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The Almighty Buck Games

Crytek Thinks Free Game Demos Will Soon Be Extinct 379

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-like-we-could-run-a-crysis-2-demo-anyway dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this quote from Develop: "The CEO of indie studio Crytek has defended EA's divisive 'premium downloadable content' strategy, while also predicting the extinction of free game demos. ... Crytek's co-founder Cevat Yerli said he wasn't sure that a demo of Crysis 2 was going to be released. He said: 'A free demo is a luxury we have in the game industry that we don't have in other industries such as film. Because we've 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. ... Yes it is quite unpopular, but this is a messaging issue. The problem with any new strategy like this is it initially may appear as a blood-hungry, money-grabbing strategy. But I think there is a genuine interest here to give gamers something more than a small demo released for free. Really, what this is, is an attempt to salvage a problem. The industry is still losing a lot of money to piracy as the market becomes more online-based. So it’s encouraging to see strategies outlined to combat this.'"
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Crytek Thinks Free Game Demos Will Soon Be Extinct

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  • by LupidStupy (663804) on Friday April 16, 2010 @05:56PM (#31877778) Journal
    I really do not understand this concept. Instead of letting users test the game and send in change requests, they are worried about money. I think the PS3 will be the last console I will ever own. I have owned them all. Wanna see my boxed Atari pong system?
  • Re:really? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrmeval (662166) <mrmeval@gmail.cGINSBERGom minus poet> on Friday April 16, 2010 @05:56PM (#31877784) Journal

    I just paid 20 bux for World of Goo. They gave away the experimental version and have a demo version. It runs on about anything as it's Linux/Mac friendly. There is a native version for Linux, Mac and Windows. The Windows version even runs under wine fairly well.

  • Re:really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:02PM (#31877860) Journal

    No - there is a difference in it that I think most people would agree on. With a trailer, you are trying to build hype for the movie. Get its name out there and make it desirable to watch.

    A demo, on the other hand, tend to works the opposite way for gamers. I grab a demo which means I'm already interested in seeing what the game is like. I use the demo to determine whether or not I want to purchase it.

    I can't remember the last time I went out of my way to look up a movie trailer to see if I wanted to see the movie. It HAS happened, but not nearly on the same scale.

  • Re:A luxury? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arbiter1 (1204146) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:04PM (#31877890)
    yup no demo to see if the game is good = more people like to pirate the game. I pirate games i admit it, but if i find the game is worth it i will go buy it. If they eliminate demo's as is, PC games are pretty much non-returnable like console game is. so if you shell 50-60$ for a pc game you are stuck with it.
  • by Mistakill (965922) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:12PM (#31877978)
    If they dont release a demo, then id just buy the game (if i think i wanted it, no promises i do), and if it doesnt run well, id return it within 7 days at my local games store, for a full refund)

    thats if i wanted it... Farcry 2 is a brilliant example... the first game was very fun... the second was so repetitive, i hated it...
  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:15PM (#31878012)

    I don't remember the last time that I played a demo, but then I tend to wait until the games are on special at around $5. If I really want something then I will pay $10 (like I did this weekend for Dirt 2 at Direct2Drive's current sale). Sure I am behind everyone else, but then often the worst of the DRM has been removed, major bugs fixed and there's enough reviews written by people who aren't getting paid to be positive about a game.

    I feel if I can no longer resell games second hand due to activation or being tied to services like Steam then will only pay single digit amounts. It works for me because I got bored of multiplayer years ago.

  • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:16PM (#31878022)

    There are two games. One I know nothing about other then the developer telling me its worth 60$ and one I can actually try a bit of before shelling out the cash. Guess which one I'm going to be buying?

    There's the third game - the cracked copy that comes from your favorite illicit data channel. You get a full demo of the entire game before shelling out $60. Of course, you usually trade off time to get that copy. And the copy you then consider for purchase is going to have all kinds of DRM on it.

    I can see how "piracy" is really limiting the ability for game publishing houses to put out free demos.

