1.25 Million Download Parody AdverGame

By Jim Rossignol on February 7th, 2011 at 8:33 pm.


The Bulletstorm tweeting-thing announced that People Can Fly’s free Call Of Duty parody, Duty Calls, has been download 1.25 million times over the weekend. The brief game, which mocks the “realistic” shooter genre, was an advert for Bulletstorm’s more science fictional approach on the macho manshoot. And, well, it was actually pretty funny. As adverts go, it was one of the more inventive ones we’ve seen. A kind of anti-demo. “Bulletstorm is not this,” being the message. It also, perhaps, goes some small way toward making up for the lack of an actual demo. Well, they say laughter is the best medicine. We’ll see about that.

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91 Comments »

  1. gryffinp says:

    I would have preferred a demo.

    • Premium User Badge

      El_MUERkO says:

      /\

      what he said

      twas a massive waste of bandwidth

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Would have preferred them spending 20 minutes of allowing unlimited weapon slots/pickups in the PC version, especially seeing as how they themselves have stated there is zero reason why they should punish the PC for a tardy console control scheme.

  2. Miker says:

    I can’t say that I’m surprised at the numbers, but I really didn’t think it was very funny. The ending had a good line or two, but nothing worth downloading 800 megabytes for. As someone said in previous threads, it probably would’ve taken less effort to actually push out a demo for Bulletstorm itself :-/

    Oh, and this:

    WELCOME
    THRILLHO

    • Bilbo says:

      Yeah, they shopped this out to a third party studio. Developing this didn’t take up developer time that could’ve been spent on your precious demo. Cash, perhaps, but not time.

      *Edit* Weird, scratch that. I thought bulletstorm was an Epic title, but it’s People Can Fly. So disregard my last, they did waste time on this. I still liked it, though. Genuinely pretty funny.

    • rayne117 says:

      So now there is REALLY no excuse at all for not having a demo.

  3. westyfield says:

    You appear to be confusing laughter with homeopathy, Jim.

  4. ShawnClapper says:

    I found it extremely funny.

    Rank Up!

  5. SquareWheel says:

    I think it was some creative advertising, but as Miker says it maybe wasn’t worth such a large download. Just watching a video of it would have sufficed.

    • Baines says:

      I watched a four minute video on Youtube, and it was about two minutes too long for the amount of humor it had.

      Though it was unintentionally funny that Duty Calls makes a(n overlong) joke about games going into inexplicable slow motion to make it easier to hit someone, when Bulletstorm does the exact same thing when you whip people.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I thought it made the enemy you grab slower rather than everything around you, like in Dead Space.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      There’s a huge difference between the CoD PRESS BUTTON TO WIN slo-mo that they’re making fun of and the way slow motion is used in basically any other game that has it (whether it’s bullet-time or the Dead Space/Bulletstorm enemy-stasis thing).

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Bulletstorm does it because you can’t aim worth shit with a gamepad(and you need to quickly re-aim for juggle combos etc) and they had to accomodate their main target audience, having betrayed their original PC roots.

  6. InsidiousBoot says:

    800mb isn’t that much nowadays with bandwidth increasing.. just saying.

    And I did found it rather hilarious.

    • Shadram says:

      It is when you live on the ass-end of the world (New Zealand) and bandwidth is more expensive than gold (albeit very small quantities of gold). And download speeds from US servers max out at 100 kB/s.

  7. patricij says:

    I watched a gameplay video of it…I have better uses for my bandwidth..
    Aaand Bulletstorm isn’t something I’d buy without a demo…I might “demo” it and decide after that.

    • stele says:

      You’ll go blind you know.

    • Grape says:

      …And your palms will grow hairy.

    • patricij says:

      Ooops…I didn’t expect some kind of Spanish Inquisition.

    • Chris D says:

      /looks towards the door expectantly

    • neems says:

      Oh come on… nobody?

      I’ll come back after work and finish this off if need be.

    • Premium User Badge

      RaveTurned says:

      But it’s expected now, so it can’t happen. Can it?

    • michaelar says:

      And therein lies the full brilliance of the skit — it has already dealt with this condition. To wit (and the end of the credits):

      “Nobody expects the Spa… oh, bugger.”

    • RegisteredUser says:

      …Schrödinger’s Spanish Inquisition?

  8. omicron1 says:

    As far as I can tell, the reason why they OK’d this is that it is advertising for all the versions. They couldn’t put it on consoles for whatever reason, so they put it on PC in order to gain more attention – but where they really want that attention to go is straight to the more lucrative console versions.

