Icrontic takes a look at the recently developing scandal of the broken Halo 3: ODST embargo by the website Go Gaming Giant.
Microsoft seems to be taking it very seriously...
This is exactly what Microsoft should have done, why should they cater to a site that isn't following the rules, whether they did it on purpose or not you can't tell me they didn't wonder why none of the major sites had posted their reviews - it's not like MS came and spanked them, they just said they will not support their site anymore, which is EXACTLY what should have happened - well done Msft, well done!
Current me if I'm wrong, but don't review embargo applies to review copies only? You give them the review copy before it hits stores and ask them not to review it until a certain date, you can't stop anyone from reviewing any game once it hits stores, it falls under freedom of speech, G3 bought the game legally, if anyone at fault here it's the store which sold them the game.
I don't believe this for 1 minute I believe he got permission to release this early thanks to MS knowing they were gonna get some bad reviews. So they wanted to get out the good ones first.
vhero, that seems like a plausible situation and not one without some precedent but if that were true why would Microsoft have chosen this site to work with? I mean no disrespect to G3, but there are larger game sites that would probably be happy to do what you suggest.
Its really a story that sucks for everyone involved. Reviews get pulled, embargoes broken, banned from events. MS should have been a little more lenient with their punishment, but then again it could have been much worse.
I just don't get why we had to pull it, we were never made aware of an embargo, I don't see why they were so adamant that we pull it. In the end we pulled it out of respect but I don't think we should have had to pull it
sooooooooo how did you get a copy of the game? Were you ever able to show them the receipt if you were able to buy it early? If you did not physically get the game from Microsoft, you are under no contract and that embargo they set up you are not obligated to follow it. However, if you got an illegal copy of the copy, then there are consequences. But anyway did you ever show them the receipt? Once you do that you can literally tell them to shove it and stfu.
yes I did show them the receipt and proof that the game was real and legit
I think Microsoft is more in the wrong in this case. Especially after G3 provided legitimate and legal proof of obtaining the full game, not a review copy. I can understand their initial response, but once it was proven that a) they were working to take it down and b) they did not illegally obtain the game, they should have backed off and instead of trying to make an example of a fairly innocent site, worked with them to put out a message about the importance of the embargo--with which I personally disagree--and a warning to other sites that fail to work with Microsoft in this manner will be blacklisted as necessary.
Well, Matt, GGG et al... It seems there are some inconsistent patterns in your reported behaviour. You seem to have had NO trouble in: - attaining the game early - Hurriedly writing a review piece ASAP before anyone else - Hurriedly publishing said article ASAP before anyone else - Hurriedly getting the article linked to N4g for hits, before anyone else. Ironically, when it came to honouring the request of MS to pull the article, there seemed to be on your behalf, a distinct lack of the 'hurried zeal' which was evident earlier. It's strange to think that you could have the entrepreneurial nouse to get the game early AND review it early AND publish it early AND post it to n4g early, yet remain curiously unaware that there was an embargo? Care to explain? In truth, you did whatever you could to get hits for as long as possible, coat-tailing on the industry's hunger for ODST news. In all fairness, you got what you deserved. I just feel sorry for the people that you work with, that had nothing to do with this, that were hurt by your lack of integrity.
"we were never made aware of an embargo," Why are you acting so innocent? The people in the comments TOLD YOU. Embargo! Yet you're just like "HAHA what embargo?"
oh my when will it end lol
we all know MS is evil live with it
*whips* *whips* "Embargo!!!" rofl...
an embargo we never knew about
If you didnt know then what the f are you doing publishing reviews, isnt it your job to know?
The whole thing is retarded. The fact of the matter is, G3 bought the game legally. If you purchase something legally you can do what you want with it.
exactly lol, my thoughts exactly
If you want to have the legitimacy of other review sites you have to play by the same rules. It was known by many who follow the video game community that there was an embargo on reviews for the game so to claim ignorance is no excuse. Gamers knew for weeks exactly when the embargo would be lifted and when to expect reviews. To claim to be gaming media and not be aware of this is hard to believe.
yeah, impossible to believe that ggg didn't know about the embargo... even all the little kiddies in school knew that the reviews would be coming out on Sunday. anyways, ggg wanted to get hits and their name out there, ,mission accomplished.... now time to pay to piper.
