Futuremark gets panties in bunch over criticism


— 10:46 AM on October 7, 2004

I thought the folks at Futuremark were doing a nice job of recovering from the controversy that engulfed 3Mark03 by taking a more collaborative approach with 3DMark05. They just made one very big misstep, though, by deciding to threaten Kyle and the gang at the cold, HardOCP with a lawsuit. Kyle has very vocally expressed his opinions about 3DMark, which are not favorable, but everything he's said easily falls into the realm of opinion. In response, Futuremark fired off a threat that reads like so:

I strongly advise you to not to slander our product, 3DMark, on your web site. Take down all your false and unjustified and baseless claims about 3DMark.

Sincerely,

Tero Sarkkinen
Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Futuremark Corporation

Perplexed, Kyle inquired about which statements could be considered false claims and got this reply:
You know what I mean. Your articles have consistently discredited 3DMark for years now and the few justifications there have sometimes been have been without merit. It seems to us as if you have something against our product personally and are using your popular website as a platform to attack and trying to discredit on purpose and with baseless claims and sometimes also with erroneous information.

I will no longer communicate with you after this. Our attorney is looking that this situation will get resolved and will contact you if necessary.

Tero Sarkkinen
Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Futuremark Corporation

This response seems odd coming from the company that acted like a wounded puppy when big, bad NVIDIA picked on it not so long ago. Futuremark needs to win hearts and minds about 3DMark's merits through persuasion and technical excellence, not litigation. This kind of suppression of dissent is especially bad coming from a company that claims to have a collaborative input component to its benchmark development process. If Futuremark proceeds with legal action, we will cease to use its software in our reviews.

Update: Futuremark has posted a public apology and reversed its stance. Glad to see it.

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