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Demo Open Letter

Open Letter on Exclusive Demos on 3D Gamers is a follow-up that can also be found on a number of other gaming sites, recalling the open letter that prompted the non-exclusive release of the Call of Duty demo (story). Upon the recent exclusive Armed & Dangerous demo (story) the websites who have signed on to this coalition have made the following commitment: "Therefore, in an effort to end this once and for all, the following gaming websites (together representing 19 million unique visitors per month) have agreed not to host any exclusive demos anymore, even after they eventually become public." We (the editorial we) believe this cause is in the best interest of the gaming community and game developers/publishers as well, so here's hoping it has the desired effect.

74 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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74. Reality Check Demo=Advertisement Dec 20, 2003, 16:31 Verb
A demo is an advertisement and a technology test. I'm not going to wait in line or pay money to be advertised to. The gaming industry has lost at least 15 sales this year because I didn't get a chance to see the demo.

Rule of thumb:
If it requires registration
If they want money
If the download is slow
Too much advertising
Too many clicks
Not on BluesNews (only place I go for gaming news)

The market is flooded anyways and I'm still playing and enjoying games written in 98.

This comment was edited on Dec 20, 16:35.
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73. Re: whiners Dec 17, 2003, 20:31 Hump
I don't think the issue is bandwidth and who can handle it. Also, comparing a print story exclusive to a piece of software is misleading as well.

An exclusive in print media is "exclusive" only up until its finally made public, then it becomes public domain. The publication that runs the story in every case I know of doesn't threaten the other competing journos with litigation as GSI has done with the community sites that mirrored one of their "exclusives".

I don't think there would be any issue if GSI simply got an exclusive by way of being the first to host a popular demo then letting the sites in question mirror it afterwards. GSI would get the lions share of the attention while the rest of the community benefits and can share in the enjoyment of a publishers product. Of course the smaller sites could also garner exclusive staus while allowing mirrors as well. Nobody gets shut out and everyone is happy.

Lastly, while my heart may be bleeding everywhere, I'd like to state that the PC community formed around games like Quake and flourished because of mutual respect and goodwill, not by stepping on the neck of the next guy. If you want to call it whining, go ahead but these sites certainly have the right to fight to keep themselves afloat.

Currently Playing: Armed and Dangerous, Dues Ex 2, U2:XMP, Hotly Anticipating: Crashday, Soldner, UT2004, Far Cry Pondering: Second Life
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"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
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72. Re: whiners Dec 17, 2003, 11:32 Major Issues
pretty sure they already invented the revenue idea, its called "ad banners" and pop ups.... look above this thread... you think the CS ad is there because blues just loves the game so much he went and had a banner made?

yeah gs and fp have thier issues, but bandwidth isnt one of them, thus reverting back to the topic of why the smaller sites shouldnt be crying about exclusive rights... they are rationed out according to who can handle the most. exclusive, goes the the big dogs, the rest wait until the feeding frenzy is over, and get it in mass.

theres not 1 site on the internet who doesnt lean towards a sponsor, its the reason they get sponsors and how they keep them. the ads arent up there because the web designers had a big open space and nothing to put there, sites are "designed" to fit banners and ads, and built around those spaces accordingly.

and ad banners are a small fraction, fractions of pennies per click thru, and even less for just face value.

This comment was edited on Dec 17, 11:34.
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71. Re: whiners Dec 17, 2003, 11:10 Cage
If your point is that File Planet or Gamespy are marvels of web technology compared to the other sites, let me tell you that FP and GS have their share of problmes as well.

I subscribe to FP because it's a service I value. I'm also one of the few that is willing to subscribe to and pay for other services and web sites that I enjoy.

But believe me, I'll rejoice when someone comes up with a reasonable revenue model to reward all those "smaller" sites. If the resulting payment was based on even a small fraction of their value to the community they should do quite well.

GS, FP, and a number of other sites sell their soul every day. I'd prefer to support sites that are truely independent and don't skew reviews and news to benefit their sponsors.

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70. Thank God!! Dec 17, 2003, 10:34 Blade_986
Thank God there was a Deus Ex 2 demo!! Now I know it blows!! I will not waste my money on that!!X|

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69. whiners Dec 17, 2003, 09:52 Major Issues
sounds like the lot of these sites are just angry the alpha male dog started leading the pack.
yes, you all band together, and form the great alliance of griefers, and soon, you'll stop the evil corporation from excluding you... NOT, another 2bit download site will pop up in your place and host them.

i find it amusing that most of the sites crying about not being exclusive, couldnt handle the bandwidth of an exclusive release anyways. Nothing has been released since ad-aware that has saturated your 3 backup server existances.