  • Piracy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheTick21 (143167) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:27PM (#31878174) Homepage

    Are they TRYING to make excuses for failed games?

    When people stop buying a $50-70 game because they don't know how good it is are they going to blame piracy again? Wtf.

    I can see some part of his point. Most people who download the demo are already interested, so it's kind of redundant. I know of several games where I was uninterested until my friends told me to try the demo out.

    I know people who sit around downloading demos to find which game they're going to buy next.

  • Re:Piracy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Moridin42 (219670) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:36PM (#31878292)

    Piracy and free demos are... pretty well unrelated. But I can see why Crytek and EA would want free demos to go away. Because then gamers can find out that a game sucks before buying it.

    Is that what I hear you saying, EA? Crytek?

    EA: Fuck! We're out of good ideas!
    Crytek: Us too!
    EA: Kill the free demos before anybody finds out!
    Crytek: Right away! Releasing demo-minators! Fuck! Thats a great idea for a game! We can tag it "They won't be back!"

    Not to mention that games moving online is a penalty to piracy. Who pirates a multiplayer FPS for the single player campaign? It might be a material argument for single player only games. But I'll wait until game publishers aren't cranial-anal linked, pushing single player games that won't start without phoning home to ask permission, or must have an active connection at all times while playing. When they put out a functional game, I might listen to them calling their customers scumsucking thieves. Until then, I'll play some other company's games.

  • by dvs0826 (1552135) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:43PM (#31878360)

    Games are not overpriced.

    With movies, now, you shell out $12 a person, and of course you aren't by yourself but with a friend, S.O., etc, so it's really $24. But then you want popcorn and drinks, so actually it's $40. And if that's not enough, it's not interactive at all, and 2.5 hours later the experience is permanently over. Yet nobody bats an eye.

    Tell them to spend 50% more on something that lasts orders of magnitude longer, is permanent, and can even be resold to recoup some of the loss and people start freaking out. I seriously don't get it.

    Just as with a movie, there's a chance it's going to suck. You could always, you know, wait for the review?

  • by geekprime (969454) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:57PM (#31878496)

    Mistakill,
    Where do you live that you can return opened software?

  • Re:really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Grog6 (85859) on Friday April 16, 2010 @07:41PM (#31878886)

    If there's no demo, to me that means the game is so bad that no one would buy it if they played it first.

    I also use the demos to decide what I want to play.

      FarCry was great. I have 2 copies that I paid top dollar for based on playing it first; I got a 64bit demo. :)

    FarCry2 was good enough to make me keep playing it as different people.

    Ubisoft really made me happy the games I have of theirs don't include and of the BS that has kept people from playing a single player game. I can't believe anyone would buy a game like that.

    Thank you /. for saving me the money I would have spent preordering Crysis 2; two copies were in the group of things I was going to buy when I got home tonight. Our work network doesn't like online buying, lol.

    This article saved me almost $100, that's pretty good for slashdot. :)

    When someone "shines a light on it" by saying " it initially may appear as a blood-hungry, money-grabbing strategy", that's exactly what they're doing.

    Unfortunately, PC gamers aren't as stupid as "they" need us to be. I'll wait until a demo is out, or someone else I know that is stupid enough to buy it blind does, and I play theirs.

    I still play Q2:Ground Zero (1 give all per death!) on my lan when we get bored with Crysis Wars or UT3; if they release something I think is a shit product, I won't buy it. Plays great on my HD4780. :)

    I still have tons of games to play without their latest 'incremental update'.

    I'll wait a year and see if it's worth buying at $20.

  • Re:really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:04PM (#31879066)

    Well, given Steam it's pretty easy to get demos almost "pushed" onto you, with their ads and everything. And it has actually happened more than just once that I downloaded the demo for a game that fits into my prefered genre to give it a look, then buy it.

