Games sell less with demos?

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  • Anthony_UK 11 Feb 2013 21:18:22 2,492 posts
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    After the report on the first page linking higher game sales to games without a demo, I couldn't help but start this thread.

    Surely just don't release bad games and or crap demos!

    I'm sure the Dead Space 3 demo lost the game sales and EA probably still scratching there heads why!

    Although Dead Space is action based rather than pure survival horror, a massive part of the appeal is the atmosphere and build up to the encounters. To have the demo consist of random elements of the game to make it as action focused as possible along with a mini boss that highlighted the slightly creaky 'not quite designed for action' control system, just seems bizarre. To then lead the player to a vs human encounter with the worst cover mechanic ever seems borderline insane!

    But off the top of my head demos like the multiplayer Syndicate demos were also suicidal! Laggy, glitchy/broken co-op do not sell games!

    Devs using open betas as demos while still still tweaking servers is also stupid! Potential customers will see open betas as a reflection of the finished product and when your up against slick as you like COD as your multiplayer comparison, your game will be forgotten or have its pre order cancelled at your first crash or unplayable game due to lag.

    I dispare at times!

    /rant over
  • Mr-Brett 11 Feb 2013 21:21:59 12,785 posts
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    This explains it pretty well.

    Portable view - Never forget.

  • Rodney 11 Feb 2013 21:22:18 1,887 posts
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    Fewer
  • Deleted user 11 February 2013 21:22:39
    Agree and disagree.

    For example I brought syndicate because the co op demo was fantastic.

    Loads of games have put me off though. More often than not it is a bad thing, often because the demo is too short. It should be larger in general.

    Like shogun game last week, terrible demo. I think I might enjoy the full game but the demo put me right off.
  • Gambit1977 11 Feb 2013 21:28:09 9,626 posts
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    I avoided DS3 because of the demo, and it's continuation of what was starting to happen in DS2.

    Some fantastic games have released the most appalling demos over the last few years.
  • Syrette 11 Feb 2013 21:29:40 43,428 posts
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    I'm trying to remember the last time a demo actually sold me on a title I wasn't sure about.


    Gambit1977 wrote:
    I avoided DS3 because of the demo
    You shouldn't mate, it's not really representative of at least a good portion of the game.

  • MrE26 11 Feb 2013 21:31:06 1,931 posts
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    Dead Space 1 is one of my favourite games of this gen. If i'd played the demo for that prior to buying it, i would never have bothered. It was fucking awful, & in no way indicative of the full game.

    That said, the demos for Bioshock & Arkham Asylum sold the games extremely well & i picked them both up on day 1.

    A good game with a demo that sells it well will pick up more sales.
  • Gambit1977 11 Feb 2013 21:33:19 9,626 posts
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    Syrette wrote:
    I'm trying to remember the last time a demo actually sold me on a title I wasn't sure about.


    Gambit1977 wrote:
    I avoided DS3 because of the demo
    You shouldn't mate, it's not really representative of at least a good portion of the game.
    Ill probably pick it up as a few people are saying similar I've finished 1 & 2, I'll maybe even just exchange the delightful Aliens CM that's due to arrive here tomorrow. A game that probably avoided releasing a demo for obvious reasons.
  • graysonavich 11 Feb 2013 21:33:55 7,337 posts
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    I thought the death of the cover demo disc killed sales. I can't keep up!

    I can't think of many betas that have been drastically different to the final product to be honest.

    Just avoid the shovelware and you'll be fine.
  • King_Edward 11 Feb 2013 21:36:17 11,454 posts
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    If DmC hadn't had a demo I wouldn't have given it a shot. Likewise I won't be bothering with Tomb Raider without one.
  • beastmaster 11 Feb 2013 21:37:30 11,407 posts
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    Probably because people can't see how bad they are and therefore not buy them.

    The Resident Evil films. I'm one of the reasons they keep making them.

  • Rusty_M 11 Feb 2013 21:44:49 4,676 posts
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    I read an article somewhere that stated a good case for pre-release demos being fairly pointless. Especially if you have a good marketing budget and have received positive previews, you will have a core set of purchasers who plan to buy your game on the day of its release. It also argued that in this situation, the demo is not likely to bring in new purchasers. It could sway people who were on the fence to buy it, but this will also work after release. What might happen is that the demo turns away some gamers who had planned to buy your game straight away. If you release a demo a short time after release, you still persuade those who are sitting on the fence without the potential to alienate those who were going to instabuy.

    The world is going mad. Me? I'm doing fine.

  • DFawkes 11 Feb 2013 21:45:02 22,911 posts
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    This might be a terrible example because most people don't like it anyway, but I didn't buy Tenchu Z for the longest time until I played it at a friends house. Turns out, out of the 50 levels, they used the most awful, broken feeling one in the entire bloody game as the demo one! Bright sunlit level to make stealth less fun and a mandatory sword fight (only happens twice in the entire game, and they aren't fun).

    That, plus in the full game you've customised your ninja with some cool abilities by that time, mean the demo is significantly weaker than the game. Sure, people might still have the game, but for different reasons :p

    On the flipside, I had zero interest in Crackdown when I heard about it - heck, I had zero interest in owning a 360 at all! A couple of hours on the demo and I was totally sold, and given it was 360 or nothing I had to pick up the console too.