The "community" as a whole is pissy because god forbid they actually paid for what they use... FP reserves slots on the servers for registered members, THATS what your paying for, to step in front of the 100 of cronies that download everything on the net. learn this... nothing in life is free

and quit crying, yer making the rest of us look like poster children for kleenex and huggies. :0

this is too funny... and proves my point completely, yeah i figured id go over and give my opinion at 3dgamers... sign up.. <general error> unknown variable user... LOL you want an exclusive demo, and you cant even run a forum?

half the sites on that list were born from quake, let the game die already, its dead... all 3 of them.. dead.

nobody cried about you having all the exclusive quake stuff did they? stomp your feet and pout, and goto bed without dinner... you try to stand up to this, yer all ganna go hungry.

This comment was edited on Dec 17, 10:03.
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68. Just wanted to say I am with the striker Dec 17, 2003, 06:57 mbmonk
Just wanted to voice my support for 3dgamer and the like. This is for the greater good of the community. Good Luck guys.

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67. Tell Lucas Arts Dec 17, 2003, 06:37 rjdriver
If you disagree with exclusive demos, tell the companies that are engaging in the practice:

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66. Re: Well Dec 17, 2003, 06:32 instant
Re 46:
Did you live in a cave or something?

3 years ago we had no demos? wtf are you talking about.

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65. Re: Great Dec 17, 2003, 01:58 MacD
There's one thing the 'pro exlusive demo' people seem to forget...have a look at those "xbox and pc" titles, which turned into 'xbox exclusive' titles.

If you can't make the connection, don't post here you don't get it or that the analogy doesn't make sense; you're just dumb

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64. Great Dec 17, 2003, 01:45 mycoman
I think this is great, it is so easy to wield power the wrong this case the sites are banding together (even ones who have hosted exclusives before) in an attempt to wield their power in a way that is beneficial to the gaming masses.

You go girl.

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63. Re: No subject Dec 17, 2003, 01:16 Ray Marden

I have always paid for internet service.

I have a broadband account for the increased bandwidth, always "on" aspect, and general speed/efficiency.

I have a Fileplanet account to ensure I fully realize my bandwidth connection.

Mixed over the new Enigma album,

Ok, let's play nice now.
I love you, mom.
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Everything is awesome!!!
I love you, mom.
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62. No subject Dec 17, 2003, 00:43 S_DOG34
There have been some good points made here in defense of exclusive demos. I agree that alot of people are coming off as bitching moaning whores, but it's the internet and this is bluesnews, so it's to be expected. I just cannot get over one thing. Why, oh why are gaming companies doing this? It's totally and utterly stupid, especially as a business tactic. I have no idea what kind of kickbacks companies are getting for letting gayspy or whomever have an exclusive demo, but it can't be very much. Let's step back for a second and figure out who is actually benefitting from this practice:

Gayspy et alia - Well I don't know anybody, anywhere, ever, who has signed up for a website because of exclusive demos. I am sure there are some, but I bet the number is very small. People sign up for those sites for the instant downloads and bandwidth.

Game companies - As I have said above, they cannot be getting much for giving a website exclusive rights for a demo. Websites, even the large ones, aren't exactly cash cows. People have said that gaming companies' goal is to make money, which is totally true. The thing is, they want to make money through video game sales. Cutting people out of a demo, for a week or minute, will reduce the exposure their game gets. Less exposure means less sales, the trickle effect continues, etc. They should really treat their games like struggling musicians treat their music...get into as many hands as possible as quickly as possible. Only really established companies, like Blizzard, could get away with limiting the release of a demo or *gasp* not releasing one and still get great sales. Then again the big companies have no need to get payed a small sum from websites for exclusive demos, so that makes that whole point moot.

Gamers - The end user (fickle, whiney, and EXTREMELY tempramental by nature) absolutely, for the most part, does not benefit from exclusive demos. Only the people who pay for fileplanet or whatever (and, I know you have your reasons, but I think paying for free downloads is the dumbest thing in the world) benefit. The rest of the gamers get really pissed off and complain. Silly...maybe. Ridiculous...probably. But, then again, so is the exclusivity of free demos.

Oh, and as for comparing the magazines to the websites, I don't think that is a very good analogy. Exclusive website demos happen all the time...not so for magazines. Name five magazine exclusive demos that have come out in the last year. I can't either. That is why nobody cares about magazine exclusives.

This comment was edited on Dec 17, 00:49.
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61. Support the petition! Dec 17, 2003, 00:18 Jay K.

I did my part. Now You do the same.

Jay K.

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60. Re: Bad Idea Dec 16, 2003, 21:35 MajorGeeks
Good idea, I didnt think about that, they could have pooled together resources to do it.. Not bad!

