Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The unreleased game Doom 3 leaked onto P2P nets

Doom 3 was released today for PC and Xbox. It has been highly anticipated and is certainly going to be one of the biggest games of the year. The hype has been incredible and the creator of the game, id Software, has been claiming that typical computers of the moment can hardly even be used to play the game at it's highest graphical settings (i.e. the graphics are eye-popping). Kids everywhere are running out to get more RAM and a new video card just so they can play this one.

The original Doom (and Wolfenstein 3D) essentially invented the first person shooter (FPS) game genre, one of the most popular types of games today. About Doom 3 the BBC says:
"From the cinema quality visuals and the incredible 5.1 sound, to the terrifying atmosphere and hyper-realistic environments, the whole game screams 'interactive horror film'."
I've seen screenshots and it does look fantastic. Unfortunately for id Software the game has somehow already been leaked and is available for download online. This weekend people downloaded the game at a ferocious rate, likely cutting into sales of the game:

Copies of the game on file-sharing networks and newsgroups are being downloaded by thousands of people. The cost to the game's makers, id Software, could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost sales. The sci-fi horror title has been four years in the making...
Developing a game like it can cost game developers like id Software in the region of $15m (£8.3m) to $20m (£11.1m). Its release is the gaming equivalent of the third film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In the US, the game is expected to retail for $54.99 and is expected to sell in the millions.
At one point on Sunday, more than 50,000 copies of the game, which weighs in at more than 1.5 gigabytes, were being downloaded. Translated in lost sales, this amounts to $2.7m (£1.5m), if all these people instead bought the game.
"Whereas in the case of Doom 3, it almost certainly won't prevent the game being a massive seller, it will still cost both the publishers and developers of the game millions of dollars in lost revenue, an outcome that can only serve to harm future game development on the PC," [Matt Pierce, publisher of the computer games magazine, PC Gamer] told BBC News Online.

The publisher of Doom 3 is Activision. This is a real shame for id Software and everyone involved in bringing Doom 3 to the market. Hopefully they'll nail whoever leaked the code.

It's also stuff like this that arms proponents of the INDUCE Act (IICA) to the teeth with anecdotes about how content producers are the victims of technology. Thanks leaker, I hope you get something worthwhile out the deal (like a huge fine and a criminal record).


Anonymous Anonymous said...



8/16/2004 8:12 AM  

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