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The Video Game Demo Is A Dying Breed

A look at the humble game demo's demise.

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TomShoe867d 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.

admiralvic867d 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_snake3656867d ago

Thank god Haze had a demo. I was planning on buying it day 1

Joey_Leone867d 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.

ITPython867d ago (Edited 867d 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.

PersonMan867d 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.

ITPython866d 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.

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admiralvic867d 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.

ThatOneGuyThere867d ago (Edited 867d ago )

i spent hours playing the one with rally cross. that ja pack was probably my fav ps1 game.

PoSTedUP867d 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.

ThatOneGuyThere867d ago

I watched the trailer video for Crazy Ivan like a thousand times. looked so good.

Kyosuke_Sanada867d ago (Edited 867d 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......

JohnS1313867d 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.

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