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Sony Patents Game Demos With Feature Erosion 200

Posted by timothy
from the annoyance-codified dept.
MojoKid writes "When a game developer releases a demo, it's typically intended to entice players into first trying and then purchasing the full version. This is the stuff of Game Design 101 for most of us, but a crack team of cutting-edge gaming researchers at Sony have applied for a patent based on a novel concept: game demos that become progressively less fun the more you play. Sony refers to this as 'feature erosion.' The idea behind this dubious concept is that gamers will become hooked on a game while it's still in demo, then squawk unhappily as features and abilities they've unlocked begin to disappear. In order to prevent this, the player ponies up for the full version. A demo or program that provides limited functionality or play time is one thing; a game that's purposefully designed to take your progress away, in an admitted attempt to get you to buy once you've been hooked, is something altogether different."
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Sony Patents Game Demos With Feature Erosion

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  • What's the problem? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dtmos (447842) * on Saturday March 06, 2010 @09:20AM (#31380206)

    Lots of demo software is designed to stop working entirely after the demo period expires. The concept of doing this gradually over time seems, if anything, more humane.

    I suggest we roll over and go back to sleep -- or at least save our angst for worthy matters.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by rastilin (752802)

      Lots of demo software is designed to stop working entirely after the demo period expires. The concept of doing this gradually over time seems, if anything, more humane. I suggest we roll over and go back to sleep -- or at least save our angst for worthy matters.

      Let's try this with a car analogy. Do you want a car that works fine for several days then suddenly won't start, or one that will lose features over time? Which one is more humane?

      • by blai (1380673) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @09:41AM (#31380296)
        If someone gave me the car for free...
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rastilin (752802)

          If someone gave me the car for free...

          It would still be irritating and you would start to dislike them just a little bit more every time you lost a feature.

        • by Pharmboy (216950) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @09:49AM (#31380332) Journal

          If someone gave me the car for free...

          No one is "giving" you anything, they are allowing you to test drive it, that is all. So, for the car analogy, you go to the Ford dealership to test drive a car. After the first mile, it won't go over 30. After 3 miles, it won't go over 20. After 5 miles, it will only idle, forcing you to pull over. Then a salesman drives up in his demo model and offers you a ride back if you promise to buy the car. Yea, thats a good idea. Does that make you want to buy it? I didn't think so.

          • by TuaAmin13 (1359435) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @10:18AM (#31380490)
            I may be in the minority here, but I think the above analogy is flawed and this might actually be a decent idea.

            Try: You go to a Ford dealer and test a car. It goes like it should. You say "Eh, let me sleep on it" and come back the next day. Then you test drive it again, but this time the salesman thinks you're just trying to drive the car around town, so he gives you a shorter test drive, perhaps not on the interstate (thus limiting you to 35-45mph). You say "eh, I'll sleep on it" and come back 2 days later. This time he limits you to going around the block.

            I don't know about you, but I play demos once, maybe twice. This is to prevent people playing demos repeatedly and not buying the game. See Zero Punctuation and mirror's edge (?). He says something to the effect of "Just play the demo repeatedly and you'll have the game." It's to stop stuff like that.

            Besides, couldn't you just reinstall the demo? Delete the demo and delete your game save and redownload it (sorry for people with sucky internet connections). Thus your demo will be renewed. If you're willing to go through that hassle, fine keep playing the demo without buying the full game. I think a lot of consumers will be buying the game.

            For Gamestop and other kiosks I suspect Sony will give them special demos that don't degrade if Sony ends up implementing this (regardless of whether or not they get the patent).
            • by mjwx (966435)

              I don't know about you, but I play demos once, maybe twice. This is to prevent people playing demos repeatedly and not buying the game. See Zero Punctuation and mirror's edge (?). He says something to the effect of "Just play the demo repeatedly and you'll have the game." It's to stop stuff like that.

              This may have to do with the kind of games you are playing (if you list mirrors edge as a good example then I think this is definitely the case).

              A demo's job is to sell me the full game, a demo is meant t

            • I initially thought the same, but your example is flawed as well...

              When you test drive a car, its a full car but when you demo a game, its never the full game. Often its an early build of the game that was shown at E3, and only contained a single level or part of a single level etc.

              So in your example... you're wrong because the car is a fully functioning real car. A game demo is not a full game, and it is nothing like a full game. It is already crippled.

