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Should All New Games Have Demos?

We're so used to seeing demos for just about every major release these days, so when one doesn't get a free trial, we feel a little miffed.

Well, maybe we're just spoiled. Max Payne 3 is due out on May 15 so many assumed we'd be seeing a demo within the next month or so. But according to developer Rockstar's Twitter page, that won't be happening.

"There are no plans for a demo of Max Payne 3."

Demos are almost starting to feel mandatory, though. Many gamers these days use such trials to decide on a purchase, and it's likely that great demos lead to better sales of the game. Of course, there's the flip side to that coin- Bad demos can hurt a game instantly, especially because the demo typically comes out before the actual title hits store shelves. So maybe developers and publishers don't always want to make a free trial available early.

Another point of interest involves the "completeness" of a game before producing a demo. Most demos arrive close to the game's release so that demo is a good indicator of the final product. But that has not always been the case, leaving some gamers leery of trials that release long before the actual game. What do you think about demos?

Related Game(s): Max Payne 3

Tags: max payne 3, max payne 3 demo, max payne sequel demo, rockstar

4/9/2012 9:44:14 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (36 posts)

frostface
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 10:01:00 AM
Reply

I can see the benefits of demo's but unless they're really representative of the final product, I find they can do a more harm than good.

I've skipped over a few games because of lack lustre demo's, only to find the game cheap a year down the line and actually falling in love with the game.

Or more recently, that bloody Twisted Metal beta/demo whatever it was. Hated it, turned me right off getting the game but with all the talk about how great it was gonna be, I took a chance. Now the only thing I hate about the game is that it proved me wrong. I've actually grown quite fond of the game. But had it been down to the demo/beta, that was one sale Eat, Sleep, Play weren't getting.

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Geobaldi
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 10:12:36 AM
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About the only time I really want to try a demo nowadays is when a new franchise and/or developer comes out. For the most part, I know what I want to get and it's served me well from the Atari days till now. Besides, for much of gaming's history, there was no such thing as demos and people seemed to get by with no problems. You just had to research more and think harder about your decision if you wanted to try something that wasn't already established in the gaming world. When I do try a demo however, I don't base my final purchasing decision based on how the demo is, seeing as how it's not usually indicative of the final product. I just want to get an idea of what direction the project is going, story if applicable, features, and so on with graphics being the last thing I'm interested in as those are just cosmetic.

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Beamboom
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 10:14:38 AM
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I think that for unknown titles, or titles from unknown developers then a *good* demo of the game can trigger purchase.

Like the demo for Kingdoms of Amalur. That demo made me buy the game much earlier than I otherwise would. It was on my shopping list (most all RPGs are) but I planned on waiting for price drop, as I usually do.

But coming from Rockstar we don't really need a demo, do we? Reviews are more than enough to determine if it's a game for you. We just *know* it's good at what it tries to be.

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Temjin001
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 10:16:15 AM
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I'd like any new franchise or unproven dev or reboot to have a demo, preferably one not locked behind PSN plus ;)
I don't think GTA really needs one, it'll sell oodles without it.
For me, usually demos top reviews for purchase decisions. SSX being the most recent that sold me from it's demo alone.

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Highlander
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 10:30:16 AM
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I think demos are a good idea, but some demos are very misleading, and some are too short to make a judgement. What works wonders though is the 1 hour trial. I have bought 4 full games on PSN because of the 1 hour trial. That 1 hour let's you get a real taste of the game, and potentially hooks you on it - plus giving you a save file to work with when you buy the game.

Personally, I think that all games should feature a 1 hour trial instead of a demo.

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Temjin001
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 10:37:25 AM

I wish Journey had a demo. But considering a 20-30min demo could comprise a fourth of the game... that'd probably not be a good idea =)

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THEVERDIN
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 12:37:16 PM

Excellent point and if the new consoles won't play used games this is going to be a must.

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Gabriel013
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 @ 1:34:30 AM

I've been convinced to buy games off the back of the demo. KoA is one of those.

I have also been put off by demos but that's a good thing. Better that than to pay out for the full game and then decide it's not for me.

I look past any technical faults in demos and look purely at the gameplay and art style.

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Fane1024
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 1:45:15 AM

The only downside of the 1 hour trials is that you have to download the whole game to use them and that usually takes more than an hour. They are a *great* idea nonetheless. I'd probably try all of them if I had the space on my hard drive.

