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Submitted by incognito248 697d ago | opinion piece

The Video Game Demo Is A Dying Breed

A look at the humble game demo's demise. (Culture)

TomShoe  +   697d ago
I guess publishers feel like its too much of a risk. A demo can potentially make or break a significant chunk of sales.

The Bravely Default demo spurred me to pick it up day one. On the flip side, had Aliens: Colonial Marines had a demo, we wouldn't have had so much backlash. Publishers just want to make sure they get your money before you get any taste at all.
admiralvic  +   697d ago
"On the flip side, had Aliens: Colonial Marines had a demo, we wouldn't have had so much backlash."

This statement couldn't be more wrong. The main reason for almost ALL the backlash was because of the demo they showcased at events was significantly better than the game (or even that scene in the game) ever was. Since demos have to be made, the final demo we get on a store / disc is typically just an updated version of whatever was shown on the convention circuit with some later improvements. So, the Aliens CM could only have gotten worse if they released a demo.

They could either release a real demo of the game, which would result in a bunch of "what the *$&@ happened?!" articles and kill sales before it even released. It could get the E3 fluff demo and sucker more people into buying the game causing an even greater controversy or they could do nothing, which is probably the best choice.
solid_snake3656  +   697d ago
Thank god Haze had a demo. I was planning on buying it day 1
Joey_Leone  +   697d ago
Thank goodness for Swap Meets. I aint supporting shit this generation, if a game is good enough to make me pay full price for it so be it, BUT if it's trash and was not how it was advertised (Ghost recon:Future soldier/Watch Dogs) you bet your ass im gonna buy it used.
ITPython  +   697d ago
I wrote about this a little while ago in another article, but it can't be said enough... we need more demos!

I don't know about the rest of you, but there has been so many games in my history if gaming that I probably would never have considered if I hadn't played the demo. For example, Infamous was one of them. I was so blown away at the demo that I immediately got hooked into the series and have purchased every single one they have released. If I hadn't played that demo, I would never have known how fun the game was, and would have missed out big time.

Granted there also have been some demos that turned me off of a game, but for those I wouldn't have purchased them anyway and was taking a shot in the dark by trying the demo.

I remember the PS2 days when we used to get those demo disks with magazines and from other games. I found so many awesome games that I immediately purchased after enjoying their demos. Games I wouldn't have given a second thought to previously.

If developers and/or publishers are afraid of demos turning people away from that game, then they need to make a better game. But we most certainly need a LOT more demos, in fact we should have demos for every single game released.
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PersonMan  +   697d ago
Hey! You're like me! Infamous 2 wasn't even on my radar because it did not look like my kind of game, but then I played the demo and had a blast with it. Then I bought the game and platinum'd it. It's the only game I've ever gotten 100% on... that's how much I loved it.
ITPython  +   697d ago
Its funny because Infamous 2 was the first game I ever got a platinum on as well. For some reason I had to urge to go for it, probably because the re-playability is pretty much a must if you want the experience the game fully, and the trophies aren't absolutely insane like most other games platinum requirements.

I've since gotten 4 more, including Infamous 1, but I'll always remember my first, lol.

