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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 19.
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51. And... Aug 28, 2003, 19:19 Wazootyman
 
..And people complaining that this is the beginning of a slippery slope leading to all pay demos. Again, that is not in the company's best interest. So long as the demo becomes publicly avaliable before the game is released, it will build hype for the game. Having an exclusive release beforehand means little.

All this whole thing means to me is that it's gonna be dam hard to find a decent download site for this demo once it is publicly released.

 
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50. #45 Aug 28, 2003, 19:19 Morgan19
 
You think EVERY game site on the Internet is going to go the pay route? I highly doubt that.

m19

 
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49. #44 Aug 28, 2003, 19:18 Morgan19
 
But no one's MAKING you pay anything, so you don't have to if you don't want to.

m19

 
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48. Exclusives Aug 28, 2003, 19:18 ZigZang
 
This is a tough one. I don't think publishers will ever make a demo permanently exclusive as it defeats the purpose of the demo (as many won't purchase a game that they haven't demoed). And this practice does give "value" to services like Fileplanet who charge for downloading services. I don't really like paying for things that I could historically get for free, as most do, and I think there are those that always will come up with a workaround to the distribution problem (think bittorrent, WinMX, etc.) so I'm really not worried.

At the same time, we have to be prepared for the eventuality that our little hobby is becoming more mainstream and corporate. Things are going to change and not necessarily for the better. People only do things for free when its an act of passion (Blue for example), and yet there is alot of money to be made in games and related activities that will attract those that are not interested in it because they love gaming. They are doing it for money. I fear downloading services are here to stay and, exclusive demo releases will become more and more common. Not sure who said it but it is true, no one will care 2 months after a game is released how the demo was distributed. If the game is good, we will want to play it. And that is just the facts, Jack.
 
ZigZang
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47. Re: I still think... Aug 28, 2003, 19:18 Ray Marden
 
So now it is a culture issue?

I want to play this demoe because I think it may be interesting, I never know what new game may wow me, and I have enjoyed the (similar) past games.

Missing the definition,
Ray

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Everything is awesome!!!
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46. Re: Non-Issue Aug 28, 2003, 19:18 indiv
 
Why people rag on exclusives is beyond me. Vote with your consuming dollars and don't buy the game if it bothers you that much. That speaks infinitely louder than complaints.

So you're telling me that when a company gets poor sales figures and tries to figure out what went wrong, they'll actually say "Oh, it must have been gamers protesting that exclusive demo we had." I think not.

Withholding your money without telling the company why (i.e., complaining) will get you nowhere.

 
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45. Re: Eh. Aug 28, 2003, 19:17 Mustang60348
 
To Morgan 19:

In the short term you are 100% correct, but , for me it is the long term. Right now the FP exclusive is a small revenue stream BUT if allowed to continue, how long will it before these type of deals become MORE exclusive.

Nip it in the butt now, and perhaps we can prevent this from happening.

 
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44. Thanks Aug 28, 2003, 19:17 Rhomboid
 
I'm glad some people have the eggs to stand up and be counted. This garbage needs to stop. I didn't think much of it until the demos started appearing that require special Vileplanet codes. It's gone too far and I've shunned any such demos and games myself out of principle. Paying to see if you want to pay is laughable.

 
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43. #38 Aug 28, 2003, 19:16 Morgan19
 
Exactly, it's all about practicing patience and/or self-discipline. So you can't have something "right now" along with everyone else? Wait, and you'll get it. How is this so hard?

m19

 
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42. 0.02 Aug 28, 2003, 19:15 Bucky
 
I support the move for all the reasons already stated. However, what concerns me the most is the fact that if this trend of "exclusives" continues we gamers may lose our options when it comes to downloads, news, patches, etc. Mind you, that is a worst-case scenario and isn't likely to happen in the near future.

 
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41. Re: I stand by blue Aug 28, 2003, 19:15 Shataan
 
I stand with Blues on this one, and "I" have a fileplanet membership. Which I wouldn`t have bought had the demos just been d/lable from anywhere at release.

 
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40. Re: Non-Issue Aug 28, 2003, 19:15 anon@216.23
 
Because ragging *and* not buying the game sends the message "We don't like it that you do this, THEREFORE, we aren't buying the game." Pretty hard to misinterpret that.

Your method yields "For some reason, our game isn't popular, maybe we should release another exclusive demo".

Kinda hard to get the message out when you aren't giving them a message to begin with, don't you think?

 
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39. Finally! Aug 28, 2003, 19:15 indiv
 
I've always thought the idea of an exclusive demo was a bad idea. The concept of a demo in any industry is to provide all potential customers with an opportunity to use a product in hopes that these potential customers will become paying customers. The goal of a demo is to get it to as many potential customers as possible. Exclusives, on the other hand, are completely backwards--they rely on customers coming to the demo, as if somehow allowing me to try a company's game is a privledge for me.

