By Releasing A Game Demo You Are Slicing Your Games Sales In Half?

Industry analyst and Puzzle Clubhouse CEO Jesse Schell during a presentation at DICE 2013 (PCGamesN), has made the claim that by releasing a game demo publishers are actually doing their game sales more harm than good.

Schell produced a graph of Xbox 360 sales figures to illustrate his point, explaining that the games which sold the most were in fact the games that built expectation in players, that people wanted to try, but were not given the option of a demo – “You mean we spent all this money making a demo and getting it out there, and it cut our sales in half? Yes, that’s exactly what happened to you,” he said.

By teasing gamers with impressive trailer, Schell commented that this was the best way to increase sales while offering no demonstration of the game unless the consumer buys the full retail version – “The thing is, with no demo, you’ve gotta buy it if you want to try it.”

This is some interesting food for thought. This critic can say in all honesty, there has been many game demos which have turned me off from making the full retail investment while at the same time many demo’s have caused me to pre-order not just the games but the limited edition version. It is also fair to state that while many games offer great overall gameplay experiences however, the demo’s which have gone before these games unfortunately do these games more harm than good by offering demo’s which are oftentimes a poor representation of the overall quality of the game.

Do you think publishers should trash the demo approach for more eye-pleasing game trailers or should game demo’s better represent their overall parts?

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  • I think the game with the most hype and anticipation don’t need demos. Games like Halo or COD are the popular games in a genre. Demos should be released for the underrated titles not many gamers know about. But he makes a good point about demos having a poor representation of the finished product.

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