              Imagine going to test drive a car and the dealer takes

              • I didn't RTFA but perhaps Sony is using this idea as an alternative to the typical limited demo. Perhaps they will give the entire game (or a larger portion of it) but only limit what you can do as you progress. I can see that as being better in some cases.

                Rather than have a single limited level that I can play fully, they give multiple levels so you can see how varied it is (helping you to know that it won't just be more of the same) but it limits your choice of weapons as you progess so it's harder and
          • by feepness (543479)

            Then a salesman drives up in his demo model and offers you a ride back if you promise to buy the car.

            Playing a demo leaves you 5 miles from home? Dude, I want what you're having!

          • by gumbi west (610122) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @10:23AM (#31380516) Journal
            This post made me think that one really should be able to mod +1 quality car analogy.

            But then we'd need -1 bad car analogy, and -1 stupid nit pick on car analogy.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Idarubicin (579475)

            No one is "giving" you anything, they are allowing you to test drive it, that is all. So, for the car analogy, you go to the Ford dealership to test drive a car. After the first mile, it won't go over 30. After 3 miles, it won't go over 20. After 5 miles, it will only idle, forcing you to pull over.

            And Silly Car Analogy of the Year goes to....

            One alternative, the time-limited trial, lets you drive with full features until the drop-dead date -- at which point the engine stops, the steering locks, the doors latch, the radio goes out, and you're riding a dead lump of steel down the highway at full speed. A red light on the dash comes on, informing you that you should contact the Ford dealership immediately if you want to continue your driving experience.

            Another alternative, the feature-limited (or

            • It turns out that when you express any free trial as a car analogy, it always sounds stupid and annoying.

              Maybe that's because all "free" trials are stupid and annoying? We know what a demo and a free trial is. It is annoying when some arrogant business tries to redefine the meaning of these things. And stupid when they insult our intelligence by picking a greedy redefinition that's so weak it might not fool a 4 year old.

              It's sickening, or funny in a dark way, to see the effort they put into these sorts of antisocial measures. Like the dedicated, resourceful bomber pilot in Dr. Strangelove, giving 100% to

            • by Tjp($)pjT (266360)
              Don't forget, you can drive with full features, but after 2 hours the windshield goes opaque the car automatically pulls over, and you see a message congratulating you on your wisdom to test drive a ford, and to press a sequence of buttons after 5 minutes to unblank the windscreen and continue driving, only to find you are back where you were 1 hour before (damn clever Ford engineers).
            • by Ihmhi (1206036)

              Am I the only one who misses traditional demos and shareware?

              You could play one third of DOOM completely for fucking free. One third!

              Even after that fact, the demos put out there were always limited (first few levels), but they never "broke" on you. Companies that break their demos rarely get my business.

          • by Kitkoan (1719118)

            If someone gave me the car for free...

            No one is "giving" you anything, they are allowing you to test drive it, that is all. So, for the car analogy, you go to the Ford dealership to test drive a car. After the first mile, it won't go over 30. After 3 miles, it won't go over 20. After 5 miles, it will only idle, forcing you to pull over. Then a salesman drives up in his demo model and offers you a ride back if you promise to buy the car. Yea, thats a good idea. Does that make you want to buy it? I didn't think so.

            Yeah, but the problem with this is that when your car there dies your left in a real bind and more or less need to spend money or call up a friend to help you (pick you up). With a game demo your back to where started, no better or worse then before (maybe with the difference of you might want to pay for the game). You are not backed into a corner with a sales man giving you the option of 'pay me money or be stuck here with something that won't work and get you back to at least where you started'.

          • So game companies should hire chauffeurs to drive players back home after their demo game strands them in the middle of nowhere? Wait, what?

        • by halowolf (692775)
          And a straw man was driving it?
        • by TheMidget (512188)

          If someone gave me the car for free...

          I still wouldn't drive that Toyota...

      • Let's try this with a car analogy. Do you want a car that works fine for several days then suddenly won't start, or one that will lose features over time? Which one is more humane?

        They all ready have cars like that they're called Hondas.

      • Why do I have to pick Chevy or Ford when I can go Honda?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rolfwind (528248)

        Which one is more humane?

        Oh, please, we're talking about a fucking video game. Not about someone starving to death or losing their dignity in some way.

