What happened to demos?

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Big_Red_Button

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#1  Edited By Big_Red_Button
Member since 2005 • 6094 Posts

There was a time when most games had a demo. Not every game, but a very healthy portion of them. You got to play an hour or two of the game and get a real idea of how it played.

Developers don't really do that anymore. Some games have demos, and those are great, but it's a much smaller percentage of them.

Now, I think that demos are the most pro-consumer thing possible. You can make your shitty game look awesome if you just show a video of somebody playing your game. You can never understand how the game actually feels and get shown a very deliberate, very scripted example of the game as the developer wanted you to see it.

What do you think, fellow poop heads?

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Zen_Light

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#2 Zen_Light
Member since 2010 • 2143 Posts

Demos do more harm than good for developers because they show the world how bad most games are, and then people don't buy them. That goes against almost everything the game industry represents: deception and lies.

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Ballroompirate

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#3 Ballroompirate
Member since 2005 • 26430 Posts

Demos cost money, plain and simple.

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mems_1224

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#4 mems_1224
Member since 2004 • 56919 Posts

demos are worthless in an age where there are thousands of gameplay videos of games now.

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dragonfly110

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#5 dragonfly110
Member since 2008 • 27955 Posts

They got replaced by public "betas"

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deactivated-5d6bb9cb2ee20

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#6 deactivated-5d6bb9cb2ee20
Member since 2006 • 82724 Posts

They exist on Nintendo platforms just fine, ironically enough.

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JangoWuzHere

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#7 JangoWuzHere
Member since 2007 • 19032 Posts

Demos are very risky.

It's far more likely that a demo will turn off more people then actually bring in.

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GhoX

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#8 GhoX
Member since 2006 • 6267 Posts

Demos cost money to make, and have the potential to drive potential buyers away. There is zero incentive for developers to make them. They'd rather keep buyers relatively ignorant about their purchase. Preorder ftw.

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lawlessx

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#9 lawlessx
Member since 2004 • 48753 Posts

@GhoX said:

Demos cost money to make, and have the potential to drive potential buyers away. There is zero incentive for developers to make them. They'd rather keep buyers relatively ignorant about their purchase. Preorder ftw.

pretty much this.

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oflow

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#10 oflow
Member since 2003 • 5185 Posts

its because they sell early access and beta access for pre orders now.

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deactivated-5b1e62582e305

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#11  Edited By deactivated-5b1e62582e305
Member since 2004 • 30778 Posts

@GhoX said:

Demos cost money to make, and have the potential to drive potential buyers away. There is zero incentive for developers to make them. They'd rather keep buyers relatively ignorant about their purchase. Preorder ftw.

Makes sense.

Also, do you know why this doesn't seem to be true for sports games? EA and Konami still release demos for games like FIFA and PES.

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RTUUMM

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#12 RTUUMM
Member since 2008 • 4859 Posts

Most games these days are hype jobs and broken mess, devs dont want people to know that ahead of time.

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dragonfly110

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#13 dragonfly110
Member since 2008 • 27955 Posts
@Aljosa23 said:
@GhoX said:

Demos cost money to make, and have the potential to drive potential buyers away. There is zero incentive for developers to make them. They'd rather keep buyers relatively ignorant about their purchase. Preorder ftw.

Makes sense.

Also, do you know why this doesn't seem to be true for sports games? EA and Konami still release demos for games like FIFA and PES.

I'd imagine it's because they know that people are still going to buy them anyways, so they put a demo up just to build up a little hype, and remind people that "hey, it's that time of year again, come buy your sportsball games."

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dz8t2t

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#14 dz8t2t
Member since 2004 • 318 Posts

Plain and simple, demos cause pre-order cancellations. True story!

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Jag85

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#16  Edited By Jag85
Member since 2005 • 15978 Posts

I miss the days when game magazines came with demos where you could try out samples from a bunch of different games before deciding to buy any of them.

Another thing I miss about those days is rentals. You could rent a bunch of games for a few days from a local video store like Blockbusters, before deciding to buy a game. And even if you didn't buy it, the rental money still went towards developers/publishers. The rental industry was huge back then, but now it's almost non-existent.

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xdude85

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#17 xdude85
Member since 2006 • 6524 Posts

Demos are pointless, if there's a game I want to get, why would I pay for a sub-par version of a product when it's final version will be released a few months later in the year?

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Jag85

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#18  Edited By Jag85
Member since 2005 • 15978 Posts

@xdude85 said:

Demos are pointless, if there's a game I want to get, why would I pay for a sub-par version of a product when it's final version will be released a few months later in the year?

Demos were mostly free back in the days... besides a few quid/dollars for whatever magazine the demo came packaged with.

It wasn't until last gen that we started seeing publishers charging a lot of money for demos.

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Dark_man123

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#19 Dark_man123
Member since 2005 • 4010 Posts

If it wasn't for demos back in the ps1 days i wouldn't of gotten into Tekken, Crash Bandicoot, metal Gear solid etc, they were awesome but as one has said above we don't need them when you can watch numerous game play videos of games sometimes they can even spoil the story for you.

