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  1. #1
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    Game demos halve sales, new data suggests


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    Wow, it's almost like what's good for the consumer isn't necessarily good for game developers bank balances because the two things only intersect by accident. Amazing.

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    How much promotion did each game get? I tend to see no demos on games that are not heavily promoted on their platform. Did it have pre-release hype? Fez would not require a demo to sell how much it sold. And they didn't bother (that I know of) while small indie game that is barely selling releases a demo and because of the demo might get 100k sold instead of 75k sold.
    Defender's Quest used a browser based demo to promote their game.

    The major caveat to the data is the unanswered question of whether game demos actively discourage sales, or if the best-selling games don't carry demos in the first place.

    The timed trial that Sony and OnLive provide seem to be the cheapest way for the developer to show a demo, but the meat of the game may be 2+ hours in. Maybe offer the ability to pay $1-2 to rent another hour of game time? $5 rental for 24 hours? Enough time to complete most FPS campaigns. It would more likely be $10-$15.

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    There's a huge difference between causation and correlation.

    On a different level, I'd hazard to guess that demos help games looking for an audience find one, but they turn some people away from games that they already know about. Minecraft and anything by Jeff Vogel are probably better off for a demo. CoD is probably not.
    Last edited by Internet; 01-07-2013 at 08:23 PM.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    I read this as "gamers discover how shit your game is before they plunk down money = less moneys :C"
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  6. #6
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    Demos are good if your game are good.
    Demos are bad if your game its bad.

    Another way to read this stats is:
    The average game XBox360 is terrible and don't deserve to exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I read this as "gamers discover how shit your game is before they plunk down money = less moneys :C"
    That is exactly what it's saying. Except the obvious conclusion to this is for the EA's, Activisions, and Microsofts to go 'oh, poor me, for I make so very little, and the evil consumer does rob me of it.

    Which is why we're going to have to fuck you harder. You really have brought this on yourself.'

    At which point fifth columnist gamer apologists will spring out of the woodwork to say that used games, and demos, and trailers that have *gasp* gameplay just aren't financially viable in todays climate and really, it's not so bad if you use lots of lube, shut your eyes, and imagine it's just a backwards poo.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rauten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I read this as "gamers discover how shit your game is before they plunk down money = less moneys :C"
    I have nothing more to say.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    That is exactly what it's saying. Except the obvious conclusion to this is for the EA's, Activisions, and Microsofts to go 'oh, poor me, for I make so very little, and the evil consumer does rob me of it.

    Which is why we're going to have to fuck you harder. You really have brought this on yourself.'

    At which point fifth columnist gamer apologists will spring out of the woodwork to say that used games, and demos, and trailers that have *gasp* gameplay just aren't financially viable in todays climate and really, it's not so bad if you use lots of lube, shut your eyes, and imagine it's just a backwards poo.
    And people say you can't make a proper rape joke.

    I give this post two thumbs up!
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  10. #10
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    Do they have a one line explanation to the difference between X360 and PS3?
    http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2008/...just-trailers/
    Having a demo and no trailer is worse than having no demo and no trailer on the PS3?
    Having a demo and trailer decreases sales by 20% on the PS3 vs 50% on the X360?
    Maybe, just maybe, the games that have demos are different from the games that do not (less known, not a sequel)?
    Maybe, just maybe, the average PS3 player and games are different from the average X360 player and game, which are different from the player and platform a developer reading this filtered junk is targeting?
    And how many games are the "no trailer" data is based on?

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    The problem with this data is that these are not the same games so the demo is not a key factor and to say that the demo is a key factor is taking away all the other factors that could of made the decrease in sales. In short this data is useless but that won't stop the industry from using it to not make demos(not that they actually do really anymore)

  12. #12
    Activated Node Fireflower's Avatar
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    I agree with what some of the previous posters say, that if your game is bad and you release a demo before release of the final game, sales will be affected by it. Gunpoint (not a console game) might be a good example of when releasing a demo before the game is finished is successful. But maybe sales would have been even higher if they hadn't released a demo? We will never know...
    Building expectations for a game is crucial, might be easier to do without a demo?
    Puppygames argues that the demo is dead though.

  13. #13
    Network Hub elephant god's Avatar
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    How about we divide up sales into two categories: People who buy the game, then play it (because they like it) and people who buy the game and never touch it again after one repelling hour of play.

    In this day and age of ongoing payments, DLC, microtransaction and loyalty value in the form of greenlight, a sale that means a user actually likes your game must mean somewhat more than a mere sale.

    Maybe you can actually go into the steam databases and correlate high game completion rates of users who own a game with games that supply a demo. (actually, I can do that now. but I'm too busy/lazy=buzy)

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    I've played a lot of demos. For me to even bother downloading a demo, I have to be pretty interested in your game already. 95% of the time, playing a demo leads to me buying the game. If I play your demo and don't like it, I wasn't going to buy it sight-unseen anyway. Certainly not at full price. Like others have said, if you have nothing to be ashamed of, then a demo will only help you. It's just like review embargoes. You should be so fucking proud of your game that you can't WAIT for someone to play it and tell their readers how great it is, ASAP. If you are forcing people to keep quiet on your game until those pre-order checks clear, then you have a bigger problem.
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  15. #15
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    Well, there's a reason I buy most of my games at heavy discounts, aside from indie titles and Euro Truck Sim 2. I don't know how they play since there is no demo. 50€ is a lot of cash for what's essentially a bet. I'd rather wait a year and bet 10€ or whatever. Last game I bought on release was Bioshock Infinite and that was a dire disappointment. Before that it was Crusader Kings 2 after loving the demo.

    Before that it was... probably... wait, I tell a lie. I did buy Arma 3 in Alpha but that was with a major discount and I knew what I was getting into. I guess I also bought Kerbal Space Program on the strength of its demo.

    So yea, if a dev want me to buy a game at full price then release a demo. Infinite showed me that I was a fool to buy sight unseen.

    But I suppose it's true then. If they had released a demo of Bioshock 3 they'd have lost a sale. And I'd have been 50€ richer and not so disappointed.
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    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013...ss-rooks-keep/

    Well a demo at least got Rooks Keep mentioned on the site. Before the demo, me and tens of other actually knew it was released.
    So for Indies on the PC it's essential unless your game is called BROFORCE, which practically sells itself with just a trailer.

    Some genres just have it much easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    Wow, it's almost like what's good for the consumer isn't necessarily good for game developers bank balances because the two things only intersect by accident. Amazing.
    Telling your customers about carcinogenic properties of exploding fuel tanks in your cars reduces sales. Yep, I agree, it's bad for the bottom line, and rightly so! :D

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    Telling your customers about carcinogenic properties of exploding fuel tanks in your cars reduces sales. Yep, I agree, it's bad for the bottom line, and rightly so! :D
    I take it you're referring to a certain very large car company who once calculated that it was cheaper not to fix fuel tanks likely to explode in an accident - they'd just pay any resulting damages instead...

    That said - those were the days when Vietnam was very much at the forefront of the US's attention - and yet more people died every day on their roads than did in Vietnam - some things have changed but I doubt the bottom-line ever will.

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    You people's ability to steer any videogame discussion away from videogames never ceases to amaze me.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    You people's ability to steer any videogame discussion away from videogames never ceases to amaze me.
    What the fuck else is there to say?
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