As for the question posed, I'd definitely like every game to have a demo (I play every demo, even for games I expect to hate), but I don't think it should be mandatory.

I think more demos have convinced me to buy a game I otherwise wouldn't have bought than have convinced me not to buy a game I otherwise would have. I think.

One of the worst demos I've ever played was for Burnout 3: one short lap on a less than stellar track and then you were kicked to the main menu of the demo disc. But there was still enough of a sense of the core gameplay that I bought it and (nearly) every Burnout since.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 4/11/2012 1:58:17 AM

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CrusaderForever
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 10:36:01 AM
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Yes, all games should have demos. The only thing they should steer clear of is old builds being released as demos. I really think they need to be of the final RTM product. However I am torn, because I really love getting games on their release day. If they did RTM demos then it may not get release on or before the release day. Kingdoms of Amalur was hurt a little bit by their demo. I am bending toward getting an old build demo before or on release day.

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slugga_status
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 10:43:15 AM
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Nope, all games don't need demos at all. The games that do I'd say are new IPs and the like. Other than that it wouldn't do any good to have demos of every game. Especially when a bad demo can put people completely off of a game even if it's a different experience when the full game comes out.

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Gabriel013
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 @ 1:37:42 AM

Even with established IP's I'd like to try a demo. I bet a fair few DAO enthusiasts were glad they got to play a demo of the sequel.

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PoopsMcGee
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 11:04:44 AM
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Unless the reviews are particularly stellar, I never buy a full priced game without trying it first. I'd imagine many gamers do the same.

So, with a few exceptions, I'd say the answer is yes if they want my money...

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DIsmael85
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 11:07:08 AM
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Don't think Rockstar really needs to demo any of their games. Most of them this gen haven't been that bad. Since they have proven they can make some really nice games I fully trust they know what they are doing with Max Payne 3. There are some games though that could use them, but if the company has a track record of constant hits then no.

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Gabriel013
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 @ 1:41:12 AM

But isn't Max Payne 3 an unknown entity in terms of gameplay and overall 'feel'? From what I've seen of the trailer there is no way I'd buy it without trying it first. Just because I like Rockstars other games doesn't mean this one is going to suit my gaming tastes.

Also, you say "Most of them this gen haven't been that bad". If I'm paying out $60 it needs to be so much better than 'not bad'.

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tlpn99
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 12:17:15 PM
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Rockstar have never released a demo before a game. Granted some games do release a poor demo and some have putten me off purchasing a game so I can see why some games dont release a demo. I have played many a trial however and then gone on to buy the game as the trial got me hooked into the actual game.

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bebestorm
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 12:21:54 PM
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I never thought we would get a demo of Max Payne other than events like PAX. I don't think we need a demo for every retail game. I say all games on psn need a demo because maybe I would bought more than a handful of titles.

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PharaohJR
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 12:47:37 PM
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if its a new title yeah why not, its a introduction of allowing gamers to get the feel of the concept. if its a continuing series on the same platforms of consoles i dont think its necessary.

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 1:26:14 PM
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Try before you buy, demos are a must especially when it comes to people who are not familiar with different kind of games.

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TheCanadianGuy
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 1:26:15 PM
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not in all case's but for the most part. yeah i think they should. thay don't want people renting or buying used right ? so a good 20-25 minute demo before a game launch's is the best way for devs to let us get a taste and decide if we wanna drop 60$ on it or not. idk just what i think

Last edited by TheCanadianGuy on 4/9/2012 1:28:56 PM

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duomaxwell007
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 1:36:35 PM
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ALL games should have demos.. if you can spend years developing a game how hard is it to cut off a 1% potion of it for free to allow people to try it before they buy it

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xenris
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 1:46:01 PM
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I really think all games should have a 1 hour trial with no limits on the game.

I think it would do a couple of good things, for one if there was an hour trial developers would have to make sure that the game was up to snuff, and publishers would have to be more careful about rushing the devs.

The second thing is that it would most likely lead to more sales. I saw some people here already saying they bought games they otherwise wouldn't have because of the PSplus trials.

But yeah, I think most games especially download only games should offer some sort of demo or trial. Big retail games should offer an hour trial.

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Riku994
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 2:18:10 PM
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I thought there already was a Max Payne 3...

