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Post by trog @ 01:30pm 19/04/10 | 47 Comments
Speaking with Develop, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli has indicated that he thinks we're going to see the end of free demos:
He said: ďA free demo is a luxury we have in the game industry that we donít have in other industries such as film. Because weíve had this free luxury for so long, now there are plans to change this people are complaining about it. The reality is that we might not see any free game demos in the long term.Ē
He's also not sure if a demo of Crysis will be released. This comes on the heels of EA somewhat casually mentioning that they're thinking about charging for a game sample.

There's certainly a lot of gamers that, when justifying certain piratical tendencies, indicate that their motivation is simply to see if the game is worth buying, which certainly seems like a valid point when you're about to drop up to $100 on a game. With that in mind it seems almost sheer lunacy to me to stop releasing free demos, but I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens.












Latest Comments
Thundercracker
Posted 01:36pm 19/4/10
I have seen a few developers shy away from a free demo, but I think a free demo is a great way to get sales if the demo is any good. I reckon XBLA games get lots of sales because they all have to provide a free version, which you can upgrade to the full with payment (at the press of a button!). I rarely buy PSN games because I just don't know what I'm getting for my money.
DM
Posted 01:40pm 19/4/10
I miss the good old days when you'd get a game demo and get like an entire episode of action.
grrts
Posted 01:40pm 19/4/10
a movie costs $12 and lasts around 2 and a half hours. If you don't like the film you can just walk out and not really care about the money you wasted.
a game costs near on $100 and you dedicate a lot of time towards its. if you don't like it , there's nothing much you can do about it but play your moneys worth, even if it is a terrible game.
game demos help you decide whether you want to buy a game or not. In my opinion i think it would actually help undecided people to buy the game.
groganus
Posted 01:44pm 19/4/10
Isn't a trailer for a movie the same as a game demo?

im confused.
Bah
Posted 01:58pm 19/4/10
And some films even release the first 5 minutes or so, a demo if you will.

This kind of s*** would just be a gateway to piracy, pirate the demo... well seeing as im already a pirate, may as well pirate the whole thing.
groganus
Posted 02:04pm 19/4/10
maybe ea are hoping that with out all the demos released for there s*** games, more people will buy them on ignorance.
rec
Posted 02:05pm 19/4/10
Not really, groganus. Games have trailers too. That's not saying I agree with the path some developers are considering in this regard. It will likely just boost piracy and lower game sales.

If people want to try the game but the demo costs money, they'll just download the whole game. And then because they now have the whole game, they'll be less inclined to purchase it whether they like it or not.
greazy
Posted 02:09pm 19/4/10
Using a film analogy is incorrect as grrts and groganus have pointed out.

If you're a game developer and you love your game you think it's fun then having a demo is the best marketing tool you have. Of course if you're EA and make 95% s*** games then it's your worst tool.

rec: Yeah but a trailer isn't the same as a demo. Both the full film and trailer are viewed, while the game trailer is viewed and the game is played.

last edited by greazy at 14:09:51 19/Apr/10
AverageCowboy
Posted 02:12pm 19/4/10
lolling
E.T.
Posted 02:13pm 19/4/10
A free demo is a luxury we have in the game industry that we donít have in other industries such as film.


Umm, like a trailer !? What a tool.

Edit: I now see others have the same thought.
Lynx
Posted 02:13pm 19/4/10
Just take a look at BFBC2 and Just Cause 2.
Those demos had major impacts on the sales numbers.
This is nothing more then greed.
Josh
Posted 02:23pm 19/4/10
This will only increase piracy and decrease sales.

Why is Ea so damn greedy? Game demo's are generally short and they want to charge money for them?
LOTUK
Posted 02:29pm 19/4/10
You watch a movie, you watch a trailer
You play a game, you play a demo

i agree that charging for demos is only going to increase piracy... Maybe this is only the tip of the iceberg as DRM becomes harder to bypass. I guess we may see more DRM requiring permanent access to the net.


