| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (41)

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 8:12AM (Unverified) said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
So they invited a bunch of people who talk about the game a lot for a sneak peek of the game's future and then forced them to not speak about it? OK, which PR guy came up with this brainwave?

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 12:53PM real65rcncom said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)
That kind of exclusivity is why I doubt buy into blogger hype. They aren't going to invite anyone who would say anything remotely critical if it's warranted because the blogger wants his swag.

Most bloggers are the equivalent of jocksniffers in the NFL or NBA so I take what they say with a grain of salt. Especially the ones openly fan.

But there are good bloggers and those usually DON'T get invited and have to worry about NDAs.
Reply

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 3:30PM Saker said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified) Sounds like a typical corporate PR shill!
I personally despise the "business world" it's so full of scum and villainy to absolute overflowing. Either purely evil, or purely stupid, good luck finding anything -other-.
Reply

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 4:43PM Wild Colors said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I'm sorry, but I'm not permitted to tell you which PR guy it was.
Reply

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 8:18AM missingpiece said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I do not think the point is whether the NDA is counter-productive. Maybe in the case the author describes the whole PR stunt was useless : if the company does not want to show/publish details of their development yet, then do not show it.

That example is opposed to what is happening with the player council elected in EVE Online, the CSM, I think. The Council is bound by an NDA, too, and there is quite a lot of whining about it. B u t the big difference is that they are not simply shown new features to drool over them, but they are a stakeholder d u r i n g the development process. That means they are invitedby the development studio to exercise i n f l u e n c e.

So while in EVE Online the players whine that reports of the Council are not detailed enough, we can essentially be sure after all that the player base's opinion has still been brought to the developers. Not a question of the NDA, but how the process is set up.

The situation in the article, again, is not a farce n o t due to the NDA, but due to the producers not wanting to show off, but show off, but secret. So my guess is that business development said : we cannot give away the idea yet, the risk of IP theft is too big at this stage. While the marketing guys said : but, but, we m u s t start our campaign to build momentum for the launch. Corporate schizophrenia.

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 8:18AM Popplewell said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I sometimes think companies are so precious about their secrets, they don't even consider secrecy as being counterproductive.

WAR is hardly facing stiff competition for anything other than its dedicated fanbase and whilst people get grumpy if they look forward to a feature that doesn't make it, it might help people stick around if there's cool stuff on the horizon.

I sometimes look at "unofficial" information about TOR and I'm often bemused as to why they couldn't at least release more environment screenshots than one a week.

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 8:33AM GaaaaaH said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think that Open Betas with NDAs work against themselves.

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 8:45AM Brendan Drain said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@GaaaaaH Personally, I would go further and even say open betas with NDAs do not exist. It is impossible to enforce an NDA on publicly available information, so if anyone can sign up to play a game it logically cannot be bound by an NDA. I wonder how many companies have tried to enforce an NDA in open beta, I can't imagine it's very many.
Reply

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 8:52AM Eamil said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Brendan Drain

I remember Cryptic defined "open beta" specifically as "no NDA." IIRC when they went open beta in STO it didn't mean anyone could get in beta, it just meant the people who were in beta were suddenly allowed to talk about it.
Reply

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 10:00AM Brendan Drain said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Eamil That itself is just a company using the wrong term. Open beta is specifically a beta with open signup to the public. If only certain people can access the beta, it's definitely a closed beta. Companies using the wrong term for stuff like this is one of those things that irritates me, because agreed meaning of words is what allows people to effectively communicate. It really doesn't take much effort to find out the correct word for an idea and it solves all kinds of communication problems.
Reply

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 8:37AM Luxxicon said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
Unless they wanted to get a "third" opinion (designers and testers as one and two) on the quality of the content / features. Sometimes having a fresh set of eyes looking at something gives a good Sanity check on what you are doing. Inviting people who are passionate enough about the game to host a blog seems like a good, opinionated group to get feedback from, does it not?

If they get a pile of negative feedback then they have to make changes and that NDA means that feedback doesn't get back to the rest of the community. If the feedback is overwhelmingly positive then you can always release them from said NDA.

That's my take on it anyway.

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 8:38AM bobfish said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
NDAs are only a bad thing when the company uses them to prevent the consumer from knowing about the product and this only happens when they know that the product isn't good enough.

This isn't the case with the WAR thing or with many instances where NDAs come up.

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 8:47AM Dumac said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Those times when the game is in beta and you have people around the web saying things like "this game is sucks i cant say more 'cause of NDA". If you don't lift that NDA soon and show that you are not hiding something horrible and that in fact you appreciate feedback you are just going to prove every one of those right.

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 8:53AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Well I don't blame them I mean look how badly things turned out for ArenaNet after they let Bloggers visit their offices - the public learned all sorts of new stuff about the game and the anticipation level increased noticeably. Warhammer Online is a different sort of product I guess, maybe being forgotten and left for dead works for them.

As for them being paranoid about excessive negative feedback - if that is a real possibility maybe it's time to hire some new designers. Figuring out what the community would like after many years of the game being live shouldn't be a 50-50 shot kind of challenge.

Posted: Jul 11th 2011 10:03AM Daverator said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)

I really think the idea was to let the big bloggers see it, and probably provide feedback directly. Internal QA and testing tells you information, but having outsiders look at it can give you a better idea of what the public will think..
Reply

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 9:14AM Sephirah said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Are we talking about the game whose last press release was on December 3, 2009?
It seems coherent from Mythic, they don't seem to be willing to talk about their game: maybe they fired their PR staff and forgot to hire someone new.

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 9:14AM dudes said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
3rd faction, free to play and Borg Skaven. Nah, just kidding, no idea. Shame really, thought that's what blogs were for, to tell people stuff from a personal perspective. It's like inviting tailors to a nude beach.

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 9:21AM Palebane said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Didn't APB's NDA last a week after launch? Probably not counter-productive to the publisher since they would have fooled a lot less customers if it were taken away earlier than that.

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 9:53AM Omali said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Palebane There was an open beta on APB before it launched last year. What you're thinking of was the embargo on reviews that Realtime Worlds put into place for launch. Now, obviously they can't keep a company from doing reviews, but the threat of "we won't send you anymore preview copies" was clearly the motivator behind staying in line. Of course this just meant that regular gamers were the main source of initial reviews.

Granted, RTW went belly up just a few months later, so it's not like anyone breaking the embargo faced any punishment.
Reply

Posted: Jul 10th 2011 9:37AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
There is only one company that know's how to keep secrets, It's called Valve. I hate and love them for it.

Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW