FileFront is Changing to GameFront

Dear FileFront readers,
For a decade, FileFront has been the #1 destination for PC gaming. You know this, we know this, your dog knows this. Building on that solid foundation, we grew editorially this year. We’re still the top destination for demos, patches and mods, but we’ve also become a solid source for gaming news, reviews, walkthroughs and features. We’ve changed.

Because of these changes, it just doesn’t feel right to call the site FileFront anymore. Files are still a core aspect of what we do, but we have outgrown the limitations of that brand.

So…*drumroll*… I’m excited to announce that on November 30, FileFront will become GameFront! This is a very big step for us, and we’re excited to (finally) unveil our plans to everyone.

Why GameFront?

We decided on the name GameFront for a couple reasons. First, it’s simple, and it immediately communicates what we’re all about: gaming, without limitations. Secondly, we like how it dovetails nicely with our current brand. It feels like a natural evolution for us, and we’re excited to grow.

What’s New in GameFront?

In addition to the new (awesome) name, we’re also giving the site a fresh redesign, and adding some cool new features. Here’s a rundown of what to expect:

  • Slick new redesign. Check out the teaser comps below! We’re making the site more readable, because that’s always good.
  • New “Files” tab on game pages. This is kind of a big deal. You’ll be able to find all articles, and files for any game right there on one page. This will make it easier to find what you’re looking for, and it’s part of our ongoing mission to reign in the site’s content and make it easily available.
  • Our “Latest Demos”, “Patches” and “Videos” buttons now have a permanent home right up in new top navigation bar. You can get to all the latest file content we have, from any page.
  • Much will stay the same. You can still search for files, articles or games. You can still upload your own files, for free.
  • Also, just a heads up: there are a lot of moving pieces involved with this change, and we fully expect a few technical hiccups along the way. We will make it a top priority to keep you all well informed of any bugs during the transition, and we’ll be working hard towards speedy resolutions.

What’s on the Horizon, Post-GameFront?

GameFront will be a solid upgrade for the site, but we’re definitely not finished. We need to revamp our “Network Sites,” and bring them out of the 1990s. We need to make user accounts better. We have ideas to improve overall file navigation, and user file management. We have a ton of ideas for how to make the site awesome, and we’ll get there.

We appreciate your support over the years–without you guys we wouldn’t be here!–and of course we value your feedback. Let us know what you think, and feel free to share your ideas for how to improve the site in future iterations. We’ll listen.

Game on,
–FileFront Staff

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39 Comments on FileFront is Changing to GameFront

Anonymous

On November 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm

you’ve got to be kidding, right?

Mark Burnham

On November 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm

No sir, we wouldn’t kid you guys about this.

We realize it’s a big change, but it’s one we’re excited and prepared for. We’re improving the site’s functionality, giving it a facelift, and giving it a strong name that really encompasses everything we do. It’s a lot to take in, but stick with us and we’re confident you’ll dig the new site.

Thanks for reading!

corpse

On November 22, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I don’t get the name change I like File Front cause that’s what this website is or was. Seems Like the changes are good but File Posts need to be the top posts and not the articles about gossip and console games(not saying that’s not important). Get the files back please on the front pages. Game Front has a nice sound to it when I think about it now but keep the file sharing and files that’s all I ask for. Just give me back my files instead of looking them up in the demo section. Other than that hope these changes work!
Instead of latest reviews on the right side you could add one that says latest demos and patches, that would make me happy.
Remember File Posting! That should be unro numo #1 priority.

Meh

On November 22, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Break media’s marketers do not understand. You can’t just change a brand name without friction. No fortune 500 company would change their brand name, it’s just not good business.

Mr. Tastix

On November 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Sounds like a simple case of marketing coming along with some bull claiming;

“We need to remake the site, remake the brand, REMAKE EVERYTHING! It’ll be good for business, trust us!”

Meanwhile, your users here and sitting here wondering what the hell they were high off and when they’re going to be fired for their stupid bull.

Changing a brand name doesn’t make your brand “new” or become “renewed”. In fact, it does the opposite: It completely alienates the hundreds, thousands, or even millions of users who used your site before the change. So basically you’re giving your fans a giant “FU” and then the middle finger. So much for respect.

Layout changes to a website don’t have to be giant things, or “evil” things, these can be very good so long as your designers and developers know what “user-friendly” means. It’s the whole re-branding thing that’s up-the-wall stupid.

