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FileFront Shutting Down

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the rush-the-video-bank dept.

The Internet 118

Axodious writes "As of March 30th, FileFront, one of the most popular repositories for sharing online gaming videos, will be suspended due to the recent economic downfall. In a brief post, FileFront's management said, 'We regret to inform you that due to the current economic conditions we are forced to indefinitely suspend the FileFront site operations on March 30, 2009. If you have uploaded files, images or posted blogs, or if you would like to download some of your favorite files, please take this opportunity to download them before March 30th when the site will be suspended.' With FileFront shutting down, what will be next? Fileplanet?"

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One Word: Bailout (4, Informative)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339081)

Clearly Filefront is too big to fail, let's talk bailout. I can have Obama on the phone in 15 minutes flat, how's 2... no, $10 billion sound?

Re:One Word: Bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339103)

Me thinks 20mill would do at least for a year or so.

Re:One Word: Bailout (5, Funny)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339121)

Are you crazy, $20 million? WTF is wrong with you, $20 billion more like. Okay, $40 billion, you talked me into it. This is a crisis WORSE THAN THE GREAT DEPRESSION, duh? To hell with it, new plan: we send $1 billion to everyone in the USA, that will -seriously- ramp up spending, I'm super seriously. And don't you dare call this trying to dig your way out of a hole :P

Re:One Word: Bailout (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339561)

If Bernanke is still looking for worthless (sorry, no market value) assets to "invest" in, to lower rates below zero, then I have some papers he might be interested in.

Re:One Word: Bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339133)

$20 mil? If you have it, you'll spend it. If you don't have it, you'll try to. D'oh!

Re:One Word: Bailout (3, Interesting)

ahac (1516099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339531)

I actually agree. Only it should be the game industry that bails it out if they don't want to make legal downloading even more inconvenient and force even more users to warez.

Re:One Word: Bailout (2, Interesting)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 5 years ago | (#27343495)

Why can't they just move to bittorrent? I'm gathering all my clan's favorite CTF maps and will be starting a torrent of them and publicizing it so people don't have to go register at file-sends-you-lots-of-spam-to-buy-their-service-planet.

I will be sad to see FileFront go, they were my favorite. The least nonsense, just click a button and get a usually-anywhere-from-1.3-5megabytes/second-fast download.

Re:One Word: Bailout (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339567)

i love that this is "insightful"....

Yay (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339083)

Good riddance, always despised that site.

Re:Yay (5, Insightful)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339109)

Agreed, everytime I was looking for a file and the only hosts were filefront and fileplanet I figured I didn't really need the file and went to go do something else.

It's pretty much the same with Rapidshare etc... these day. If I can't get it from a website that isn't a pain to use or a torrent it's not important enough to download.

Re:Yay (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339323)

If I can't get it from a website that isn't a pain to use or a torrent it's not important enough to download.

In these cases, do a favor for all of us: download it, then seed a new torrent on TPB. If everyone played this game, we wouldn't have this issue.

Re:Yay (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339343)

I have on occasion, but I have to deem it important enough to put up with the shit first.

Re:Yay (4, Interesting)

MrAngryForNoReason (711935) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339755)

do a favor for all of us: download it, then seed a new torrent on TPB

I would be wary about downloading content like game patches from a torrent site. There is a long history of crackers using altered versions of patches and keygens to spread malware.

I have always thought that having to go to a third party site like FileFront to download a patch for a game was ridiculous. If a publisher is releasing a patch they should host it themselves not make their customers jump through hoops registering on a third party site and queueing for a download. And the same goes for games that rely on P2P based updater programs to patch the game.

WoW is one of the worst for this, I don't want to have to download patches using their custom BitTorrent client when it would be 10 times faster from a direct download. I realise that using BitTorrent spreads the load when a new patch comes out but it also hands the bandwidth bill to their customers, some of whom are on low cap connections and just want the patch they need not to burn through a GB of their bandwidth uploading it to other people.

Re:Yay (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339803)

Blizzard's BT client does have an option to disable the p2p function and directly download the patch from their servers. This is generally significantly faster than using the p2p option anyway.

Re:Yay (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27344063)

Really, I'm going to have to set that when I get home.

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27346055)

While it is accurate that you can disable the p2p functionality and that for some people (usually behind firewalls or attempting to download ancient patches with no more users seeding) it can be faster, in the general case of users without firewall/routing issues and downloading the patch at or near the time of it's release, p2p is almost always faster.

