Type of site
|Owner||DBolical Pty Ltd.|
|Alexa rank||55,399 (October 2018[update])|
GameFront is a video game website that provides patches, demos, modifications, and other user generated game related content to users. On April 14, 2016, GameFront announced that the site would be shutting down on April 30, 2016. The GameFront file service was later recreated.
In August 2016, DBolical Pty Ltd., owners of ModDB, acquired GameFront from Defy Media, and on 11 March 2018, officially relaunched the website with much of its original content alongside new features.
History and ownership
FileLeech was created by Derek Labian, founder of I/O Error Development, and first launched in 1998. In 2001, FileLeech was renamed FileFront and re-launched. It was bought by the Ziff Davis Media Game Group in the late half of 2005.
In March 2008, Ziff Davis Media entered chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. On March 26, 2009, Ziff Davis Media announced that FileFront site operations were to be indefinitely suspended on March 30, 2009. All of the Staff in Ziff Davis's FileFront division were made redundant at this time. Due to this, a massive undertaking by a large number of the former FileFront employees and network staff to back up all the downloads for the network sites (formerly known as the FilesNetwork) was started, spearheaded by one of the network administrators, Dominic 'Phenix' Black.
However, past March 30 and into April, the FileFront website appeared to continue working well, with no visible loss of hosted files. This led some people to believe that the announcement had been a poorly executed April Fools' joke. On April 2, 2009, the farewell message posted by Ziff Davis Media, was removed and replaced by a message from a consortium of former staff who had bought FileFront from Ziff Davis Media, informing users that FileFront had been bought from ZDM and saved from closure.
On January 28, 2015, it was announced that GameFront would no longer create editorial or video content. The file database on the site for PC gaming mods remains active.
On July 23, 2015, the GameFront FilesNetwork was taken offline and an announcement was posted explaining that due to long-standing issues with the system, as well as a lack of activity, the network was no longer to be operational.
On April 14, 2016, GameFront announced that the site would be shutting down on April 30, 2016. However, the site did remain online a few days into May 2016 after the scheduled date, before shutting down for good. In addition, FileTrekker announced that he would archive the forums as they were on April 29, 2016, and announced FilesNation as an alternative place for the GameFront community to go to.
On March 11, 2018, A team of volunteers backed by DBolical restored the original content to GameFront and relaunched the site with a new design which incorporates the Main Site, Network and Forums all in one platform.
As of 17 December 2013 GameFront was one of the 7,000 highest-trafficked websites according to Alexa. The main focus of GameFront was to provide a download service to its users, from its Houston-based servers.
In addition to this, GameFront provided gaming-related news and articles. The news and articles were provided by Computer Gaming World, a sister-site and offspring from Ziff Davis Media. Notably, GameFront was one of the first mainstream gaming publications to publicly criticise BioWare in the wake of the Mass Effect 3 ending controversy and side with dissatisfied customers.
The FileFront Network is a collection of over fifty-five specific game-related sites dedicated to providing news and files to its visitors. It was originally named FilesNetwork, and was launched in January 2000 by its founder, Jos Jongejan (Pro-Filer). Its very first game-specific site was SoFFiles covering Soldier of Fortune, today it is still as active at it was back in 2000 and it is one of the few surviving SoF sites. After FileFront purchased the Network in 2004, Pro-Filer remained as the manager of FileFront Network. Each one of these sites has its own unique color scheme and style, but the layout maintains the fundamental principals of each other network site to provide a uniform feeling from site to site. Typically each network site will be named after the game it provides for, usually in abbreviated form, along with the suffix "files". For instance, the network site catering for Half-Life 2 is called HL2Files and the site for the game Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis uses OFPFiles. These sites are usually run by administrators and volunteers. The Network is constantly expanding and shrinking as new games are released and older games die out, leaving new sites to be created and older ones to be archived.
Due to the nature of these sites, people who create unofficial add-ons for the game, or "modders", are a large part of the community as well as the players who wish to stay informed about things related to that game. The sites also provide patches and updates for the games they cover, as well as trailers and demos for upcoming games. FileFront Network sites tend to launch in the weeks coming up to a game's release, however occasionally sites launch on a games release date or later. Each site has a corresponding forum for discussions such as help with games' technical issues and clan recruitment as well as general chat about the game. Every FileFront Network site's forums are located on FileFront Forums, which is an area separate from FileFront Network.
The FileFront Forums were a large community covering a range of countries, ranging from gamers discussing upcoming game releases to members debating in The Pub about politics and life, as well as general browsers looking for something that interests them. As such, the forums were not limited to just game-related discussion, but also general topics such as sports, art and graphics.
Originally, the forums were a combination of FilesNetwork's (predecessor to FileFront Network) forums, IO Error's forums, and Voodoo Extreme's (VE3D) forums. Posts date back to 1998. FileFront's Forums have been through several different names and incarnations, including Gaming Forums and FileFreak Forums. A section of the forums is dedicated to users' images, called the Image Gallery. Here, users are able to upload their own images and write a description about them. Larger questions about graphics are placed in The Graphics Department forum, where a group of members called the FileFront Graphics Team offers advice.
The FileFront Forums were governed by moderators, "super moderators", and administrators. These members had the ability to edit, delete, move and merge threads and posts made within the forum, and the administrators control the technical aspects of the site. Users requiring technical help with their computers often make use of the Tech Discussion forum, where articles about technology itself are also written.
GameFront fully supported most download managers and also supported multiple connections for enhanced speeds on slower connections up to a limit of four connections at a time.
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