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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
Blue's News
EdgeFiles (
Gamer's Hell
Tiscali Games

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.

411 Replies. 21 pages. Viewing page 4.
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351. Activision statement! Aug 29, 2003, 02:06 Rainier
Well you can all stop whining!

Power To The People!

Activision has just made a statement that they are going to release the demo on Friday, FREE FOR ALL. So look for the demo tomorrow afternoon most likely at you preferred download/news site.

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350. No subject Aug 29, 2003, 02:05 Rictor
"To be honest, I wasn't downloading demos prior to 1993. I got my demos from game magazines. Wait, thinking back I paid for those. Seems likes its the free demo that is actually the new creation..."

You paid for the disc they came on, and the magazine which was indluded. The demo itself, was free. Had you chosen to download it, you would not have paid. If your friend had a game disc with a demo on it, you would be free to copy the demo and install it on however many machines you wanted. So it was free, minus the distribution.

"There are two fundamental flaws in this logic. The percentage who buy the product vs download the demo online for free is likely > 100%. Also, its actually possible that a demo could discourage someone from buying a product."

#1 Yes, but if someone buys the game, the publisher gets 50$ (less, but maybe 30$). I doubt that the bandwidth costs for a single download are 30$. Besides, the game publishers don't even pay for the bandwidth, so they're getting advertising for free.

#2 If the demo discourages users from buying the product, and the publishers know this, then not releasing a demo would be misleading and would be frowned upon.

You say that I am a zealot. I have to be more energetic then the opposing side, in order to affect change. If you like things the way they are, then you must put in less effeort than me, since you only have to maintain the status quo. Though be both feel equally strongly for our sides, I have to put in more of an effort, since your job requires less effort in order for your side to prevail. I feel very strongly about just letting things which I percieve to be injust pass me by. If it requires a few posts ona message board to make my opinion heard, than thats what will happen. I don't think that makes me a zealot. Make sense?

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349. Activision Aug 29, 2003, 02:04 Brett007
Dont if this has been posted yet as im not gonna read a million pages, but Activision have just announced the following........
The recent reaction to the upcoming Call of Duty demo has caught us here at Activision by surprise. We're appreciative and excited about of the high level of enthusiasm the game has received throughout the gaming community. Due to the tremendous demand for the demo we are answering the call by not only making the demo freely available to all gamers at the same time, but early This Friday Night - just in time for the long weekend.

Good news i suppose

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348. damn Aug 29, 2003, 02:01 daedalus
okay those are all the sites i usually go to for the latest downloads. I guess that means i won't be downloading this demo.

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347. No subject Aug 29, 2003, 01:59 Hellbinder
I simply can not believe all the Total Bull**** i have read in this thread.

There is *ABSOLUTLY* *NOTHING* *WRONG* with a few exclusive demos that are released to certain sites. It is a very nice treat to have an exclusinve Demo or Beta test through a Site you Subscribe to. It shows that said site is looking out for their People. All these demos eventually get released to everyone. A couple week advantage to a small group of people is no big deal at all. This *ENTIRE* issue is based on nothing but *Blind Jealousy* of all these sites. It is unfortunate that Blue has chosen to take part in this sham.

I have a Fileplanet account amd *I* will gleefully be downloading the COD Demo just like I did all teh other cool sneek peak type things they negotiated. If these Cry baby sites dont like it then *GET SOME DEALS FOR THEMSELVES*.

AS for all teh total BULL**** about how its *bad for the industry* and *its taking the industry in a wrong direction*. Complete and total Nonense. 4-5 Exclusive early release Demos a year and people think the Sky is falling.. Get a Damn Grip.

Pentium 4 2.4B 533 FSB
512mb 40ns Rdram
Radeon 9700pro 330/330
Win Xp
The Whales name is Bob.
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346. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 01:59 Razorman
That letter is a pathetic statement, it's like kiddies cryin in the fkn playground cos they've been told no.