Hrm... on second thought, the general case is probably that people WILL have firewall/routing issues...

Re:Yay (4, Insightful)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339905)

I would be wary about downloading content like game patches from a torrent site. There is a long history of crackers using altered versions of patches and keygens to spread malware.

This wouldn't be an issue if publishers provided md5 checksums [wikipedia.org] for the patches, so you could confirm it was unmodified. Unfortunately since Windows doesn't come with a tool like md5sum, most game publishers don't seem to think it's useful to provide checksums for their files. Grrr.

Re:Yay (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27342557)

Unfortunately since Windows doesn't come with a tool like md5sum

Then wouldn't it be the job of some trade group like the ESA?

  1. The group commissions a Windows shell extension that lets the user right-click one or more files and get a window showing the MD5 and SHA-1 values for the selected files.
  2. Group members' web sites post this shell extension for download.
  3. Group members authorize the P2P distribution of demos and patches and publish the SHA-1 values of the correct files on an HTTPS site.

But they don't do that because it would make sense. Instead of relying on the existing HTTPS public key infrastructure, they sometimes feel the need to use Authenticode, which has its own brokennesses.

Re:Yay (1)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27342711)

Well, if they really cared about helping users ensure they were downloading genuine patches, they could just post the checksums and a link to one of the 40 million free md5 tools for Windows. But they don't, so they don't.

Re:Yay (2, Insightful)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339945)

I would be wary about downloading content like game patches from a torrent site. There is a long history of crackers using altered versions of patches and keygens to spread malware.

I've heard many people make this claim before but I've never ever seen it in practise, and I've been using game cracks since I first acquired them with a 2400 baud modem. In my experience the cracking scene is basically a global competition to become the most reputable, famous, skillful cracker. Maybe your experience differs but I've had absolutely nothing but convenience and quality in game cracks over the last 16 years or so.

Re:Yay (4, Insightful)

MrAngryForNoReason (711935) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340053)

I've heard many people make this claim before but I've never ever seen it in practise

A lot of keygens and cracks have trojans in them, less so with releases from major groups but often the cracks the groups release are altered and reposted with trojans tacked on. There was a trend at one point for hiding trojans in fake keygens that sniffed the registry for cd keys. These cd keys were then added into new versions of the 'key-gens' that were actually just a static list of keys pretending to be generated by the program.

As you say the people who actually crack the games have their own ethics so their releases are normally free of malware but it is trivial for someone with no such ethics to download their release and add malware to it.

Re:Yay (2, Informative)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341109)

Fair point. My sources are reliable (megagames.com and gamecopyworld.com) but I suppose I take for granted however difficult it may be to learn about sites like these for the first time.

Re:Yay (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#27345817)

Mod this post to oblivion. Megagames.com serves up Javascript malware. I'm not going anywhere near Gamecopyworld.com because I figure it's the same deal.

Re:Yay (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 5 years ago | (#27346049)

Wow, really? I honestly had no idea. I use Firefox with noscript and flashblock so I'm pretty much immune to that sort of stuff. I guess I'll have to advise everyone to do the same before visting those sites. Sorry if I ruffled any feathers!

Re:Yay (2, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340481)

I've heard many people make this claim before but I've never ever seen it in practise, and I've been using game cracks since I first acquired them with a 2400 baud modem. In my experience the cracking scene is basically a global competition to become the most reputable, famous, skillful cracker. Maybe your experience differs but I've had absolutely nothing but convenience and quality in game cracks over the last 16 years or so.

It depends on where you get the cracks. If you've got direct connections "in the scene," yeah, you're pretty safe. OTOH, if you rely on things like IRC channels or .box.sk to find your cracks, then the guys making the cracks/keygens available usually aren't the same ones who wrote it. It's passed through a lot of grubby paws of people who don't care about cracking reputation.

Re:Yay (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 5 years ago | (#27343271)

The crackers themselves are generally cool, I will agree, but there are some corners of the Internets that can get your PC in some seriously obnoxious shit if you aren't careful.

For example, you can read about this bit of nasty code that's distributed through image links on Warez sites. [virusbtn.com] (I believe a free, painless registration is required to read the full article)

Basically, PC gaming is so massively unappealing at this point to me not because I need the latest hardware or to fiddle with drivers, but because I can't stand the copy protection on retail (packaged) games and what they might be doing to my PC, I can't tolerate Steam and its reliance on servers I may or may not have access to when I want to play, or cracked games, with the disturbing implications for PC security that come from non-official packages. Those three things don't leave me with a whole lot of options, especially since I hate console game control systems.