    “Call of Money, Modern Marketing” might’ve been a better name for it…

    • Bilbo says:

      Well, it’s advertising. The fact that it “advertises all the versions” and the fact that the console versions will probably be more lucrative doesn’t mean you can get up on the soapbox and say THEY ONLY MAED THIS BECAUSE OF TEH CONSOLES.

    • omicron1 says:

      Nope.

      The other stuff they’ve pulled does that. (High price, no PC demo)

      I am completely convinced by now that the PC version is an afterthought of sorts. I don’t feel like supporting that, no matter how clever their marketing is.

    • Bilbo says:

      Free country. To my mind, I’d rather have the option than not, so I’m glad there’s a PC version.

    • GT3000 says:

      Still doesn’t change the fact that as gamers, we’re essentially whores. We take abuse and still end up buying the product anyway. EPIC is only nonchalantly pursuing that option. Their core base appears to reside on consoles, they never needed to focus on PC to begin with. They could care less if we never get a demo because they frankly don’t give a hoot. Bet you that half the PC gamers who hear about it still end purchasing it anyway. Well, maybe not the RPS Hivemind in such droves but typically there’s a lot of talk of principles without much follow through.

      P.S. They’ll still make oodles of cash, further reinforcing that they can treat their customerbase like shit and still make a buck. Sad but true.

    • Hallgrim says:

      @GT:

      You seem to be saying that there are a lot of stupid gamers out there, so companies cater to them because its cheaper to give idiots what they want as opposed to smart people.

      I feel EXACTLY the same way every time I go to the polls to vote.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      I’m sure half of the gamers will be torrenting it, not exactly paying before. We’re talking about PC gamers, bloody pirates.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      PCF used to develop and gear games towards PC gamers.
      I am assuming it was after suffering plenty of the raep from Epic that this changed, and suddenly everything is geared towards a slow, clumsy, restrictive input controller and simplyfying stuff rather than the fast-paced frantically-fun gameplay of Painkiller which made PCF famous/respected to begin with.

  9. Premium User Badge

    shoptroll says:

    Yay? I hope this changes their mind about forgoing a PC demo for the actual game.

    As much as the consoles are where the major money is at for EA and Epic lately, there’s no way they could distribute something like this on XBox Live. Maybe on PSN, but I see XBL having more than enough red tape to make a quick experience like this extremely not cost effective.

    Wonder how many hits the YouTube “walkthroughs” racked up? Or the “trailer” video.

  10. Unaco says:

    1.25 Million started, or completed downloading? Because, I started, then was informed it was only 4 minutes long, and there were videos up on YouTube already.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    I wonder how many pre-orders were cancelled because of this.

  12. Nighthood says:

    My god, how do people find that shit funny? It was just vague observation, not even good parody of Call of Duty games. Maybe I’m just jaded, but it was absolutely terrible.

  13. Bilbo says:

    I love how po-faced the RPS community is about this. It was just a little joke that probably only took an afternoon or two to whip up. Get over it!

    • Premium User Badge

      FriendlyFire says:

      You’ve never worked on a game or mod, have you?

    • Acorino says:

      A joke I felt was unfunny. And witless. Yeah, I prefer to be po-faced than to find this funny, honestly.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      Yeah, I’m sorry, this [comments thread] is just full of cynical prats.
      I am looking forward to Bulletstorm, and DNF.
      There are far too many games out there that take themselves too seriously, I hark for the days of Blood, Redneck Rampage and DN3d, Doom (#3 was a steaming pile of sith) and of course Carmageddon. Sigh, where has the meaningless fun gone now?

    • Premium User Badge

      kregg says:

      I agree with OP. I mean, I would be furious if I actually paid for it, but as it stands, it’s just a bit of silliness.

      Personally, I’d like to see them release a demo of BulletStorm for the PC, and I can’t see why they can’t now. I mean, if they don’t, I simply won’t get it on the PC, and since that’s my only means of gaming, then it’s tough luck to Epic Games. Simple. For now though, I’ll enjoy Duty Calls and treat it as a seperate game, despite the advertising for BulletStorm in the end.

      I don’t see why people are getting strung up over Duty Calls. It was funny, get over yourselves. If you want something to be angry about, be angry Epic Games haven’t released a demo for the PC, the one platform that needs a demo due to different players having different hardware.

      My two pence.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      @ Kregg Thank You, oh god Thank you!

