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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 20.
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31. Re: Meh Aug 28, 2003, 19:05 MajorGeeks
 
Blue,
Thanks for the clarification, that makes me feel better about it along with some other points made here have made me lean towards your side. Ill wait until tommorow, a fresh day with cleared cookies and temp files, and see if I get the ad repeatedly and will email you then.
 
http://www.majorgeeks.com
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30. 2p Aug 28, 2003, 19:04 DG
 
The problem I have with these exclusive deals is this.

FilePlanet are effectively trying to make a service worth paying for, not by enhancing a service for people and increasing overall quality of offering, but simply by cutting out choice. is there ANY way in which exclusive deals like this benefits the consumer? i fail to see how it possibly can. even existing fileplanet subscribers get nothing extra out of such exclusives, they would have got the demo exactly the same as they will now.

High download speeds, no waits, files other hosts have long since ditched. this is how you make a download service worth paying for, a positive differentiation. all fileplanet are trying to do is fuck over consumers.

 
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29. Re: Activision Aug 28, 2003, 19:03 Morphine
 
Activision is definitely taking a wrong step in direction for the gaming industry. Why should people have to pay for games that are not the full release yet? Demos are "Works in Progress" and should be treated as such, not a quick money making scheme that will hurt the gaming community as a whole.

Wise up Activision. Get a grip on what's happening out there. If not, burn in hell.


 
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28. My .03 cents Aug 28, 2003, 19:03 Enahs
 
Should it be illegal for them to give exclusive downloads?
No
Is it stupid for a game distributor, to not release a demo of a game to everyone?
Yes.
Demo is short for demonstration!
If you can not see see/play it, how is it a demonstration? Ohh, and since a large portion of gamers are high school students, and poor college students (like me). Paying to download does not fit in the budget.

I personally do not buy games that do not release demos, or release a demo I do not have access too. Too much now a days going on in games, and with hardware, compatibility, playability, performance, for me to risk with a game I have never played a demo of. So, for those few games that do not release demos, I warez them. Sorry to all the developers that read this board, but that is how it works with me. I actually have been involved with the creation, (and maintained a server, and had to deal with a huge barrage of regkey theft, and online cheating, as well as other stuff) of a game before. It is time consuming and tedious, and not getting paid for something you work hard on sucks, I know this first hand.

I love games, and I can not waste the money on a game I can not play, or that I do not like, which is why I think demos should be freely available.


"Science is but an organized system of ignorance."
 
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27. Re: What does the future hold Aug 28, 2003, 19:03 MajorGeeks
 
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
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26. Re: Meh Aug 28, 2003, 19:02  Blue 
 
no ads (like the so called once a day ad that I get here 3 times a day)

You are getting the once-per-day takeover three times a day on the same machine? This is the first report I've gotten like this whatsoever... if that's true, please email me with details as I'd like to iron out problems like that.

Wait, Blue's News does not host files, so is this a list of sites simply not even mentioning it was released because it says hosting? I think its a step in the wrong direction to not post the news at least.

I don't recall saying that... in fact I told the coalition of download sites the exact opposite. While I support their efforts, there is no way that I can justify not posting news of the demo release.

I mean Stephen, I have known you and Frans since 1997 or so when I started 3dfiles, so I dont mean to rag on you, I just think to not post it as news is sort of temper tantrumish? Am I misreading or will you post that its released?

Yup, you are misreading me.

Meh.


Stephen "Blue" Heaslip
Blue's News Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, El Presidente for Life
This comment was edited on Aug 28, 19:07.
 
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Stephen "Blue" Heaslip
Blue's News Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, El Presidente for Life
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25. Boo Hoo! Gimme a break... Aug 28, 2003, 19:01 Bob James
 
Oh Boo Hoo, these "enthusiast" web sites don't have the brainpower or financial wherewithall to market themselves well enough to nab exclusive demos, so they are now pouting and refusing to distribute the demo at any point.

I'm sure Activision is just crying in it's milk.

Get over it folks. The game industry is big business. Big business is all about marketing, promotion, partnerships, etc. If you can't hack it, then get out of the way of people who can.

Your non-participation won't make a darn bit of difference. It must makes these sites look pathetic. (I'm not really counting Blues in this as demo distribution is not the main point of the site...)



Bob James
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Bob James
HALF-PRICE SOFTWARE

PC Games at up to Half-Off List Price
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24. What does the future hold Aug 28, 2003, 18:59 Mustang60348
 
Here is my take on all this, and I salute ALL the sites who are banding together for this.

WHY???

Because IMHO , it is ONLY a matter of time till publishers realize that there might be money to be made in offering demos ONLY to certain sites. IOW< they may (and I think they will) in the future not only offer exclusive deals to websites and then FREE to everyone after that but start allowing demos to be downloaded from these sites and prevent other sites from offering them. With this kind of exclusive deals the 'approved' sites can start charging more and therefore would be willing to pay more to companies for these deals. Can you say "Untapped revenue streams"

 
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23. Re: I still think... Aug 28, 2003, 18:58 Ray Marden
 
Since we cannot edit...

I do think that the setup "sucks," but no more than any of the other "sucky" setups we have from the one and only capitalism.

Shrugging, off to make some kamigilas and rancors,
Ray

---------------------------------------------------------
It is never wrong to care for somebody.
http://users.ign.com/collection/RayMarden
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Everything is awesome!!!
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22. Good for them... Aug 28, 2003, 18:58 Sty
 
It's a shame they have to resort to this, but I totally agree.

 
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You know selling dlc before you patch the client doesn't impress upon me the need to support your shit. -massdev
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21. Re: No subject Aug 28, 2003, 18:55  Blue 
 
If these websites were as good as Fileplanet, this wouldn't be an issue. But the truth is FilePlanet is faster and more reliable than any of those other sites. Maybe they should upgrade their user interface and download speed before they bitch and moan.