    Edited by DFawkes at 21:47:09 11-02-2013

    Oh for goodness sake, I've caught my scrotum in my zip again - Margaret Thatcher, 1986

  • Syrette 11 Feb 2013 21:47:29 43,428 posts
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    sajasanman wrote:
    Dead space has gone down the route of resident evil games - aiming for an imagined retarded audience who likes shooty bangy things, totally missing why their games really sold. To hell with them and businessmen directed shit. Res 6 seriouasly underperformed and that can only be applauded.
    People who like "shooty bangy things" are retards?

    Nice one.

  • mcmothercruncher 11 Feb 2013 21:50:19 7,026 posts
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    Prior to a game's launch, loads of marketing shit. In a game trailer, loads of marketing shit.

    In a demo, you get to discover that all of that marketing was shit. That's why demo'd games sell less.
  • gelf 11 Feb 2013 21:50:59 188 posts
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    I don't think most games these days lend themselves well to demos. You either get the dull tutorial part of the game or you get thrown into the deep end not really knowing what your supposed to be doing. Either can make a good game seem shite.

    Doesn't help that they make them so short now that there's no chance for the game to click with you.
  • FuzzyDuck 11 Feb 2013 21:53:03 4,113 posts
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    Had no intention of buying Mortal Kombat when it came out, but the demo swayed me.

    Loved the sound of both Vanquish and Metal Gear Rising, demos for them only sold me further.

    Was going to buy Flower, tried the demo first. Sale lost!

    /cool story.
  • mal 11 Feb 2013 21:55:44 22,516 posts
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    Rusty_M wrote:
    I read an article somewhere that stated a good case for pre-release demos being fairly pointless. Especially if you have a good marketing budget and have received positive previews, you will have a core set of purchasers who plan to buy your game on the day of its release. It also argued that in this situation, the demo is not likely to bring in new purchasers. It could sway people who were on the fence to buy it, but this will also work after release. What might happen is that the demo turns away some gamers who had planned to buy your game straight away. If you release a demo a short time after release, you still persuade those who are sitting on the fence without the potential to alienate those who were going to instabuy.
    That makes sense to me. I don't do game demos any more due to the fact you can't get them on physical discs any more, so the last time I used demos as a guide to puchasing was on the Dreamcast. While I bought a lot of games on the strength of their demos, I got put off buying Skies of Arcadia. The demo was just the initial level (effectively the training level) and all I saw was an old-style turn based RPG with stupid-looking anime characters.

    Ultimately, that's quite an accurate summation of the game, I'd say, having 100%ed it back in the day. It's just it also has a fantastic game world with an epic story and interesting characters, and to be honest, I can live with big eyes and more tactical battles if it's got all that.

    Edit: And that was back in the day when then used to at least attempt to finish games before burning them to disc. It was a bit of a rushed demo, albeit from effectively gold code (probably helped by the release gap between Japan and Europe), but it still wasn't a well judged demo and it put me off making a sale then (though thankfully I corrected my mistake later, thanks to advice from this very website).

    Edited by mal at 21:58:56 11-02-2013

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Tomo 11 Feb 2013 21:56:48 13,909 posts
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    Wouldn't have bought Sleeping Dogs without the demo. That completely sold it to me.
  • Deleted user 11 February 2013 21:57:15
    Tomo wrote:
    Wouldn't have bought Sleeping Dogs without the demo. That completely sold it to me.
  • mal 11 Feb 2013 22:00:58 22,516 posts
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    As much as I personally despite the meme, you can just +1 a post rather than quoting it verbatim, you know.

    Edited by mal at 22:01:19 11-02-2013

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Deleted user 11 February 2013 22:04:53
    Does it matter? I could have said "I agree".
    All three are essentially the same.
  • Syrette 11 Feb 2013 22:05:23 43,428 posts
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    Yeah I have actually, got a degree in it.

    It lacks what made Dead Space 1 special but I'm enjoying 3 for what it is.

  • Anthony_UK 11 Feb 2013 22:06:40 2,492 posts
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    The idea of not releasing demos is equally pointless.

    Only a few of the big budget games have televised advertising or any form of advertising really. Unless you browse sites like this you really would be none the wiser at to what games are coming out or whether they are any good, that's partly why at 40 a game people do stick to the well known series everyone else buys. Demos should he there as a matter of course really, so that people can just try a particular game for themselves.
    I'm 31 and out of a main group of 6 friends, all own an xbox. Now out of those, non will have heard of Crysis 3 or DMC or even Dead Space as they have jobs and families and just don't have the time to spend hours on gaming sites. The only chance the developers and publishers alike have to reach these people is a demo, a CGI ad might grab there attention, but it still isn't going to make them part with 40 when they have no idea what the game is like.

    Personally I think demos and trailers alike should have a much more prominent place on the next gen consoles rather than some hidden menu several button clicks away.
  • Rusty_M 11 Feb 2013 22:10:17 4,676 posts
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    Anyone remember the demo for Black last generation? It was basically the previous year's E3 code. It was pretty shonky and almost put me off getting the game. Some good reviews swayed me back.

    The world is going mad. Me? I'm doing fine.

  • DrStrangelove 11 Feb 2013 22:11:55 3,907 posts
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    I'm often put off by demos. But most of them are games that I wouldn't buy anyway, and I was just somewhat interested in what they'd be like. But sometimes a demo surprised me and made me buy something that would have gone completely under my radar. So they do have a use.

    Certainly if offering demos for your games was generally bad, hardly anyone would still do it. The business/marketing people aren't that stupid.
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