Sunday, January 14, 2007
The Lord of the Rings Online NDA
I actually took the time to read the important passages of the NDA for the LotRO beta. The relevant paragraph 5 on confidentiality says: "Protection of Confidential Information. During the course of the Preview Program, you will have access to non-public information concerning the Game, including, but not limited to, the game design, look and feel, computer software, game concepts, storylines, features, screen shots, characters, graphics, audio, visual images, any information, discussions or postings of Codemasters or other participants in Preview, Feedback, business methods or other technical or business information which is not generally known and which is proprietary to Codemasters and/or Turbine (and/or their respective affiliates, publishing partners, licensors or licensees) (“Confidential Information”). All of the foregoing is confidential and proprietary to Codemasters and/or Turbine (or their respective affiliates, publishing partners, licensors or licensees). You agree to treat as confidential all Confidential Information (including your password) of which you become or are made aware in connection with your participation in Preview, regardless of whether it is specifically designated as confidential and regardless of whether it is in written, oral, electronic, or other form. The Confidential Information may include, without limitation, trade secrets, know-how, inventions, game interfaces, technical data or specifications, testing methods, business or financial information, research and development activities, product and marketing plans, and customer and supplier information. You agree that you shall maintain all Confidential Information in strict confidence; you will not disclose or permit access to Confidential Information to anyone other than Codemasters or Turbine (or its respective affiliates, publishing partners, licensors and/or licensees), or discuss Confidential Information with anyone except within the Game itself or on the Preview boards accessible by logging in with a username and password on."
In plain English, I'm not allowed to give you a preview of Lord of the Rings Online, or blog a "first impressions" post telling you anything about this game works. But this confidentiality covers only game information. My opinion per se is not covered, as long as I don't explain the in-game details of what I like or dislike. So here is a very short statement of my opinion on LotRO, with more to follow when the NDA is lifted:
I am *so* going to buy this game! It is absolutely wonderful. And given the right conditions the Lord of the Rings Online could even make a dent in World of Warcraft's armor of total market domination. Way to go, Turbine! Practice makes perfect. :)