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Free Game Demos Soon a Thing of the Past?

What do you do when you are on the fence about buying a certain game? Most of you will say you’ll try the demo to see if the game is up to your standards. What if this will soon be a thing of the past and paying for demos is the new standard? If EA has a say in it, we will soon be doing so.

Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli believes we will see less and less free demos released in the game industry overall. According to him “it becomes prohibitively expensive” to make them. Due to this they aren’t even sure if a Crysis 2 demo will be a given as he stated, “That’s something we need to think about, because we haven’t fully decided on this yet.”

Keep running with your hand on your wallet!

Yerli also feels that publisher Electronic Arts’ announced plans to possibly explore ways to release small versions of a full game for $10 or $15 is “interesting”. According to him EA’s plans for this haven’t been explained fully :

I understand why people are thinking that all EA wants to do is maximise profits out of the audience, but really, what it’s really trying to do is get investment back but while being as fair to the gamer as much as it can. Ultimately, it will be a better deal for the game.

Just imagine, paying $10 for a demo which you delete after 5 minutes because the controls are rubbish or it’s just not your thing. Wouldn’t you feel ripped off? Sure, this could work in the new ‘download all your games’ era where you buy a small portion of the game and then pay extra for additional levels or game play. It will be like paying for what you play. Not letting gamers decide if it warrants a purchase by playing a small demo is out of this world. Of course you could always buy the full game, try it, then sell it on E-Bay for the full price.

What are your thoughts about this? Do you think this is a new way of grabbing your pennies out of your pockets in an easy way, let’s say ‘the new horse armour’ or will paying for demos be a way to get their investment back? Share your views below.

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20 comments on 'Free Game Demos Soon a Thing of the Past?'

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Comment by Steve Perry on 2010-04-17 14:39:56 | Reply

Man, how blind are they?

The majority of the games I have bought are because I have been able to try them out via a free demo first.

I have also played many demos for games and found them to be very bad, so if I had to pay for that experience I doubt I’d ever download a demo again, which would lead to me buying less games.

What needs to happen with a lot of games developers (Neversoft, I’m looking at you) is to stop rushing out constant re-hashes of games and focus on building better quality, more enjoyable games.
That way, spending money making a free demo will equal a lot more people happy to pay full price for your game.

What… can’t you see RockBand 45??

Paying for a demo is a huge failure!! The sooner EA do this and fall flat on their face the better…

Comment by Kevgallacher on 2010-04-17 15:33:45 | Reply

This doesn’t really surprise me tbh.
The games industry has been going this way for a while. Everything just seems to be geared towards profits without really caring whats best for the consumer. I guess it’s just business and it’s what drives any industry. It just becomes more and more obvious every year. DLC is the big thing just now andmore and more games are usibg it as an excuse to make more money by delivering so called premium content where, in somecases, is already on the disk and ahould have been included in the original purchase

Comment by Kevgallacher on 2010-04-17 15:35:10 | Reply

Releasing premium demos is just a continuation of this

Comment by Swedish Pete on 2010-04-17 16:51:22 | Reply

I’d gladly pay €10 for Crysis 2, if it includes achievements! Come on boys, don’t be cheap! :D

Comment by Villians on 2010-04-17 18:42:09 | Reply

FAGGOTS……..FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT….. this is absolute bullshit its tech not a demo anymore if u have to pay for it and it makes us look like gullible retards. we might as well as stop gamin and just go get raped on the streets it will be way less expensive

What is less expensive than being raped though?
I mean how much are you paying to be raped these days…?

Can I have a refund please - wasn’t up to usual standards… :)

Comment by TheGlovner on 2010-04-20 14:09:30 | Reply

Clearly you don’t frequent the more upmarket raping areas.