    • Bilbo says:

      @FriendlyFire I’m doing games development at uni, so I’ve worked on some stuff, and duty calls is just a short level with one weapon model, perhaps two human models with three textures, and a little UI overlay animation thing. PCF are presumably a pretty large team – I really doubt it took longer than a couple of days to throw together such limited assets and plug them into their proprietary engine. If it did, well, I’m not at a particularly *good* uni.

      Have you ever worked anywhere? Because that kind of throwaway put-down with no analysis must make you a pleasure to share an office with

  14. Icarus says:

    “It also, perhaps, goes some small way toward making up for the lack of an actual demo.”

    No.
    No, it really didn’t.

  15. mrjackspade says:

    Gametrailers editors not liking this mini-game. Should try it for that reason alone.

  16. steggieav says:

    I would have found this a lot funnier if the jokes had been even slightly more subtle than a sledgehammer to the face. The ‘Rank Up’ stuff was kind of funny, though. Frankly, I think they could have done a lot more with this.

  17. P4p3Rc1iP says:

    Well, whatever you think of the “game”, you have to admit it was a great marketing scheme. The fact that everybody has an opinion about it shows this. Credits to that.

    • mkultra says:

      isn’t the point of advertising to make the customer want your product?

    • Jason Moyer says:

      The point of marketing is to make consumers aware of your product.

    • Acorino says:

      It doesn’t help when the customers are aware of the product but don’t buy it, no?

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      I’d be surprised if more than a double figure number or that 1.25 million downloads weren’t already a least vaguely aware of Bulletstorm.

    • honolululu says:

      In my opinion, if everyone flipped marketing for advertising this reply would work.

      Advertising would be making someone aware of your product. Like the a big sign at the side of the road that says, “Eat at Joe’s” with a big arrow pointing down at Joe’s. Maybe McDonalds double arches is a better example.

      Marketing is making someone want your product. Like showing you the completely fabricated images of what a Bic Mac might look like on the moon. I mean that thing looks you could use it for a rook on a chess board. You go and buy it and what do you get? A blasted checkers piece.

      Full disclosure: I never eat at McDonalds. Now Burger King is another matter.

      /this post needs marketing

      Edit: One, you should have seen what I wanted to post. Bedtime

      And two, I forgot to say that as I watched the video on youtube I was bummed for not having downloaded it to get the full experience. The “boring” gunshot sound effect cracks me up.

  18. Sarkhan Lol says:

    I bet Bulletstorm IS that, but the enemies say FUCKBALLS and so on when you shoot them and also their balls fly off and the achievements are things like BALLFUCKER (fuck up six enemy balls).

    I thought Duty Calls was conceptually funny, but felt they really overdid it, and after that I just found the joke incredibly patronizing. The whole Bulletstorm thing is just incredibly patronizing. And that’s a shame, because if they could stop being so pleased with themselves for a good minute, I don’t think there’s a man jack of us who’d consider a Tourettic protagonist and a bit of mindless, frenetic first-person ballfucking beneath them. It feels like a good joke that’s being mercilessly run into the ground.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      >I don’t think there’s a man jack of us who’d consider a Tourettic protagonist and a bit of mindless, frenetic first-person ballfucking beneath them.

      I do. That is totally beneath me, and I’m not ashamed to say it.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      Hm, very well, I retract my baseless statement re: ballfucking mister Westergren.

    • Outsider says:

      [I thought Duty Calls was conceptually funny, but felt they really overdid it, and after that I just found the joke incredibly patronizing. The whole Bulletstorm thing is just incredibly patronizing. And that’s a shame, because if they could stop being so pleased with themselves for a good minute,]

      Exactly, which explains why I’ve been so turned off by Bulletstorm from the start, and this measely attempt at reverse marketing has just reinforced it.

  19. mkultra says:

    guys, c’mon, we’d be full of ourselves too if we made a space marine game instead of a earth marine game.

  20. Soon says:

    Should have charged a dollar for it.

  21. Amnesiac says:

    I read the line “we’ll see about that” in the Gman’s voice.

    I’m not obsessed at all.

  22. Jason Moyer says:

    How did 1.25 million people manage to download the thing? I’ve been trying to access the Duty Calls website off an on since it came out with no success whatsoever.

    • P4p3Rc1iP says:

      Watch the youtube vid, that’s all there’s to it. The website is just the vid and a “DOWNLOAD NOW” button.

