Double Fine, perhaps the most famous developer to fund a game on Kickstarter, has made a bizarre move with the release of Broken age to its Kickstarter backers,
“We’re also preparing to send out review codes to press, who will be under review embargo until January 27. This embargo also applies to any of you backers who are in the press or have blogs—we are requiring all formal reviews be held until January 27 at 10am Pacific time (6pm GMT). The same time limit applies to the press as to backers; everyone is in the same boat! We’re trying to be as fair as possible given that backers will have access to the game before everyone else.”
The overall impact of the request is limited, as well as somewhat confusing. (How does Double Fine plan on enforcing the embargo with its customers?)
Double Fine also plans on releasing Act 1, the “beta" version will be in the hands of backers shortly, on Steam later (possibly January 28th, the Tuesday following when the embargo lifts).
What’s most interesting about all of this, to my mind at least, is how well it demonstrates the a lack of clear norms or best practices when it comes to the rapidly evolving way in which games are produced and distributed using non-traditional modes.