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Atari tries to get bad reviews taken down, claims piracy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 23 Jun 2008 23:18 User comments (24)

Atari tries to get bad reviews taken down, claims piracy The video game developer Atari has filed suit against two Dutch gaming sites that have published unfavorable pre-release reviews of the upcoming game "Alone in the Dark." In the suit, the developer claims the reviews were written based on pirated copies of the game.
The sites, 4Players and Gamer.nl gave negative reviews of the game, 68/100 and 5/10 respectively, and posted the reviews two days before the official European street date. Because the reviews were based on "pirated" copies, Atari is seeking an undisclosed monetary settlement.

"Within an hour [after posting], Atari called to have the review pulled off, claiming there was an embargo till Friday,"
Gamer.nl commented. "Our review copy was sent directly to us by Atari and [was] not a pirated copy. They explicitly told [Gamer.nl] that they only let high scoring reviews break the post-release embargo date."

Although a pirated copy has been on file sharing networks for over a week, 4Players proclaimed that their copy was also retail. They said through the same "retail connection" they were able to have other games in the past.

The Norwegian gaming site Gamer.no also alleges that after they posted a 3/10 review, Atari contacted them to remove it immediately.

"Atari contacted us just minutes after it was published, claiming that our review is probably based on a preview or pirated copy, and requested it to be removed,"
said Gamer.no's Tor-Steinar Nastad Tangedal. "We never removed it, of course."

The North American retail version is set to hit stores tomorrow.

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24 user comments

123.6.2008 23:26

Atari, just give it up. Please don't humiliate yourselves.

223.6.2008 23:29

*sighs*

Ahh...here we go.

323.6.2008 23:36
varnull
Inactive

So save your money.. it's obviously a turkey .. hahahahahahaha..

423.6.2008 23:38

Originally posted by varnull:
So save your money.. it's obviously a turkey .. hahahahahahaha..
Gobblegobblegobbble.

Lol.

523.6.2008 23:41
varnull
Inactive

http://www.gamer.no/artikler/alone_in_the_dark/52880

3/10 ..?? .. as good as that eh? Probably reflects Atari share price.

623.6.2008 23:47

Couldn't read it...but i think i got the jest of it.

Sorry Atari...better luck next time?



723.6.2008 23:56
varnull
Inactive

Ahhh.. I dunno. I saw it on the shelf in Asda today. It didn't look inspiring. Quite liked the first one on the ps1 way back, then there was "jacks back" which was TBH a load of crap.. 3rd time unlucky.. that makes 2 turkeys on the 360 this week.. to add to a load more boring no imagination games on this platform.
That Grid is rubbish.. no feel. (I tried.. honestly I did.. for over an hour until I was totally bored and fed up with it.. just as well I'm a pirate.. 40 not well spent otherwise) Pretty graphics can't make up for a poor arcade racer which could have been such a good real driving simulator with a little thought and less bling and junk.

That does it.. I have decided that this gen I want a wii.. at least it's different with new and different games, not the same old boring arcade racers and shooters.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Jun 2008 @ 23:56

824.6.2008 0:03

Wait I am confused, I thought reviewers were given final (or very near final) copies a week or two ahead of the "Street date" to potentially create "Buzz" or "Hype" about a specific game.

Guess they think they can always (or at they think they can) fall back on the "piracy" blame for a bad game (or movie).

924.6.2008 0:13

Well I guess us RPG fans can just forget about Baldurs Gate 3 being any good, assuming they would ever make it. Atari just can't seem to get a break..what with AitD being coded by a room full of monkeys with asshat programming degrees from Orville Redenbaucher's Community College of Game Design.

Sigh..

1024.6.2008 0:28

Seems the game is about as good as the movie...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369226/

1124.6.2008 1:48

wow! they need to turn to selling rights to summin they have & not make any consumer stuff! you could always re package your old 5200 & 2600 games for 360 again! with some new spiffy title! oh oh oh maybe i could get that for my smart phone!

1224.6.2008 2:19

Reviews aren't subject to Copyright restrictions and are one of the few remaining exemptions. The reviewers don't need Atari's permission, nor do they need to adhere to any demands Atari may make about removal.

Sorry Atari. It'll take a few million in the judge's pocket to revoke the rights of the reviewers and get the reviews removed.