Not knowing, and not being legally bounded by an embargo are 2 different thing. Of course we all know these embargo are imposed on most major review site. But GGG was never given an embargo nor were they legally bounded to one. So Microsoft is the one at wrong here not GGG.
See, this is just another reason why I don't like Halo. *ducks* :)
*shoots needler* Better duck...
It is a tough one. Actually embargos to my understanding are voluntary. BUT by going against them the company will not look favorably on the site/company in the future. They are no NDA (none disclosure agreements) which are more serious deals and require signatures (legally binding I believe). MS can take it as seriously as they like, never offering support to go gaming giant again. But really their beef will be with the retailer who sold the game when they shouldn't have. MS can be pissed but with no agreement it becomes hazy matter at best. Go Gaming Giant took it down at their request and unless MS issued them information of embargo dates who is to say they even knew an embargo existed. In the interest of honest I am associated with Go Gaming Giant, but in this matter am unsure of all the facts. I dont know what was said prior to or after by MS. This is what I believe from my understanding. I have seen images of the copy reviewed and it was a legit retail copy.
This issue here is the retailer which is selling games early. That is a pretty big no-no and can potentially get someone fired. There is no need to send out embargo notices to everyone since technically the game isn't supposed to be sold early. -Death
@ Death, don't speak on a subject you know nothing about. I get embargoes all the time, but I've only signed 2 NDA's in my life. Both of which were from SCEA. Yet I get embargo dates on nearly ALL review copies.
If you are getting your review titles from a third party through SCEA, your NDA is on file with them. If you are getting review copies straight from third party publishers I am a little surprised you aren't signing NDA's with them or atelast made a verbal NDA. Without an NDA there isn't much recourse if you decide to ignore embargo dates. Granted you will lose support through the publisher. The embargo letter that comes in the envelope with your review copy is a standardized/generic statement usually following a synopsis of the game. The issue her isn't with a review copy of a game, it's a store that sold the title early. -Death
this sh!t sucks big chuck norris hairy [email protected] ..
not suprised. MS is down by 2 tds with 2 minutes left and ps3 has the ball
Wtf does that have to do with anything, dummy?
You know that saying "ignorance of the law is no excuse?" Just because you aren't aware that rules don't exist doesn't mean you're allowed to break them. It's common sense that a HUGE release like Halo 3: ODST would be embargoed --you should have contacted a Microsoft rep if there was any doubt. I sympathize with your position, though, and granted it's a very firm stance for Microsoft to take. Best thing you can do now is raise your traffic to the point where Microsoft can't afford to ignore you anymore.
Let's not compare 'the law' which governs crimes to 'Microsoft Demands to control reviews in order to increase sales via hype' which governs Microsoft's wallet.
It's silly to think this rule is exclusive to Microsoft. I guarantee you if you try pulling this kind of shenanigans with Nintendo or Sony too they'll blacklist. Rules are clear: eff with them and you're not allowed to play.
Embargo's are not optional or voluntary. The way it works in most cases is you either receive a very clear email before the game is shipped stating the embargo date or WITH the receipt of the game it states that by accepting the game you agree to not publish any articles until the specified date. You can disagree with the embargo all you want, but the fact is that by accepting the game you're agreeing to their terms and breaking their terms has consequences. I applaud MS for what they did here (referring to trying to keep everyone's reviews on the same playing field). I'm tired of seeing certain sites get "early privileges" (usually when the developer knows the score is high *cough IGN's GTA4 review *cough) because all it does it hurt the industry as a whole. I like the fact that they kept EVERYONE on the same playing field. If GGG bought the game legitimately then I agree MS can't necessarily hold you to that embargo. But, I also agree with everyone else in that saying you weren't aware of any type of embargo is a bit naive. You either have to fess up to the fact that you're a poor site because you were unaware of something that's been widely known in the industry in which you represent or you just "coincidentally" happened to post your review before everyone else and played the dumb card as your excuse.
