Friday, February 03, 2006

Sony developer slams PS3, part II

Ever wonder how easy it is to break an NDA? 3D artist Josh Robinson, who wrote a gloomy review of the PS3 has been sacked by Sony Online Entertainment and speaks about his experience in an interview with PS3 Week.
Let me first just say, all I really did was write a few paragraphs that gave my opinion on publicly released information. I never actually released any information. After reading my small article the reader is not any more informed about the PS3 than he was before the article. I didn’t reveal any tech info and I didn’t reveal different shipping plans. I’m still in awe at the whole uproar over what amounts to NO information. My life has changed a lot since the article. I was let go at Sony after the article was plopped on the desk of Sony corporate. (...)

I didn’t want to cause any problems at all by writing the article. I had at least two Sony employees read the article before it was even posted. Even a producer at the company read it. We were all in agreement that I was not breaking NDA with what I was saying. We all thought that I may rub a few people the wrong way, but nothing as severe as getting fired. I thought I was pretty fair about the comments I made. Most of the things I said were pretty standard industry facts that everyone is aware of. None of it is new information. (...)

I’ve been doing this for 9 years and I’ve never once even come close to breaking NDA. In my own error, I assumed that it would be OK to give my opinion on what I believed to be public information. Sony has said very publicly that they are shipping in spring. All I said was, "hey I’d not want to miss the next E3 show." I didn’t leak any shipping information or reveal any other intentions. I also talked about some technology that has been released publicly for almost a year. You can go to Gamespot right now and view tech demos showing sub surface scattering, HDR, very high dynamic object counts and so on. It is all available. I didn’t reveal anything. Before the article was posted I passed it to a couple others that also work at Sony who write for Down In Front. No one seemed to worry that I was breaking NDA. The bigger concern seemed to be my awful grammar. After it had been posted one of the producers read it and was also OK with it. He thought I could push a button or two with a few comments but nothing even close to what ultimately happened.

Did I knowingly break NDA? I absolutely did not. I would never do that and I would never want to hurt Sony Online. Did I dance in the grey area by even opening my mouth? Yes I did and I was fired for it. So I guess the new rule for me is, don’t ever say anything at all about anything. Ever...ever.
Obviously, you all know what I posted this in regard to. Admittedly, Josh was fired mainly because his comments were hardly complimentary. But while fakers like Inc and Rebus seem to generate more positive hype, they also divulge much more sensitive information regarding other company´s corporate affairs: when the second revolutionary aspect will be revealed, their current project´s tentative name, as well as plenty of storyline and gameplay details. They even hint at the publisher they claim to have a deal with.

Of course, their claim is that they were authorised to post some of the information. I have spent enough time commenting on how ridiculous that claim is. Also, they admitted that they were speculating on when new info on the console would be revealed. That is just what Josh did, albeit in a more negative context. But the context doesnt matter here, at all. Legally, you cannot fire someone on the grounds of badmouthing his employer´s products. At least, that was not the case here. Josh was fired solely on the grounds of breaking his NDA. So, legally, these cases are directly comparable. Consider that before believing anyone who claims to post insider information.

Source: Down in Front, PS3 Week
Thanks to: Anonym


Anonymous said...

Err... Falafelkid, the employee never once said that he broke the NDA. I guess you are trying to infer that breaking an NDa would result in pretty severe punishment but you can do that while being more explicit that the NDA wasn't broken in that employee's situation.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonym. He was sacked for breach of contract. What other grounds are there?

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure you can be fired for bad mouting your employers product.

Its very similiar to why a coca-cola delivery guy can not drink pepsi in public. It gives a bad impression to consumers.

Same as why bicardi girls, can only drink bicardi when they are out promoting.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonym.

´Its very similiar to why a coca-cola delivery guy can not drink pepsi in public.´

Yeah, but those things are in their contracts. And the same kind of contract a developer will be under (an NDA) is what would be binding for those ´No End Soon´ guys, too. If they were real. Which they aren´t.

Blizz419 said...

and if you ask me i think bad mouthing the companies product would be in an NDA, it makes perfect sense.

Alleged-Rapist said...

What is, specfically, an NDA for again?

madcrasher said...

Alleged-Rapist: An NDA (non-disclosure agreement) is basically Nintendo telling a game developer certain key aspects about the Revolution (so that the developer can begin work on a game) with the condition that the key information is not told to anyone; hence, the term non-disclosure.

trip1eX said...

WEll if you're going to rip your employer's product to no end you probably should be prepared to get fired. It should come as zero suprise to him they he got fired and like, doh, of course you shouldn't open your mouth like that.