Re:Yay (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#27342303)

All patches for id software games can be found on their anonymous ftp server: ftp://ftp.idsoftware.com [idsoftware.com]

Getting a decent download rate, however, is another story.

Re:Yay (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27342485)

I would be wary about downloading content like game patches from a torrent site. There is a long history of crackers using altered versions of patches and keygens to spread malware.

Then why don't the publishers of non-free video game demos and patches put their files' SHA-whatever sums on some web site like much of the free software community does?

Re:Yay (3, Insightful)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339595)

What? Are you sure you aren't confusing anything? FileFront was totaly awesome not too long ago... until it suddenly wasn't. You could easily browse the files by games and categories (mods, maps, models, etc), then select one of the few mirrors and download it without any further bullshit. FilePlanet, on the other hand, was pretty bad and IIRC required registration or even paid subscription to get anything, and then you still had to wait in the queue before you could start downloading.

FileFront's demise for me came when I once couldn't download anything. I don't remember the specific error, but at first it looked like it might be a temporary problem which could be solved by simply trying later. I never managed to bypass it though, and a few searches revealed that it was a common error for european users. Apparently this was their way of not servicing some countries/regions.

Rapidshare's entirely different matter, but even then it's not that bad if you need just one file as all you have to deal with is a captcha.

Re:Yay (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339667)

So, what you are saying is that the site ultimately sucked, right? Then you seem to concur with the original poster. He didn't say it was designed badly or that he hated it from the moment it started. He merely stated that he "despised it". Your comment sure doesn't evoke much love for the site either.

        -dZ.

Re:Yay (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340877)

No, that's not really what I'm saying at all. Would you say the McLaren F1 ultimately sucked because it's been discontinued 11 years ago after only 106 were made? It's possible that the parent poster also received a similar error, but by equating it with Fileplanet the impression was made that these two sites were equally bad.

Also, "despise" is quite a strong word for something that works quite well and is much better than most competition, which was the case with FF here. So sure, a clear message like "We're sorry we can't provide this service to our EU guests" would be nicer than a generic error, but this is a minor complaint.

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339733)

Rapidshare has no captcha, and in fact it's easier than most file hosting sites to download from automatically (i.e. with a script).

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341017)

Filefront was working absolutely fine for me as little as two days ago. You have to accept cookies, sure, but that's it.

And yes, I'm from Europe.

Re:Yay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340063)

I think you're confused, ignorant or just trolling.

Filefront is the easiest file hosting site to download from. It presents you with a download link that will instantly and directly start the download.

Fileplanet, on the other hand, is crap. It requires you to create an account and be logged in. On top of that, you usually have to wait for a long time in a queue unless the file is super tiny. I have no idea how their paid service works because I am not insane enough to pay a middle man for access to files and software created by others.

Rapidshare sucks because it imposes a download timer and per day download limit.

This news really sucks. Filefront is the last of the good file hosts.

Re:Yay (2, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341065)

I don't remember FileFront, but I agree with Rapidshare, and especially Fileplanet. I honestly couldn't figure out how Fileplanet stayed in business -- I can't think of a single customer who actually liked it, let alone wanted to pay for it.

The gaming industry is growing up. Amazon S3 is a genuine option. So is Steam, for those trying to sell a game. In fact, I'm pretty sure Fileplanet predates BitTorrent -- and I'm pretty sure I haven't seen it change much since then.

Granted, others are saying FileFront was better, but I really don't care. At the end of the day, what they're offering is a hard disk attached to an HTTP server. That's like ten minutes of work for a competent admin, and both have been commoditized -- as a single entity, with things like Amazon S3.

So, even if it was a good ludicrously obsolete relic of the dot-com boom, it's still a ludicrously obsolete relic of the dot-com boom.

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339159)

Isn't Filefront that shitty registration-pushing site that would lead you through several deceptive download "links" and finally taunt you with a 20 minute or something wait time for your supposedly free download? Or is it Fileplanet I'm thinking of. Or both?

If so, I concur with you completely.

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339187)

Both, and a few others. I can't remember what site I've been using, but it actually only had one nag screen, thought it was onna those File-something ones, but both those ones have the annoying ones (Fileplanet requires a Gamespy acct, and Filefront does like 3-4 nag screens before getting to your download, although at least reg-free.)

Re:Yay (2, Informative)

ch1lly (1154779) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339193)

You are thinking of Fileplanet. I'm sad to see this site go because at least for me the downloads were fast and very minor to no waits with no hassle, unlike the aforementioned.