Well people, wake up & smell the coffee, this is the future of gaming & it's here to stay, i for one thing my 4.50 a month for Fileplanet is worth EVERY PENNY!

Sure beats those monthly A4 coasters they call gaming mags.
Come to bed Milly Sue, Daddys ready in his big ole trailer
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345. ACK!! Aug 29, 2003, 01:58 MeatForce
"Activision is not competing with 3DGamers and Bluesnews, unless it starts a pay-to-download service, which it has not done."

Well yes, by virtue of offering these exclusive [pay-to-download] demo deals, it has. And that is exactly the issue. The problem here is not with FilePlanet offering enhanced downlading capabilities for their subscribers, people!! The problem is not with having to wait a lousy extra week! The prob.. ahh crap, I just lost the stamina for this.

'night all.

I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now, even though you broke my heart and killed me.
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344. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 01:53 Meezy
No problem, and you can insult me if you want.

I work at the local movie theater while I am going through school. Some day, however, I want to have a business. And I want that business to be protected by the same constitution as I am.

Thats means freedom of association and free trade without government intervention and without zealtous websites forging some haphazard alliance against me.

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343. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 01:50 Trebek
I'd like to also bring up another point, and that is that this isn't the first time GameSpy/FilePlanet have had an exclusive demo. So why start bitching now?

This just shows the jealousy in the sites that couldn't get the demo. I guarantee you that if Blue's News or FileFront were offered the exclusive, they'd take it. The websites that signed that childish letter are hypocritical of themselves and should be ashamed.

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342. No subject Aug 29, 2003, 01:49 D4rkKnight
Meezy, whats your job in real life?

Im serious too i want to know, not insultingly

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341. Re: Activision wont care Aug 29, 2003, 01:46 fredrickson

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340. Activision wont care Aug 29, 2003, 01:44 D4rkKnight
This leads to negative talks about their company....We have such a long hostile thread here, and who, among others is involved in it? Activision.

That, along with the fact that there are at least a dozen other ways that a letter like this can be harmfull to your business.

Trust me, I think they care.

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339. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 01:41 Meezy
This is the way the industry has worked for over ten years, and you purpose that now, when the games industry is making more money than ever, is the time to change this?

To be honest, I wasn't downloading demos prior to 1993. I got my demos from game magazines. Wait, thinking back I paid for those. Seems likes its the free demo that is actually the new creation...

And for the slow...Free(gratis, as in beer) = no charge.
Free(libre, as in speech) = freedom, can do whatever you want with it. So you want people to make stuff for your amusement that is both gratis and libre? Check. Thats a sure way to ensure nothing gets created.

Publisher releases the demo, available at the same time to anyone who wants to download. Gamers download. A percentage of those gamers buy the product, thus creating a return on the advertising investment.

There are two fundamental flaws in this logic. The percentage who buy the product vs download the demo online for free is likely > 100%. Also, its actually possible that a demo could discourage someone from buying a product.

Hey, keep trying to justify your zealotry though.

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338. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 01:41 fredrickson
marital arts were gont car ewhen u post

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337. Re: Where is the FCC when we need them? Aug 29, 2003, 01:40 HUTCH
What's wrong with being a cheapskate? What's wrong with demanding free content? Let's recall that this site is one of a gaming enthusiast's.

While you're absolutely correct that paying for original content isn't illegal, or even immoral, neither is the right of gamers, site admins, et al from voicing their opinions against it.

So, yes, I want my free beer (while I'm on my brewery tour), and I'll complain like hell if it's flat. Right!

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336. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 01:38 Scottish Martial Arts
How many online news (RealLife news, as in in CNN, The Guardian etc) websites do you see charching for content? for one. If you want to watch newsclips or listen to interviews you have to pay.

Another thing, everyone acts like GSI is an evil megaconglomerate. GSI is hardly a 700lb gorilla in the business world. They make enough money to pay their employee's and still retain a profit but they are a long ways away from being a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Damn I'm getting tired of all of this I'm going to bed and will likely post in the morning.

