Fallout 4 Review Embargo Gets Embargo

Fallout 4 Review Embargo Gets Embargo

Fallout 4, like most major video games, has a review embargo. Unlike most major video games, however, Fallout 4 has an embargo for its review embargo.

A "review embargo" is shorthand for the day and time that critics with publisher-provided early copies of a game can publish their reviews. This is a common practice, and in many ways it's a good one: By setting an embargo, a publisher prevents outlets from racing to see who can publish the first review at expense of thoroughness. We at Kotaku are not against review embargoes — unless they're set after a game has already come out.

But this is the first time we've seen an embargo on a review embargo. Here, obtained by Kotaku, is an email Bethesda sent out to press (not including Kotaku) today.

We hope you're having fun exploring the Wasteland in Fallout 4. We know your followers are eager to hear more about the game. If you'd like to reveal when your review or launch coverage will run, you can share beginning this Friday, November 6 at 10 a.m. PST.

Please keep in mind that the embargo below is still in place.

All review coverage is under embargo until Monday, November 9 at 8 a.m. EST.

This embargo also includes streaming gameplay footage or posting impressions from your experience on social media, etc.

We do ask that you avoid including story spoilers in your review coverage.

Please let us know if you have any questions.


The Bethesda PR team

So on Friday, at 10am PT (Saturday 5am AEDT), the embargo will be up for embargoed reviewers saying they're embargoed until Monday at 8am ET (Tuesday 12am AEDT). Anyone else feel like they have just walked into a Dr. Seuss novel?


    This is like a 10 second teaser for a teaser trailer for the full trailer of the final film.

      And the final film is split into two parts, the first part being being a teaser for the second part.

      its releaseption

    Yo dawg, I heard you like embargoes. So I put an embargo on your embargo, so you can be embargoed while you're embargoed.

      No, no, the last two verbs in the meme should related to the noun but not just a verbalisation of the noun. Here

      Yo dawg, I heard you like embargoes. So I put an embargo on your embargo, so you can wait while you wait.

    They shoulda put an embargo on the embargo about the embargo.


    This article is more confusing than the movie Primer.

    I'd be ok with embargoes if they were lifted 48 hours before the games release in the earliest regions. They're like Flanders' mustache. Makes it look like they've got something to hide.

    My thoughts about this are currently under embargo :(

    "Um Bongo, Um Bongo, they drink it the Congo."

    The third level:
    You are embargoed from announcing that you are embargoed until Nov 9th EST, but on that day- you can post your review- as long as you don't break the rules of a seperate embargo pertaining to content.

    Try not to screw up ;)

    Didn't you just break the embargo by posting that email?

      That was my first thought. Methinks Bethesda might be having a few stern words with Kotaku.

      Edit: My bad, didn't read the bit that said that Kotaku didn't get the email. Very weird though that it was sent out to "press" yet somehow Kotaku was excluded.

      Last edited 06/11/15 11:37 am

        More likely will have stern words with their PR department and go in to damage control. I'm sure they will be pissy at Kotaku as well, but it isn't in their best interest to go after them that way.

          Maybe bestheda shouldn't act like twats then. As much as Bestheda wants reviewers to think they are somehow blessed to be getting offered the opportunity to advertise for bestheda, since Kotaku is such a major player, the only one losing out would be bestheda if they stopped kotaku from getting early access to any games.

          Last edited 06/11/15 4:36 pm

            Let's be honest, at this point Bethesda doesn't need Kotaku to do early reviews of their games. Their games generate hype just from existing by now. I mean, people were getting hyped about Fallout 4 since long before it was even announced

              Yeah but kotaku is a big site, some people probably only read this site for gaming news - its def the only gaming site i see in my facebook feed that people repost. If kotaku reported nothing about fallout 4, it's trailers at e3, things leading up to it, then I disagree, it might effect sales. This is kinda like when Coke thought it was too big to need advertising, which it turns out was wrong.

                I can firmly confirm that I was only slightly interested in FO4 until I read Kotaku's E3 article on FO4 and now my partner and I have two copies on order from JB Hi Fi.

      Yulp no Bethesda games for Kotaku in the future

      My thoughts exactly. If I'm reading this correctly, what it says is that you can't tell anyone about when you can talk about the game until a time that hasn't passed yet. However, as stated, this email wasn't sent to Kotaku so the person in the wrong is actually the person who told Kotaku because that was a breach of the embargo.
      All that in mind, now that the information is publicly available it kind of negates the embargo embargo, which I'm sure Bethesda won't be too happy about.

      Legally no since Kotaku weren't sent the email directly from Bethesda.

      Technically the person who sent them the email did.

        Getting an email telling you to do something doesn't mean you are somehow in a legally binding contract.

        Last edited 07/11/15 11:48 am

          True, except that they would be under a contract agreement with Bethesda already in order to receive their preview copy of the game, so this would be a reminder of that key point in their agreement.

          Its generally frowned at, and game producers wont send copies to that review site. So basically you can send a review an hour or a day or a week early (as long as you didnt sign a contract of course) but from then on, the games that you get free, usually around a week early, or maybe a bit longer, and can review and publish as soon as you hit the deadline for the embargo, is almost zero, maybe an attention starved indiegame that just came out with little to no fanfair like big companies or titles like bethesda or fallout, which reduces revenue to your site, who will goto a gaming site, that has absolutely nothing about the game, when at least 5-10 others do?

      Dont think so.

      If you’d like to reveal when your review or launch coverage will run, you can share beginning this Friday, November 6 at 10 a.m. PST.

      the embargo relates to advertising the date / time of the review.
      which is pretty pointless in itself, but i'm not a game publisher so i'm not gonna comment on that.

      there's nothing in that email saying they cant talk about the embargo itself until a specified time, so they've done noting wrong.

        Yeah, it was just a confusing title that made a straight forward email sound totally confusing.

    I wonder if Phillip Defranco broke embargo when he mentioned that he has a copy and is going to be reviewing it?

    How very Inception or possibly a bit Interstellar of them.

    (Inception) Its an embargo within an embargo, that you only realise is an embargo when you awake from the first embargo into the second embargo. Only to realise on release day it had all just been an embargo from the start.

    (interstellar) We have a review in the 4th dimension that can only be seen in the third dimension once the embargo from the 1st dimension has already happened. Which in reality only happened because the embargo on the embargo had already happened causing the embargo in the first place !!

    Mind = Blown !!

    Let's not fallout over this one guys..GUYS!

    Why is it that when ever I hear the word EMBARGO I think of Largo from Monkey Island 2.....

    Look behind you - a three headed monkey!!!!!

    Last edited 06/11/15 12:16 pm

    Im guesing this was sent in by a youtube reviewer or twitch streamer since it mentions followers while tradtional sites like kotaku and ign and pc gamer treat people as readers and or viewers

    Its a little worrying they do this; not just cause it doesnt make sense, but what's the reasoning behind it

    I don't get it. Embargo on an embargo?

    "All review coverage is under embargo until Monday, November 9 at 8 a.m. EST."

    "Even if any of your readers can't work out that this is when the review will be shared, you can't tell them." Is this like a packet of nuts saying, 'Warning: May contain nuts."?

    gee, I wonder why.

    prolly because the player is a copy of himself in synth form.

    I'm guessing this was sent out before fallout 4 had a definite release date, so bethesda didnt want game reviewers to say, hey fallout 4 is coming out on XX-XX-XXXX, because usually reviews come out the day of, or a day earlier than the official release.

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