Oh, and if you’re gonna do anything, how about changing the bloody comments system from a tiny box, eh?

Mr. Tastix

On November 22, 2010 at 9:47 pm

And make paragraphs appear as paragraphs. Jesus Christ, this should be common knowledge guys. Tell your designers to get their together.

The wise-guy

On November 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Are you frickin’ high!?

Ryo

On November 22, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Not too fond of the name change… It just doesn’t feel right to me, not right at all.

Averus Retruthan

On November 23, 2010 at 12:35 am

*sighs* It looks like Break is desperately vying for change here.

I’ve worked on the site as a network volunteer for roughly 4 years, and while I’m grateful for y’all saving the site, and consequently, my game, it just seems like a lot of unnecessary hell.

First off, how is creating a bright ass white page making it more readable? Unless you’re a fruit bat, I think you can read this scheme just fine.

Second, you seem to be neglecting the actual network sites in this post. There’s a LOT of community in them, and if you’re just taking care of the front end, what’s the point of us staying on?

Speaking of which, I hope this shift includes our back end improvements. Kinda been wanting to be able to moderate comments more efficiently again…

Averus Retruthan

On November 23, 2010 at 12:49 am

Woops, missed re-reading the Post-Gamefront paragraph. Nice one, Averus. Well, regardless, I’m still concerned about our back end situation. Please at the very least have some kind of change list for n0e to post so we know how to adequately prepare.

MMO Player

On November 23, 2010 at 6:44 am

WTF?? I’ve been coming here since like 2002. I HAVE no problem with you guys doing the features and the game news. YOU USED TO DO THAT ANYWAYS UNDER THIS NAME. I don’t know what happend then when You guys lost your news section for no god damn real reason, But I stuck with you. I visit you site multiple times a day. Been doing so because my Bookmark/Fav. link is right on the top, and havnt needed to update it in 6 years.

I’m sorry but changing the name is just an insult to your fans.

LOOK AT 1up (Which btw was your game news and reviews, no?), Joystiq, kotaku etc. Their names have got nothing to do with the damn “GAME REVIEWS and NEWS” . It’s a BRAND NAME. If you pull this BS, you’re either calling us, your fans, retarded or you are trying to completely alienate us.

All I’m saying is You as a website, Filefront had a gaming news section before some weird bs happend and the site almost going under. You had no need for a name change since you started. Dont change the name now.

I already miss the old Filefront Look. At least keep the name.

Jim Sterling

On November 23, 2010 at 6:58 am

Speaking as a man who has spent some significant time in this business and who has observed the branding of multiple outlets over the years, I can say that this is a potentially very good move.

I would suggest many of you are upset simply because it is a change, and change = bad. This happens in any community. I’m just a freelancer and don’t really have any personal stake in this, but the power of having “game” in your brand name is actually way more potent than many people realize.

I am assuming everyone here loves the site and wants it to grow. I would say allow it to do so.

MMO Player

On November 23, 2010 at 7:14 am

Jim, Please tell me what part of the name “Kotaku” – In English includes the word “game”. is it the Kogametaku? is it Kotagameku? Am I reading the word Kotaku wrong? That’s just one example of a games news and reviews website. Let’s take alook at another example. 1up. If there’s anyone here who has not played Mario, or some Arcade pinball of the 70′s, they will not know what that means, but guess what? Their slogan is “1UP.com: Video Game Reviews, Cheats, and More”

It’s IN THE SLOGAN. If you want to change something, Change the slogan, so when someone types “Game reviews” in google, The slogan will be picked up.

Infact now Looking at it some more, Not one website has had to change their name that is related to Gaming.

Filefront will be one of the first.

Averus Retruthan

On November 23, 2010 at 8:54 am

Heh, how much did they pay you for that comment, Jimmy?

In all seriousness, I’ll agree to a certain extent, changing it to Gamefront will at least encompass the fact that Filefront does more than just files. However, in that same aspect, you may be sorta packing the file aspect to the back. It’s misleading, and people , and you’re assuming people will simply pick up on the change and be like “Oh okay, cool, these guys do files too.” Quite the gambit, I’d say.