But it's good to see demos are still helping people find great games, just wish they were more common due to stories like ours. Devs/publishers have no idea how much demos would help their sales.
admiralvic  +   697d ago
I wouldn't say demos are dying, as much as there isn't as much of a need. In the past you there wasn't as much information floating around, so a demo was a fantastic way to get people interested in your product. This held true until last generation when we saw a serious boom in journalistic outlets and now games get nearly endless amounts of buzz. Also, thanks to the rise of HDPVRs, you can now watch gameplay and get an okay idea of what the game is like. I don't know about anyone else, but I'll typically watch a trailer and make a call, instead of downloading, play, think back and then make a call. Since demos cost money to make and there probably isn't as much need for them (plus many people have noted they don't trust demos thinks to games like Aliens CM), they're starting to become a less common practice.
PoSTedUP  +   697d ago
JamPacks :)
ThatOneGuyThere  +   697d ago
i spent hours playing the one with rally cross. that ja pack was probably my fav ps1 game.
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PoSTedUP  +   697d ago
haha nice. i dont recall playing rally cross on a jampack (played rally cross tho); i played lots of games through jampacks for hours, too! :D. there were a lot of them. i remember feeling like a genius "discovering" the "hidden" games on the flipside of JP's that had the tile layout, hehe.
ThatOneGuyThere  +   697d ago
I watched the trailer video for Crazy Ivan like a thousand times. looked so good.
Kyosuke_Sanada  +   697d ago
Well most game companies are trying to keep their consumer's in the dark because speculation is much more generous to sales than straight up facts. As mentioned above, there are playthroughs that shows what games usually offer but I believe nothing beats trying it out yourself and companies know it......
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JohnS1313  +   697d ago
Demos still come out but not early as much now. I've noticed a lot come out a couple weeks after the game is released now.
sprinterboy  +   697d ago
Always enjoy a good demo, but with ustream, twitch and YouTube walkthrough you kinda don't need a demo anymore to make your mind up
PoSTedUP  +   697d ago
me too. when i first got my ps3 i was playing cod4, motorstorm, and like 30 demos. XD
Audiggity  +   697d ago
Demos are still important, but, there's just so much information and dependence on reviews - game devs probably just don't see the point anymore.

I think that a game dev who is truly confident in their product should still release early demos as a work in progress. Maybe even make it part of the Xbox Gold/Playstation Plus packages - exclusive demos to premium account holders, with costs to build the demos subsidized by MS and Sony.
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MythicalBlade  +   697d ago
Downloaded the demo of DBZ:BOZ, I thought it was really fun to play with a friend and without the demo I probably would have ignored the game.
curtis92  +   697d ago
Or it's because in this day and age you can see HOURS of gameplay before a game is out which SHOULD be enough for you to gage if it's something you'll like.

Years ago we relied on magazines and mostly images (with a FEW videos), so demos were necessary to get people more excited.

Also considering the fact that it's not like you just go File > Export Demo > Save to make a demo. It takes time and money to make demos.
PersonMan  +   697d ago
Wow, where'd you find magazines with videos in them? Are you from the FUTURE?
Clown_Syndr0me  +   697d ago
It sucks, barely any demos on X1 or PS4, and they have slowed down ALOT on the previous gens too. Its rare we see a demo, especially before release.

I miss demo discs from the PS2 days, I had hundreds of the things and could play them all day lol!
WeAreLegion  +   697d ago
One hour trials are so nice. I hope we see that more in the future.
StockpileTom  +   697d ago
If it weren't for demos I likely wouldn't have found out about Valkyria Chronicles within the release window. Without that demo that game would have likely bombed.

They still should have given it some proper advertising as it was a damn good game. Companies really need to support new IPs better. If they are afraid it will fail then it almost certainly will... a self fulfilling prophecy.
kx11  +   697d ago
at least those demos are free

some demos are not *MGS5*
2pacalypsenow  +   697d ago
Or you can wait 1-2 more years and play phantom pain :-) I rather pay for a prologue that will give me 2-4 hours of playtime than wait 2 years for a next metal gear solid game
kx11  +   697d ago
if this is how gamers are going to act then watch Call of Duty selling each single player level for 10$ then pack the whole thing in the actual game

because "some" gamers don't mind paying for Demos

heck MGS5-GZ is only 2gb and it costs 30$

we hated paid DLC back in 2008 but we bought them and now they are a normal thing
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2pacalypsenow  +   697d ago
I remember paying $50 for a game was was 500 mb , the size of a game is not important , people have payed more for less . And no one is forcing you to buy anything
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Soldierone  +   697d ago
Demo's don't come because games are declining in quality. Their memo now is to hype you up beyond belief so you go pre-order and buy on day one, then they walk away. Once they get your money they don't need to sell anything to you.

If they go showcase their game and you don't like it, you won't buy it no matter how much hype is thrown at you. So it doesn't benefit them.

In my opinion, I'd buy more with demo's. I bought the first InFamous purely because of the demo, and no other reason. If I could try some other games early, i would have bought them sooner.
Juiceid  +   697d ago
If demos do not benefit the publisher, then blind buys do not benefit me, a consumer. I'll read reviews with a grain of salt, and most likely wait for a used or steeply discounted sale.

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