Re:Yay (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339291)

It's too bad, really. I remember when FilePlanet was actually a really good site to get patches, mods, and demos from.

As FilePlanet (and similar sites) became shittier, I actually found myself more inclined to look on various warez sites for full game versions. Or, as more often happened, I'd just not bother and pull out an old-but-good game and play that instead.

Maybe if they didn't suck the brass nob so hard, they'd not be going away.

Re:Yay (0, Troll)

emj (15659) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339589)

Yes, considering the really shitty interface for finding and installing programs in Windows it's really a stupid move to make things harder. I only buy games that I know are hassle free, or buy and hour or two every month in a local "arcade".

This is good since I know support Indie games more like; World of Goo [2dboy.com] , Multiwinia [introversion.co.uk] and the Penny Arcade game [playgreenhouse.com] .

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339297)

I've never had to wait to start downloading from FileFront, and it has pretty impressive download speeds. No registration, either.

Maybe that's why they're bankrupt.

Re:Yay (1)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341239)

Actually I quite liked FileFront. High download speeds (it nearly caps out my 10Mb connection), a limited number of ads, and no waiting in line, unlike the eyesore that is FilePlanet. I'm sad to see it go. I think you all are just lumping them together when they really are not one in the same.

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27341927)

Couldn't agree more, fuck you filefront! You won't be missed!

Re:Yay (1)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27343627)

I think you are mixing them up with FilePlanet, which isn't worth using.

Clearly... (4, Funny)

rincebrain (776480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339139)

Clearly, we mirror it all onto archive.org.

Re:Clearly... (1)

Fotograf (1515543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339275)

lol

Re:Clearly... (1)

ausekilis (1513635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341775)

I take your suggestion and offer one higher. Bittorrent, where all your friends and others you've never met host all your files for you.

Re:Clearly... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341981)

And how is Archive.org handling this economic crisis? There's no guarantee it will be around forever either.

This is sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339153)

Ahh crap.. think of all the legacy game content that's going to disappear. :(

Solution: Bittorrent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339197)

Honest question: Why not just turn it into a bittorrent tracker full of the same legitimate files? Well, maybe not the SAME files. I would suspect that unpopular files would have to be auto-deleted after a certain period in which nobody downloaded them.

Re:Solution: Bittorrent. (2, Informative)

Tukz (664339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339257)

Torrent trackers don't actually contain any files.

Your suggestion would require someone to actually seed the files to a torrent tracker.

Re:Solution: Bittorrent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339319)

Can you not run a permanent HTTP seed to ensure at least 1 seed at all times? I know blizzard uses a bit-torrent client for it's huge updates but the HTTP server also provides some of the data as well.

Re:Solution: Bittorrent. (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340159)

FileFront's servers are shutting down.

Where is the files gonna be seeded from?
Are YOU gonna download the lot and seed it?

Or pay for the server(s) to stay online, so it can seed?

Re:Solution: Bittorrent. (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339311)

A bittorrent tracker is nice, but when people stop seeding, the content is as good as dead. Perhaps combine a tracker with a host that always seeds the stuff so at least there is one host that people can get content from, and if they are polite, they will stay on until they have uploaded as much as they downloaded.

Re:Solution: Bittorrent. (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340017)

Yes, obviously. They currently spend the money on a server anyway, so this wouldn't be some huge change. Instead of a couple dozen devoted servers sending files at 200 kb/sec, they could have a dozen servers permanently seeding 1000s of files each. With some overlap, the whole system would be automatically distributed and redundant.

The biggest benefit to the company would be the ability to decrease the peak bandwidth for the rare cases a popular file is uploaded. The peer cloud would get huge right when they need it to, and then when downloads trickle down the servers and and few remaining seeders could fill the tiny demand.

The biggest problem I see is that once a file is being seeded by a bunch of other people, it's hard to justify charging for extra speed because it's out of the company's control. The company can still charge extra for downloading a file earlier than free users, and it can still make the free user wait 60 seconds to start the torrent download.

