Yesterday's edition of Sessler's Soapbox has generated heat in the gaming world.
In it, Adam Sessler takes issue with rumored non-disclosure agreements game reviewers were asked to sign in order to review advanced copies of eagerly-awaited stealth/action game Metal Gear Solid 4. Check it out:
Kojima Productions' Assistant Producer Ryan Payton responded thusly:
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In light of this, I took a look at the list of restrictions and found that some items are outdated and require more explanation.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...
(Read the entire letter on game-blog Kotaku)
We talked to Sessler who responded to the response with the following. "I’m very pleased this has a resolution in time for the reviews on the game to come out," Adam said. "I haven’t talked to Ryan Payton yet, who I consider a friend and colleague, but I greatly appreciate his and Kojima production’s reconsideration of these restrictions. Our ability to speak openly and honestly to our viewers has always been of the utmost importance, and I know Kojima productions and Konami feel the same way."
"I thought the term '90 minutes' was just a shorthand way of saying 'long' from the beginning. Anyway, I’m glad this all settled, because I really want to play this game." He added.