Realtime Worlds brings APB embargo forward

Developer to give reviewers early access following complaints over policy

Realtime Worlds has brought forward the embargo for reviews of APB to a new date of July 2, four days earlier than previous requirements indicated.

The move follows some complaints in the videogames media that enforcing such an embargo would make it impossible for publications to responsibly inform the public in advance of purchase.

The new date is in line with the UK release date - with journalists now being given access to an Early Access event starting on June 26.

Realtime Worlds originally argued that it had enforced the live embargo period in an attempt to elicit fair reviews of the game, with many of the dynamics of the online title relying on a vibrant community.

However, it was pointed out that such a move could also be interpreted as an attempt to prevent potentially negative critical reaction from being seen by consumers until after they'd purchased the game.

Realtime Worlds has since contacted to explain further the company's motives, and highlight the new embargo date. The full statement is as follows:

"The 'Key to the City' event is a demo event, not an open beta in the usual sense of the term. Players only have five hours of Action District playtime and are well aware that characters, customisations, vehicles, clothing and symbols created during the event are going to be wiped in time for launch.

"As a result anyone attempting to review the game during this period would experience a somewhat unrealistic representation of what APB is offering the user and as such it was deemed inappropriate to allow reviewers to do so.

"The decision was purely based on wanting reviewers to experience and see the full live server with players having both progressed and expressed themselves. Our service will also be down for the period between the end of 'Key to the City' on June 19 and the start of our 'Early Access' event in North America on June 26. This too would have prevented reviewers from playing the game.

"The initial July 6 embargo date was based on the UK street date of July 2 and on press not having access to the game until said date. We are however moving the embargo date forward to July 2 and giving reviewers invitations to the 'Early Access' event in order to ensure that they are able to properly experience APB and its community in time for street date.

"Realtime Worlds is confident that APB All Points Bulletin is a great game and we have taken on board all the feedback provided to us by our community during the closed beta testing period in preparation for our launch.

"If we were not confident in the game we would not have sent out hundreds of thousands of access keys for our ongoing 'Key to the City' event, we would also not be encouraging players to post their own videos and screenshots online.

"The best way to make the decision for yourself is to jump in to the Key to the City. So head over to, grab a key and draw your own opinion."

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Latest comments (4)

Jordi Rovira i Bonet Lead Engineer, Anticto11 years ago
For me it makes sense that a game like this wants to make sure it is properly reviewed. Good journalists would take enough time to experience it anyway before writing anything. This measure is aiming to the rest.

More representative reviews will at the end of the day benefit the potential players.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 11 years ago
Its a *little* crazy but I'd assume good faith. Of course if our cynical side is right, then Realtime Worlds can expect no less than a complete loss of trust in there company - which will be reflected in the reviews.
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Kevin Johnson Quality Assurance 11 years ago
This product solely relies on users creating content and atmosphere within the world. The embargo date was justified in my personal opinion.

If the embargo date wasn't place, Reviewers would be creating reviews on something that would not exist in a few weeks time. And by doing so is an un-aided review for a consumer reading it come release day.

Good call on the embargo and may APB live. :)
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Kenneth McCormick IT Consultant/Trainer 11 years ago
Embargoes never are justifiable and only encourage doubt in the quality of a product.
I actually do not see any argument for this behaviour - other than the hope that the first week will sell enough SKUs that not so positive reviews do less financial damage. Assuming that reviewers stand and fall with their credibility, it is really hard to believe that everybody should hipshoot here if not stopped by the developer.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Kenneth McCormick on 8th July 2010 7:03pm

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