Filefront was first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339219)

Well it wasn't first, but for me it was the first *free* website for large demos (and such) that would use all my bandwidth (10 Mbit/s) when no other sites at the time would, this was years ago. I've had 10mbit for awhile, long before most websites were able to actually fill all of it (at least, not during the busy/peak hours). now most anything, even torrents, are able to give me steady 1.2MByte/sec downloads. the internets have finally caught up. well about 1.5 years ago most had caught up. must be time to upgrade again.

time for devs to host stuff (2, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339339)

I've always hated intermediary sites that exist purely because developers and publishers wanted to save a few pennies on file hosting.
If, as a gem developer I want you to try my demos, watch my videos and look at my screenshots, I'll host them myself. That way I have 100% uptime, I know tjhey are easy to find, there are no ads or registration screens or other fuss to get between my customers and my product, and both me and my customers are happy.

I know that letting filefront host stuff would save me bandwidth, but these days bandwidth is cheap, and I work hard to keep demo file-sizes down. the idea of a 1 gig demo for a game is laughable.

Plus, demos and trailers are MARKETING. Of course I want to get this stuff direct to gamers as easily and hassle-free as possible.
I'm sure some big companies who are incapable of making games under 3 gigs will mourn the loss, but I can't say I'm one of them. Direct hosting FTW.

Re:time for devs to host stuff (2, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339465)

The thing is that some file hosting is pretty expensive, especially if the demo program is pretty big. A lot of ISPs will charge by the gig, so people accessing a multi-gigabyte app will get expensive quite quickly. Even something fairly small (60-100 megs) will add up fast if it gets popular.

I know registration sucks, but downloads before Web, FTP and others were pretty rough. If you were new to the BBS scene, you had to either pay a sysop for download credit, or find someway of finding something relevant you can upload before you could download a single bit. Of course, you had to make some inane posts to the board's forums due to post/call radios, and all this was assuming you could get something else than a busy signal if you are trying to get to a popular board.

Re:time for devs to host stuff (3, Insightful)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339913)

The thing is that some file hosting is pretty expensive, especially if the demo program is pretty big.

Maybe if publishers had to bear the cost of hosting multi-hundred-megabyte patches themselves instead of shunting it off onto third parties, they'd work harder before release to ensure that their product won't require multi-hundred-megabyte patches...

Re:time for devs to host stuff (2, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340549)

I couldn't agree more. With the exception of us indie devs, the ability to put together games in small file sizes has become a lost art. People actually ship demos with wavs rather than oggs, and bmps when jpgs would do. Identical geometry and textures get released in a single installation, and textures are often larger than they will ever appear onscreen.
The worst sin is devs which release demos containing tons of art and sound assets that can never be used in the demo level. This still goes on, because nobody is ever at any stage given an incentive to keep the filesize down.
I pay per gigabyte when people download my demos, and I keep them as small as I can.

Re:time for devs to host stuff (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341477)

While I agree including assets that are not used in the demo levels is lazy and wasteful...I don't understand the problem with using WAVS or BMPs actually. Everything should be compressed into the executable anyway. Yes, jpegs or mp3 result in a lower overall filesize...but they result in loss of quality to acheive this. Some users might find this acceptable to quicken the download and get a taste of the action, but I feel that most would probably just say that you game had crappy graphics or bad sound.

Re:time for devs to host stuff (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27342417)

I can't tell much difference between ogg and wav when it comes to stuff like bullet sounds or footsteps. Can you? Mp3 is a bit tinny, but ogg sounds perfect to me.
And a LOT of artwork in games can get away with compression. When artists have to zoom in to maximum zoom and look at two image side by side, you know you are just wasting bandwidth.

Re:time for devs to host stuff (1)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27344057)

Anyone can distribute popular data very cheaply now-a-days. It happens all the time with new television episodes: there are generally only one or two unique video encodings of a single episode, and tens of thousands of people have it within a few hours of it hitting the net. Except for the the torrent trackers, this all happens entirely on consumer hardware.

Patches even have the advantage over the above example by being legal.

The company should first run a torrent tracker for the patch and remain in the torrent as a permanent seed. Then give very clear, explicit permission for anyone to be able to distribute the patch, and supply MD5 checksums of the patch on the official website. That way anyone can download a patch from any of the many mirrors that will inevitably go up, and verify the integrity with MD5. The company could even digitally sign patches too.

Except for the MD5/signature part, this is what Blizzard does successfully. Side note: because the torrent file contains hashes, one could potentially use the torrent file from Blizzard to verify the integrity of a mirror's patch, so an MD5 checksum would just be a convenience thing.

Re:time for devs to host stuff (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#27346031)

If you were new to the BBS scene, you had to either pay a sysop for download credit, or find someway of finding something relevant you can upload before you could download a single bit.

Back when zero day meant something.

Re:time for devs to host stuff (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340215)

Sites like Filefront also provide a lot of bandwidth for mods and other community-developed content. It's not just big-name developers and publishers.

