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Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week

Valve announces a 10% preorder discount for Left 4 Dead for both Windows and Xbox 360, confirming yesterday's revelation of early demo access for those who preorder. The most interesting part of the announcement is word that the demo will only run for two weeks for those who preorder and one week for those who don't, saying: "The demo concludes on November 18, when Left 4 Dead will be made available at retail outlets across North America and worldwide via Steam." Here's the deal:

October 24, 2008 –Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (Steam and Source), today announced a special promotion granting those who pre-order Left 4 Dead early access to the official demo.

Left 4 Dead is the new survival action game from Valve that blends the social entertainment experience of multiplayer games such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress with the dramatic, narrative experience made popular in single player action game classics such as the Half-Life series of games.

Early access to the demo begins Thursday, November 6 on both the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC. This pre-order promotion applies to all Steam PC pre-orders and all Xbox 360 and Windows-based PC pre-orders from participating retailers in North America. The demo will feature single player and co-operative modes, supporting 1 to 4 player games.

On November 11 the demo will be made available to all Xbox 360 and PC and gamers, with no obligation to purchase. The demo concludes on November 18, when Left 4 Dead will be made available at retail outlets across North America and worldwide via Steam.

This pre-order promotion is scheduled in concert with the previously announced $10 million consumer launch campaign that spans television, outdoor, print, and online advertising.

“Every time someone plays Left 4 Dead, we witness the most overwhelmingly positive reaction that we’ve seen from any of our games,” said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. “This gives us tremendous confidence in the product and why we’ve taken the game on the road, produced this pre-launch demo, and invested more advertising dollars on the title than any prior release from Valve.”

Playable in single player, co-operative, and multiplayer modes, Left 4 Dead is one of the most anticipated releases of 2008 and winner of numerous pre-launch awards, including Best of E3 from multiple outlets.

For more information, please visit L4D.com or www.steamgames.com

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29 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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29. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 29, 2008, 20:42 Shadowcat
 
Their game, their release date, their choosing.
Well sure. I'm not saying I'm going to sue them for breach of My Almighty Gamer Rights. I'm just saying that it's a dumb decision, that will cause a lot of people not to have a proper go with it and consequently not buy it.
It's been stated for a couple months now that the game would get a demo shortly before release.
And you all understood at the time that said demo would stop functioning one week later? (As I've never heard of such a thing before in all my years of gaming, I'm voting a big "no" on that one.)
You've had plenty of time to pre-arrange something with friends
Sorry if I don't organise my life around game demo release dates. Or full retail release dates, for that matter.
if you are incapable of just playing it online with any 3 other of the thousands online that will be trying it
Unfortunately I have long since given up on the general gaming populous not being incredible dickheads online, so playing with strangers doesn't appeal much. Even if three quarters of them are fine, I'm still much happier knowing there's no chance of some illiterate thirteen year old spewing insults in my game. As such, I'm only buying this if enough of my friends are also buying it, and the best way to establish this is for us to get together and play it.

This comment was edited on Oct 29, 2008, 20:43.
 
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28. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 29, 2008, 15:10 DG
 
well this is a bit of a nuisance. I have exams until mid December and I'll have quite a list of games to catch up on when the exams are done. This was top of the list provided the demo played ok on my pc, but I guess I can scrub it off at least until a free weekender comes up.

This comment was edited on Oct 29, 2008, 15:12.
 
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27. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 29, 2008, 11:59 Krovven
 
because at the end of the fixed time limit, the demo stops working and takes all the mods with it.

That's kinda the point Shadowcat. If the demo was not time limited, people could just keep playing the demo with mods & user-made maps.

What they are actually offering is a week of their choosing

Their game, their release date, their choosing. It's been stated for a couple months now that the game would get a demo shortly before release. You've had plenty of time to pre-arrange something with friends if you are incapable of just playing it online with any 3 other of the thousands online that will be trying it. You also have 2+ weeks prior notice for a specific release on the demo, it also falls over a weekend. How much more notification do you need? Should we write up invitations to make it a formal event, black tie, bubbly?
 