Comment by splifz on 2010-04-17 20:15:58 | Reply

Why spend $10 for a demo wheb you can rent the whole game for less? Also if they tried to release a whole game with a lock on it for 10 bucks then ask you for another 50 to unlock the full title like I think they may be hinting at, I’d give it 15 mins of it hitting the marketplace before there’s an unlock hack for it. Suck it up EA.

Comment by poo-on-u on 2010-04-18 15:40:42 | Reply

This mentality will garner more hacking, and less purchasing over all. This idea is completely back asswards and I believe wont help but hurt the industry in the end. I’ve been playing demos as many of us have for years, I used to get them off of disc’s that came with game magazines back in the day before console stores came about. Even before that PC demos could be downloaded for free, and as Steve mentioned I also made many of my purchases based on playing those demos, a recent example was Just Cause 2, had I not downloaded the demo first I probably would have not pre-ordered like I did and there’s a good chance I would not have purchased at all. Not a big surprise that EA is behind this news, “what it’s really trying to do is get investment back” that’s a whole lot of bullshit is what that is, your not making anything new, you already have the game, your just letting us play a small portion of it, is there some small development costs associated with doing this, I’m sure there is, but I don’t think any loss on demo revenue is what’s hurting the industry, its ridiculous decisions being made by suits who apparently know nothing about what gamers want that’s hurting it. So go ahead and start charging for demo’s, something we delete and get rid of and watch what happens. I for one will be buying less games simply as a result of this, especially ones with EA on the box.

By the way, I keep saying this and maybe it sounds dumb but, as soon as somebody figures out how to charge us for the f-ing air we breath we’ll be paying for that to. Maybe EA will look into that as well. Granted they make what millions upon millions a year, but it couldn’t hurt to have a little more right?

Comment by Tony on 2010-04-18 16:12:35 | Reply

This is just dense, the whole point of a demo is to see whether or not you want to buy the game. Morons.

Comment by Lordwoot on 2010-04-18 18:39:51 | Reply

While I agree that this is total BS, I can see where the game companies are coming from. Developing a demo takes time & money, no matter how much they pull it from the main game. Developing isn’t cheap, and as these developers are all in the business to make money, it’s one place that they’d look to cut.

Personally, if I was them, I’d look somewhere else; like some of the really lame TV commercials that are put out. Think about it, would you have not purchased God of War III, Gears of War II, Modern Warfare II, or Splinter Cell: Conviction if you didn’t see the TV commercial? Gamers know what they want, and how to market to them is via Demo; not TV.

In any case, while I agree that it sucks, it’s a business and business is all about separating you from your money. Until we get someone producing a pinnacle game for FREE, shit like this will continue.

I disagree with you on this - whilst developing a demo takes time & money - the whole thing in effect is a marketing effort with the aim of encouraging people to buy the finished product. The costs of producing a demo should be included in the budget for marketing costs.

This whole shitty idea has probably stemmed from beta keys to anything being sold on ebay. I can imagine EA now with their very own ebay store for download codes…

Comment by poo-on-u on 2010-04-19 12:46:31 | Reply

Hey Jason, if EA had their way, we gamers would probably all be paying for their marketing costs as well. In many ways we probably already are.

Yeah :) only a matter of time before we need to send them our addresses to forward on the bill…

Comment by stumpa on 2010-04-18 19:02:17 | Reply

if ea do this i hope it backfires on them like it should i will definately stop downloading demos and therefore buy less games. It is total booloxs that it is to increase investment its all about milking every penny out of shit games that won’t sell on an open market so they try any bother underhanded way of getting a return on them every rip off idea originates with ea

Comment by spazz4393 on 2010-04-19 15:48:39 | Reply

are u kinding me paying $10 for a demo yes i played some befor but i would not pay for it. I dont think they will make as much money as they think they will cus no one is going to wast $10 one a demo thats is probley bad cus come on most demos rant that good its just a little tast of the game. so idk we will see wat happins

Comment by TheGlovner on 2010-04-20 14:12:44 | Reply

Again, at least your name is accurate.

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