Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Damned embargos!

First the good news. Another article went live today on GameSpy. This time it was a preview of the upcoming Monster Hunter PS2 game from Capcom. So what's the bad news? I turned in the preview exactly one month ago. The reason it didn't go up any sooner had nothing to do with me missing any deadline, or the guys at GameSpy dropping the ball. The reason for the delay is that the article was hit by one of the little known hazards of the journalism field ... press embargos.

In a nutshell, it breaks down like this: A company provides product or information to journalists so that the journalists can write up an article on the company's product. The problem is, the company decides that it wants to grant an exclusive story to a particular outlet, or it wants to keep everything under wraps until just prior to (or just after) the product's release. Whatever the reason, the company imposes a press embargo, in effect telling the journalists that anything written up about the product can't go live until after a particular date. Most of the time, the press embargos aren't too terribly bad ... just more of a nuisance. In this case, the preview copy of Monster Hunter came across my desk way back at the tail end of June. However, due to Capcom's press embargo, nothing could go up online until after yesterday (August 17).

So, the next time you're wondering why you haven't heard the latest news about an upcoming game from your favorite magazine or website, don't so so quick to lay the blame on them. It's quite possible that their hands have been tied by the game's publisher.

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