Good and bad news! (2, Interesting)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339387)

This is both good and bad news.

The Good: FileFront is shutting down, so all of the random junk probably won't have a home and all of the good stuff will find it worthwhile finding a better host that isn't full of adverts and idiots. (I set up one of my websites because the FileFront site was such a horrible place with annoying members and a high noise to signal ratio)

The Bad: The idiots will have to find somewhere else, so we'll have otherwise usable sites suddenly flooded with the "give me it on a silver platter because I can't be bothered while I spout gibberish in badly written and incomprehensible sentences".

Re:Good and bad news! (4, Interesting)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339903)

What's wrong with filefront?

I remember looking for an obscure Supreme Commander patch(version x.x.xx.xx.xxxx to version x.x.xx.xx.xxxx), and that was one of the few sites that had it. Fileplanet would throw me in a queue for 45 mins, then give me sub-par DL speeds. Filefront always maxed out my 3mbit connection, for every download, and let me download it right away.

I have adblock, so... what ads? :P

I liked FileFront.

Re:Good and bad news! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340079)

Posting anonymously becuase I'm going against Slashdot groupthink, and am likely to be modded down.

I have adblock, so... what ads? :P

This is probably what killed their site. Hosting -- once you get to the large VPS/dedicated server level -- is expensive. Hosting for a high bandwidth site is extremely expensive.

They couldn't pay their bills because advertising on the 'net is a failing industry. The reason for that is people like you blocking adverts.

I'm sure plenty of people will reply to this saying that adverts on many sites suck, are intrusive and annoying. Well, maybe, but that doesn't mean you should block all ads on every site. How are medium-large site owners supposed to pay their bills?

Working on the Internet is an utterly thankless task sometimes.

MOD UP AC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340567)

Nail hit on the head

Re:Good and bad news! (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340579)

How are medium-large site owners supposed to pay their bills?

To summarize the prevailing groupthink: There's no ethical difficulty in using a service that is nominally paid for via ad serving and then blocking the ads regardless of intrusiveness. Oh and we don't want to pay for content either.

Re:Good and bad news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340601)

And spyware along with advertisers using exploits in any sort of plugin content killed people viewing ads.

Re:Good and bad news! (5, Insightful)

Kiuas (1084567) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340779)

The reason for that is people like you blocking adverts.

The sites don't get money from just people who visit the site and see the ads, people have to actually click them. I understand your point but your theory presumes that people who block the ads would click them if they didn't block them.

Before I began using Firefox with adblock I considered ads as mainly a nuisance because, like you said, they were often intrusive and made it harder to find the stuff I was looking for from the site. Due to this I simply learned to ignore the ads and I can count on one hand's fingers the occasions on which I actually clicked some ad.

The problem is not with the people. People block the ads because they're annoying and hence not very interesting. The problem is the ads themselves. The advertisement tactic used in the net is too much based on the same tactic companies use on the streets: The bigger the better. On the streets this work because the bigger and more colourful the ad is the more chance there is that people will notice it. However, when you make the ads on the net big, colourful and often moving (sometimes even with sound effects) and then fill a webpage with these ads they stop working and instead of arousing interest you're just making people annoyed.

I can't see why people would click on ads they consider irritating even if they would see them. Now that there are free and easy-to-use tools that efficiently block the ads of course people will use it, but it's not their "fault", it's the advertisers fault for making ads too damn frustraiting. So in short: Ad blocking is not the cause, it's an effect. The core of the problem lies within the business model of web advertising.

Re:Good and bad news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27343307)

If I had lost both my hands I could still count how many ads I would have clicked on my fingers.

Re:Good and bad news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27343591)

I can't see why people would click on ads they consider irritating even if they would see them.

You're seriously overestimating the rationality of human beings. Study after study after study shows that human beings are easily influenced by advertising, even when they claim they're not, even when they find the advertising "annoying." As the saying goes, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Ultimately, it's a numbers game for marketers, just like it is for spammers. Most people don't react immediately to advertising, but if you get the attention of one more person, it'll be worth it.

Not all Internet advertising is based on a click-through, too. Is newspaper or television advertisement worthless because you can't click on it to go to a Web site? No. Well, the same is true on the Internet. Just getting your brand out in front of eyeballs is often the biggest impact from any advertising campaign.

I'm not going to judge you on the morality of ad blocking (who knows whether or not FileFront could have made their business model work, with or without ad blocking, especially in a down economy), but please don't assume that if you didn't block ads, they still wouldn't affect you--or at least affect other people.

