EA charging for Xbox One demos: innocent error or aborted master plan?

Dealspwn writes: "Panic over. And yet, looking around, I'm seeing plenty of gamers and even a few pundits suggesting that EA actually planned to quietly roll out premium paid-for demos, and have now been caught red-handed, so to speak. It's rather fashionable and usually 100% justified to prepare oneself for the worst when it comes to Electronic Arts, but this time I'm inclined to believe the publisher.

Had EA intended to start charging for demos, they'd have done it properly and hit the ground running."

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sho0ok1660d ago

It's obviously a mistake, please don't make a big deal about it.

Septic1660d ago

Not gonna mate. This is the internet.

NextLevel1660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

"This is the internet."


Not a mistake. But nice attempt at damage control. Next step, blame Sony fans not Microsoft or EA.

Volkama1660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

Both and neither. The plan has not been aborted, it just wasn't supposed to be revealed like that :)

But is isn't necessarily an evil plan. If paying for the demo contributes to paying off the full game then it is just their way of embracing new ways to sell content.

Demos for sports games don't work that well imo. Take FIFA, you get the full gameplay experience in the demo. All that is left is the more superficial features that layer on top of the core gameplay. I can understand why they might see it as necessary to try and claw in a little revenue in those circumstances.

Of course they can't very well shift existing demos to this method without causing some bad feeling, and they can't really continue to offer the same demos free on Sony's platform.

pompombrum1660d ago

Most other companies you'd give them the benefit of the doubt but EA time and time again have attempted to push the boundaries in attempts to monetize their franchises. I don't think anyone would honestly be all that shocked and with them, it's only natural people would immediately assume it was legit.


"I can understand why they might see it as necessary to try and claw in a little revenue in those circumstances. "

Are you kidding? EA has been trying to "claw in" revenue any which way they can.

If they focused their efforts on actually creating a quality game, they would not be worried about clawing money back from demos because people would actually go out and buy the full price game!

Just another excuse for them to keep pumping out crap games with the hope that people will just "buy" a junk of the game for a price.

EA really looking to bury themselves this gen, personally I am not sure it would be a bad thing

Volkama1660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

@Dark Witness not necessarily so simple. There have been a few studies that claim releasing a demo of a game actually reduces sales of the full version.

That could particularly be true of something like a sports game. If I am happy to play as Real Madrid vs Barcelona (or whoever is showcased in the FIFA demo this year) then I might decide the demo is all I need.

A demo is a significant investment in itself, so unless it marks a tangible return on the balance sheet (ie demo downloaders do go out any buy the game) then we will not see any more demos. And if you look at the storefronts you might note that is exactly what is happening, there are not many demos at all...

You can understand why they would want to test those waters. And imo if the proposed $4.99 for the demo is then knocked off the price of the game it isn't actually an "evil" move. But note that there is no evidence to support that as being the case.

DARK WITNESS1659d ago (Edited 1659d ago )

" @Dark Witness not necessarily so simple. There have been a few studies that claim releasing a demo of a game actually reduces sales of the full version. "

LOlOl.... actually it is that simple!

"a few studies that claim releasing a demo of a game actually reduces sales of the full version"...

let me explain how it works, you don't need multiple studies to figure it out..

you release a demo of a game so that... wait for it... people can try out the game before hand.

The end result, if they like the game they will go out and buy it, if they don't like the game they wont go out and buy it.

Maybe the reason why releasing a demo of a particular games reduces it's sales in the final version is because the game actually is not that good.

This goes back to my first point. If they took their time to make quality games they would not be so worried about releasing a demo. it's for the same reason that publishers sometimes hold back game reviews till the actual launch day of the game!

charging for a demo just helps the publishers in that when they have a crap game on their hands they can recoup a bit more money from relying on people who will try the demo. There mentality is that, it's only $5 so we won't be too pissed about it.

If you get 500k people who pay to try the demo and you only sell a 100k copies in the end because it's a crap game, well you have made a good chunk just from the demo anyway so we can just pump out the next crap title.

i can't believe people are actually willing to defend this.

it's like going to test drive a car, but the car dealer says you have to pay 1000k just to test drive it first.

come on now, use your head...

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 1659d ago
Blues Cowboy1660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

From the article: "So, basically, this is almost certainly just an accidental "error in the system," not the start of the next Project $10. Relax. Nothing to see here."

XiYakushijuAkeginuXi1660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

How is it obviously a mistake?

First of all, it is EA so I wouldn't doubt that they would charge for a demo

Second of all, $4.99 seems like a low price where it could have ranged anywhere from .01 - 999.00 or more

Third of all, Peter Moore was a Vice-President of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division who oversaw the Xbox and Xbox 360 game consoles and now he is the head guy over at EA.

Fourth of all, US isn't the only country where this charge was applied. EUROPEAN COUNTRIES RECEIVED THE CHARGES FOR 3.99 EURO

These are the same guys that implemented DRM with their stupid online passes

Blues Cowboy1660d ago

I know it's easy to assume the worst about EA - because let's face it, the worst so often comes to pass! - but they'd have been more... well... evil about it surely? They'd have bombarded us with jargon and marketing campaigns about this new exciting 'pre-buy' initiative, and probably slung some microtransactions in for good measure.

Can't imagine they'd launch a plan and then cop out at the first hurdle.

headwing451660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

This wasn't an error, they were testing the reaction of gamers. I mean, 4.99 is a very specific price, nothing on the EA store is 4.99. Now there passing it off as an error because peoples reactions were bad, as if it would be any different...

It's not like it was one demo, two demos that have errors? Please.

