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Developer: Demos Kill Sales

PCGamesN links to a D.I.C.E. SUMMIT 2013 Keynote Speech by Puzzle Clubhouse creator Jesse Schell where the CEO of Schell Games makes the interesting, if counter-intuitive case that releasing a demo for a game hurts sales, and that the key to successfully marketing a game is to make players want to try it without giving them a chance to. He offers a chart of the "Hype Curve" of marketing a game, which contains data points with disturbing labels such as "Peak of Inflated Expectations" and "Trough of Disillusionment," and offers the following personal perspective on how this works, at least in the case of his game: "You mean we spent all this money making a demo and getting it out there, and it cut our sales in half?," he asks himself, before answering: "Yes, thatís exactly what happened to you." Thanks Joao.

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23. Re: Developer: Demos Kill Sales Feb 12, 2013, 14:48 LaxerFL
 
Let me correct this: "Shitty demos kill sales"

There, it's fixed. If your game is good and I play the good demo, of course I'm going to want more. If your game sucks ass and the demo shows it, then why the hell would I blow $50 or $60 on the game?

The stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me.

The first demo I ever played was for a game called Kingpin, WAYYY back in 1998 or 1999. The demo was over 100MB and at that time, it took me a day to download it LOL. I had so much fun with the demo, I bought the game the day it came out. Still to this day I consider it the PC game that got me started in PC gaming all because the demo was so much fun. I still have the demo saved on a ZIP disc somewhere (though I don't think I have the Iomega Zip Drive anymore...)

The closed/open beta for Diablo 2 (I can't remember which it was) was my first introduction to games of that type. The first time I equipped a plain white axe on my character's ragdoll, I was hooked. D2 was the first game I ever pre-ordered.

If developers make good games, and release a demo that shows off how good the game it, I will buy the game. If a game LOOKS good but there is no demo, I pirate it. If I like it, I buy it. It is as simple as that.

I live in the real world where people who work on good products need to get paid to continue working on good products. If your game sucks so bad you are embarrassed to release a demo, you don't deserve my hard earned money, PERIOD. Games have gotten to expensive to roll the dice with my $50-60. I'm not rich. I can't afford to burn 100's of dollars taking chances that games will be good.

Guild Wars 2 and Diablo 3 are the latest examples. I consider both of them total wastes of money. If I had gotten into a beta test or if there was a demo/X day free trial I would never have flushed my $60/each down the toilet.
World of Warcraft's 14 day free trial just saved me a ton of money too. I was literally 4 button presses away from buying the whole series when I noticed the 2 week trial. An hour into it I realized Blizzard had ruined yet another game I used to love and was so grateful I saved my money.

Dear Devs,
Stop making shit games. Release demos/free trials when you make good games. It couldn't be easier.

TL;DR
Shitty demos kill sales
Quality demos boost sales

That is all,
Lax
 
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