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Kojima responds to MGS 4 review restrictions

3 min read


So we had a very lively discussion the other day about the restrictions that were placed on reviewers of MGS 4 that we felt were overly harsh, others however didn’t share out sentiment..

Well it seems like enough people made a stink about this and Kojima has now come out and clarified some matters.

What I found really refreshing is that they actually admitted that some of the restrictions were silly or outdated and have now rescinded some of them.

According to Ryan Payton, Assistant Producer, the install time for MGS 4 is only 8 minutes but there are subsequent shorter installs later in the game. People are now also allowed to comment on the length of cut scenes but they are still asked to not say which scenes are long or short as this may ruin the story… which I actually understand.

Some of the less important restrictions are staying in place for perfectly valid reasons as well, check the original letter after the break.

Hey Brian,

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In light of this, I took a look at the list of restrictions and found that some items are outdated and require more explanation.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:

-Install times
-Length of cutscenes (the ending in particular)
-Number of environments
-Opening “movie”
-Product placement
-(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 — 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.


Last Updated: June 6, 2008

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