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DOOM III leaked

Id Software is “upset”

As many of you will know, Id Software's DOOM III has been leaked. Or rather, an early demo build has trickled down from one of Id's corporate confidants, and has been circulating the Net since Friday.

The early build of the game, which reports suggest weighs in at about 380MB compressed, has to be fiddled with but does at least work, showcasing various enemies and the sublime architectural and lighting effects Id have set to work in DOOM III.

Commenting on the unfortunate leak on a related thread on Slashdot, Id's John Carmack said the firm was "upset" about the security breach. "No, this was not leaked on purpose," his post began. "Yes, we are upset about it, and it will have some impact on how we deal with some companies in the future, but nothing drastic is going to change in terms of what support is going to be available." This suggests that the leak was down to one of Id's technology partners, although nobody has been officially linked at the time of writing.

This isn't the first time a high profile Id release has appeared early though. Three years ago, Quake III Arena appeared unofficially under very similar circumstances in an IHV (Internal Hardware Vendor) test, which demonstrated the game's awesome graphical prowess way ahead of its release, although that leak was harder to get your hands on.

Concluding his post on Slashdot, Carmack pointed out that "Making any judgements from a snapshot intended for a non-interactive demo is ill advised." Unfortunately, the matter seems to be out of his hands. Message boards and comment threads are overflowing with gossip about the widespread leaked code, with many gamers comparing performance on respective rigs to gauge the game's system specs.

However, this DOOM III leak (believed to be the code which appeared at E3) is likely to make as little difference to Id's bottom line as the Quake III leak - in other words, if anything, it will increase the already staggering excitement surrounding the game's summer 2003 release date.