      • by TheMidget (512188)

        Let's try this with a car analogy. Do you want a car that works fine for several days then suddenly won't start, or one that will lose features over time?

        Yeah, such as breaks... And other features could become "always on", such as the gas pedal...

        But Sony couldn't patent this, some other Japanese company has prior art...

    • I also don't really understand the tone of the article. I mean, it's a demo, right? It's free.

      I don't understand why something like this can be patented though. I mean, it's just an idea.

      • This sounds very familiar.

        Some game company announced, or possibly implemented a system called RUST, which degraded the game as part of a DRM scheme.
        I can't find anything now though. Too many web pages about actual rust.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          Possibly you are thinking about the FADE, used first in Operation Flashpoint.

          http://www.gameburnworld.com/protections_fade.shtml [gameburnworld.com] (first link on Google)

          Like most DRM, it apparently has been circumvented.

          • by Aranykai (1053846)

            Ah, the good ol' days. A friend and I finally decided to go out and buy legit copies so we wouldn't have to deal with FADE anymore. Three hours of trying everything imaginable to get the games to even run, we cracked them again and it worked instantly.

            All I can say is that I tried codemasters. I really tried.

            Ironically, I just recently bought OF2 Dragon Rising and have been very, very impressed so far.

      • Game demos with feature erosion have been around for a long time in the form of developers gimping pirated versions of games or making them uncompletable/unplayable/play-hostile.

        For example, in Batman: Arkham Asylum, some pirated versions would have Batman's Gliding move disabled [strategyinformer.com]. In Grand Theft Auto IV, pirated versions would have gravity suddenly go berserk, and with the Penny Arcade On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness game, pirated versions would be rendered uncompletable by a glitch.

        Since some
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why does this have to work on a demo? This could be a good model for subscription based games (if you don't keep paying money in your MMORPG, you lose a level per day and a magic item per week).

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I think Star Wars Galaxies was the first application of their feature erosion technology.
    • by couchslug (175151) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @10:48AM (#31380674)

      "The concept of doing this gradually over time seems, if anything, more humane."

      Feature erosion is common in marriage. One gets used to it over time...

    • No, there is a huge problem with it becoming less fun: At the moment where you will stop playing, you will do so because it’s no fun anymore. And you won’t know if it’s because of that, or because the game is simply bad. But your feeling will still not like the game anymore. So why would you then go and buy a game that is no fun? Your impulse goes away from it. And your logic can’t prove otherwise. It’s a lost case.

    • I can just see the review now... "I played the demo, and while it was fun at first, it quickly became tedious. It was almost as if the game itself was changing to become less fun. A few days later the game itself started crashing at startup. Definitely avoid."
    • by Tjp($)pjT (266360)
      I do this already. I have graphics in games that get cruder after set periods of gameplay and "bonus" items appear less frequently. I also play with the random number generation after a period of time so the demo gets more repetitive. This is nothing new by Sony. I've been doing this for years. Including demos for major corporations that during a single play the game play gets "less fun" to encourage turnover at the booth. The game shipped with hardware or for $ does not have the same progressive deteriorat
    • Its only a patent application that has been very well written. There is nothing novel about it and it probably will be rejected. Many products like MS Windows have done this for some time. Its a form of "nag-ware" that has been applied in areas outside of games too. It is interesting to note it is actually a game in itself. Copyright is a more correct place for this and the USPTO has stated they'll crack down on applications of this sort.

      Prior art is everywhere and this is just a matter of how much one can

  • The 'Hood (Score:5, Funny)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @09:20AM (#31380210)
    Don't crack dealers have prior art on this business model?
    • by Hadlock (143607)

      The first hit is free.

      • by TheMidget (512188)

        The first hit is free.

        But the trips won't get worse. Or if they do, then paying for the hit wouldn't stop them from becoming worse.

    • by OzPeter (195038)

      Don't crack dealers have prior art on this business model?

      I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of businesses who have prior art over crack dealers on this.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by cormander (1273812)
      You're making the assumption that computer games are addictive. I can stop anytime I want.
    • by jo42 (227475)

      And Google. Their crack is always free - with someone else paying for it.

  • by stokessd (89903)

    By the time you get comfortable and proficient in the game, it's worthless.

    Sheldon

  • Didn't Sony recently try just this with the PS3? [newstechnica.com]

    Microsoft, of course, has done this with the Xbox 360 for a while. "Feature erosion" produces fans so dedicated, some are onto their second or third 360!