I’m just hoping they don’t mess with the network sites just for giggles unless they have a plan. Y’know, actually make the site more navigable and appealing with purpose, this time. They shoved the now defunct forum columns to the bottom, along with the news, so both theirs and our own news posts can be inadvertently ignored. The superfluous additions weren’t exactly welcome, either(See: Table of Contents and another Nav Index in the center of the page.) We got over it, but that doesn’t make it right.

…Case in point, sometimes change just ain’t really needed if it’s just for the sake of change.

Jim Sterling

On November 23, 2010 at 12:20 pm

MMO Player: I never said that you CAN’T be successful without “game” in the name. As someone who helped make Destructoid one of the bigger blogs out there, I know that you can make it in spite of the name.

However, there IS a big merit in having “game” in your name. That’s why there are so many blogs with “game” in the name, and despite their size, they manage to scrape a lot of industry clout.

The thing with Filefront is that, from where I am sitting, it is a *vastly* different site nowadays than it was. I can see the direction they want to go in, and I think it will help the site compete on a new level.

It’s a risk for sure, but there are solid rewards.

Mark Burnham

On November 23, 2010 at 12:24 pm

First, I want to thank everyone for their honesty and feedback. You guys bring up some valid concerns. This was certainly a difficult decision for us, and one that we did not make lightly. I’m confident of two things: a). this will help us grow the site, and b). what you know and love about FileFront (demos, patches, mods, file hosting) is NOT going away–it is being enhanced. We have plans to greatly improve the file side of GameFront. Don’t doubt us there!

I think a key distinction to make here is that there are (very broadly speaking) two types gaming site names. There are names that say “gaming, without limitations” (1up, GameSpot, GamesRadar, Joystiq), and then there are names that say “gaming, but with a very specific, niche focus on content” (FilePlanet, FileShack, GameFAQs, CheatCC, MyCheats, WikiCheats, ModDB).

What we were faced with, is that FileFront is most definitely one of the latter. We really want to grow the site, offer more content and make it work better. We did not feel this was possible under “FileFront,” a name that very clearly, and loudly proclaims a focus in a single vertical.

But let us reassure you, we have plans to greatly improve all of FileFront: the files, the networks, the forums, and our growing editorial sections as well.

FileFront is still composed of the same people who helped make the site awesome. Jon Soucy (Operations Manager), Ron Whitaker (Editor) and Jeff Mills (Community Manager). Between them, these guys have nearly 30 years of experience working for FileFront. They know this site better than anyone, and they will play key roles in crafting GameFront–as will YOU, the loyal fans. If you have an idea for how to make the site better, let us know in the comments. We’ll listen.

Thanks for reading.
-Mark

Mark Burnham

On November 23, 2010 at 12:30 pm

One message I’m hearing right away from everyone is that our commenting system needs serious improvement. NOTED, and I totally agree. We’ll work on it.

Kyle

On November 23, 2010 at 1:04 pm

I actually agree with Jim that having ‘Game’ in the name potentially makes it a lot more powerful a brand.

I have visited FileFront for a long time, though mainly for the Files Network sites (which to be honest were completely messed up a while ago like Averus said) and of course it’ll be a little sad to see the name changing, but I do agree that GameFront could make the brand more powerful and think it could potentially be very good.

But yeah, there is also the saying: “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”. Imagine how much it would harm Microsoft or Google if they changed their names? There’s a risk in changing names not only in terms of people failing to recognise the brand anymore but also in terms of the feelings of loyal users who have grown attached to the name.

In spite of that though, I still think that in this circumstance a change to GameFront may potentially be very good for the brand.

Also, personally, I never really visited the files network sites because of the name ‘FileFront’ (I barely even recognised that brand even initially) but because of the GAMEfiles.com URL and those particular network sites being one of the main sites for files for that game.

Mark: Would be good if you guys listened to some of the network site staff who arguably have a good idea of how the site they work with best conveniences their users. Not entirely sure how it makes sense to have moved the top file downloads to the very bottom and personally I always used to use the latest forum threads section a lot.

Ron Whitaker

On November 23, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Kyle, Averus, and others: Please note that the network site changes you guys are referencing were made prior to Break taking ownership of FileFront. The folks we’re working with now had no part in those decisions.

Also, the fabulous “disappearing news site” was a function of management decisions made by our former corporate ownership, at Ziff Davis. Again, not something Break was a part of.

We’ve been working with Break for going on a year now, and they’ve tried very hard to work with us to improve the site and make it better.

