So, today I will be writing something that is a little bit of a departure from MMORPGs, but applies to gamers in a more generalized fashion. As it stands, right now, this may very well just be speculation and an outright lie by somebody who was posting their frustration onto a message board, or it could be real. In anycase, just chalk this up as one more reason to never break any NDA you sign.
So, while perusing a few forums I frequent, I came across an interesting post. Apparently, a user was found to have broken the NDA for a game in beta (which for legal reasons I’ll avoid posting here). This game was not an MMORPG, per say, but as many of us do participate in betas for many MMORPGs it serves as a good story, none-the-less. As it turns out the game’s beta was being run through IGN and as such IGN had control over who got their beta-key revoked and who got to keep playing. So it was not surprising to find out that IGN was not happy with the user who broke the NDA and not only revoked his beta key but also warned that should he continue what he is doing (assumably giving away info on the game) then IGN will terminate his account and disallow any access to it at all. Harsh. Check out the exact email:
This email is to serve as notice that you are in violation of our User Agreement and the law. We were notified by [CENSORED GAME COMPANY] to terminate your [CENSORED GAME] beta key for violating the NDA.
This is a warning that any more such actions on your part to violate the User Agreement of IGN or any of our partners, or the law under which we are bound to sell games on the internet will result in the immediate termination of your account and void all access to it without refund.”
So, should this person reveal any more information they’ll automatically take away any games he has purchased through IGN’s own Direct2Drive service (of which he has 20). That doesn’t sound very fair, or legal. If you pay for something, shouldn’t it be yours to keep. Is Best Buy allowed to come to my house and take back their movies and CDs if I do something they don’t like? No. So why is it O.K. for IGN to do so? Who knows? It was probably written somewhere in the NDA. It’s still a very questionable business tactic, and one that makes me shy away from their download service all the more. So remember, the next time you plan on breaking the NDA, don’t. You never know what they have the power to do.
P.S. As a final note, his games were NOT taken away. Only if he continues to do reveal valued information about the beta he was currently apart of.
Hmmm, interesting situation.
Breaking the NDA is a pretty lame thing to do, especially when you’re given a rare opportunity to participate in a closed beta. My opinion is that you should treat it like a privilege and respect the contract you signed to participate.
As for them taking away your previously purchased materials, my immediate reaction is that it isn’t very cool. You can ban me from Best Buy, but you shouldn’t be able to take back all the products I bought from your store as punishment.
It’s pretty cut and dry economics if you ask me, and if it were to happen, I’d report them to the better business bureau and make it my mission to cause a stink within the online community.
I don’t participate in any beta tests..
neither do i purchase games :D