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lamprey263

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#20  Edited By lamprey263
Member since 2006 • 40141 Posts

honestly I just stopped playing them years ago

these days I've heard they slow down development a great deal so I can see why developers and publishers don't care for them a great deal, in fact I'm pretty sure demos have probably resulted in me not buying games more than me buying them so maybe there's something to that they also want to avoid, just as we have review embargoes

IMO flashy trailers are a lot more attractive

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AdrianWerner

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#21 AdrianWerner
Member since 2003 • 28441 Posts

They're still pretty common on PC.

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RR360DD

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#22 RR360DD
Member since 2011 • 14099 Posts

Still get a few on Xbox, for example Forza 6 has a demo.

I liked it when it was mandatory for XBLA games to have a demo. Thats starting to trickle back through on Xbox One but I imagine it'll never be like it was on 360.

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GarGx1

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#23  Edited By GarGx1
Member since 2011 • 10934 Posts

It's never a good idea to show your consumers that your product is garbage. Especially before you convince them to buy it prior to it being released.

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foxhound_fox

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#24 foxhound_fox
Member since 2005 • 98532 Posts
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Legend002

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#25  Edited By Legend002
Member since 2007 • 13405 Posts

It's a huge risk. Vesperia, one of the GOAT jrpgs, had a terrible demo. I only got it later by chance and it's a blessing I did.

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deactivated-5920bf77daa85

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#26  Edited By deactivated-5920bf77daa85
Member since 2004 • 3270 Posts

Publishers feel that demos "don't give an accurate picture" of the game...

...So they of course use trailers and posters instead.

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svaubel

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#27 svaubel
Member since 2005 • 4525 Posts

@RTUUMM said:

Most games these days are hype jobs and broken mess, devs dont want people to know that ahead of time.

This. If you want to demo a game, simply play it at launch before it gets patched or added DLC.

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polishkid99

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#28 polishkid99
Member since 2007 • 4787 Posts

@JangoWuzHere:

The forza 6 demo turned me off completely. I still went out and bought it, fantastic game. If i didn't know what to expect from it, i would have never bought it on my demo experience.

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silversix_

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#29 silversix_
Member since 2010 • 26347 Posts

They changed their name and are now called Beta/Alpha EXCLUSIVE access bs. Now, you're forced to pre purchase the game to try the 'demo'.

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WitIsWisdom

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#30 WitIsWisdom
Member since 2007 • 7776 Posts

Some games still haves demos whether they are timed or content locked portions of the full game. NBA Live 16 has an awesome demo out right now. It has MOST of the game modes and you can play until your character reaches about 80/100 in overall stats. After that you can continue playing but NOT making your character any better. You can however stockpile the extra coins (or whatever they are) for full release in a couple days. For anyone who hasn't trued Live in awhile... give this one a shot. It's a lot of fun.

If you go to the demo section on PSN there are quite a few games.. not anywhere near all of them, but quite a few.

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speedfog

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#31 speedfog
Member since 2009 • 4965 Posts

I played alot of demos and sure I obught alot of games cus of it. I liked the way how alot of games with multiplayer went in open beta for free. Not like now were you have to pay to even play an alpha.

That's your "demos" people. Early acces games. (Not only on pc but also on the consoles).

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Demonjoe93

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#32 Demonjoe93
Member since 2009 • 9869 Posts

Because developers and publishers don't want people how truly mediocre some of their games really are.

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gmak2442

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#33 gmak2442
Member since 2015 • 1054 Posts

@Big_Red_Button: I say that maybe they does not demo anymore because of the bandwidth if would take to deploy them. And in the past, I mean before Steam, the reason could also have been they did not want to take the necessary time to make the demo; But now with Steam demo are possible without loosing developing time. But like I said it take bandwidth.

Demo would be nice if possible. But now with Steam refund I don't really mind about demo anymore.

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Cloud_imperium

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#34 Cloud_imperium
Member since 2013 • 15142 Posts

We no longer get demos because industry has become greedy. They do not take any risk that can damage their sales. That's why even reviews of the game are written during review events now. Demos can also expose, how bad the game really is, so they don't take that risk, even though it's also possible to attract those who were not sure about the game before.

That said, a lot of people treat Steam refunds as Demos now. And while Blizzard's starter editions are not 100% demos but those are nice replacements. They allow you to play for a long time until you reach xyz mission then they ask for money if you want to play more. You can play same area over and over again and then pay them money if you want to continue. The problem is, they release Starter Editions after the game's release. But it's still much better than having nothing at all.

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freedomfreak

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#35 freedomfreak
Member since 2004 • 52199 Posts

They're still around.

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magmadragoonx4

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#36 magmadragoonx4
Member since 2015 • 697 Posts

When games like watch dogs are around demos are a bad thing for developers. That game was a total mess and the sales were essentially from hype alone.

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intotheminx

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#37 intotheminx
Member since 2014 • 2608 Posts

A short demo or benchmark should be available for PC gamers.