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335. Re: Odd. Aug 29, 2003, 01:38 MeatForce
"The fact of the matter is this will just give more money to Gamespy (due to new subscribers) thus Activision will feel justified in charging Gamespy more for exclusives."

Naw, I think they may get a few people who were more or less on the fence about their service already, but I think the vast majority of people out there realize that FilePlanet Extreme (or whatever it's called) isn't offering anything in the way of value where demos are concerned.

I mean, we all agree that this thing will be free one day, right? Sure there are some folks who will pay to have it sooner rather than later, but they are a tiny minority vs. the people who will just wait, and who won't pay to DEMO a product somebody is trying to convince them to go out and buy. To many people (I'd venture most, actually), that's just a total waste of their money, when it's entirely possible they won't even like the game (never mind the fact that some of these companies even have the temerity to expect us to patch their demos, FFS). The value of a FilePlanet subscription is in high speeds/no waits, sure, but emos should be for everyone.

No, there might be some, but there will not be hordes of gamers shelling out to buy this demo from FilePlanet because of this action.

Not to mention the fact that those who buy the demo from FilePlanet, and decide to buy the game as well, get to pay double; the cost of producing the demo is being recouped by Activision at the cash register, make no mistake. This is exactly why I find it insulting that they would want me to pay for the exclusive right to play it some arbitrary number of days early. It runs completely counter to the entire spirit of releasing the demo in the first place. Demos are advertising, and for the same reason I don't go and buy clothing with brand logos plastered all over it, I don't appreciate this trend of attempting to make me buy their ads just because I'm eager to try-out their new game.

'The undersigned' represent a huge number of potential customers for Activision, and should be commended for taking a stance against this kind of smarmy fleecing. Additionally, they depend on the traffic generated by the buzz of demos like this for their survival, and that buzz is extremely profitable for companies like Activision (who could easily host the shit their cheap, lazy, greedy selves). They should be applauded for acting as a community which has every right to remind Activision that one hand washes the other.

That being said (and not to kick sand in anyone's eye by any means), there will still be places other than FilePlanet to download this from when it becomes available to the public, even without the help of 'the undersigned'. I think the panic in that regard is misguided. It's a pretty big internet..

**shuts eyes and dreams of the edit days of old, before clicking 'post'**

I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now, even though you broke my heart and killed me.
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334. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 01:37 Trebek
This is the biggest, most childish thing I've ever seen in my life. Oh no, we couldn't get the exclusive, so lets rebel, whine, and cry. It's a stupid demo for God's sake, you would think the world is ending.

Get over yourselves for a minute then realize how stupid and childish this is.

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333. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 01:36 MindTrigger
Payed to play games? haha! Some of you are living in the land of Oz. You think all of Gamespy Network's products and services are taking care of themselves? Get real.

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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332. Re: No subject Aug 29, 2003, 01:33 strangelove
"More reason to get into bed with game publishers? Man, every single game magazine on the planet has ALWAYS relied ENTIRELY on the advertising dollars of a the publishers whos games they review. They don't need more of a reason and this sure doesn't add to the equation much."

Yep, I thought of this already and countless similar analogies with newspapers and advertising, etc. I just didn't see the need to elaborate. I was just voicing what bothers me about this particular issue, and just because it's an extension of something similar that's happened in other media doesn't make it better, it bothers me there too. While we are just talking about games right now, it's this trend that has gradually dipped the idea of journalistic integrity in the toilet in general.

"Anyone who bitches is just whiny and impatient."

No, not really. I'd been waiting for Tron to come out for quite some time...I didn't bother downloading the first demo, grabbed the second and never even installed it. I bought the game anyway based on gamer reviews. I really don't care about this particular demo at all, but this issue still bugs me.

Anyway, did someone mention BEER?!?!

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411 Replies. 21 pages. Viewing page 4.
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