Well, sorry, game companies. I'm not going to ask you if I can try your new game. It's up to you to convince me that your game is worth trying.

That said, I always use WorthPlaying (super fast, just a couple clicks initiates the download), and I'm glad to see that they're supporting this initiative.

 
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38. Well... Aug 28, 2003, 19:14 Wazootyman
 
Many here are arguing that this is a stupid move, as the point of a demo is to hype up the game and an exclusive demo reduces the amount of hype generated. Well, the demo will be released publicly a few weeks (if that much) after the exclusive and people will just play it then.
As I said before, a few months after release, those people who would have bought it will have bought it and no one will remember this whole ordeal.

 
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37. I stand by blue Aug 28, 2003, 19:14 Phisher
 
Activision/Fileplanet is trying to create a market that should not exist. People should not have to pay for a service to recieve a demo to a public game. Now if they re-name this 'demo' to beta test, and allow several sites (That require payment) I would be fine with it.

But having a single site, that requires payment to play a demo should not happen, gamers spend way to much on things as it is.

 
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36. Eh. Aug 28, 2003, 19:13 Morgan19
 
The only stance I have on it after briefly reading the post and some of the replies on this page is: so what? All this hoopla is over *demos*? Wait a bit (days, weeks, months, whatever) and then you, your neighbor, and everyone else can try it out. If it's literally exclusive and will never be released to any but one site, how does that affect any of you guys? So you won't buy the game... It's only hurting the people making it. In the end, all we're taking about are demos, not the final retail product. If you're so concerned with how it plays, that's what review are for. I'm sorry, but all this just seems like a whole lot of impatience and fist-pounding for no really good reason.

m19

 
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35. Re: I still think... Aug 28, 2003, 19:13 Unmaker
 
It's also not a matter of greed. We on the Internet here constitue the hardcore PC gaming community. Being on the cutting edge is part of the culture we've collectively defined for ourselves. We hear the news as it happens. We play the demos as they're released. We buy the games as soon as they hit the stores. That's who we are. If you work WITH our enthusiasm (as Valve did) you will earn our loyalty and support. If you do not, you will earn our scorn. It's as simple as that.

It's not a matter of them owing us anything--it's a matter of what they expect from us. Do they want our respect and support? Do they want our money? Then start targeting our demographic and stop denying the enthusiasm that defines us!

 
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34. Re: What does the future hold Aug 28, 2003, 19:13 Mustang60348
 
Mustang60348,
Thats a valid point, thanks. There are ways these companies try and get paid for us to TRY their games in the past and that is a valid concern.


http://www.majorgeeks.com


This has been a major concern for me for a long time. I have seen the trend towards this for some time. I sure hope I am wrong about this, but if history is any indication, I don't think I am. I really love the folks who simply say "Hey its a cutthroat business, compete or get out of the way". I never realized that getting a demo from a company was supposed to be a competition. I thought it was in the best interests of the company to get the demo into my hands as fast as possible so that I can evaluate it and make my purchase decision. WHEN did it become this big business that guys like bluesnews (et al) must compete over.

I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said "He who takes security over freedom, doesn't deserve freedom". IMHO, this applies here because if we as consumers don't speak up now, pretty soon we will be charged for just about everything. Remember it would be very easy for Activision to enforce exclusivity of a demo for all time on major websites and remember only major websites can afford the type of bandwidth required. Sure you could get it from a mom and pop operation but it would take forever.

Another quote comes to mind

"When the nazis came for my neighbour, I never said a word. When the nazis came for my brother I never said a word, when they came for me, there was noone left to speak for me".

Sorry bout the quotes.

 
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33. Non-Issue Aug 28, 2003, 19:10 Halsy
 
Why people rag on exclusives is beyond me. Vote with your consuming dollars and don't buy the game if it bothers you that much. That speaks infinitely louder than complaints.


Cthulu loves you. On a bun. With catsup.
 
"And then, suddenly and without warning, it turned into a real-life case of hungry, hungry hippos."
- Stephen Colbert
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32. About time Aug 28, 2003, 19:09 Bingo
 
That list of site's is like the who's who of gaming, they are IMO the best gaming sites in the world, the Premier league of Gaming sites. I would love to know how many people would normally have d/l the demo from all them sites combined (had they hosted it).

Anyway it's about time someone stood up to the greedy suits that run these publishing houses. I have had enough of bug infested, rushed out products and exclusive demo's. As for FP, they suck anyway, I have not d/l from there for over a year.

 
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411 Replies. 21 pages. Viewing page 19.
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