  • by Ma8thew (861741) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @09:27AM (#31380238)
    I'm glad Sony have patented this. I don't buy Sony products, and no one else will be allowed to implement this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nerdfest (867930)
      I don't buy their products either, but this doesn't seem like that bad of an idea from a consumer point of view as opposed to a demo being disabled completely. From a game vendor point of view it might be a bit dangerous if a person does not know that a feature has been disabled in the demo because of time constraints ... he might just think the game was broken, or just plain sucked. You would have to make it very obvious that the feature was removed, not just missing, and the reason for it. There are also
    • Mod up! Looks like the ghost of the idiots who implemented rootkit-like 'copy-protection' on Sony CDs lives on...
      I too voted with my wallet a long time ago, but for practical reasons also, (damn memory-sticks and equally non-compatible Vaio hardware...)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Wuhao (471511)

      I'm glad Sony have patented this. I don't buy Sony products, and no one else will be allowed to implement this.

      Unless they license it.

    • by andydread (758754)
      I went from exclusively purchasing and recommending Sony products to the complete opposite. As a result of jumping into the content business Sony has changed to become a draconian, lobbying against our rights behemoth. No longer will i recommend their products until they leave the content business and denounce their proprietary ways.
  • Unshareware (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Pharmboy (216950)

    This is a complete 180 degree turn from the old shareware concept, where you get to play the first chapter or two for free (which I think is the best hook). This can possibly backfire as there could be some confusion for the consumer. Any game that becomes "less fun" loses its value to purchase, as the consumer isn't always going to understand the concept of diminishing features. They just know the game isn't as much fun as it used to be a few days ago.

    While a novel idea, I would think that in practice i

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fbjon (692006)
      It doesn't have to be silent degradation. Imagine a pop-up notification: "You have just lost 2000 XP and your +3 armor of wisdom, buy the game to regain them!", or "All injuries will now become instant headshots, this won't happen if you buy the game!".
      • by Pharmboy (216950)

        It doesn't have to be silent degradation. Imagine a pop-up notification: "You have just lost 2000 XP and your +3 armor of wisdom, buy the game to regain them!", or "All injuries will now become instant headshots, this won't happen if you buy the game!".

        Oh, even better. Being someone who won't buy Sony products, I would *love* to see them implement their new demo system in exactly this way. Nags to get me to buy something when I am trying to play, what a great idea. That would be like constant pop up ads

        • by OzPeter (195038)

          Being someone who won't buy Sony products, I would *love* to see them implement their new demo system in exactly this way. Nags to get me to buy something when I am trying to play, what a great idea.

          If you don't buy Sony products on principle, why are you running a demo of one? Or is there some hidden shame fetish that you aren't admitting to?

          • by Pharmboy (216950)

            You do understand that companies LICENSE their patents to other companies, right? So I wouldn't be interested in trying a demo from XYZ Software, Inc. that licenses this type of demo system, regardless of who owns the one patent.

      • by Tjp($)pjT (266360)
        My much prior art (possibly, still looking for patent or patent app numbers) degrades graphics (and features) and buts up a small banner saying demo mode. In my prior comment I forgot to mention after enough time it adds motion and flashing to the banner. I look upon it as annoyance-ware. For RPG game work I have done, it just disallows saves of the character (well actually it just re-saves in the initial state "rolled"), so maybe I am to blame for some marathon gamers or contribute to the game addicts that
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      This is a complete 180 degree turn from the old shareware concept, where you get to play the first chapter or two for free (which I think is the best hook).

      That is a subset of shareware whose name escapes me at the moment. Other forms exist, like those you are not supposed to use after a particular time (trialware) including those which will still let you keep using them, but hassle you on shutdown, perhaps with a mandatory timeout (nagware). There is of course plenty of crossover. Reduced-functionality software (which gives only a subset of the functions, of course) is called crippleware; it's not new, although it's possible that this form of crippleware with

  • Better Yet (Score:2, Funny)

    by Rivalz (1431453)
    Hook up electrodes to the controllers that at the same time offer gradually increasing levels of electrocution and let us absorb nicotine through our skin. Only way to play without risk of death or any pesky side effects of severe electroshock is to buy the game. Of course that means the PS3 or PS4 will once again require more power and downgrade controllers from being wireless to wired but its the best thing for the sake of progress.
  • Infamous, Prototype and Bioshock2 all got progressively less fun to play as they wore on...