You also would have most likely received an advanced copy of the game. Retailers are not allowed to sell early. This is less about you and more about them. The best thing to have done was respect the embargo date. This is not exclusive to Microsoft, it is done by all publishers. By showing you are able to be trusted it may help you in the future. I know this may be a shock, but it is hard to find mature, responsible, and honorable game sites to share information with. -Death
It's also hard to find mature, responsible, and (above all else) honorable publishers to share information with.
Sony would never do such a thing
http://kotaku.com/240860/so... WAIT WHAT!?
That sucks but whether GGG knew about the embargo or not, the damage is done.
there was no reason to pull the review by request of someone at MS that doesn't know basic punctuation and/or grammar. if those are quotes from MS then it wasn't a lawyer that was contacting GGG and just some lackey that was using his title to bully an independent site. Its a pathetic tactic by a POS company and the stupidity of whoever contacted GGG, on MS's behalf, makes me proud not to own a POS Xbox! and seriously is making reconsider purchasing one EVER again!
As a video game journalist, I think you're held to a degree of responsibility. I've never visited Go Gaming Giant so I don't know if this is an accredited gaming site/blog or another fanboy site. Regardless releasing a review prior to embargo date is a no brainier unless you have specific clearance from the publisher, which isn't the case here. Weigh your options; be known as the site that broke embargo and damage relationships with MS and potentially other publishers or bask in your 5 minutes of shame on N4G.
Embargos, like I've said to many others, are not binding at all unless you SIGN a contract or commit to a VERBAL agreement. Even then, there is absolutely no legal action anyone can take against a website that breaks embargo except to try and sue for pirating a game, which they absolutely could not do because the copy was perfectly legit. At the same time, it was rather unwittingly naive of G3 to go ahead and put up the review. People forget that writers have these things called LIVES. A GROUP didn't work on the ODST review, a trusted reviewer did. As a result, when it was done, it was proofed and put up ASAP. Who wouldn't take the opportunity to be the first? It's a competative world in the gaming industry. That being the case, when they contacted Matt at who knows when in the afternoon, the mostly eastern USA-based staff was uhhh at work and school, maybe? Microsoft's response was both ham-handed and a crucifixion of sorts. Used to teach a lesson to any site that isn't Gamespot or IGN that ever breaks embargo, whether knowing or not. The message is they ALWAYS have an embargo. And if you didn't know, now you know. Screw you MS.
The big difference is Gamespot and IGN know better than to break embargoes. If they do it's with a company's expressed permission. For instance, IGN had an exclusive deal with EA to publish a review early for NFS: Shift. Additionally, Eidos had that deal with magazine publishers that they could print reviews for Batman given certain prerequisites.
So you do your 5 minutes in the penalty box and I'm sure all will be forgiven eventually. You guys better not break embargo on Modern Warfare 2 though....I'm calling dibs right now:)
very intresting stuff. i donno what i wud have done in such a situation
You'd think they would have sent a review guide and embargo information with their email, just to make sure GGG was indeed aware.
It seems clear that neither Microsoft nor GGG are under contractual obligation here and as far we know Microsoft has not gone after GGG with legal charges. Since the reviewer showed that he had a legit copy and he got it from a reseller who shipped it early he's not at fault for having the game and since it wasn't a review copy he was, to my understanding, legally free to publish the review before the embargo. But a gaming publication like GGG should not have been surprised that there was an embargo and, with a little research, should have been able to figure out that breaking the embargo would have negative consequences with Microsoft. Microsoft, in tern has every bit as much right to decide not to have a relationship with GGG in the near future. This isn't a story about legalities, it's a story of integrity, and yes, a bit. of miscommunication and misunderstanding
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