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Lemon_Saint
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 2:31:35 PM
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I played a demo of Max Payne 3 at PAX EAST yesterday ... why can't they just release that?

(By the way, it's awesome)!

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dmiitrie
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 3:21:02 PM
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I think just about every game should have a playable demo in its final version, even games from established franchises. I'm sure there are more than a few people who would not have bought FF XIII had it had a demo, and I know I would've saved my money on GTA IV if I'd played it first. Alternately, Kingdoms of Amular is the next game I'll buy on the strength of its demo.

If you make a solid game, why would you not want a chance to showcase that off to build buzz in the weeks prior to launch?

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Lairfan
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 4:53:20 PM
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For a game like Max Payne 3 I really think they should have made a demo. Pretty much every casual gamer doesn't know what Max Payne is anymore, and some of the fans who do still remember him are skeptical this one will live up to the others. Plus, its good publicity.

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Highlightreel
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 7:08:27 PM
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I like games to have demos. They should be a sample of the game and viewed as such. Go ahead and release them when the game releases so it's not a pile of steaming poo. I don't need them early.

I view them as an interactive commercial. They get me into more games than I'd normally play so I'm all for them.

Stay classy PSX...

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BikerSaint
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 9:19:16 PM
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I'd prefer having demo's, to not having any.


As a collector as well as a gamer, many demos have helped me to make the decision as whether I would want to play then, therefore buying new, or a meh game, and just wait for them to drop into the bargain-bin, for collection purposes.

Take Quantum Theory for example, I would've been mighty pissed if there wasn't any demo & I had decided to buy it new.
But thanks to the demo alone, I picked it up for my collection, for only $7 used.

On the other hand, there are some developers that I just know are going to make great games, such as R*, Santa Monica, ND, QD, so even if there's no demo, I'll pretty sure they'll all continue to make games I'll love to play



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thj_1980
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 9:44:27 PM
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It should be common sense to the developers... release a demo, or beta or whatever the hell you want to call it, because public betas are really just limited time demos.

Games don't look or play any different from the public beta to the real game.

However I think their plan to not to release a demo so everybody gets excited and buys the game then finds out its complete crap (not talking about MAX PAYNE 3 but games in general(
and keep the money they made.

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DeadReaper
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 10:46:41 PM
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Im only really speaking for myself but I think all games should have a demo. Since Blockbuster Canada closed its doors, I (and probably others) have had no place to rent games to see if there worth the buy.

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TheCanadianGuy
Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 11:35:31 PM

dude i feel your pain. i used to rent games there all the time when my local BB closed down it was like my heart was being triped out. it opened when i was like 5 and i'd been going there my entire life.

have you checked out rogers video ? you can rent games there. i became a member after BB kicked the bucket.

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___________
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 @ 4:39:23 AM
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why would you assume MP3 would have a demo?
R* has never released a demo for a single one of its games this gen!
if anything you should assume we would not be getting a demo.

in a perfect world yea all games should have demos but unfortunately we dont live in a perfect world!
allot of the times developers dont have time to sit aside a level and polish it to release quality when they should be working on the full game making sure they hit the release date.
its not exactly something you can rush either because if its crap, well, you just cut your sales base in half!
its amazing how many people dont understand the meaning of demo and beta!
if i had a nickel for every time i heard someone say the demo or beta sucked and the final game will be the same so im not buying it id be rich enough to buy the big 3 20 times over by now!
one thing that really makes me want to get a keyboard and break it over their heads!

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Robochic
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 5:40:02 PM
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for me a demo is not really necessary it's nice but i know some demos have turned me off some games then i get them and really enjoyed it. I miss renting games it was something i really enjoyed but Blockbuster closing and then i moved to the country so i mostly rely on reviews and knowing the developer is whats making me choose lately

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wryslok
Thursday, April 12, 2012 @ 11:51:25 AM
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you no demo. me no buy.

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Ather
Thursday, April 12, 2012 @ 5:14:37 PM
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Make a game. Reelase the first level as a demo as close to release a spossible. Put in an exclaimer saying some things can change.

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SS4
Thursday, April 12, 2012 @ 9:44:54 PM
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Well like it was said, early demos arent always good as they dont always give the right idea about the game.

But having demo of the final product would be a great way to test a product before buying it. Maybe there will be less used game on release day at EBgames (gamestop) and a bit less pirated copy from trialist :P

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