First, that just isn't true.

Second, ignoring that first point, do you really think the exclusive deal was made because they decided FilePlanet deserved it because they are so fast and reliable?
 
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Stephen "Blue" Heaslip
Blue's News Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, El Presidente for Life
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20. Re: No subject Aug 28, 2003, 18:54 Santiago
 
Ought to be an interesting (and yes, long) thread here. Although I'm no too sure where I fall on the issue. My gut says exclusives are A-OK with me. As a gamer I'm willing to wait. And somehow, I feel a free market, and competition, demands that you let those who can create these kind of deals do so; that being said, I do have some reservations, and a good couple of points the other way could possibly sway my opinion...

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19. Re: Meh Aug 28, 2003, 18:53 MajorGeeks
 
I agree with you Wazootyman, its a dog eat dog business, so if all the poodles want to band together against the rottweiler thats cool, but I got a Fileplanet subscription sometime ago, probably 2 years now. Its cheap, no ads (like the so called once a day ad that I get here 3 times a day) and fast downloads, without visiting the mentioned websites which often give me file not found errors or slow speeds.

Some of the same sites listed want to BE Fileplanet right down to using the same download sytem. If they ever got that big, they would do it too. Many of these sites HAVE used the word exclusive. What about THAT? Or is it only bad if its a big company? Aint right. If you ever used the word exclusive, remove your name from that list.

If I were still running 3dfiles, I dont know that I would participate in this, it comes across as whining and politics in something that should be fun, GAMES. That said, exclusive demos do too All the same, unless your a hobby website, then you need to try and beat the man. Wait, Blue's News does not host files, so is this a list of sites simply not even mentioning it was released because it says hosting? I think its a step in the wrong direction to not post the news at least. I mean Stephen, I have known you and Frans since 1997 or so when I started 3dfiles, so I dont mean to rag on you, I just think to not post it as news is sort of temper tantrumish? Am I misreading or will you post that its released?

Flame on, ill gladly consider all points, but I am not convinced this is a good plan.
 
http://www.majorgeeks.com
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18. No subject Aug 28, 2003, 18:51 PsycSui
 
If these websites were as good as Fileplanet, this wouldn't be an issue. But the truth is FilePlanet is faster and more reliable than any of those other sites. Maybe they should upgrade their user interface and download speed before they bitch and moan.

 
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17. Re: No subject Aug 28, 2003, 18:49 swebarb
 
Yes Activision can burn in hell, stupid bastards.

I dont understand, what can be more valuable having a demo on thoose sites so thousands can try out that game for free.

If none of the sites will host that demo, then it will be a downfall for Acti-shit because the majority will NEVER pay just to get their hands on a so called "demo".

FIleplanet started this shit when they started to make customers pay to get a stupid demo then a week later or so the other usual demo websites had it.

BURN IN HELL ACTI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
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16. No subject Aug 28, 2003, 18:48 PHJF
 
And guess what, I'm not paying for this either now.

F*$% off Activision, hello Bit Torrent.

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15. I still think... Aug 28, 2003, 18:47 Ray Marden
 
...the issue should be taken up with the developers/publishers for not hosting their own files (with sufficient bandwidth) rather than trying to attack a company for being creative or direct in its approach.

I mean, where do you draw the line? Do I fault anything/everything because it may be stronger/faster/have more money/whatever? It is a fine line for sure, you do not ever want to have a complete monopoly, but I hardly view such services in that way.

Things get even more confusing when you consider that these will be handed out for "free" after a very short exclusive period. It is so incredibly hard and rare to get demos for the other systems, but the PC market verges on the line of demanding it from any/every publisher.

Having bandwidth, wanting to have legal/approved versions of demonstrations, and enjoying fast speeds, these pay sites are a great, wonderful resource to somebody such as myself. To be honest, I would be willing to pay upwards of $15 a month just to ensure these things.

Having said that, I realize how very unique my viewpoint is to many people, even on this website. This is not directed at you, Stephen, or any direct reflection of the sites listed above, but I cannot help but think many, many gamers (and people in general) are quite greedy.

Oh well, whatever, I already have access to any number of sites. It will not bother me and I appreciate the viewpoint, but I definitely dread the impending barrage of negative, hateful comments...

Wondering what trying 720p on my 480p/1080i television will do :|,
Ray

---------------------------------------------------------
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Everything is awesome!!!
http://www.kindafunny.com/
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14. No subject Aug 28, 2003, 18:45 garry
 
I AGREE WITH THIS POST

 
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13. Re: Meh Aug 28, 2003, 18:44 Wazootyman
 
Also, I don't see how this hurts them in the long run at all. The demo will be free soon, and if it is good, only the most stubborn won't try it then. A few months after release, no one will even remember this ordeal. The profit lost from those few people who will hold a grudge will be more than made up by what fileplanet is paying them, I'm sure.

 
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12. Impossible Creatures Aug 28, 2003, 18:44 UberJumper
 
I had the opportunity to feel a bit of the rage of the sites mentioned in this open letter when the Impossible Creatures MP Beta exclusive happened.

I support the lack of exclusive demos for any one download site. I will suggest that folks may want to look into the contract that the purchasers of gamespy's multiplayer matchmaking service sign onto. If Call of Duty's using gamespy's matchmaking service, perhaps their contract specifies that any demos first are released through gamespy.

Note to developers, don't get stuck with only using gamespy's matchmaking if it requires that you have to have an exclusive demo with file planet.

 
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411 Replies. 21 pages. Viewing page 20.
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