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26. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 29, 2008, 06:55 Shadowcat
 
It's time limited for reasons Dagok laid out already.
Yeah, they'd obviously need to lock it down properly if they did a normal demo. I just think that they should take the time to do that, and give us a demo we can evaluate in our own time, like every other publisher in the world manages to do.

It's one week because the game itself comes out the following week and they don't want people modding up the demo or etc.
Well it really doesn't matter to them if people mod the demo, because at the end of the fixed time limit, the demo stops working and takes all the mods with it. I'm sure no one cares if people mod it in the brief time that it is available. And hell, anyone who puts the time and effort into modding a demo is almost certainly going to shell out for the retail version.

I don't see how anyone could spend a week with the demo and not be able to make a purchase decision, it just boggles the mind.
I agree wholeheartedly. And if I was to spend a week playing the demo co-op with my friends, I am absolutely positive that I would know whether I wanted to buy it or not.

So if Valve would care to offer me the demo during whatever week my friends and I all actually manage to free up sufficiently to spend a decent amount of time playing it together, that would be just dandy.

What they are actually offering is a week of their choosing, and I don't even know if we'll manage a single game in that period. Maybe we will, maybe we won't, but that doesn't make a one week demo any less ridiculous.

This comment was edited on Oct 29, 2008, 07:07.
 
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25. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 29, 2008, 00:10 JaZeeL
 
There'll likely be free weekends later. Valve's never supported an extended demo before now, so I'm not surprised. At least they're offering it at all; there were no free demos for CSS, DoD:S, or TF2. L4D seems like one of those games where you could be completely content playing the demo endlessly.

Honestly, I do think it should run until 1 week after it's release though.

This comment was edited on Oct 29, 2008, 00:15.
 
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24. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 22:58 Jerykk
 
Wait, so after the full game is released, the demo won't work at all? That's a pretty lame way of getting people to try your demo.

"Hey, check out the demo for our upcoming game!"
"Awesome! Unfortunately, I'm really busy this week and I don't have any spare time. Guess I'll have to try it later."
"Uh, no, sorry. The demo ends at the end of this week. Sucks for you. If you want to try our game after that, you have to buy the full version."
 
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23. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 21:58 Dades
 
I seem to remember that happening with Battlefield 1942 and UT2004, where the demos included the most popular maps from the full game.

Yeah, it really hurt the Battlefield 1942 longevity-wise in my opinion. Everyone got so used to Wake that a lot of servers would still only run it.
 
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22. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 21:57 irata
 
blue: no disrespect, we know you gotta pay for the site. the ad bothers me because its pop up is delayed, meaning im busy reading into something and POP. insult to injury, the x always seems to be just out of my cursors reach, so i need to scroll up to close it.


i can live with
 
"Monolith low end? You, sir, can fuck yourself." -PHJF
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21. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 20:47 Ecthelion
 
With this sort of game, there will be people that play the demo to death over and over and over, never buying the full version...even though the demo itself will only be a couple maps of a campaign (so I've read).
I seem to remember that happening with Battlefield 1942 and UT2004, where the demos included the most popular maps from the full game. Of course, the devs didn't know that they would be the most popular when they made the demos, and it's likely that people who played the demos to death and bought the full game just ended up playing the demo maps in the retail version.
 
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20. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 20:47 Fion
 
Thats true, most FPS's today are designed for the low attention span crowd who a 6 hour game is 'just right' *cough*console shooters*cough*..

One reason I'm enjoying FC2 at the moment a tun. 15 hours of game time and I'm not 20% complete yet. Sure theres only 3 or 4 types of missions but the variety of areas to explore, diamonds to find, different loadouts of gear to try and a very enjoyable and solid driving, combat and healing system make it a hell of a lot of fun.

From what I understand L4D will largely consist of procedurally generated content that changes every time you play it. From the AI of the zombies, to how they come at you in each area, even what your characters say in various situations. Should make for a game that is a little different each time you play it, even if it's your 10th time through an area you won't know exactly what to expect.

At least theoretically. Should be fun.
 
