Check Out These Dumbass Review Restrictions

Check Out These Dumbass Review Restrictions

This is something we’ve looked at in detail before, but an email flew into my inbox last week that was so hilarious I thought it was worth sharing.

To recap: in this job, when sent a copy of a game for review, you’ll often also be sent a list of restrictions of things you can and can’t talk about. Most of the time, it’s understandable stuff, like not mentioning any big story spoilers, etc.

The restrictions I got for PES 2016 (read my showdown “review” here), though, were truly bizarre, at least from the perspective of someone who writes about video games. I can’t imagine the hellscape those working in sports or sports marketing have to deal with if this is any indication.

What you’ll see below are the capture (so, the taking of video footage) restrictions for reviews of the game. Note that this stuff only applied to video footage, not the text of a review itself. So writing about the fact Wayne Rooney still plays for Man United, or that La Liga’s popularity is disproportionately skewed towards Barcelona and Real Madrid, was fine. Presenting it in video form was not.

Also note that this has nothing to do with Konami, the developers of the game! These restrictions are all coming from the various sponsors, competitions and teams they have had to sign licensing deals with to appear in PES, and are conditions of their inclusion in the game.

So the next time you complain that PES has trouble with its licensing, spare a thought for the legal (and markeing!) teams having to stay on top of all this nonsense.


  • I like the german clause. You have to use 7 or more players from germany or none at all but you need to feature a number of total players on screen where the number of german team members is equal to less than half of the sum total of players. You must use at least 15 when using germany…

  • Marcoms departments creating absurd brand rules to justify their own positions?

    Yep, sounds about right.

  • so what happens exactly if you say ‘fuck that, ill do it how i want to do it’ and what happens if someone on youtube makes a review for their channel ignoring the above bullshit?

    • You get black listed, no more games from the publisher/PR group, and the word can spread to other companies that you break restrictions/embargoes. Basically you choke off your own source of revenue as a journalist

    • Konami doesn’t give you anymore review copies. But then it doesn’t matter because Konami isn’t making games no more.

    • I assume if sites like Kotaku ignore it, they won’t be sent a review copy next time. As for Youtube, most wouldn’t get a review copy anyway, they’d have to buy it post-launch (and then they caan do what they want), those that do get sent one would probably have the same restrictions.
      Edit: I was waaay too slow 😛

    • Well for a start you wouldn’t get any free games or PR requests in future
      It wouldn’t matter to a random youtuber as they wouldn’t be getting the free pre-release game

  • This is what happens when you let lawyers run free. I’ve said from the beginning, they need to be kept in dark rooms and only allowed out twice a day to litigate.

  • Am I the only one here thinking that maybe it’s not such a hot idea to make a public post saying the restrictions on a video game review (which I imagine are supposed to be confidential) are “dumbarse”?

    • Posting about the limitations wasn’t included in the list, and they didn’t post them as a video, so it’s 100% A-OK.

  • They mean club teams the second time. It’s the Bayern Munich clause, to prevent you using the German national team license to show just Bayern players.

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