Some things, like network sites, take some time. Don’t worry, though. We will get there. Break’s got big plans for the site, and we’ll be here to help get them implemented.

Jim Sterling

On November 24, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Recently, my first article for this site was linked on another blog. Their first comment was “Since when did Filefront publish articles?”

That comment alone highlights the limitations of the current brand, I feel.

Raul Huezo

On November 24, 2010 at 4:09 pm

First of all, FileFront is mostly about files,and it’s always been that way. Everything else is just extra, and second, why not just keep it the way it is. I’m still gonna keep calling it FileFront. Just saying.

MMO Player

On November 24, 2010 at 5:52 pm

I think a slogan change is more effective than a name change.

ANYONE who’s a gamer has already come across their fav. website for gaming news/reviews/etc. A name change.

Also for god’s sake someone update this link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_websites

AND

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Video_game_review_websites

MMO Player

On November 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I might want to add that this site apparently gets very healthy traffic, compared to, let say, 1up.com or gamerhell.com.

KHALED

On November 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm

NICE

Jarhead

On November 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm

I think changing name is gr8 idea and a superior name makes good judgement on behalf of the ppl running it.

Freyr

On November 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm

FileFront is clearly to File centric for running a site with broad appeal beyond files, that was obvious about when the main site re-launched. There was some speculation about whether we’d see “Newsfront” or similar show up. GameFront is better for the main page, and it’s a good step.

For the main page.

However, FileFront is not only that front page. As a volunteer staff member of ~5 years I’m well aware that Filefront has more than a decade worth of history and respect from gamers. The goodwill and respect for FileFront is an immense asset that shouldn’t be discarded lightly. Personally, I feel it would be worth retaining the FileFront brand name for Files related activity (even if it has “Filefront; part of the GameFront network” plastered prominently across wherever it’s used) simply because of the decade of goodwill and support of modders and gamers across the planet that is obtained with the magic word “FileFront”.

You could easily spend several million on advertising the change from FileFront to GameFront without getting the sort of brand recognition FileFront has. My feeling is that dumping FileFront as a brand will result in modders uploading files elseware, and gamers downloading elseware (even if absolutely nothing else is changed other than the logo and URL) simply because GameFront will be less known, recognised and trusted than RapidShare et al.

Authuran

On November 26, 2010 at 6:57 am

GameFront? Is this a joke?

I’ve been part of the filefront community since 2005 and worked as a file reviewer for a few months a while back. FileFront is what its name says it is: files. Yeah, the gaming news is a nice feature but IGN, Gamespot, Kotaku etc. pretty much have the gaming news business covered.
Filefront is so great because its always been a haven for a games most important community: modders. For example, if it wasn’t for Filefront and JKFiles, Jedi Academy would most likely be a dead game. However, because of the very organized and professional system that has been set up, new files and pictures have been coming in every day for 7 years for a game that would have been dead otherwise.
The point I’m trying to make is Filefront is and will always be about the files for me and the majority of users who come here. I could care less about the Ghost of Sparta demo, hell I probably could have learned everything I needed to know about it while NAVIGATING to this page.
The world needs less gaming news, and more community.

(Also, Filefront was a catchy name, Gamefront just sounds like some sort of lame alternate-universe thing)

MMO Player

On November 26, 2010 at 9:14 am

I can think of one example where name change was good, and that was when break media’s only website was actually big-boys.com (current break.com) I found it extremely funny that it’s a site like ebaumsworld, but had a name that was screaming Homosexual porn site name. So yes, if you had to talk about big-boys.com, you always had to point out that no it’s not a porn site, but rather a site where you watch funny videos. With that example, No matter how well their slogan was (Funny Pics, Hot Chicks, and Cool Flicks), it would have been a bad idea to keep the site named big-boys.com. So they went for something better, easier to say, and dont have to feel awkward when you utter the name out.

This is not the case here, and never was. If break media thinks this name change will have equal outcome as big-boys.com to break.com had, they are mistaken.

name changes show weakness (Think BP here).

Warfat

On November 26, 2010 at 11:21 pm

From my own personal feelings – moderate disapproval.

FileFront and GameFront are pretty balanced on their pros and cons.

Mithrot

On November 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm

I say go with Gamefront, but keep FileFront along-side it. FileFront, even though the brand is recognizable and respected, needs a new face to be seen as a independent source of demos, news coverage, casual community gossip, etc (Which seems to be where you guys want to take it) and you know what? Thats perfectly fine.

