Press and backers of Double Fine’s Kickstarter funded game Broken Age will be receiving part one of the game today, but Double Fine has put a review embargo on the game until January 27th.
“We’re also preparing to send out review codes to press, who will be under review embargo until January 27,” says Double Fine on their backer-only message entitled Update #31. “This embargo also applies to any of you backers who are in the press or have blogs—we are requiring all formal reviews be held until January 27 at 10am Pacific time (6pm GMT). The same time limit applies to the press as to backers; everyone is in the same boat! We’re trying to be as fair as possible given that backers will have access to the game before everyone else.”
Some see this as a troubling sign of the game’s quality. A review embargo is sometimes used to keep possible bad reviews of a game from coming out before the game’s release that could jeopardize a game’s sales. However part one of Broken Age is being released in beta form, as evidenced by Update #31′s headline “Back Beta Coming TOMMORROW!”, and Double Fine is encouraging early players to report bugs. This two week embargo may simply be a way to keep impressions of a beta tainting the game’s reputation when it’s fully released. Or we could be looking at situations similar to Ryse: Son of Rome, Dead Space 3, and Aliens: Colonial Marines.
UPDATE: The review embargo has been lifted. Wow, that was fast. The announcement was made on the Broken Age Kickstarter page:
Hey all, I just wanted to write and let you know that we have decided to go ahead and lift the embargo on Broken Age reviews. The decision to set this originally was not made with any sort of malicious or controlling intent, but rather to keep spoilers to a minimum and give press time to enjoy the game, reflect on it, and write a review without feeling rushed to get it out first. However, it’s clear the excitement will be difficult to contain.
So feel free to run your reviews and let’s play videos as soon as you’d like! Just remember to be careful about story spoilers, especially the ending! Thanks for being so understanding. Hopefully you guys dig the game!