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Call of Duty Demo Open Letter

Though we don't really offer much in the way of downloads here, Blue's News is supporting the sentiments in the following open letter, which demonstrates to Activision (and hopefully the rest of the industry) what the undersigned sites feel are the general sentiments of the community about the downsides of exclusive demo releases. As a result, these sites will not be carrying the Call of Duty demo, even after its FilePlanet exclusivity (story) is over. Update: To be clear, this does not mean we will not carry news of when the demo is released, exclusive or not. Here's the letter:

After discussions with Activision, the following websites will not be carrying the Call of Duty playable demo, even after its exclusivity is over. This is due to Activision's decision to not accede to the reasonable request of making the demo freely available to all game enthusiasts at the same time.

3D Downloads
3D Gamers
AusGamers
Blue's News
EdgeFiles (Callofduty.org)
FileFront
FileShack
GameGossip
Gamer's Hell
Loadedinc
Tiscali Games
WorthPlaying

The above-listed websites hope to show Activision that the enthusiast industry is strongly opposed to the idea of exclusive demo releases.

Feedback from our users shows that gamers hate to be forced through a single point of congestion if they want a demo right away. While these websites are actually competitors, this competition provides the freedom of choice that enthusiasts want by offering the widest possible distribution of any demo (a sample intended to interest as many gamers as possible in the full product, after all) rather than the most restricted one.

Therefore, something this disrespectful of the industry as a whole has inspired all of these websites to stand together in this open letter.

Deals like this hurt the industry much more than they could possibly enhance a single relationship, and we ask for your support in sending out this message.

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411 Replies. 21 pages. Viewing page 6.
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311. The Definetion of..... Aug 29, 2003, 01:07 Alak
 
I think its stupid to make a DEMO exclusive to one site, or to make you pay for it. Isnt the definetion of DEMO Shareware/Freeware. That would defeat the whole purpose of a DEMO if it were exclusive or you had to pay. Thats just my opinion anyways.

 
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310. Where is the FCC when we need them? Aug 29, 2003, 01:06 Fungu
 
The topic is part sarcastic, part truth. I'm not a fan of the self-appointed organization, but I do think that their "equal time" law for candidates could be applied well here with websites like Blue's News and the Suga Shack (I just can't let the name go :(). They should all have an equal opportunaty to distribute the latest demos and patches without fighting over exclusivity with bribes... err, sorry, completely legal monetary transfers. This reminds me of the Franchise Wars references in Demolition Man, unfortunately GSi has the biggest bombs and are unfairly obliterating their competition. People who keep making excuses for FilePlanet/GSi are the reason that so many small businesses are dying and things are becoming so corporate, nobody is willing to stand up for the mall guy.

"Screw the small guy, the big guy is more generous with his lube."

To the people with no foresight who think things like this won't lead to worse, might I point you to either Gamespot or IGN who charge you to read reviews, watch videos and view images? It's only a matter of time, just look at history.

 
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309. No subject Aug 29, 2003, 00:58 strangelove
 
What bothers me about this is not the one week delay...I've got plenty of games already with little free time. What bothers me is seeing companies that serve up large numbers of game reviews now having more reason to get 'in' with the game publishers. To me this is just another example (GameSpy crossed this line long ago and many times) of why most large website game reviews are meaningless. You simply do not know whether the reviewer was allowed to speak his mind or not. Of course, these days most game reviews are just bunk anyway and I trust word of mouth and the opinion of Blue's News regulars far more than any collection of traditional 'reviews'.

While I think it's cool to see the gaming community make a collective stand on SOME issue, I can't help but feel this is like shooting spitballs at a brick wall. It makes a bit of a mess but accomplishes nothing.

*shrug*

 
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308. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 00:56 fredrickson
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Aug 29, 00:59.
 
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307. No subject Aug 29, 2003, 00:54 Rictor
 
"Are you suggesting that any company who gives away a free promotion to their own customers should make their free product at all other competing stores as well, just to be "fair"? Have you people gone MAD?"

I think you are confusing a developer and a distributor. Activision's competition is other game publishers, like Sierra or Infogrames. How, by distributing their demo on the Internet, are they helping their competitors? Activision is not competing with 3DGamers and Bluesnews, unless it starts a pay-to-download service, which it has not done.

Scottish Martial Arts: I always get 150-200 kb/s on Worthplaying, and it is never down. 3DGamers rarely (once or twice in 6 months or so) has broken links. Filefront, GamersHell and Fileshack have a nice "capacity" indicator, which basically says that "this is how much bandwidth we can support, sorry if you didn't get in". If you do get in, which most people do, the speeds are (Filefront specifically) very good.