1324.6.2008 3:10
nobrainer
Inactive

A bit of sour grapes then. You can review the game but only release it if its a 8 or above score, omg.

but do atari care, i doubt it as they are in the top 10 selling their crud game to the masses who are too stupid to wait two or three weeks to read unbiased reviews, which is the problem these days crap games with a flash marketing campaign, and all the game can brag about is graphics, it's all very sad as its the death of gaming as the corporate machine has taken and now its just about profit.


Indiana Jones back atop UK charts

Originally posted by link:
Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures - which ended GTA IV's run at the top of the charts only to drop to second place with the release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - has now retaken the number one position.

According to UK sales data released by Chart-Track, MGS4 sales fell 59 per cent while Lego Indiana Jones sales dropped just 29 per cent from the prior week.

Newcomer Alone in the Dark debuts in third place with less than half the sales of MGS4. Another new entry - Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - debuted at number ten and accounted for 54 per cent of all full price PSP games sold last week.

Grand Theft Auto IV drops one place to number four while Wii Play, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games and Brain Training maintain their chart presence.

The Top Ten best-selling titles in the UK for the week ending June 21 were:

* 1 Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
* 2 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
* 3 Alone in the Dark
* 4 Grand Theft Auto IV
* 5 Wii Play
* 6 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
* 7 Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training
* 8 Race Driver: GRID
* 9 Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
* 10 Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII



This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Jun 2008 @ 3:11

1424.6.2008 3:52

Atari can say whatever but the game honestly sucks. They should focus there time maybe creating a new Gauntlet ;)


No time for Leap frog!!!

1524.6.2008 7:08

Bring back Paperboy !

But this time make it paperboy in death race 2000 with a 750 CC death bike with turbo souped up everything and spikes on the wheels to slice through that stupid dog , skateboarding chav and a steamroller on front of the wheel to crush that pesky stray lawnmower

1624.6.2008 7:25
varnull
Inactive

I must just comment about the Lego Indiana Jones. What a most excellent game. Fun, challenging old skool beat em up cum platformer.. Damn.. one of the best games on the 360!! Plus the cutscenes aren't huge.. no words, yet follow the story with humour.. You need to try this, even if you don't fancy the format. I love it, though the fixed camera is a little annoying at times. co-op play as well?.. I'm spoiled here.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Jun 2008 @ 7:26

1724.6.2008 7:54

Atari should look their own house and make a good game.
Atari have ruined all movies that had good potentials to be good video games.

1824.6.2008 8:21

Originally posted by Pop_Smith:
Wait I am confused, I thought reviewers were given final (or very near final) copies a week or two ahead of the "Street date" to potentially create "Buzz" or "Hype" about a specific game.

Guess they think they can always (or at they think they can) fall back on the "piracy" blame for a bad game (or movie).
Actually, even mags like EGM are having trouble publishing timely reviews for games, because the devs/publishers are holding back copies in fear that an EDUCATED customer will not buy CRAP! This was the case even with a sure million plus seller like MGS4, which wasn't the final copy they reviewed.

I guess the publishers finally wised up when shrill like Mortal Kombat Bugged-Rehash got a 1 out of 10 and didn't sell that much.

Honestly, to err on the side of the piracy argument, I always wondered how some of the smaller mags and websites review games early, when they obviously do not have the budget of the larger ones.

However, it's still a shame that Atari is not only recognizing the little sites, but creating a fuss that publicizes the website while letting us know to avoid this game at all costs. If I were them, I would've kept my mouth shut!

1924.6.2008 9:36

Totally agreee with above post. By causing a fuss about these smaller reviewers, Atari have unwittingly drawn more attention to them. If Gamer.nl truly got their copy directly from Atari, then I wouldn't have thought that they'd be worying about any suits. However, I hope that they and the other site's can verify the origins of their material.

2024.6.2008 10:25

Quote:
it's all very sad as its the death of gaming as the corporate machine has taken and now its just about profit.


Mmmm... it's always been about profit and always will be.

Without profit, no company can survive to give you (the consumer) the products you want.

It's not right to carp on a game *prior* to it's release. At least reputable folks like gamespot will reserve their reviews and not reveal them until after the official release date - and only give small snippets of first impressions (if anything) ahead of time.