Although we are approaching 2012... maybe this is just the beginning. Next will be the pay to view TV adverts :-\
tequila
Posted 02:41pm 19/4/10
A free demo is a luxury we have in the game industry that we donít have in other industries such as film


what? - http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/

Also, I am not going to pay $100 for a movie - I'm paying $10-$20
If I sink $100 into something and it's completely s***, I'm going to get my money back
where as if I play the demo and it's completely s***, they just won't get my money period

seems to me the only way they're going to benefit from this is where people who buy the game out of pure hope + hate it won't return it because they're lazy?
DM
Posted 02:50pm 19/4/10
I bought a korean game, DJ Max Trilogy in like 2008 or whenever it came out. It came with a USB thumb drive type thing which you had to have connected to your PC to play it. It also saved all of your play data so if you wanted to take it to someone else's house you could bring your progress with you. That to me is a rather awesome way of protecting your game. Far as I know it's not been cracked and doubt it ever will be. All they need to do is do something like this and BAM, piracy is reduced a ton. Charging for demo's is just horse s***.

Yeah but a trailer isn't the same as a demo. Both the full film and trailer are viewed, while the game trailer is viewed and the game is played.

That doesn't make much sense to me. Both are previews of full, finished products that give you ideas on how it will play out. How is it different if you play one and watch the other? Without trailers how well do you think the movie industry would do? Or rather if they charged for you to view the trailers. Who the s*** would do that?
Dazhel
Posted 02:54pm 19/4/10
Next will be the pay to view TV adverts :-\


I wouldn't be surprised at all.

Plenty of advertisers seem to be forgetting what advertising is meant to achieve.
Yes that includes you EA & Crytek.
ViscoS
Posted 02:54pm 19/4/10
I read: "We know Crysis 2 will bomb."
LOTUK
Posted 02:55pm 19/4/10
A good example would be some of the horrible games in the past that used their rendered cutscenes to show off the game. It's not a true representation of the game (not that a demo will highlight flaws in the full version... except for AvP :P)

Specific examples would be MMO's like Warhammer online. Their advertising campaign consisted of cool renders of their cut scenes, videos of their classes in fancy fight, but none of it gives the user a good idea of what the game will be like.
thermite
Posted 03:01pm 19/4/10
Most of the games I've bought on PC are a result of a free demo or because they were easy to pirate and try out.

I don't like buy something 'just because', especially when it's $80+

That's the whole beauty of the old shareware model, it actually got people invested and hooked on the game. These days with online purchasing it would be even easier to progress that towards a conversion. Hell you could put the payment gateway right into the bloody game.

AnarchyAngel
Posted 03:08pm 19/4/10
Way to promote Piracy
tequila
Posted 03:16pm 19/4/10
A good example would be some of the horrible games in the past that used their rendered cutscenes to show off the game


Final Fantasy*
Trauma
Posted 04:15pm 19/4/10
Will just be yet another reason to put on my s*** list of publishers/developers I buy or pirate.
skythra
Posted 04:56pm 19/4/10
Games have trailers too.
5mins of a game which you expect 50+ hours out of compared to 5mins of a movie which you expect 112 mins out of.

That doesn't add up.
Hogfather
Posted 05:23pm 19/4/10
Games are interactive - you can't really get an idea of the game experience from a video. A movie trailer is a direct subset of a movie.

Also, releasing a demo has HURT many game sales (AVP anyone?).

Having no ability to smell a big pile of s*** before paying for the big pile of s*** probably makes selling a big pile of s*** easier.
parabol
Posted 05:35pm 19/4/10
Well when your newly-released, unoptimised game runs at 10fps on 95% of the machines out there, I'm sure you want people to purchase it blindly. You know, rather than taste the demo and realise it's not worth buying unless you also invest in a significant amount of upgrades to run it on anything higher than Low/Medium graphics.

Just some douchebaggery on the part of Crytek. Next they'll blame something on piracy.
deadlyf
Posted 05:48pm 19/4/10
A movie trailer does not serve the same purpose as a game demo at all. A demo is an informative tool that allows you to make a better decision as a consumer of it's worth. A trailer is not informative, it is deliberately cut and delivered in order to trick you to believe the movie is worth your money.

Most movie trailers look good, just look at Clash of the Titans. They are ads pure and simple. While a demo of a good game can work like an advertisement it can not do the same for a piss poor game. A trailer on the other hand can make the s***test movie of all time, Clash of the Titans, look good. This is what he means by the film industry not having demos and he is 100% correct.