Re:Good and bad news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27343917)

Uhh... you don't need clickthroughs to make money. Not everyone uses CPC.

Some use CPM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_Per_Impression [wikipedia.org]

Re:Good and bad news! (4, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340923)

This is probably what killed their site. Hosting -- once you get to the large VPS/dedicated server level -- is expensive. Hosting for a high bandwidth site is extremely expensive.

So what you need is a sustainable income to support it, which adverts aren't.

They couldn't pay their bills because advertising on the 'net is a failing industry. The reason for that is people like you blocking adverts.

No, as pointed out by other people, the reason it is failing is because of the way the industry behaves. Of the tens of thousands (or more) of ads that AdBlock has blocked for me I'd probably have clicked on a grand sum of about two of them at most, if it was really interesting. Maybe if things were less intrusive and more targetted to the audience of the site showing the advert then people might be more likely to click on them and less likely to block them.

How are medium-large site owners supposed to pay their bills?

Targetted affiliate links? Targetted self-hosted adverts? Sponsored links? I'm hardly doing any work and every month I've more than recovered the cost of my VPS account, sometimes several times over. That's just with two affiliate links that I use in targetted locations appropriate to each link.

Working on the Internet is an utterly thankless task sometimes.

Exactly, and people shouldn't expect to be bailed out by visitors and advertising. I host my sites a) because I want to b) because I enjoy working with it and improving it and c) because I know that people are making use of things even if they don't say anything or give any feedback.

Re:Good and bad news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27343143)

"They couldn't pay their bills because advertising on the 'net is a failing industry. The reason for that is people like you blocking adverts."

The industry was doomed to failure before it ever left the ground. It was attempting to be a carbon copy of the advertising model teevee uses. On Teevee we are more or less forced to watch their ads (or not watch teevee at all) but the internet works on MY terms, not yours, so anything i dont want to see, i dont have to see.

Besides, ive been so inundated with ads during my lifetime that i have developed an allergic reaction to them. The more ads i see for your product, the less likely i am to buy it, and the more likely i am to outright hate it. When i block your ads i am doing you a huge favor... Whemever i go to actually buy product, the brand ive never seen advertised always gets first consideration.

Re:Good and bad news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27343227)

Once again, it's conclusively proved: If you agree with popular opinion, it's the Right Way(tm) to think and you're part of the happy popular team! If, however, you disagree with popular opinion, it's obviously GROUPTHINK, COMRADE and Wrong(tm), and you should've probably added the word "sheeple" in there somewhere just to make yourself sound like more of a pretentious prick.

Re:Good and bad news! (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340119)

I have adblock, so... what ads? :P

I liked FileFront.

You didn't like them nearly enough, clearly.

That's not to say that I believe your particular blocking of their ads is directly responsible for their downfall - but the many thousands of people blocking ads can't have helped. I'm as fond of adblock as the next guy, but if I like a free site and it hasn't thrown some full-page Flash ad at me yet, they can shovel ads in my face all they like - I get a free service in return, I have no complaints.

Re:Good and bad news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340313)

Wonder how much the thousands of people using Adblock are responsible for taking FileFront down?

Re:Good and bad news! (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340377)

I have adblock, so... what ads? :P

mmm.. I think we have found the problem guys.

Re:Good and bad news! (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340819)

I've got adblock too, but not everyone does so saying "go to gamename.filefront.com" used to assault them with excessive horrible ads, including popups at one point. That was why one of my sites was set up with the aim of not having any adverts on it at all and serving quality content.

As for what's wrong with it, I already said. For the games I play it has too much rubbish on there (Football team badges in the 41st millenium? Random corporation logos? Other miscellany junk?) and too many idiots. I tried to help out on the FileFront forums for a while, posting pointers to tutorials etc, but the general response was "those two steps are too complex - do it for me now" (complete with unintelligible half-sentences).

Re:Good and bad news! (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27343659)

I remember looking for an obscure Supreme Commander patch(version x.x.xx.xx.xxxx to version x.x.xx.xx.xxxx), and that was one of the few sites that had it.

I remember the days when publishers were responsible for patches. In the long, dark past before the internet was popular a publisher once sent me a patch for a buggy game on CD, for free.

Downfall of a Giant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339391)

This is quiet a sad day, I was an admin for one of the sites many years ago back when it was called FileNetwork. I was there during its transition to FileFront and only left to go to college. This site was used by tens of thousands of people every minute and will be missed by many. Although it is gone, the memory of FN, gamingforums and all the past variations will live on in those who loved it.

