As much as we all want to believe that our favorite gaming companies exist to provide us with fun happy joyful times, it's important to remember that they're all committed chiefly to profits and the marketing message (and if we still manage to have fun afterwards then, hey, good for us). MTV's Stephen Totilo was recently caught at a Nintendo media event straying from the intended message by enjoying the forbidden fruit that is Battalion Wars 2. Yes, the game was on display for the press to play, but apparently the press wasn't supposed to play it.
See, when he and I sat down to play the game, no Nintendo reps were looking. We went to a menu screen that would have allowed us to play the single-player campaign, but I told him that Nintendo didn’t want us playing that. Let’s be good sports and just try the multi-player stuff, I suggested. So we clicked the multiplayer options. Available to use were Co-op, Skirmish and Armada... So I said we should play [Armada]. We booted it up. We read on-screen directions that instructed us to steer our respective fleets of battleships and destroyers into conflict. I started chugging the ships into motion. And then… a Nintendo rep came over and told us to stop playing.
We were told that the company only wanted people to play the Wi-Fi options. I explained that we were. But, actually, the company only wanted people to play the Wi-Fi Skirmish options. I protested: isn’t this game coming out in two weeks? Doesn’t Nintendo want people to know about this? The Nintendo rep apologized and told me he was only going by the instructions that had been written down for him.
Once again I'm forced to wonder why companies make game demos and information available to the press if they don't want us to play and discuss them. There's a history of this kind of behavior from companies such as Sony, Asustek, Capcom, and Square-Enix in addition to Nintendo. Let me say it one more time: if you don't want the media to see something, don't show the secret material at a media event!