Yeah but noboby was giving away $1 million dollars for the best MOD for UT2003 either which is exactly what Nvidia is doing for UT2K4.
There will be MODS. Great ones.
You might want to check out the fine print...;) Last time I looked it was nVidia & Epic (and maybe some other companies) supplying the prizes, and the "million dollars" wasn't actually a million dollars cash, it was a whole bunch of stuff
to which the companies have affixed a value
of "one million dollars."
The largest prize that I saw listed was an engine license for UT2k3, and the "value" ascribed to it for the purposes of the contest, was $350,000, which is about $100,000 more than I have seen the engines going for in the recent past--for cash buyers, that is.
My guess is that the "one million dollars" is a collection of stuff which the companies have provided for the contest out of existing inventories, which have all been inflated in value by 25%-33% above the asking price, or the "street" price, simply to make up the "one million dollar" contest headline (which you know, of course, is done for publicity and advertising purposes for the benefit of the sponsors.)
The "great" thing about this contest from the standpoint of the winner is that when he wins, the contest sponsors (nVidia, Epic, and whoever else is involved) will send the IRS notification (required by law) that "John Doe" has been paid in "prizes" worth "one million dollars" and lucky, lucky John Doe gets to fork over $300,000 to $400,000 to the IRS for taxes due on this fabulous prize! The really cool thing is that the IRS won't simply take John Doe's new UT2K3-engine license as payment for taxes due, no, the IRS insists on cash! So, unless John Doe is independently wealthy, "winning" this mod contest is going to cost him a few hundred grand in cash, which John Doe will have to raise somehow, very possibly by selling a decent chunk of his prizes (game-show contest winners often end up having to sell much of what they win to pay the taxes due, and the practice is common--you just will never hear the company sponsors talking about this "fun" aspect of "winning prizes.")
About the most positive thing I could see happening here is that the contest sponsors supply enough cash along with the "other stuff" to pay the taxes on the stuff, but then if that's the case then John Doe actually winds up with a whole lot of stuff he may not actually need, and no money at all at the end of the day...;) But the contest sponsors get a lot of publicity out of it, and that's the whole idea.
Another kind of scam where constests go is not only the "one million dollar" prize contest which consists of little to no cash but "stuff we think is worth one million dollars," but all those contests in which it isn't clear whether the "winner" gets the "one million dollars" or whether the prize is divided among a whole bunch of people with *nobody* winning "one million dollars" but 20-30 people getting different-sized chunks of the "one million dollar" prize (which, as I said, may not include any cash prizes whatsoever.)
Legitimate constests like this in my opinion are the ones which let the winner choose between "cash or prizes." Or, even more rare, are the contests which award the stipulated prizes & pay the taxes for the winner. These are the only "real" contests, IMO.
Before entering any contest like this it really pays to read the fine print and contact the sponsors for official statements relating to how the taxes on the winnings are handled. Some contests, for some people, are far too costly to enter and win...;)
Ever watch "The Price is Right" TV game show, and see how excited the winners are? Ever watch them jumping up & down, hugging everybody, crying and screaming in pure ecstasy? I think we all have...;) It's just too bad we can't see them react to getting their tax bills a few weeks later--I'll wager it's an entirely different scene...;)
It is well known that I don't make mistakes--so, if you should happen across an error in something I have written, you can be confident in the fact that *I* did not write it.