Mark Rein comments on the 'UT2K3' "leaked" demo
A leaked early test version of UT2003 is floating around the internet. It is not representative of the quality or performance of the final game. Infogrames' job in situations like these is to go after the people who are leaking or passing-along this version. They also need to suppress conversations about the leaked version on web forums to avoid pointing at it and tempting innocent people, who normally don't traffic in stolen software, to download it to find out what people are talking about. Their duty to their shareholders is to protect the value and marketability of their products to the fullest extent possible. They HAVE to do that, they're a public company and their shareholders would expect no less because Infogrames is invests a lot of money to bring games like UT2003 to the marketplace.
I wanted to address a few of related comments I saw on this forum.
The demo was supposed to come out on date 'X'.
This is just wrong. I think the closest we came to guessing (and yes, it was still just a guess) was that the demo would be out around the end of E3 or a few weeks after that. So far we're still "a few weeks after" E3 and working furiously to get the demo out as soon as possible. There are few big things we're still tinkering with such as the server browser. To put the demo out with an unfinished server browser would be foolish because we wouldn't get the all-important feedback on exactly what needs to be done for the server browser and you'd have a tough time finding decent servers that are playing the levels / maps / gametypes / rules / etc. that you want to play. We're also still continuing to optimize the performance of the engine, AI and maps and do a lot of other little things. The point of the demo (or test if you will) is to put it out when we think we've nailed just about everything (except maybe a few remaining map issues because only the maps in the demo need to be in absolute final shape) so that the feedback we get isn't about a bunch of stuff we already knew needed to changed or improved. I'm bothered by posts that say we let people down because we didn't ship the demo on some hypothetical date made up by rumor-mongers and using that as an excuse to justify piracy or slander us. That's really cruel and unjustified.
We know people are anxious to get the demo and the final game but we also know people are anxious for us to get the game right and not screw it up. A great deal of the success of a game comes from the last 5% of development which is why we like to say "when it's done". We've all played a few almost-great games and said to ourselves "if only they got these few features right" - well Digital Extremes and Epic are devoted to getting it right so that your weeks or months of anticipation will be replaced by YEARS of joy. Let's not forget that UT is almost 3 years old now and there are still tons of people playing it. If we rush out a crappy demo or game then it will be forgotten in no time at all. Doing that would be a waste of your time and a waste of our time and possibly even cost us our business. We can't afford that.
Now that there's a leaked version out there DE/Epic should release the current version as the demo.
I think that would just compound a big problem with a bigger mistake. The version of the game out there is missing a whole bunch of features. It has mediocre performance, lacks a ton of AI code, has unfinished levels, doesn't have Karma physics in it, has unfinished menus, lacks a ton of sound effects and music, has unbalanced, untweaked weapons, and generally is indicative of something still too early to even be called "beta". Perhaps knowing this will discourage the real fans and customers from obtaining this version and tainting their initial impressions of UT2003. We want people's first impression of a playable version of our game to be a good one. Yes there will be bugs and omissions in the official demo/test - we're putting it out to help track those things down - but it will be representative of DE and Epic's vision of the final product.
Epic needs to be here giving us more information.
We're trying as hard as we can. We're a tiny little company of only 20 or people and we're extremely busy working on things related to this releasing this game as well as the day to day running of our business. We're also trying to keep our head down and get the darn official demo released. There's no point coming here and talking about it over and over again because that just teases people. We're working as fast as we can to get it out and before long you'll be playing it and loving it.
So people, please be patient. We urge you to please do not seek out stolen property, do not discuss it on public forums and not provide links to it. We really want to ensure that people don't wreck their first impression of an absolutely wonderful game. The demo is close and before long you'll be playing it the way it was meant to be played.
Thank you for listening.
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