For Atari, a lesson learned. If they aren't going to play fair, then I doubt Atari will give them any more advance copies in the future. I certainly wouldn't.

It's obvious reading the body of your posts over the past few years that you don't understand that there is a symbiotic relationship between companies, their business partners, and customers. There's no good in bashing corporations incessantly unless you feel gaming is best left to shoddy, independent freeware developers for the "ultimate gaming experience." ROFL!

2124.6.2008 12:16

Quote:
Quote:
it's all very sad as its the death of gaming as the corporate machine has taken and now its just about profit.


Mmmm... it's always been about profit and always will be.

Without profit, no company can survive to give you (the consumer) the products you want.

It's not right to carp on a game *prior* to it's release. At least reputable folks like gamespot will reserve their reviews and not reveal them until after the official release date - and only give small snippets of first impressions (if anything) ahead of time.

For Atari, a lesson learned. If they aren't going to play fair, then I doubt Atari will give them any more advance copies in the future. I certainly wouldn't.

It's obvious reading the body of your posts over the past few years that you don't understand that there is a symbiotic relationship between companies, their business partners, and customers. There's no good in bashing corporations incessantly unless you feel gaming is best left to shoddy, independent freeware developers for the "ultimate gaming experience." ROFL!
Profit should be reserved for quality goods. Why should I care if a Company makes profit if they keep churning out bad games? Give the consumers what they want? Since when did Electronic Arts or Atari take a survey of what the consumer wants in a game? And then actually implement it? Their skewed view on what the consumer wants is based on the profits you speak of that were made off bad games. Maybe if they didn't make money off these bad games, then better ones would be made. Symbiotic relationship? More like Vampiric. If the game is bad, is that what the consumer wants? Should the consumer take a chance with their money in order to finance future games that are not good?

IMO, crapping on a game before release is fully justified. It gives the consumer a heads up before laying out hard earned money (too much in most cases). For those that like to be informed before hand, they are not going to buy it unless they read a review anyway. So what is the difference between reviewing it before or after release date? If it sucks before release date, then it will probably suck after release date. I would love it if I could glance through 5 or 6 reviews before pre-ordering on Amazon so that I get it on release date. They have to be honest reviews from trusted sources. I've purchased games that have gotten mediocre reviews just because I love the genre. These reviews usually pan the game, but then follow-up with "but if you love the genre, then it's a good buy."

Developing games has become too formulaic. The profits you speak of that are needed are used to churn out more garbage. We need more independant developers to break away from the mold.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Jun 2008 @ 12:23

2224.6.2008 12:51

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
it's all very sad as its the death of gaming as the corporate machine has taken and now its just about profit.


Mmmm... it's always been about profit and always will be.

Without profit, no company can survive to give you (the consumer) the products you want.

It's not right to carp on a game *prior* to it's release. At least reputable folks like gamespot will reserve their reviews and not reveal them until after the official release date - and only give small snippets of first impressions (if anything) ahead of time.

For Atari, a lesson learned. If they aren't going to play fair, then I doubt Atari will give them any more advance copies in the future. I certainly wouldn't.

It's obvious reading the body of your posts over the past few years that you don't understand that there is a symbiotic relationship between companies, their business partners, and customers. There's no good in bashing corporations incessantly unless you feel gaming is best left to shoddy, independent freeware developers for the "ultimate gaming experience." ROFL!
Profit should be reserved for quality goods. Why should I care if a Company makes profit if they keep churning out bad games? Give the consumers what they want? Since when did Electronic Arts or Atari take a survey of what the consumer wants in a game? And then actually implement it? Their skewed view on what the consumer wants is based on the profits you speak of that were made off bad games. Maybe if they didn't make money off these bad games, then better ones would be made. Symbiotic relationship? More like Vampiric. If the game is bad, is that what the consumer wants? Should the consumer take a chance with their money in order to finance future games that are not good?

IMO, crapping on a game before release is fully justified. It gives the consumer a heads up before laying out hard earned money (too much in most cases). For those that like to be informed before hand, they are not going to buy it unless they read a review anyway. So what is the difference between reviewing it before or after release date? If it sucks before release date, then it will probably suck after release date. I would love it if I could glance through 5 or 6 reviews before pre-ordering on Amazon so that I get it on release date. They have to be honest reviews from trusted sources. I've purchased games that have gotten mediocre reviews just because I love the genre. These reviews usually pan the game, but then follow-up with "but if you love the genre, then it's a good buy."