BUT, FileFront is simply a well known and well respected brand in modding and development circles, and its kind of catchy/easy to remember too.

I like change, but I don’t want to totally lose the old, or else you’ll lose your old members for the gamble of picking up new ones.

Ryojin Orion

On November 28, 2010 at 11:09 pm

To be completely honest, this just looks (to me) like a feeble attempt to get more attention by adding the word ‘game’ to the title. Yeah, the word may have some power to it, but honestly, I don’t think it has that much. Besides, like Authuran, this place has always been (and most likely always will be) about the files for me. I don’t care about the rest of it, because there are other (and generally better) places to go for that stuff. Every visitor to this site that I know is like this.

I don’t fear change. I just don’t think this change will do much good, if any.

avrus96

On November 29, 2010 at 5:53 pm

whatever – as long as the http://www.filefront.com URL still redirects to the site, I will continue using it.

public anenome

On November 30, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Wow, I’m surprised by the backlash, it’s not like the files are going anywhere. I see this as nothing but a good thing as FileFront isn’t an accurate name for all the site does now.

Mark Burnham

On December 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm

@Kyle Absolutely, we plan to listen to the Network Site staff when it comes to time fix those bad boys up. They’re a big part of the site, and we’ll give them the attention they deserve.

Thanks for your feedback.

Mark Burnham

On December 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm

@public anenome You are 100% correct. The files are not going anywhere (and we’re going to improve file navigation in the future).

Mark Burnham

On December 3, 2010 at 2:21 pm

@Freyr @Mithrot You guys make an interesting suggestion, about keeping the FileFront brand alive as a separate channel, to delineate all “file activity” on GameFront…

Nozyspy

On December 6, 2010 at 9:27 pm

While i am not particularly fond of this change myself, FileFrotn was once FilesNetwork, so we have been through this before and i am sure we will get used to the new name in time. However, it would have been nice if us staffers would have been told about this privately on the staff forums first, then at least it woouldnt have been such a shock. Surely as staffers we should get a bit of a heads up before something like this is announced publically?

May i also suggest that Ron/Mark/the management actually come and talk to us on the staff forums from time to time, poor old Jeff gets kind of swamped and you guys seem a little too aloof at times. Just a suggestion, i do hope you will come and mingle with us on the staff forums sometime. :)

Nozyspy

Tureri

On December 8, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Fair enough to revamp the site and all but the name change is a little… extreme. Why not just have GameFront as a seperate domain connected to Filefront. Then the networks can stay as filefront and keep users happy and all your latestest news and reviews go on GameFront, then demo downloads just link down to FileFront. I mean news about games harly matchs Filefront Networks so why not split them into seperate entities, seems much more loyal to fans. And Im saying this as a User and a Staff member. The main aspect of this site is the access to sheer terabytes of extra meat for games. NOT the actual games themselves. This is a modding site and content site not a sales machine. The game developers have all that crap done on their own sites. If we change the whole thing to GameFront then it just seems like we’ve sold out to the man and just trying to compete against sites like Gamespot. Personally, if I want News, I go to Gamespot, If i want patches, maps, mods etc I go to Filefront. Those are two seperate enterties, games and gaming news. Lets not mix them. I would go to GameFront for news, but believe me, I wouldnt go to it for files, not now.
No Disrepect meant, just an honest opinon.

Mark Burnham

On December 9, 2010 at 10:09 am

@Tureri and others. There are a couple of comments suggesting that we keep GameFront and FileFront two completely separate entities. GameFront for news, FileFront for file content. Point well taken. That’s an interesting suggestion, and honestly it’s one we’ve had discussions about internally in the past. For now, GameFront offers news, and files, in a more integrated format. We haven’t taken anything away from our file offerings. We actually hope we’ve improved them with the new search function, and by locking the Demos, Patches and Videos buttons to the top nav. It’s a step in the right direction, and it’s the best we can do for now, from a technical standpoint.

Back to the FileFront-and-GameFront-separate idea. Let us chew on that for a while…One thing I can say: we’re definitely working on a “File Portal,” a separate files-only channel where users can get all the latest files, with improved navigation and filtering options. That’s something that’s never existed on FileFront, but makes total sense. Anyway, stay tuned and thanks for the support and feedback guys!