Whatever happened to the game demo? Well, very few developers are still willing to release demos for their game. This is for a range of reasons such as it being too expensive, not being rewarding enough or simply not have the time to create a demo and a game.
The big question, however, isn’t what happened to the game demo, it’s whether or not gamers still want them.
Now, this may seem like a strange question to some as a demo allows players to test the game before purchasing it. However, current video game trends are leaning away from this now with the recent evolution of playing paying to play a game which is in Alpha or Beta stages of development. So many players are willing to pay money to test a video game.
Of course, it’s possible to get a refund for the game on some platforms if it turns out to be awful but not all of them. The Early Access section on Steam is filled with games that are still in development yet thousands of Steam users are willing to purchase them anyway. Does this mean then that players are no longer interested in demos?
Well, no. We all remember P.T, the playable teaser for Silent Hill which essentially acted as a demo for the game. It was downloaded millions of times and people are even selling consoles on Ebay for large amounts of money just because they had the demo installed on them. Bethesda has also launched a Prey demo for their recently released game. Both demos were very popular and helped build hype for their respective games. Telltale has also started to release the first episode of certain games for free download allowing players to test the game before committing to it.
Demos help players see how good a game is and if it’s for them. Just because a game is great doesn’t mean everyone will enjoy it after-all. However, the current trend is leading away from game demos and towards gamers paying to test video games.
Personally, I love demos and think Telltale is on the right path by allowing gamers to download the first episode of their games for free. At the same time, I’m willing to purchase some Early Access games but I’m also not afraid to get a refund for a bad game.
What are your thoughts on demos and do you will want them? Let us know in the comments!