Volkama1660d ago

Indeed this is EA. So I am expecting to receive an invoice in the post for my previous play of the UFC demo!

Brettman20081660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

Occured in Australia as well.

IrishSt0ner1660d ago

1st - True that!
2nd - To be fair it seems more like the average indie price on XBL.
3rd - Wouldn't put it past him, or them.
4th - Amounts are automatically converted and rounded for different areas, initial mistake would apply to everywhere.

It's way more likely to be a mistake than a conspiracy, I've seen so many mistakes quickly changed on Xbox One so far (on the store side of things lol)

DRM actually sucks much worse now because of that uproar... we were going to be able to sell, and gift digital games before the reversal - now you're stuck with digital titles, the irony.

Although granted on that vein, plenty of the stuff they did try to get though was horrible anti-consumer BS.

Online Passes - FS I've hated paid DLC from day one... Vavle vowed to never charge for DLC (then charged for L4D DLC)... Rock* is the only dev left with any real integrity in the DLC area!

Why o why1660d ago

Waaaay to specific to be a mistake. Let's not be gullible. .

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tehpees31660d ago

Its a very peculiar mistake. If the number was $2.79 I would be more inclined to believe it but $4.99 is too well rounded.

This was definitely intentional.

mhunterjr1660d ago

Too late man, this is The internet... And this is N4G. Rage trumps reason everytime!

sho0ok1660d ago

People should be civil about it and wait for a reply from ea or Microsoft. Imagine how stupid you would look if it turned out to be one.

SpideySpeakz1660d ago

Not a mistake.
They're testing around to see if people would be stupid enough to pay for demos. It's one of many research experiments EA loves to conduct.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 1659d ago
Mr_Danski1660d ago

This is ridiculous from MS. Should know better than this. Making PS now look like a god send.

brads41660d ago

LOL you think PS is immune to this?? So stupid.

Mr_Danski1660d ago

Im glad you saw the sarcasm in this....

Blues Cowboy1660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

In fairness, MS have cocked up their database before over the last few years. Fable III accidentally became free, as did New Vegas DLC and other temporary mistakes. There's precedent for this, especially since unlike PSN, Xbox Live isn't rigidly segmented by regions - it's practically one marketplace with different currency conversions depending on your region.

No, I'm not letting Microsoft off the hook! It is stupid, but it does happen.

Dudebro901660d ago

If you really think this was some elaborate plan by Microsoft and/or ea, you really need to get a grip.

headwing451660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

Were talking about the same company who wanted to charge 80$ for a game and was voted worst company in america... twice.

Lenns1660d ago

Not defending EA or anything, but they are far from the worst company in America. Those polls are mostly voted by gamers whose obviously jumping on the EA hate train.

Dudebro901660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

And when Mass Effect 4 comes out, you will fly to the store to pick it up, along with everybody who calls them evil and the worst company in America.

headwing451660d ago


I didn't pick up any Mass Effect game at launch, I did buy the trilogy because it was on sale for 14.99, but even that I regret after seeing this.

mhunterjr1660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

The company that was irrationally voted worst company in America, twice... Despite all their questionable practices, are they really worse than 1) any US telco 2) and US cable provider 3) any US title loan company 4) any US vulture capitalist firm 5) any US bank 6) any US oils company etc...

There are far worse companies that EA. Your post does nothing but prove that many gamers like to form over zealous, irrational mobs on the internet.

And this situation was clearly a glitch...

headwing451660d ago

I think everyone is missing the point. Okay fine, maybe there not the VERY worst, and maybe there not as bad as most oil and cable companies, but seriously, the fact that they were on the list, let alone being voted as number one shows how bad a company they are and what they are willing to do to make a profit. Not even Capcom, a company that doesn't give you access to all the content on a disk that you paid for, was put on that list. As dramatic as gamers are, they were still the only game company on that list.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1660d ago
sungin1660d ago

metal gear solid ground zeros did the same and no one complain

MasterCornholio1660d ago

Your right about that especially with the price at 40$.

Ground Zeroes should have been 15$ in my opinion.

danowat1660d ago

Before the internets, the only way to get demos was to buy a magazine with a disc on it, how is this any different?

(not defending EA, but I've heard multiple times that it takes specific development time to produce a demo, so companies trying to recoup that cost isn't that strange.....)

MasterCornholio1660d ago

Because demoes can be downloaded off the net for free?

I don't see what it has to do with buying a magazine with a disk which comes with a cost for producing the disk, magazine and distributing it.

Einhert1660d ago

Oh please just go right now....

We are in the digital era.

Steam has free demos, Xbox Live had free demos and I think PSN still does albeit of old games or games nobody has heard of.

There is no excuse for charging for a digital download demo, the very fact you tried to even justify this shows how lax gamers are to being exploited.

danowat1660d ago

Just offering an alternative perspective, two sides to every story and all that.

Never hurts to play devils advocate and try and get people to think a little first, before spewing the normal vitriol ;)

tehpees31660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

You seem to imply you are fine with forking out for something you have been getting free for years.

The fact demos have been free the entire time since they went mainstream through XBL and PSN should make it unacceptable to pay a cent for it.

Obviously putting a demo on servers costs money but it also helps with marketing.

If they start charging for demos they may as well start charging for individual modes as well. Would you be fine then?

danowat1660d ago

Not at all "fine with it", never said I was, I'd never pay for a demo, and anyone who does would be only to blame if it became common place.

Like I said, I was just offering an alternative viewpoint ;)

tehpees31660d ago

Ahh I see. Yes it is a good comparison. But times have changed since then. I am actually wondering if anybody bought it before the "mistake" was addressed.

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