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19. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 20:18 Dades
 
It's time limited for reasons Dagok laid out already. One week is more than adequate to test out an FPS, especially considering the average FPS these days is beaten handily in a few days. It's one week because the game itself comes out the following week and they don't want people modding up the demo or etc. It's a multiplayer demo to showcase the game and let you make the decision. Not really sure what more you want, it's a pretty simple game with an easy to understand premise. I don't see how anyone could spend a week with the demo and not be able to make a purchase decision, it just boggles the mind.

This comment was edited on Oct 28, 2008, 20:19.
 
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18. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 20:11 Shadowcat
 
If the reason is so that they won't have to spend time making and locking down a time-unlimited demo version, I can kinda understand that. I don't agree with it, but I can at least comprehend the reasoning.

But why one week? Why not three weeks? A month? You know, enough time for people to actually arrange to get together with their friends on a weekend when everyone is free at the same time, and give the game a try?

They would still get to shut off the demo and force people to buy it if they want to carry on playing.

One week is just ridiculous. I might well have bought it at full price if it turns out to be great, but the chances of me trying out a co-op game properly in such a short amount of time are damned slim, and I'm not blowing that much money on finding out if it's good or not.

One week demo == Definitely waiting for a price-drop.
 
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17. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 20:10 Bhruic
 
Valve has free weekends with the full product which apparently has boosted sales quite a bit for them with DoDs and TF2. Not much point in doing that if you have an unlimited demo.

With this sort of game, there will be people that play the demo to death over and over and over, never buying the full version...even though the demo itself will only be a couple maps of a campaign (so I've read).

I came in here to do a "WTF?", but those actually both sound like valid reasons.
 
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16. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 19:50 theyarecomingforyou
 
Imagine if Valve released a demo of TF2 with just 2Fort... people would just play that map over and over again, just as I do when I have the full product. That's no reason to criticise the game - in fact it just goes to show how strong the core gameplay is.

NEway, time for me to try to recover one of my hard-drives... it's showing up as 0 bytes and as requiring a format after a powercut this morning. Sometimes I hate computers. I just hope I don't have to format / buy a new hard-drive, as that will cost me an activation on Crysis Warhead and Clear Sky because neither have revoke tools. Fucking DRM.
 
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15. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 19:30 Krovven
 
Valve has free weekends with the full product which apparently has boosted sales quite a bit for them with DoDs and TF2. Not much point in doing that if you have an unlimited demo.

With this sort of game, there will be people that play the demo to death over and over and over, never buying the full version...even though the demo itself will only be a couple maps of a campaign (so I've read).

To keep people from using mods/maps on the demo. There are other ways to prevent it, but probably nothing they want to spend the time doing. If I recall, DoDs/TF2 beta's both had user made maps, despite the lack of SDK for them at the time.

Maybe they just want to see how far word-of-mouth will take this game?

Mainly I think it has to do with the first 2 points.
 
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14. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 19:29 Dades
 
Given Valve's stellar history of supporting their titles I doubt anyone will be disappointed in their purchase of this game. Just what the community could cook up alone would make it worth the price of entry.  
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13. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 19:26 Fion
 
It's Valve were talking about. Your probly wrong. :p

I'm gonna pre-purchase this anyway so it should be fun. FYI you don't pre-order from steam, you pre-purchase. Cant wait.
 
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12. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 19:17 Narf2029
 
A one week demo makes me worry that perhaps there's enough of the game in that demo to make people avoid buying the full game. Or rather, there's not enough full game to offer any meaningful restrictions for the demo. Of course, I hope I'm wrong.

This comment was edited on Oct 28, 2008, 19:17.
 
Huh? I'm sorry, I was thinking about cake.
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11. Re: Left 4 Dead Demo Only One Week Oct 28, 2008, 19:11 theyarecomingforyou
 
A one week demo is pretty lame, though at least it's pre-release. It will determine whether I get the game or not, though I'll have to go retail because of the exchange rate.  
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10. Dude Where's My Thumb? Oct 28, 2008, 18:48 Krovven
 
LOL at the news title on Steams News page.

"Dude Where's My Thumb?" http://store.steampowered.com/news/1946/
 
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29 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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