    Of course it can work in the other direction, too. If there hadn't been a demo for Supreme Commander 2, I might have bought it. But with the demo I could already easily determine that the game is as shallow as a puddle (and the reviews support that first impression), so I didn't buy.

    In a nutshell, though, if you (dear studio bosses) are afraid of launching demos of your game, the message that reaches me is that I would not want to buy your game after playing the demo. Either it's just completely unoriginal (SC2, e.g.) or not going to keep me interested for longer than whatever play time the demo offers.

    No demo, no sale. Easy as that. At the very least I will wait until Metacritic and similar pages fill with user reviews. The comparison with movies holds no ounce of water. First of all, I do get movie trailers that at least tell me what I could expect from the movie. And second, I don't spend 60+ bucks on a movie.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:21PM (#31879182)

    Basically exactly that.

    What changes for me? Well, first of all I will not hear about that game, probably. I'm a demo junkie. I download them all. If Steam offers a demo, I have it. If the game's good, I buy it. I can't actually remember when I bought the last game without a trial (that wasn't already in the bargain bin and a friend tipped me off).

    If I'm not 100% impressed by the demo (it happens), I wait for some user comments to show up on Metacritic. Of course it does happen that a demo shows me a game that I almost MUST have, then I'll even preorder. But I never preordered a game without a trial. And I certainly never will. No, not even a sequel to a game that I loved. Perimeter, Supreme Commander and countless others have shown me that sequels are by no means an insurance against crap.

    So what will happen when they refuse me the demo? First of all, I will not preorder anything anymore. Second, I will not buy at release. I will turn to Metacritic and wait for a sensible amount of reviews. No matter how good the game sounds, countless times it's been shown that even a studio whose other products were stellar produce a lemon now and then. By then the game will probably also have dropped a bit in price.

    So, I'd guess no demos means less money from me. Dunno how many will see that the same way, but I'd guess a lot of people here do pretty much the same.

  • Re:I agree (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:36PM (#31879292) Homepage
    Why should you have to? Do you have to go around begging for snippets of a movie to sample it? It really annoys me how gamers are so happy to take it up the ass by publishers.

    They seem to be happy that game reviews aren't much more than advertisements, that they can effectively sell you a used product as new rather than giving you a seal copy or that we're losing genres and innovation in place of numerous FPS sequels and sports titles.

    It's no wonder people are so happy to pirate games. They see no value in them and I don't blame them. Everyone across the board has devalued games. Gamers want to be taken seriously and have their medium considered art but the vast majority of games, by far, are no more art than an advertisement for tampons.
  • by Carnildo (712617) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:40PM (#31879320) Homepage Journal

    Games are not overpriced.

    With movies, now, you shell out $12 a person, and of course you aren't by yourself but with a friend, S.O., etc, so it's really $24. But then you want popcorn and drinks, so actually it's $40. And if that's not enough, it's not interactive at all, and 2.5 hours later the experience is permanently over. Yet nobody bats an eye.

    Tell them to spend 50% more on something that lasts orders of magnitude longer, is permanent, and can even be resold to recoup some of the loss and people start freaking out. I seriously don't get it.

    That's not how market economics work. You don't determine if something is overpriced by comparing it to the price of something else. You determine if something is overpriced by reducing the price and seeing if your profits go up. By that standard, videogames are grossly overpriced. Look at the results when one of the games on Steam was dropped from $60 to $15: income went up 14-fold, earning the company more money than it did on launch day.

  • Re:really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by apoc.famine (621563) <apoc,famine&gmail,com> on Friday April 16, 2010 @09:29PM (#31879598) Homepage Journal
    I'm glad to hear that. Those folks deserve all the cash that they can get rolling into them.

    2D Boy [2dboy.com]is a shining example of how to produce a solid game, and then distribute it like reasonable human beings. The demo was extensive, not time limited, and fully 1/4 of the game. The purchase price was reasonable, and was available for all platforms, with no DRM.

    I've rarely been as impressed as I was when I found the World of Goo. I bought 4 copies for myself, my family, and friends.

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