Isn't it kind of pointless to release an demo for people who have already opted to buy the full product?
That's what I was thinking, with the second question being - why give a demo early to people who have pre-ordered if "word of mouth really is the strongest thing"?
There is an element of incentivising the pre-order, but put the two questions together for another answer: surely the first pre-orders will come from the L4D fans who are most keen on a sequel. So if those guys get the demo first, the first round of word-of-mouth will be from the guys most likely to talk it up.
Sounds cynical, but IMO it's fairly basic marketing - control the message. There's more than a few games that have been forever condemned simply because the opening salvo came from a minority of haters, and it subsequently became fashionable for everyone+dog to rage on it.
Personally, I always feel a little sceptical when they push you towards "buy before you try", but as Verno says it's so common now that it doesn't really tell you anything.This comment was edited on Jul 6, 2009, 13:25.