Published on June 5th, 2008 | by Daniel David
Kojima Productions Addresses NDA For MGS4
In case you don’t know there has been a bit of controversy surrounding the nondisclosure agreement for Metal Gear Solid 4 which basically says what reviewers can and can not say about the game when they do their reviews.
Different reviewing sites have spoken that Kojima Production have asked in their reviews that they don’t mention things like install times or length of cutscenes.
This has caused a bit of stir amongst gamers and reviewers alike. EGM even refused to review the game with a score until after MGS4 releases. Before the situation really gets out of hand Ryan Peyton from Kojima Productions clears up the issue and explains the reasons behind the NDA they put in place.
This is an email Peyton sent to Kotaku explaining the NDA.
Believe it or not, I’ve been so busy working on a special surprise for MGS4 buyers (that not even those who have leaked copies of the game can spoil! Haha!), that I haven’t had time to catch up on most of the pre-launch excitement.
Scanning the net today, I came across that 90-minute cutscene rumor, and a red-faced Adam Sessler, who was obviously very upset about the restrictions placed on MGS4 reviews.
Adam asks at the end of his Soapbox clip if he was rambling. On the contrary, I think he voiced some really important concerns about the restrictions placed on MGS4 reviewers.
In light of this, I took a look at the list of restrictions and found that some items are outdated and require more explanation.
We asked reviewers to avoid the following topics:
-Length of cutscenes (the ending in particular)
-Number of environments
-(Plus a half dozen story-specific items)
The game requires an eight minute install, as well as a number of two to three-minute installs between acts.
As for the cutscenes, reviewers are more than happy to comment on whether they’re too long or short. We simply want reviewers to refrain from describing which scenes are long, thus spoiling some of the experience because players will know what to expect when a scene is unfolding.
I want to make it clear that, from today, reviewers are welcome to discuss the length of the cutscenes and install times, but we ask that they not get too specific about the cinematic times and what happens in later install sequences…
But as for the next three items, we are still asking reviewers to avoid these topics. We want the opening to be a huge surprise for gamers, and knowing how many environments there are in the game, obviously, is a spoiler. These restrictions will remain in place.
Finally, we’ve asked reviewers to not write about some of the product placement because of some contractual agreements we have with third parties.
I hope this helps clear up some of the controversy.
As a former writer, I’m proud of the discussion this topic has sparked. I hope Adam, Patrick Klepek, and everybody else who covered this issue continue to be diligent about restrictions placed on media outlets. (That’s honestly why I’m such a fan of Kotaku â€” it keeps publishers on their toes.)
I do, however, hope gamers can appreciate the efforts we go through to keep them protected from reviewers that could spoil some of the MGS4 experience.
Some are going to see this as an excuse but I’ve been waiting for this game for a while now I have gone out of my way to avoid spoilers of any kind so I can see the reasoning behind the restrictions put in place.
I’m happy they have cleared this up before it got out of hand. More importantly I want to know what they special surprise for MGS4 buyers is.