I smell bullshit. The mystery box has always been Abrams' thing, and I seriously doubt the studio wouldn't have jumped at the chance to market one of the most iconic villains in the Trek canon. Afraid that audiences would feel like they're required to watch an episode and a movie to understand what's going on? It's a reboot, it's already assuming you don't have to watch anything that came before. Pinning it on the big bad studio doesn't really fly when he's one of Hollywood's biggest producers of our time. Abrams is part of the system, has been for a very long time enough to get things his way.