The blog, Thoughts on Games and That, takes a look at a recent situation where Microsoft bullied Go Gaming Giant into taking down their Halo 3: ODST review.
Odd but interesting situation, I probably would have taken it down also
The guy was an asshole. Microsoft doesn't even give the site a copy to review, then punishes them for finding a copy early and not knowing the embargo date. MS has to have a better way of dealing with these type of situations. If you want journalists to respect you, you need to respect them. That was obviously not the case in this incident.
Screw that noise, he did not sign anything with Microsoft saying they would not review a game early. If you obtain a legal copy in the wild then it's fair game. I would have left it up, Microsoft just wants to keep the reviews in the hands of websites that they can influence!
you also would have left it up? jeez, guys remember if you had left it up, MS could have very well stopped supporting your site forever
In my opinion, an embargo can only be enforced when there's some kind of contract between the publisher and the site. If a game is legally obtained, who cares about an embargo? If Microsoft cared so much, they would provide more sites with review copies. If they didn't provide anything, then there's no contract.
I would have taken it down. Honestly, it is microsoft, who do you think is going to win? GoGaming or Microsoft. Anyways, It is Nick from G3(I wrote the review).I honestly did purchase a copy at my local store, and Matt asked me to review it. I did, and I did not think we would get in this much trouble. I hope Microsoft would understand but honestly, we put the review out when we were able to. I have lost a little respect for Microsoft, but honestly I see our mistakes. I think we should have emailed Microsoft asking for the emabrgo date, but then again, that was in the past and that can not be changed. I also realize that the person emailing Matt was doing his job.
Yes, what a great win for the people who have done nothing wrong! Leave it up or don't take it down NOW and we'll take away any chances of attending our events in the future! Seriously, I'd take it down, but I wouldn't have bent over backwards to take it down. Microsoft needs to go after the retailer that sold the software prior to the street date, not the people who bought a copy of their game. Especially the people who bought it, played it, and rated it a 9/10.
Lewis here. Just spotted this. Worth pointing out: this is my personal blog and in no way affiliated with any of the publications I write for. GGG's editor spoke with me about the situation and I blogged about it, as I found it an interesting situation and wanted to know whether people thought MS were appropriate in their somewhat heavy-handed approach. The post wasn't intended to be accusative of anyone. Just wanted to clear that up before it spirals and I have a load of people on my case.
lol, nice article Lewis, nothing to worry about though, this situation/article wasn't meant to start any trouble, like you said, just wanted to hear people's opinions on the situation.
It also goes to show that a lot of reviews are not actually recognized as press. Which is my problem with metacritic.. to boost halo review scores metacritic may add the review if its a high score.. but let it be known and understood.. legitimate and recognized press received the embargo notice and are aware it.. if your not aware of it it's because you are not recognized as a legitimate website. or you would have received the notice with everyone else. I bet IGN, HHG, Gamespot, gamepro etc got the notice from microsoft.. with that said, seeing as how i am not a legit press site and i found an early release of the game and reviewed it, i would have not taken it down.
you wouldn't have taken it down? even if it meant losing your relationship with Microsoft?
If you are a gaming website or blog and want to get support from Microsoft sometime in the future, it would be a smart thing to take it down. If you didn't care about getting Microsoft's support for your site, throw up your finger and move on.
ye that's pretty much what I was thinking, well said
We give the game companies way too much power. If someone buys a game, they should be free to post about it online, as is within their right. If the company wants to be angry with someone, then they should go after the retailer in question, who broke the street date. The whole 'no press pass for you' is just a d*ck move by Microsoft when the person was not denying their request at all.
It was a move to assert dominance. Growing sites like G3 can't very well fight back, so they flexed their muscles and we're recovering despite it all. I'm sure they won't block us out completely, that'd just be ridiculous.
Well, G3 will definitely receive embargo communication from Microsoft now. No flying under their radar anymore. I thought it was a little pathetic for Microsoft to use heavy handed tactics to bully Matt after he promised to take the review down and provide a receipt. I wonder if the retail store that sold Nick the copy will be ex-communicated by MS as well. Probably not would be my guess.
it was an online site. i really hope Microsoft realizes that we did in no way mean to break any embargo's or anything.
100% bullied, sucks.
Being an editor at G3, I hope you guys don't find my opinion as biased an unimportant, but in all honesty I can't understand why Microsoft would be so harsh except to set an example. They know themselves that an embargo is not legally binding unless a contract is verbally made or formally signed. Yet they claimed an embargo was up and reacted as if furious. From the start they knew that their final words would be to punish Matt and G3 somehow, and this is what resulted. It's certainly taught us a lesson. Many of you say that it isn't fair for Microsoft to respond like this, but at least it sets the tone for our site and every other site when it comes to doing actions that may step on the toes of publishers. Moving forward, G3 will keep this in mind and never have a falling out of this sort again.
There are sites that have to follow the embargo and sites that have exclusive deals to post their review before embargo. It's not fair to the sites that have to follow the rules if other sites disregard them. If you don't want support from MS, leave it up there. It's not bullying, it's business.
I know of so many other sites that broke embargo that were actually under embargo and they didn't get in trouble so I don't really get that. I bet if IGN had broken embargo then nothing would have happened
Who broke embargo? Bear in mind a number of sites will have entered into separate NDAs which permitted them to post regionally exclusive coverage etc. That's basically the point of setting an embargo for everyone else.
I work for Go! Gaming Giant. A rough situation, to be sure. On the other hand, now I'm part of a badass outlaw gaming site. Metal. ;)
You'd probably have a lot more people on your "side" if you DID post the proof of purchase, so that we could all see that you did indeed obtain the game legally at a local shop. Scanning the receipt or even taking a picture of it should be quite a simple matter. That would probably lay to rest many of the concerns people have, and look a lot more like "bullying". The way I see it now, Microsoft asked several times for GGG to prove that they didn't pirate the game, and GGG hasn't responded to that appropriately yet.
we sent them proof. if you wish to see the pictures. here. http://i20.photobucket.com/... http://i20.photobucket.com/...
I'm conflicted. I write for G3, but I'm also a journalist and I know about ethics. This sort of situation is tricky, but its pretty clear: the review should not have gone up. Its part of the ethics that go along with being a journalist to follow release dates and to not release news early for a piece of entertainment that has not been released yet. Especially since the reviewer got a hold of a copy early, that puts him in a tough situation. However, microsoft should be getting even with the game store that sold it early: there are the real problem On the other hand: Microsoft does seem the bully in this situation, but hell; they didn't get rich being nice.
very intresting stuff. i donno what i wud have done in such a situation
Very sensitive situation, I tend to lean on the side of caution on things like this. Better to swallow your pride and maintain good standing with a publisher than to stick to your guns and possibly have them blacklist you. In the end you could always re-post the article/review once the embargo is lifted.
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