That said, cars have test drives, TV shows have pilots, beer tours have sample of beer and many other products have either money back guarantees or try before you buy options. If you walk out on a film within the first 30 minutes you can get a refund. If you purchase a game on Steam and it turns out to be a steaming pile of ass, you're s*** out of luck.

last edited by deadlyf at 17:48:51 19/Apr/10
Bah
Posted 05:57pm 19/4/10
This might just be another case of companies not wanting the "hardcore" market, they want the person who will see a tv ad and then blindly purchase their game, play it for 5 hours, then buy their next game. The people who play their demo are most likely not these blind purchasers that they love, and they figure they may as well make money off them if they can.
groganus
Posted 06:13pm 19/4/10
whilst this whole thign confuses and annoys me id like to point out, that the average demo these days is well beyond the downloadable size of what they were say 5 years ago... not only that but because of this fact it appears that the quality of the demo's are also reducing... take god of war 3 as an example.. the graphics were scaled back and it was not an accurate demonstration of what the end product would be...

Whilst the demo was better then nothing.. it is possible the developers wanting to save the integrity of the product would rather show us video footage of the game (especially when gameplay hasn't really changed that much in the last 10 years) then give us a sample in the form of a demo.
iWhoop
Posted 06:30pm 19/4/10
Why is Ea so damn greedy? Game demo's are generally short and they want to charge money for them?

Lately even the demos have weighed in at a few gigs and for them to keep serving up say 2gb for everyone who wants to play the demo is probably starting to cost them and is eating into their big fat bonus at the end of the year.

If you purchase a game on Steam and it turns out to be a steaming pile of ass, you're s*** out of luck.

This is another reason I tend to stay away from buying games off steam, that way if the game is terrible I can at least try to get a refund and at the very least I can yell at someone in the store and hopefully someone about to buy the game will hear me and think twice (or offer to buy my copy :p).
Eorl
Posted 06:49pm 19/4/10
Ah well, just makes me pirate their games more, and not go out and buy them. Big f*** you to those douches. Also, I love MMO's, because they have closed/open beta's. These are windows of opportunity, and I don't see them going away for a long time.
grug09
Posted 06:54pm 19/4/10
The comparison between a game trailer and a movie trailer is a bad one. Movies are not interactive first of all, so what you see in a film trailer is what you get, video game trailers are often not ingame engine videos, and the game can be vastly different to what is shown.

When video games become as small of a cash commitment as movies i will agree that demos are no longer needed. currently i can go see a movie for $12 before any food and crap, a game will cost me at least $40 second hand, and $80-$120 full cost. If i need to buy a demo, if had best be a hell of a lot more than most demos are now. Either way, i wont be paying for a demo.
HyperJ
Posted 07:13pm 19/4/10
I made that mistake buying the gran turismo demo for PS3, it was terrible.
Kamu
Posted 08:01pm 19/4/10
This is absurd. No mod tools, no dedicated servers, 'day one DLC' (more like resale lockout content) and now you want to get rid of demos?

People need to stop buying into this s***.
Geyejoe
Posted 08:12pm 19/4/10
i think if we can all sign a petition to get ea and who ever else decides not to put out a demo to grab both of their ears, pull really hard and they just might get their head out of their arse...fools, 100 points for pissing off the people that actually buy games. i do actually buy games and i never do until i have played it first cause there are too many s*** games coming out.
if there are no demos guess we will have to wait for the reviews or travel the high seas, pillage, download and burn...i know which more and more people will do if this starts happening.
i blame consoles...cash cows mooooo.
trillion
Posted 08:40pm 19/4/10
the only games I buy lately are indie, and even if they have been released for free some years earlier on the web and are just cashing in on new media platforms that they can monetize their software on, like Steam.

imo they are much cleverer games and have a different style of crafting put into them which shows when compared to the AAA titles
Oracle
Posted 10:35pm 19/4/10
1) The film experience is to watch it. A trailer provides a sample of that experience. A demo provides a sample experience of a game. Video trailers are not a comparison.

2) This won't increase piracy. To believe that would be to legitimise the pathetic excuses pirates give for breaking the law. No, they will pirate just the same. But what we don't need is to hand them yet another justification on a silver platter, giving the appearance their BS holds any weight. Lack of demos is already a common excuse among pirates, even though we have demos. Why prove them right?

