News

Double Fine embargo Broken Age reviews from Kickstarter backers
Posted: 14.01.2014 14:29 by nickhorth1 Comments: 5
Double Fine's crowd-funded adventure game Broken Age is released to Kickstarter backers today, but they won't be able to talk about it for another two weeks due to an embargo.

While embargoes to the press are relatively common, it's an unusual decision to issue one to people who've already funded your game. Double Fine spoke to DVG247 about their decision. “Right now we’re working on a press release that will go out tomorrow morning. This will announce the public ship date of the game and a new trailer showing off Vella, the female protagonist!”

 
They continued, “We’re also preparing to send out review codes to press, who will be under review embargo until January 27. This embargo also applies to any of you backers who are in the press or have blogs—we are requiring all formal reviews be held until January 27 at 10am Pacific time (6pm GMT). The same time limit applies to the press as to backers; everyone is in the same boat! We’re trying to be as fair as possible given that backers will have access to the game before everyone else.”

No idea what the penalties might be when the embargo is inevitably broken, but it's a strange, standoffish decision to try and stop people who've helped fund your project from talking about it. What counts toward the embargo? Does it apply to posts on social media too?

We'll keep you updated with future developments.
Source: VG247
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Comments

By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jan 14, 2014
SirRoderick
Way to make it look like you have something to hide -_-
By The_Tingler (SI Core) on Jan 14, 2014
The_Tingler
Considering they're giving it out to all 87,142 of their supporters first that's hardly hiding things, especially when you consider that review embargoes are common to 90% of the games you read about on this site. It's just so everything goes up at once basically. I ALSO want to point out that they did NOT "speak to VG247", nor was it in a special "Kickstarter update sent to VG247 today" as they claim, this was a backer-only update. A lot of the stuff in that news post (not yours Nick, the VG247 one) was highly unprofessional, basically calling for dissent and saying "the rules are hazy at best" as if they've never encountered embargoes before (which they will have). Backers can talk about the game all they like - reviewers just can't issue a formal review it until ACTUALLY GOES LIVE FOR EVERYONE TO BUY.

Double Fine are in an odd position here obviously - normal publishers/developers/PR guys would only tell the press this stuff but as they know they'll have many games writers among their backers (me among them, check out the SI review on the 27th!!) they have to put it in a backer update to everyone - a number of which who react like this, for example.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jan 14, 2014
SirRoderick
ANY review embargo looks like you're hiding things. None of that argument is relevant at all. There is no need for a review embargo if the version that will be reviewed is the same as the one getting released to the public. At all, it's an antiquated publisher habit that makes no sense and only serves to raise suspicions.
By The_Tingler (SI Core) on Jan 14, 2014
The_Tingler
Probably right, but it still goes on with pretty much every game. Nevermind anyway, Double Fine just posted this update:

"Hey all, I just wanted to write and let you know that we have decided to go ahead and lift the embargo on Broken Age reviews. The decision to set this originally was not made with any sort of malicious or controlling intent, but rather to keep spoilers to a minimum and give press time to enjoy the game, reflect on it, and write a review without feeling rushed to get it out first. However, it's clear the excitement will be difficult to contain.

So feel free to run your reviews and let's play videos as soon as you'd like! (And remember to be careful about story spoilers, especially the ending) Thanks for being so understanding. Hopefully you guys did the game!"

With most of the internet criticising the decision this was really the only sensible choice.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jan 15, 2014
SirRoderick
They aint stupid over there :P