Oh and, then theres BitTorrent, which, after a few hours, has great speeds (100kb/s+) and is always up. I think that there are many sites, including the above listed, which provide the same service (or better) than Fileplanet, for free.

 
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306. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 00:52 MindTrigger
 
Frederickson,

Yes, you are stupid. No one is making you pay for ANYTHING. You don't have to pay to subscribe to a file service, and you don't have to buy the game. If you want the demo for free, wait for it. Now, shut your cock-holster and go troll someone else, kid.


 
--
He cut the possum's face off then cut around the eye socket. In the center of the belt buckle, where the possum's eye would be, he has placed a small piece of wood from his old '52 Ford's home made railroad tie bumper. Damn, he misses that truck.
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305. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 00:49 fredrickson
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Aug 29, 01:00.
 
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304. Hm Aug 29, 2003, 00:49 JediLuke
 
Now, what's all this talk about beer?

~Steve

 
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303. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 00:47 Meezy
 
#1 If you state that its a free product, then it should be available, by definition, to everyone at the same time and under the same conditions, for free.

Thats free (as in beer (gratis)) and not free (as in speech(libre)). Its free in the sense there is no charge, not in the sense you can do anything you want with it. #1, right out.

#2 So you think that every gaming site should work out an exclusive? Maybe we can have 10 different demos, and the developers can spend 6 months getting all the exlusives ready. Get real. Or, they could release 1 demo, free of chare to everyone, and the EVERYONE is happy.

Nope, but if you don't want to work out a deal, don't whine. Thats the free (as in speech) market. If you pay for something you get something. Dont expect everything for free (as in beer).

#3 You suggest that these sites are harming the distribution of a free product? And Fileplanet, they're not? All of the above sites have always hosted demos for free, while Fileplanet requires you to pay for the same amount of convenience.

I was writing a parody of the letter, so I was proposing that the purpose was the threat of harming this distribution. Remember again, thats its free (gratis), not free (libre). Its free (gratis) for fileplanet subscribers, but not free (libre) to the world. A demo is still protected by copyright afterall...

Once again, let me repeat this. It is EXPECTED that demos are free. I don't care if Webster's defines it that way, that is the way the gaming public defines it, and has always defined it. And you suggest that we let a few greedy webmasters change that defintion? Demos, though they may be fun, are a merketing tool. They are not (or rarely) a service meant only to entertain the gaming public. The companies put out the demos so that people will buy their products. This is the same as paying money to watch a TV commerical.

And yet the still have commercials on cable TV. *cough* Have they said they won't release a demo for everyone? Lets face it, those sites, including blues, are out for the lost ad revenue because of this demo AND because of new fileplanet sign-ups that will make people leave the other download sites altogether. Protesting like this is trying to shut down their right to association and free (as in libre) trade. Do you support your right for free (as in beer) over your freedom (as in speech)?

 
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302. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 00:47 MindTrigger
 
What the hell happened to being able to edit posts here?

 
--
He cut the possum's face off then cut around the eye socket. In the center of the belt buckle, where the possum's eye would be, he has placed a small piece of wood from his old '52 Ford's home made railroad tie bumper. Damn, he misses that truck.
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301. Re: F_ck the Gamewhore Network Aug 29, 2003, 00:46 fredrickson
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Aug 29, 00:59.
 
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300. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 00:45 Scottish Martial Arts
 
First sensible comment you've made.

Whatever dude. Even if I didn't subscribe to fileplanet (I'm low on cash at the moment so I may have to cancel) I wouldn't mind waiting a week BECAUSE ITS ONLY A DAMN DEMO NOT THE SECRET OF LIFE! Why is waiting a week for a demo a problem?

I subscribe to Fileplanet for several reasons:

1. It's the fileservice I've used since the Q2 days.
2. I never have to worry about them actually having the file, they always do.
3. I never have to worry about non functioning links, something I have to fight through when I go to gamershell or 3dgamers.
4. I always get 150k-200k which seems to be the upper reaches of my dsl line.

When Fileplanet offers an exclusive like this one it makes me happy I have a fileplanet subscription. When Fileshack (one of the undersigned) has an exclusive I just wait for it to run it's course and download it later BECAUSE A DEMO ISN'T THAT FUCKING IMPORTANT!

Christ you people act like they are forcing you to pay {theyre not you can make the decision) for the right to live. All they have done is give their customers a bonus that is not the least bit important when determining whether I subscribe or not.


 
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299. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 00:44 MindTrigger
 
#1 If you state that its a free product, then it should be available, by definition, to everyone at the same time and under the same conditions, for free.

Are you suggesting that any company who gives away a free promotion to their own customers should make their free product at all other competing stores as well, just to be "fair"? Have you people gone MAD?