Your right, that probably was, I like your analogy better. As for the dotcom era and surviving, I lived it. After selling 3dfiles and, getting laid off and watching my stock drop to under a dollar, I am back to work. We started MajorGeeks specifically to see if we could survive a little less then 2 years ago when starting a new website was laughable. I guess doing what we do is different, companies creating computer tools do not do exclusive releases, and if they did, I dont think it would hurt us much to not list it, so again, I can see their side. All else fails, I can still drive a truck

Last post was an excellent point about journalism relating to this as well. It just comes across as were a bunch of whiny gamers, a pack I do not care to be thought of as.

This comment was edited on Dec 16, 21:36.
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59. missing the point... Dec 16, 2003, 21:30 elmagoo
Ummm, you guys are all talking as if with an exclusive demo, it NEVER gets posted. That's not true. All an exclusive demo does is allow one site to get it for a few days before it can be widely available everywhere. They don't mean that only one site gets it for all eternity.

This is a really silly and stupid cause that I think someone in an earlier post coined as using the moral highground as an act when the underlying goal is to get more money out of it. Someone mentioned why aren't print ads on the boycott? They were right in pointing out the special print-only 'dawnville' demo of CoD. I'll also go a step further and ask what about all those sites that make you subscribe to have to see screenshots? Funny they don't complain when these very sites on the list almost all offer exclusive content of some type (screenshot, interviews, reviews, downloads). If you have to pay to get access to it, then that's a form of exclusive.

Exlusivity comes with ANY form of journalism. If you don't like it, pack up your site and shutdown so we can stop hearing you whine like a stock pig. Do you think PC Gamer is going stop asking Publishers for exclusive's (which is another point they fail to mention that exlusive's are asked for by news sites, not just done by the publishers on a whim)? PC Gamer I feel would laugh it's ass off at you 'small-fries' if you think that they're going to stop asking for exlusives. They've got they're own people to pay, and exlusives help them to sell their magazine (just like it helps any download site pay it's people). Again, it comes with any form of journalism!

News sites are CONSTANTLY going to publishers and asking for exlusive content of ANY kind to get a leg up on every one else. Marketing departments have to constantly track what sites were given what screen shots, or movies and such. This is spawned from by the demand from the press, not the publisher just pulling a name out of a hat and giving that person an exclusive. So you guys should really be starting at the proper source.

In the end, if it's a demo for a great game, if you choose not to support it, then that's your loss. I highly doubt that if Activision decided to say screw you guys we're keeping the promised exlusive, that it's demo would've still been highly distributed and downloaded. Do you think that these sites would have been able to afford missing out on a demo that in demand? No, they can't, and they would've backed on their tough words and posted it because thousands of downloads is thousands of downloads.

All these sites will do is help smaller sites gets some recognition as they'll be happy to post the demo's when the exlusive period ends.

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58. Re: Bad Idea Dec 16, 2003, 21:04 MonsieurEvil
Interesting. Aren't there other ways to have done it though? If they had used their brains, they could have formed a consortium of sites that all get exclusives together, for example. Maybe 3 sites form a download agreements and take that to developers and publishers (and one muight think that the publishers would like the idea - more downloads, more publicity) Then they could have fought the bigger sites on their own terms.

But that would have put the fallacy to their 'we're trying to save the gamers' out for all to see, naturally.

The biggest problem is, the exclusive download system would fail if you let it. Publishers will notice after awhile that gamers are digruntled or download counts are down. It's a problem that would correct itself. There's no need for some hypocritical game sites to shove their beaks into how a developer distributes his products. And now, publishers will just do what the crapbirds at FileShack do: call demos "beta's" and have exclusives regardless.

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57. Re: Fight the Man Dec 16, 2003, 20:05 CableGuy
CableGuy, you are stupid... how do exclusive demos reek of communism? Try capitalism

I believe this was resolved about, oh, a page ago? Read before you speak.

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56. Re: Bad Idea Dec 16, 2003, 19:26 Hump
This feel like blackmail, one wonders if an online petition and\or requesting companies get onboard with this via that petition would have been a better, more mature, businesslike way of handling this.

I think the term "blackmail" is a little extreme. I liken it to a dinner table where theres enough for all except some fat greedy bastard is scraping everything into his plate. At some point someone has to put a fork in his eye to get him to acknowledge that theres others that have to share the food.

its a bad analogy , I know, but after the dot com debacle the sites that are left have worked hard to keep their heads above water and have every right to fight anything that can push them into becoming another casualty. As I said, theres enough for everyone just as long the participants learn some common courtesy.

Currently Playing: Armed and Dangerous, Dues Ex 2, U2:XMP, Hotly Anticipating: Crashday, Soldner, UT2004, Far Cry Pondering: Second Life
Avatar 10137
"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
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55. Re: Good Idea Dec 16, 2003, 19:09 MonsieurEvil
So, you really expected dial-up downloads to be faster? What's the expression...? 'A fool and his money are soon parted.'

J/K. Mostly.

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74 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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