Online Haze reviews embargoed till May 23 in UK

Tuesday, 20th May 2008 11:05 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Update: The embargo’s been lifted. See here.

According to British press sources, online Haze reviews in the UK are being strictly embargoed until May 23, the game’s release date.

The news follows an eye-widening 4.5/10 from IGN this morning, and the removal of a 6/10 piece from GameReactor yesterday, after caused by a broken embargo.

Watch for the scores on Friday.



  1. Psychotext

    This 9-bargo stuff needs to stop.

    #1 7 years ago
  2. patlike

    A bit daft, yep.

    #2 7 years ago
  3. DrDamn

    Surely you mean 4.5-bargo … how did that one work?

    #3 7 years ago
  4. Blerk

    Tut tut.

    #4 7 years ago
  5. pjmaybe

    I’d have thought that the demo would’ve actually done more harm to the sales than the reviews tbh but hey, silly me.

    No embargo on reviewing the demo is there? How about doing that instead :)

    #5 7 years ago
  6. pleasant_cabbage

    tut tut indeed… so no reviews til after opening weekend sales? I wonder why

    edit – Actually I’ve gone date mad recently and the above comment is absolute bollocks
    /hears Tom Jones singing ‘What’s new pussycat’ :)

    #6 7 years ago
  7. Psychotext

    DrDamn: Ubisoft are well known for having embargo dates based on the score you give the game. Give it a 9 or higher (possibly an 8 in some circumstances?) and you can publish your review early. Give it a crap mark and we usually wont see the review until near the game’s release date.

    Who knows what happened with IGN. Maybe they’re big enough that they said to Ubi that they wont review the game if they can’t publish it when it’s ready.

    #7 7 years ago

    Oh my…

    What have you come to when you need to stop people from finding out what your game is actually like in order for them to buy it?


    #8 7 years ago
  9. Killerbee

    Poor show from Ubi / FRD in embargoing reviews until release date. All it shows is how much confidence they lack in their own title, which is hardly a ringing endorsement.

    And there’s enough negative rumour and speculation doing the rounds anyway, that this seems rather pointless – IGN have posted their review – would they rather we just had one bad review to go on? Is it so inconceivable that other reviewers might like it? Frankly, if Ubi/FRD think that, they really don’t deserve to sell many copies of this.

    I’ve all but crossed Haze off my wish-list of games-to-buy-once-I-get-a-PS3 anyway.

    So. When are they doing the next Timesplitters?

    #9 7 years ago
  10. Aretak

    The sure sign of a turd, just like films which don’t have preview screenings for critics.

    #10 7 years ago
  11. TheDifficult3rdAlbum

    Of course, the embargoed GTA IV disappointed with only a 10 from EG (and everyone else).


    #11 7 years ago
  12. Aretak

    There were quite a few reviews of GTA IV available by this amount of time before its release (including IGN’s incidentally). Also a slight difference in that everybody knew GTA IV wasn’t going to suck. Haze on the other hand… :)

    #12 7 years ago
  13. whoelse

    ?? Whats the point. IGN says it all.

    #13 7 years ago
  14. Shatner

    Yes, embargoes are NOT about publisher confidence.

    A publisher has a lot riding on the release date and information of a game. Promotions, campaigns and so forth. Information or details about game contents (not necessarily about quality – but about plot details or game secrets etc) may be crucial for the publisher to NOT appear before a certain date because they have umpteen millions of dollars and a marketing schedule planned out all around a single product.

    Things are not as simple or as black and white as many folk would like to assume.

    #14 7 years ago
  15. Psychotext

    Shatner: You’d have a point… if high scoring reviews were embargoed for as long as the low scoring reviews.

    #15 7 years ago
  16. Axle

    Can’t agree Shatner. If a game is going to be well received, then I’m sure the publisher wants to get it out as soon as possible, there’s not many better ways to sell a product than by positive reviews. Addtionally, you can often read a review of a game, well in advance of its release even if the game is not massively hyped, but is a solid product (Ace Combat 6 for instance).

    It it is demonstrative of a lack of confidnece in the game. I thought Haze looked OK and it might still be, but this doesn’t bode well.

    #16 7 years ago
  17. patlike

    Shatner is right, to be honest. It just depends on the product. There are any number of reasons why the publisher might want to control review content, such as marketing, exclusivity deals, mag covers, etc, etc, etc. It doesn’t automatically mean the game’s shit. GTA IV’s a prime example.

    #17 7 years ago
  18. Axle

    GTA IV is an exception. There was so much hype surrounding the release that T2 could have released a top-down GTA: Andorra and it would have sold. This site constantly mreported on the multitude of writing which concentrated on GTA (CVG, EDGE being the best examples). The delay from Rockstar increased the hype further (although I don’t think they were cynical enough to delay for the sake of it) and the normally shy Houser was out and about saying how great it was. It is a great game, but T2 were extremely clever about how they marketed it, allowing for SOME exclusive reviews, and then removing the embago – all well BEFORE the release date, so if it was weak, then customers could make up their mind.

    I think Mark Ecko’s Getting Up was sanctioned for review before it’s release date. That was wank. I can’t think of other examples, but in my experience, it’s never a positive thing when reviews are delayed. It’s a cynical tactic, but understandable if the product is poor.

    #18 7 years ago
  19. patlike

    You’re right about GTA: it was very carefully managed, and it was very cleverly done, frankly. But big games are often review-embargoed in the same way because of local exclusives, and so on. Halo 3 was, for example. It just meant that everyone got to go at the same time, regardless of where they were. Gears of War was another one.

    #19 7 years ago
  20. Axle

    Fair play. I forgot about Halo and didn’t realise that Gears was subject to embargoes.

    Is that specific to first party releases though such as Gears, Haze and Halo?

    #20 7 years ago
  21. grandmaster

    Haze is third party.

    #21 7 years ago
  22. patlike

    It honestly depends on the game. If there’s a lot of international interest there usually will be, yeah. Final Fantasy’s a good example, actually. Because of the difference in release dates, Square’s pretty hot on import review embargoes. But in general review dates on big games for big publications are agreed in advance more often than not, tbh.

    Don’t get me wrong: it can mean the game’s shit and the publisher doesn’t want to ruin its chances at retail if it can help it ;)

    #22 7 years ago
  23. Psychotext

    Embargoes are mostly fine… embargoes based on review scores are not.

    #23 7 years ago
  24. Whizzo

    Embargoing UK reviews until the 23rd for a game that comes out in the US today seems a little pointless.

    Of course no-one in the UK can see bits of the internet outside the British Isles.

    #24 7 years ago
  25. goon

    “Is that specific to first party releases though such as Gears, Haze and Halo?”

    To my knowledge……all of those are third party.

    I personally feel the 4.5 review is a shocking piece of journalism. It’s a 7.5 game, it’s not amazing or trend setting but it isn’t bad and certainly not 4.5 bad.
    Most reviews tend to focus on it not doing anything new, but what did Halo 2 & 3 do?

    #25 7 years ago

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