been made available to the site before the retail release of the game, the site had reviewed a pirated copy of the game. Copies of the game are in fact available on P2P, but the site claims that a retail connection gave them a physical copy of the game before the release date, allowing them time to play it and review it. The site also alleges that Atari has pulled an advertising campaign in retaliation.

It's impossible to know if 4players had a legit copy or a pirated version of the game, but this shows just how broken the embargo system is for game reviews. When you receive a game to review, the first thing you know to look for is the embargo; you have to find out when the company is going to allow you to run your review. Unless you signed paperwork saying you'd hold your review until that date, there is nothing keeping you from breaking the embargo, but game companies have long memories—and they talk to each other. If you get a reputation for not honoring embargoes, you can expect to stop receiving review copies, and you may find that getting press access at shows like E3 becomes problematic.

The problem is that embargoes don't level the playing field. In theory, they mean that every site has a review up on the same day, but in reality it means that the publisher gets to pick and choose what news sources are allowed to break the embargo, and of course that's worth a very significant amount of money; the publisher has set things up so no one can compete with companies given the ability to run the reviews. We've already discussed how important these exclusive reviews are, and how they are the industry equivalents of large bags of cash handed to news outlets.

A Dutch gaming site called Gamer.nl also alleges that Atari has tried to pressure it to remove a negative review. "Within an hour [after posting the review], Atari called to have the review pulled off, claiming there was an embargo till Friday," Gamer.nl staffer Erwin Bergervoet said to Shacknews. "Our review copy was sent directly to us by Atari and [was] not a pirated copy. They explicitly told [Gamer.nl] that they only let high-scoring reviews break the post-release embargo date."

It's an interesting position to think about. What if a friend at retail slips you a game a few days early? By reviewing it you're breaking the embargo, negating the power of whatever news source was given the exclusive rights to the first review, but you also risk being frozen out for future coverage, and now it seems like legal action is also a possibility. The message is clear: game writers must play by the rules dictated by the publishers, or they should be prepared to pay the price. [/QUOTE]


Who the fck needs them you can;t make it illeagle to review a fcking game.

Besides you'd get more more word of mouth coverage by not bending over for the publishers over it,sure you wont get thos juicy pre scripted reviews and interviews but who needs them tis all PR speak anyway! .


Ah modern gaming its like modern film only the watering down of fiction and characters is replaced with shallow and watered down mechanics, gimmicks and shiny-er "people".
Incoherence is my friend and grammar my bane, which is the fulcrum of suffering I place upon others!:ZippyDSMlee

Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

GameJobs Latest Openings


ECA Forums Shoutbox

You're not permitted to post shouts.
drclintcornellpacgtopsuv.com/2020-ram-2500/2018-12-11 15:42
Bonnibellehttps://www.bybit.com2018-11-30 04:28
amivaloasitumiv...https://txcatholic.org/forums/topic/nbcliveamerican-cup-2018-2018-live-stream-gymnastics/2018-03-03 14:39
amivaloasitumiv...https://txcatholic.org/forums/topic/fialivemexico-city-e-prix-2018-live-stream-race/2018-03-03 14:33
amivaloasitumiv...https://txcatholic.org/forums/topic/fialivemexico-city-e-prix-2018-live-stream-race/2018-03-03 14:32
MiaroseThese help to appreciate explosive climax. Males, Alpha force testo who are looking for how to enhance men power and stamina, are suggested to take these natural pills continually. http://supplementexamine.com/alpha-force-testo/2018-02-27 14:08
ginopropst55635...Link exchange is nothing else but it is simply placing the other person's webpage link on your page at appropriate place and other person will also do similar in support of you.2018-01-28 22:45
moriom505https://panthersvssaintslive.com https://billsvsjaguarslive.com2018-01-07 09:04
moriom505https://www.superrugbylivestream.com/2018-01-06 13:08
stator500https://canada-vssweden.com/ https://canadavs-swedenlive.com/ https://world-juniorsfinal.com/2018-01-05 10:44