The word is out, Doom 3 is finally done and off to manufacturing as you read this. It has been a long wait, with intermittent leaks left and right. Most noteworthy was the code leak of a functional demo at the end of 2002. Many people glimpsed at the game in an early stage back then, with Id trying to do damage control left and right. I still remember getting an email from John Carmack telling us to pull our images from a column we wrote about the leak; even those screenshots were not permitted. At the end of the day their attempts to stop the demo from distributing across p2p networks were fruitless, just googling for Ďdoom 3 demoí today will turn up umpteen results. What this did show is that even the smallest leak of a long awaited application, game or other piece of software will cause for it to spread across the globe in a heartbeat.
So why for Godís sake are they making the same mistake again? Why have the game on sale in the US as early as the 3rd of August whereas the rest of the world, and particularly Europe, will have to wait for another week? How long do they think itíll take before downloads of the game will be available on p2p networks for the users that canít buy a copy locally? Iím willing to bet that it is a matter or hours rather than days. And weíre not even talking about the loss of revenue here; think about all of the extra sales you couldíve made by doing a simultaneous worldwide launch. And honestly I can see the dilemma with either waiting a week to buy a copy or downloading it today. Surely many people are not going to be sitting idle twiddling their thumbs when the copy is available on p2p networks and will not bother buying the game a week later.
So am I suggesting you download an illegal copy instead of diligently waiting for a week and line up at the game store for your copy? Well, no, I'm not out to promote illegal distribution of software, Iím just telling it like it is. Actually I have a different approach to all of this; what if we could harness the power of p2p for this purpose - the worldwide distribution of the game. This is 2004; most people have a broadband connection, buy all sorts of stuff, including software, online, which they pay for after keying in their credit card digits. I donít see why thereís any problem with setting up a number of high-speed worldwide mirrors for people to grab their copies from? Thatíll solve the worldwide distribution problem in one fell swoop as well as make the illegal distribution far less widespread.