Developing games has become too formulaic. The profits you speak of that are needed are used to churn out more garbage. We need more independant developers to break away from the mold.
Well, your dollar is your vote and the consumer's voice.

If you don't like the game, don't buy it. No one is forcing crappy games on you even if you erroneously portray the situation to be that way. We all chose to buy or not to buy based on preference.

If no one buys the game, they will not profit, and they are fored to react to consumer preference. If they do not, then they will not survive. Every software developer, big OR small, must operate this way. It's simple economics.

Many need to go back to Economics 101 for a refresher, it seems. Or in this case, an lengthy and comprehensive introduction seems like it may be in order.

To think that EA or Atari completely ignore the consumer is simply asinine. You can't please all the people all the time, nor can they hit a home run with every single title.

2324.6.2008 14:22

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
it's all very sad as its the death of gaming as the corporate machine has taken and now its just about profit.


Mmmm... it's always been about profit and always will be.

Without profit, no company can survive to give you (the consumer) the products you want.

It's not right to carp on a game *prior* to it's release. At least reputable folks like gamespot will reserve their reviews and not reveal them until after the official release date - and only give small snippets of first impressions (if anything) ahead of time.

For Atari, a lesson learned. If they aren't going to play fair, then I doubt Atari will give them any more advance copies in the future. I certainly wouldn't.

It's obvious reading the body of your posts over the past few years that you don't understand that there is a symbiotic relationship between companies, their business partners, and customers. There's no good in bashing corporations incessantly unless you feel gaming is best left to shoddy, independent freeware developers for the "ultimate gaming experience." ROFL!
Profit should be reserved for quality goods. Why should I care if a Company makes profit if they keep churning out bad games? Give the consumers what they want? Since when did Electronic Arts or Atari take a survey of what the consumer wants in a game? And then actually implement it? Their skewed view on what the consumer wants is based on the profits you speak of that were made off bad games. Maybe if they didn't make money off these bad games, then better ones would be made. Symbiotic relationship? More like Vampiric. If the game is bad, is that what the consumer wants? Should the consumer take a chance with their money in order to finance future games that are not good?

IMO, crapping on a game before release is fully justified. It gives the consumer a heads up before laying out hard earned money (too much in most cases). For those that like to be informed before hand, they are not going to buy it unless they read a review anyway. So what is the difference between reviewing it before or after release date? If it sucks before release date, then it will probably suck after release date. I would love it if I could glance through 5 or 6 reviews before pre-ordering on Amazon so that I get it on release date. They have to be honest reviews from trusted sources. I've purchased games that have gotten mediocre reviews just because I love the genre. These reviews usually pan the game, but then follow-up with "but if you love the genre, then it's a good buy."

Developing games has become too formulaic. The profits you speak of that are needed are used to churn out more garbage. We need more independant developers to break away from the mold.
Well, your dollar is your vote and the consumer's voice.

If you don't like the game, don't buy it. No one is forcing crappy games on you even if you erroneously portray the situation to be that way. We all chose to buy or not to buy based on preference.

If no one buys the game, they will not profit, and they are fored to react to consumer preference. If they do not, then they will not survive. Every software developer, big OR small, must operate this way. It's simple economics.

Many need to go back to Economics 101 for a refresher, it seems. Or in this case, an lengthy and comprehensive introduction seems like it may be in order.

To think that EA or Atari completely ignore the consumer is simply asinine. You can't please all the people all the time, nor can they hit a home run with every single title.
Wise advice. I won't buy a game I don't like. Thank you. Yes preferences are objective. All I am saying is that there is nothing wrong with an advanced review, be it bad or good. It's probably the best filter.

We agree to disagree. I don't care how you crunch the numbers or how text book it sounds. It's sad when art has been reduced to basic economics.

2424.6.2008 15:44

Well..the word is out. The game is bad. So I'll be avoiding getting this one. Now hopefully Atari will do the sensible thing next time and hire not only good writers, but experienced game designers who know how to implement code for a great inventory system (which Alone doesn't have!) as well as control for either mouse or gamepad that isn't botched (Res Evil 4 PC anyone?).

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