Pretty much everything that has a public release day has a good chance of having an embargo placed on it.
What Are Embargos
I’m sure most people heard about embargos in passing. Or maybe people wondered why reviews for some things go up at varying times before their release. Not to mention how impressions are kept on a hush hush. To an even further extreme there are times when the the piece is kept from the public. Embargos are legal rules that allow people, generally members of the press, the opportunity to view a new movie, game, tv show, or piece of technology, but keeps the opinions and reviews from being revealed before a certain date.
The Reason for Embargos
There are a few really good reasons for embargos. The main reason for embargos is to benefit whatever product is being marketed. By placing an embargo on a piece, it controls the release of information about the product. Being able to control the information that gets out on a product allows for someone not only make some last minute tweaks, but also allows for controlling the perception of a project. This is particularly helpful if the project isn’t as strong as they may have once hoped. Another major reason for embargos is the flow of information about a project is more concentrated rather than being staggered. Having a heavily focused campaign both from the internal marketing and from press is far more effective of getting the word out their.
Reason for Hesitation
While embargos can be a good thing, they can also be telling. I’ve noticed many embargos that wait until the very last minute before anything can be said about it. In some ways, it doesn’t actually speak to the quality of a product. The Stick of Truth was an example of that. The embargo on that game pretty much lasted up til the 11th hour before we started to hear more about the game. The game actually was fantastic so, the idea that holds on embargos means a bad product are not true. However, it is often an indication that the product doesn’t have the full faith. In many cases this does result in a subpar product. The Vampire Academy didn’t have many if any showings and it showed when the project released and was critically and publicly slammed. However, despite the quality of a product having embargo holds until the very end allow for excitement and mystery around the product to build. If there’s any chance that a subpar product may sneak under someone’s nose and surprise them into a hit, this tactic works well. The idea is that the longer the embargo lasts, the more mystery surrounding a project has. It also allows for the public to have a more immediate reaction without being swayed by opinions of the press.
What are your thoughts on embargos?