The date? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339395)

I'm sorry, does everyone forget the date around this time of year?

Re:The date? (1)

Elrond, Duke of URL (2657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339431)

I'm sorry, does everyone forget the date around this time of year?

Unfortunate timing, yes, but I think this is legitimate. If you're going to fool people, you normally don't announce and execute your prank before April 1st actually arrives.

Good news (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339525)

When those services appeared sort of like a middle men mostly between me and a public ftp server the first days. I thought to myself, another idiocy which hit the web. Ok I know filefront and others nowadays host content themselves, but it still is rather pointless even to use such a service for a quick sharing of files.

I am sad (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339571)

I just moved there from RapidShare to store some stuff after I found out RapidShare now deletes file after x amount of downloads (I think 10). And now I have to move again. Sure it wasn't perfect, but it was FREE as in BEER.

And I'm not entirely against using Darwinian tactics to weed out the computer clueless form the internet. If you can't figure out what link is the actual download link, then maybe you shouldn't have the file.

Re:I am sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339883)

RapidShare (or rapidshit as we call it) is free service, you obviously did not pay for it so You do not have right to complain about it either. Be happy with your 10 free downloads. If you are not happy, then BUY yourself a decent host and host your files on there. Otherwise, swallow your disappointment and move along to another free (but crap) service.

Meh (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339585)

I really don't care. All that site ever did was annoy me. I don't think it even works with cookies disabled (it's a fucking file host, what does it need cookies for???). Or maybe it just doesn't work with Opera at ALL. Either of those. Dunno but I can't bring myself to care about the death of a site that made it unnecessarily complicated to get to a download and that companies would use to dump huge and popular files onto (resulting in abysmal download rates and really long queues). I avoided them as much as I could.

there is a god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339867)

good ridence

Facepalm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27340107)

You people obviously aren't gamers of any sort, because if you were, you would realize Filefront gave the best speeds of any game file hosting site, plus they didn't force you to register and wait in shitty long queues. (I'm looking at you Fileplanet)

Very sad to hear (1)

P-38Jbird (1087601) | more than 5 years ago | (#27341787)

Filefront is my first stop for demos and mods, ect.. Never had a problem downloading from them. Where will I go now? Fileplanet suks big ones. I stopped using them long ago.

So long, good friend! (4, Interesting)

QAPete (717838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27342207)

This is personally very sad to me. When my team and I set up BeyondUnreal back in 2001, FileFront was one of our original two file mirrors (eDome was the other). I remember clearly speaking with the great Mark Molinaro of FileFront, who has always been a huge proponent of the open source community, and who was 100% behind supporting our growing Unreal-powered gaming community. Never once in all that time did FileFront waver in their support of our efforts.

Unfortunately, this is a sign of the times. As the ad revenue streams dry up, it becomes more difficult to run ad-supported businesses. eDome suffered the same fate: there was no money in the file hosting business.

Farewell, FileFront, and thank you for being such a good friend to literally THOUSANDS of online communities just like mine.

This is sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27342597)

I use filefront all the time and love it. It is one of the only game-download related sites that doesn't suck. Most other sites either make you wait in line, or register just to download a file.

Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27342807)

Why go to Filefront and register for something you could easily get somewhere else. You had to jump through hoops to get what you wanted and the layout and design where subpar. Pay for content...? To many torrent sites and advertise only sites that gave you the same thing. The thing about Filefront was that they were arrogant enough to think we would watch commercials and pay for our content all at the same time. Good by Filefront you will not be missed, at all...

Or... (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27342921)

Game companies could provide their customers with a portal to post game videos?

Sorry, I don't know what the fuck I was thinkin'. Providing a means for customers to tout your product always seems to backfire...

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27344035)

There's plenty of sites already dedicated to this, such as http://www.wegame.com/videos/ [wegame.com] and http://www.xfire.com/video/ [xfire.com] .

FilePlanet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27344679)

Rupert Murdoch/News Corp owns FilePlanet, so they're good-to-go.... for now.

my 19 year old boss (1)

Phusion0 (665359) | more than 5 years ago | (#27344821)

I was the "executive news editor" at Filefront from 2004-2006. Everything went as well as it could, I had a 19 year old boss and upper management I'd never met. Covering E3 2004 was a blast though, watching my PR manager get totally pwned by Fata1ity in UT was a treat.
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