    Or does the patent only apply to demos?

  • Now, precisely how am I to distinguish one of these from a game that is fun for the first five minutes and then gets tedious?

    Or, if I may take the liberty of a car analogy, how much would you be tempted to buy a car that started losing power and becoming hard to steer near the end of the test drive?

  • Sony is welcome to run with this patent. I don't think anybody else in their right mind would implement this.

    It's like going into a car dealership, and the salesperson is all happy when you first meet him, but then when you take a test drive, he has you drive a beaten up version of the car. "Yeah, I'd show you how the car stereo works, but it's broken in this one, but trust me, it's awesome. Oh, by the way, I know it's like 100 F right now, but don't turn on the AC."

    • by Onetus (23797)

      Okay - you should probably read the article before you do an analogy.

      It's like going to a car dealership and picking up a demo model. You can drive it around and see if you like it. Now, after each week of using this "free car", it loses a feature. Say - it's 4 seat capacity drops to 2. then the colour paint-job changes to grey. Next the radio stops working, and the airconditioning, and so on. You're free to keep using this demo - but it will progressively lose all of it's features over time. You can stop

      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        In other terms, game demos will now be just as big as the full game? I'm certanly not going to download 10 gigs just to see if a game is good.

        Otherwise, the demos still omit large parts of the game, which means that the car still dumps you at a certain point in time but in addition to that it keeps getting slower all the time.
  • Missing the point? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WhatDoIKnow (962719) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @09:58AM (#31380378)
    I think the larger issue is not whether this is a good idea for a game demo, but why is an idea at this level of abstraction even patentable?
    • It isn’t. That’s the point. Patentability, and what the patent office does, are not related anymore.

    • I think the larger issue is not whether this is a good idea for a game demo, but why is an idea at this level of abstraction even patentable?

      Because any distinct "thing" of IP can be covered by one and only one form of intellectual property, and you don't want ideas to be covered as either a trademark or a copyright.

      When Sony patents this, they get a limited time to use it, and then EVERYONE gets to use it. If it were a copywritten, they'd be able to use it until 60+ years after steamboat willie becomes public domain, and if it were covered by trademark they could use it forever.

      Patents require novelty and clarity, not complexity or physicality

    • by TheMidget (512188)

      but why is an idea at this level of abstraction even patentable?

      No, or else Toyota would already have patented it.

  • What if, instead of increasingly raising the will to buy the real deal, the degrading demo would softly weane the gamers off the game in small steps... That would be funny and would serve Sony right because they're a big soulless corporation and besides, proprietary software is immoral.

  • ...abounds, under the name of Planned Obsolescence [wikipedia.org]! How could any patent examiner with at least a high-school education fail to know that?

    Planned obsolescence was first developed in the 1920s and 1930s ...

    • by Kenshin (43036)

      No, that would be if the game stopped working around the time a sequel or new version was released. Let's say, your copy of Street Fighter 4 mysteriously died when Super Street Fighter 4 was released.

      This is giving you something free, and trying to get you to pay for the full version.

  • I like to refer to it as an 'arrogant scam', and not a 'demo'.

  • ... the summary would be about how clever and beneficial this was for the user experience.
  • by argent (18001)

    If you play the demo version of Windows 7, after some time period it starts locking up periodically, and you must buy a full version to restore the full game functionality.

  • That's pretty much every game Sony gets its hands on! I guess SWG was just an early prototype. You know, how they took it and made it suck for everyone! Hey, I have an idea, maybe Sony could buy EA! Then they could also patent making increasingly crappy sequels to demos as time goes on, too!
  • After the rootkit fisaco, Sony has done nothing to elevate themselves. Patenting some feature-limiting systems sounds like classic Sony.