3) This is stupid. Demos won't go away. Granted, many big publishers will forgo demos for a model where the core game is cheap or free, but significantly shortened - comparable to the size of a demo - leaving paid and online-authenticated DLC (or subscription-based MMO content) to expand the game a module at a time to what we now see as a normal-sized game. Smaller publishers will still use the demo and/or shareware model. Demos will still be there, but their definition may expand to include this cutback, DLC-ready core content.
Or, PC gaming goes the OnLive way, and we don't have free demos because you can rent 5 minutes of game time for next to nothing and decide from there if you want to play for longer.
Eorl
Posted 11:03pm 19/4/10
I remember hearing talk of Just Cause 2 wanting to do a demo that slowly locks you out of missions etc. At least I think it was JC2...Might of been something else. Well, the basic principal was that the demo offered a significant amount for a demo, but slowly cut you down to make you want to go and buy it.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 11:47pm 19/4/10
There are only 2 companies I would buy a game from when I haven't played a demo. Blizzard and Bioware.

Blizzard have never ever disappointed me and I know they will release a truly excellent game every time. Bioware because I've liked all their other games, although I have more trust in Blizzard.

Any other company can get stuffed, except maybe the Civilization franchise. I will not EVER pay for a demo of a game, lol shareware.

DM
Posted 12:15am 20/4/10
^ for me the 2 I don't need demos for are Blizzard and Valve. Both companies have excellent track records with awesome as hell games.
HurricaneJim
Posted 02:42am 20/4/10
I'd have to say Blizzard and Dice, but Dice actually released Demos well betas...
Any
Posted 07:21am 20/4/10
How many game stores in the US, like EB here, offer a 7 day no questions asked return policy? Whenever I'm interested in a game that doesn't release a demo these days, EB offer me a demo for 7 days. I wonder if they're encouraging this as each temporary purchase adds to their total number sold.
tequila
Posted 09:05am 20/4/10
or if they're feeling the pinch of online content delivery systems
trog
Posted 09:41am 20/4/10
How many game stores in the US, like EB here, offer a 7 day no questions asked return policy? Whenever I'm interested in a game that doesn't release a demo these days, EB offer me a demo for 7 days. I wonder if they're encouraging this as each temporary purchase adds to their total number sold.
yeh. That is a really good point. I suspect most people here think EB is way overpriced, but if the alternative is simply gambling your money away, then paying the EB tax (or bargaining them down) is probably not a bad idea.
Jim
Posted 10:04am 20/4/10
no thanks :(
downloadable demo, and buy+download full title online or gtfo
tequila
Posted 10:10am 20/4/10
I would buy games from Poly-Phony Digital (ie, Gran Turismo) w/o a demo
I think any attempt by developers to remove playable demos all together will bite them on the c***

Surely there aren't *that* many drones who buy games just because of the marketing? .. right
glynd
Posted 10:33am 20/4/10
How many game stores in the US, like EB here, offer a 7 day no questions asked return policy? Whenever I'm interested in a game that doesn't release a demo these days, EB offer me a demo for 7 days. I wonder if they're encouraging this as each temporary purchase adds to their total number sold.
yeh. That is a really good point. I suspect most people here think EB is way overpriced, but if the alternative is simply gambling your money away, then paying the EB tax (or bargaining them down) is probably not a bad idea.


only problem is that they don't allow returns on alot of games that require a CD key (unless they've changed that from last i went).

tbh, i can't remember the last time i played a demo. I struggle enough as it is to keep under my download quota.
Target
Posted 02:56pm 27/4/10
I buy nearly all my console games at EB due to the combination of their 7 day returns policy and price matching.
These policies together mean you can even buy at EB, find the same game at another store a few days later, go back to EB, and have them refund the difference in price.
Really, how can you go wrong?
I've bought and returned a ton of amazingly bad Wii and DS games there, and a few PC games.
They do have a relatively small selection though.

When Game opened they claimed to match EB... then it turns out they'll only price match stores in the same shopping centre.
Oh, and they don't allow returns on any games with CD keys, which is virtually all the PC ones.

Never shopped there since, except to buy Mirror's Edge for $4. Twice.
Even then I almost had to argue with the guy about their stupid rewards card.
Me: No cards, just the game.
Him: Do you have a rewards card?
Me: No cards, don't have one, don't want one.
Him: You don't know what you're missing.
Me: Yes I do.

The rest of my games I buy on Steam, although I have a huge issue with the inability to transfer games between Steam accounts.
It means I'm fundamentally unable to resell a game, or even to loan a game to a mate unless I entrust him with my Steam password (which I believe is also technically against the Steam EULA).
Also, as others have mentioned, I have no way of getting a refund on Steam.

Regarding download quotas, I don't have one. Hooray for unlimited!
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