  23. Navagon says:

    1.25 Million download that yet the PC is such a dead platform that there’s no sense in releasing an actual demo?

  24. RandomEngy says:

    It’s definitely worth 5 minutes of your time.

    Laughed out loud like the whole way through, and I even enjoyed the Bulletstorm trailer at the end.

  25. geldonyetich says:

    Do I detect a faint hint of desperation that they feel Call of Duty’s millions of players won’t even try Bulletstorm without being told their choice of games is bad?

    Oh well, it was indeed a funny parody FPS, granted I’m glad I watched the YouTube video rather than played it.

    • Navagon says:

      Kotick seems to feel that he can tell people what to like and they’ll listen. Sales figures suggest he’s onto something, so I don’t blame Epic for trying to tap that apparently quite gullible MW2 player base. ,

  26. Kadayi says:

    I laughed. I’m not sure whether bullet storm is my thing, but certainly it looks more exciting.

  27. SpaceAkers says:

    Wasn’t too impressed by Duty Calls. It was like a parody without any actual clever observation.

    It also makes fun of CoD for being a “Fun house ride”-style linear shooter and for having an onscreen blood effect…..2 things that also apply to Bulletstorm……

    I played the Bulletstorm demo on the 360, it was okay. There’s no way I would spend full price on it, but depending on reviews it’s probably gonna be worth a Gamefly / Future Steam Discount scenario…

    • theallmightybob says:

      Yeah I wasent too impressed with it my self. If the games humor is anyhting like duty calls I think I’ll just have to wait untill is on for $19 on steam like you said.

      The only game I really want on release so far is brink, by a company who atleast is trying to throw somthing mildly diffrent into the FPS genre other then asshole shooting.

  28. bjohndooh says:

    After wasting 700 mb on this, I gave the Bulletstorm Demo a shot on my 360 anyway.

    Honestly I came away quite underwhelmed – unless the full game is much different… I think I’ll pass.

  29. Muzman says:

    How they resisted calling it “Doody Calls” I’ll never understand.

  30. squirrel says:

    I wonder who pay for this demo, Epic or EA marketing?

    Very good show-off of UDK, consider how easy Epic put up this piece of… how to call it? A game? A joke? A……

    It seems this “software” has an Xbox version, I am not sure if this’s true though.

  31. Kadayi says:

    Boring!!!

  32. Sigh says:

    Maybe it is just me, but I don’t think that Bulletstorm is really that different from Call of Duty (and this is coming from a long-time Call of Duty fan). Will not Bulletstorm also be a corridor shooter with enemies that have questionable A.I. or be heavily scripted? Will not the game prompt you to move in the prescribed direction and hold your hand when you most need it? Will not the game have stereotypical “bad guys” that you are thoroughly justified in, and encouraged to kill in very brutal ways?

    The only difference will be that the textures and overall look will now have a “sci-fi” aesthetic.

    I see what they were trying to do, but “Duty Calls” rather than being a focused lens of satire and parody may actually turn out to be an unintentional mirror.

  33. Gundato says:

    More proof that most people are just looking for an excuse to be angry. If they had released a PC demo, people would just be whinging that they wasted time on this that they could have spent polishing the game. Would I like a PC demo? Yeah. But whatever.

    As far as how long was spent on this: Everything looked pretty generic, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they just got some free assets and whipped this up in a day or two (anyone know what engine they used?).

    As far as the content itself: I found it humorous. Not laugh out loud humorous, but funny enough that I smirked a few times.

    And this pretty much reinforced my thoughts on Bulletstorm. Potential for a VERY entertaining game (in the “Wow, I am way more stupiderer for having played this” kind of way).
    But, as my playing of the PS3 demo showed me, this is going to be a “get it on sale” kind of game.

  34. BobsLawnService says:

    How many of those 1.25 million people thought they were downloading a pirate copy of the latest Call of Duty game?

    • The Hammer says:

      And how many couldn’t spot the difference and were chuffed with themselves?

  35. Saiko Kila says:

    What a pile of dogs… I was unable to install it, because it requires a lot of space both on the destination disk (542 MB in my case) and system disk (859 MB in my case). While I have much free space for games, my system partition is almost full (thank you Microsoft for keeping all versions of system files since 2007). But even if I had this space, why would I want to allow them to mess with my system? This is not a demo of Bulletstorm, but this is a demo of Bulletstorm devs abilities. And they failed. So thanks for it anyway :)

  36. RegisteredUser says:

    srsly pplz dont forget to like us on fa*book

  37. kennycrown says:

    I think it was some creative advertising,