    In other Sony Stupidity, it seems they recently stole part of a popular Amsterdam landmark, to attract publicity towards one of their games. You'd have thought they would have learned from widely-publicized mistakes of others.

    http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/press-review-wednesday-24-february [www.rnw.nl]
    http://playstationlifestyle.net/2010/02/24/heavy-rain-washes-away-amsterdam-landma [playstationlifestyle.net]

    • Actually, you can easily look at this in the reverse: They can now offer you a "demo" that is practically the full version of the game. It's larger, more complete, and more fun than the demo. Only problem is that as soon as you start to get towards the really good stuff, and you're hooked, you slowly start to erode... This is already done in a similar fashion with some Asian online RPGs: You can play the entire game for free. But some items aren't free. And if you want to be the best, you have to pay
  • Windows has had "Feature Erosion" since 1995...
  • First off, TFA only manages to quote the abstract and show some figures. None of this really bears much relevance to what the application is actually directed toward. For that, you have to read the claims (such as this one):

    1. A method of distributing a software game to induce a user to obtain a permission to continue playing the game, the method comprising:

    providing a software game with a plurality of play characteristics including at least one of a character feature, object feature, environmental feature and event feature, the software game being programmed to permit the user to use the plurality of play characteristics, the software game being further programmed with at least one trigger metric;

    gradually eroding availability of at least one of the play characteristics as a function of the at least one trigger metric as a consequence of use of the software game by the user while continuing to permit the user to play the game, and wherein the at least one trigger metric is a game event-based function;

    restoring availability of the eroded play characteristics upon receipt of the permission to continue playing the game.

    And second, the headline on this article is wrong. No patent has been issued. Sony has not patented this. The only things that have happened are (1) the inventor has filed an application for a patent, and (2) after 18 months elapsed from the filing date, the USPTO published the appl

  • ...squawk?
  • How about the PPV movie ver of this where a box that says do you want to buy this movie at $ yes / no? just gets bigger and bigger to point of going full screen.

  • The free food sample, that has extra chemicals to leave a nasty after taste.

    The test drive, where parts of the car keep fall off the further your drive.

    Or the 1st date where she becomes ever more like her mother as the hours pass.

    A movie trailer, that gets more inane each time you see it. Ads that become ever more insulting to your intelligene... oh wait.

    But why stop there? This is small time stuff. I say we actively seek out anyone considering buying our game and giving them a sound beating. That shoul

  • Similar to organizations that buy patents with the intent to make them open to all, I think that there should be a think tank that tries to come up with and preemptively patent bad ideas to keep them out of the hands of greedy organizations. Focused advertising, draconian worker "motivation" schemes, etcetera, are all good candidates. And, if there is enough of a war chest, it could attempt to buy existing bad patents in order to lock them down, though I fear that would simply incentivize third party deve
    • by Tjp($)pjT (266360)
      Cool. I'd love to do it. And I have a great IP background. Figure $5000 minimum and more likely $10000 per patent. Then after the major folks catch on to the foundation doing this, look for cost to increase to $20-50,000 or more as objections get lodged with the USPTO.

      You might find it cheaper just to have the Foundation create actual instances of the patent in action in distribution to the public to firmly establish prior art.

      And, perhaps we need a reform at the patent office where they have a reduced co
  • I can't remember what software it was, but I remember running across it in the late 90s, possibly as late as 2002.
    And although it was a different way to get people to try the software before buying, nobody liked it.

    I wonder if Sony listed it in their prior art section.
    (If they did, I don't see how it could ever get approved, as it's essentially saying "we exactly duplicated a function some else already made and published, so give us sole rights to something that we don't have anything to do with cause we're
  • So now you don’t have to download the game via torrent, but do it right from the developer’s site, and then apply the crack that disables the feature erosion.

    So: Yay, for a future of full-bandwidth downloads! ^^

  • It really seems like the executives at certain companies-- Sony, MS, ATT-- wake up every morning and ask themselves: How can we screw our customers today? What would they pay us not to do?

    OTOH, the idea of a demo that weans you off of wanting to play the game before you pay for it... not so bad. Better to find out what dicks they are before you spend the money.
  • become progressively less fun the more you play

    Crack addiction?

  • by bugi (8479)

    I for one have deep respect for any vendor who implements this idea. By taking all the fun out of the game before I buy it, they'll do a great service to the human race by freeing up time for me to do something with my life.

    Three cheers for Sony!

  • Shareware would actually have deccent content available in the free version.

    And it was Great.
  • The most successful demo I've played was the one for Civilization 3. I think it was a two-hour demo, but it let me finish the game I had started (over 10 hours of gameplay). Every other demo I have played either gives you limited features or a hard time limit, which just makes you annoyed at the game. Needless to say, I bought Civilization 3 quickly after finishing my demo game, which is rare for me.

    I understand games like Borderlands or Halflife can't let you play through the main story as you need somet

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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