Marvel Rivals Contract Forbids Negative Reviews or Mockery

Video game developers are now coming right out and saying they want reviewers to shill for them. Marvel Rivals is a new free-to-play “hero shooter” PC game from Marvel Games and NetEase Games featuring loads of Marvel superheroes and villains. A closed alpha test began on March 10, 2024, with various websites and games journalists requesting access, and they received a contract they had to sign to get their key. One of the stipulations was that the user could not disparage the game, negatively compare it to other games, satirize it, or give it a bad review. A streamer named Brandon Larned posted a screenshot on X:

Doesn’t that make you wonder how bad this game is? How awful does your product have to be for you to make early testers agree not to say anything negative about it? Regardless, this is so brazen it’s hard to believe. Aside from how dishonest and shady it is, Marvel and NetEase had to know this would leak; they determined that it was better to have people know they were going out of their way to shield their game from negative reviews than to risk a negative review being published before the game is released. That says to me that they don’t want specifics revealed. And the line about satirizing the game is even worse because it suggests the game is ripe for mockery. I wonder if this is at least partly due to the reaction to Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League; before that game launched, people began searching for how to get a refund on their pre-order. There’s a disaster looming, and Marvel Rivals may become the newest video game punchline when it’s released. That being said, I’m sure plenty of games journalists happily signed that contract and are prepared to insult anyone who doesn’t like Rivals.

Comments (1)

May 14, 2024 at 1:49 am

Doesn’t surprise me at all and it’s a fairly easy prediction to make. After the government tried to codify law with an external group, the IHRA, come up with “alternative definitions” of terms, and Ben putting a gag order on Candace Owens, we can see what the future of free speech is.
This is what it’s like when Commies are in charge of corporations.
It’s not just games. It’s going to be shows, movies, news, politicians soon, too. In fact, I think the PM of Australia tried to make it a crime for people to make memes about him.
Not hard to see where this is going. Would tell anyone that, if you have something you wanna say, say it now, but maybe not, since Justin Trudeau wants to make an online “hate speech” law that is retroactive, so some backwater normal person can be swatted for remarks made years ago, that Justin finds offensive.

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