So you think because demos have been free in the past that this is somehow set in stone? The day gaming companies start losing money on the creation and distribution of demos, is the day they will no longer be free. In case you haven't noticed, the gaming community all over the world is GROWING at a huge pace. It's one of the few markets that has done well in this shitty economy. This means more and more people are wanting to download demos, which means it's becomeing MORE and MORE expensive to HOST the demos. Like I said before, the cost WILL be passed off to YOU, the consumer, one way or another. Welcome to the grown-up world.

 
--
He cut the possum's face off then cut around the eye socket. In the center of the belt buckle, where the possum's eye would be, he has placed a small piece of wood from his old '52 Ford's home made railroad tie bumper. Damn, he misses that truck.
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298. Go Blue! Aug 29, 2003, 00:43 Carch
 
I support you and all the webmasters of the other sites wholeheartedly.

You'd think these companies would have the common sense to realize that throttling the release of a demo to their most motivated potential customers would tend to demotivate those same customers.

 
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297. Hypocrite, HERE, HERE! Aug 29, 2003, 00:40 Dunn
 
Shame on you Blues News, someone in the industry trying to make a buck and you freak out about it? Just because you guys were unable to pull off the exclusive deal with Activision yourselves you pull a hissy fit? PATHETIC, and all this after you bombard us with a MASSIVE increase of advertisment on your website.

What side of the fence are you on Blues?

Instead of bitching about the exclusive, why don't you get off you lazy asses and try to get an exclusive of your own?

And to the rest of you whiners about the exclusive... oh my god, you'll have to wait AN ENTIRE EXTRA WEEK to get your hands on the demo. CHRIST!

 
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296. Re: Welcome to a Free Market Aug 29, 2003, 00:39 Fungu
 
BTW, this is not like paying for air! No one is paying for me to breath. No one spending money to let me breath as quickly as I can without stand in a queue first. No one owns air so someone would have to make a legitimate case for ownership before they could charge me and that's not going to happen.

Ahh, but give them time and they'll find a way. Maybe through falsely or even literally poisoning our air until we have to buy clean air for our oxygen tanks. Hey, maybe that's why there is no real push for a cleaner and more efficient means of powering our machinery?

Hell, I'm sure you pay for land that someone has claimed to own. Claiming ownership of air is just as likely to happen.



Step right up! Get your oxygen right here, only $10 a pound! Best air in the southwest! Just step in line and keep your tanks at the ready!

 
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295. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 00:38 waxthirteen
 
"anyone up for some hot lesbian action...i know i am"

AMEN!

 
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294. No subject Aug 29, 2003, 00:37 Rictor
 
"We are definitely trying to hurt the distribution of this free product. We don't want to work out a deal ourselves for an exclusive, though this is likely possible. We expect everything for free."

#1 If you state that its a free product, then it should be available, by definition, to everyone at the same time and under the same conditions, for free.

#2 So you think that every gaming site should work out an exclusive? Maybe we can have 10 different demos, and the developers can spend 6 months getting all the exlusives ready. Get real. Or, they could release 1 demo, free of chare to everyone, and the EVERYONE is happy.

#3 You suggest that these sites are harming the distribution of a free product? And Fileplanet, they're not? All of the above sites have always hosted demos for free, while Fileplanet requires you to pay for the same amount of convenience.


Once again, let me repeat this. It is EXPECTED that demos are free. I don't care if Webster's defines it that way, that is the way the gaming public defines it, and has always defined it. And you suggest that we let a few greedy webmasters change that defintion? Demos, though they may be fun, are a merketing tool. They are not (or rarely) a service meant only to entertain the gaming public. The companies put out the demos so that people will buy their products. This is the same as paying money to watch a TV commerical.

 
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293. No subject Aug 29, 2003, 00:36 Cynic9
 
I'm not understanding whats so unfair about what Fileplanet does.

So they have a service, and whether they pay for their "we have it first" set up or the company pays them, they got a demo earlier then everyone else and their subscribers benefit. Non-subscribers will get the demo, just not quite a early. Why is this a problem?

This is surely not the last time this will happen (although I would surely love to see everything free instead of paying for my subscription) so if you don't want to chuck up the cash, what is the injustice of waiting until the "promotion" runs out.

If Fileplanet is so very wrong and dishonest, they will see it in subscriber rate. If no one buys the service, the companies won't support them and they will die out. But, if you get 150-200K/sec (which I do) instead fo dead links and over congested downloads, why complain?

 
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292. No subject Aug 29, 2003, 00:30 RazorWynd
 
well that didnt work out.....o well

 
Supporter of "The Only Good fredster Is A Dead fredster" fan club
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411 Replies. 21 pages. Viewing page 6.
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