Game demos have been a part of the gaming community since the beginning. They provide insight into upcoming games with limited gameplay.
However, it is a debatable topic whether they are free or not. In today’s post, we’ll discuss why game demos are free and why they are not developed in the first place.
This post will revolve around the following topics:
- Are game demos free for everybody?
- Why developers are reluctant to make demos?
- Important Frquently Asked Questions
Without further delay, let’s jump right into it.
Are Game Demos Free? – Game Demos and Their Purpose
When it comes to video games, anticipation plays a big part in marketing and overall sales. The anticipation factor is maintained by multiple methods.
Some developers release teaser trailers that lead up to the main trailer. While on the other hand, some developers choose to release a demo for their upcoming title.
Why are game demos free?
To put it simply, demos aren’t the finalized form of a product. They just represent what a user can expect from the future game.
Developers release free demos to gather attention in mass. Watching a trailer and playing a 15-minute demo have different effects on people.
How does it gain attention from people?
Let’s say, you played the demo for the upcoming FIFA title. You get to know various mechanics, controls, and performance levels.
However, in a trailer, you can only watch what the game might offer. There is no way you can test it yourself.
What are some other reasons for the development of demos?
Whenever a game trailer comes out or is showcased at an event, every person wants to play it as soon as possible. A game demo provides a way to fill the gap till the game’s release.
It holds the attention span of users far longer compared to normal promotional trailers.
Why doesn’t every developer release a game demo?
Game demos are more of a marketing strategy. Every studio/developer has its own unique marketing strategy to release and boost the sales of new titles.
For example, EA promotes its new sports titles by using athletes from the respective sports. The current FIFA title has football player M’bappe on the cover.
EA released multiple promotional videos with the player to gather the attention of its customer base.
Moreover, game demos are suitable for every genre. You’ll generally find demos for either sports or simulator genre games.
Why don’t Developers Make Demos for Every Game?
The answer to this question is multi-layered and includes various elements that need to be discussed. We’ll go over them one by one in detail.
First of all, we have to mention the convenience behind the idea of creating a demo. Demos aren’t a part of the game with locked areas that you can’t access.
On the contrary, they are developed in a separate sandbox with similar elements to the main game. This requires time and manpower.
Isn’t it easy to create a 15-minute demo?
Well, not exactly. Developers still have to program everything to make it playable. Moreover, a bad demo can easily destroy the hype for the upcoming game.
It is a risky move, financially and strategically. This is why many studios avoid diving into the game demo department.
Big studios can easily spare resources to handle demos, can’t they?
Even without the manpower, they still have to maintain servers and pay for them. A single error or downtime can affect the overall image of the title.
Studios like Ubisoft and Activision are strictly against the whole idea of free game demos. According to them, it adds a whole new level of problems to production.
Another reason why many studios don’t make game demos is because of the genre. This is usually the case with campaign-driven games.
For example, Resident Evil: Biohazard had no demo for its main game. The studio decided to preserve the player experience without revealing too much about the gameplay or the story.
However, on the other hand, they released a demo for the VR version of the game. It is important to note that the demo was released months after the release of the main game.
What about other game genres?
You’ll notice that most of the online multiplayer games without a campaign have demos. This is because it doesn’t include a story that can be potentially spoiled.
One good example of this is DOTA 2, a famous MOBA game. Before its release back in 2012, Valve released an Alpha version of it.
People around the world got free access keys and could play the game before the release date. It included many core mechanics of the game.
As we have mentioned earlier, the overall sales depend on the hype around it. A hyped-up game can easily sell millions of copies even before the release.
However, game demos can just do the opposite of that. Players can quickly dissociate themselves if they don’t find it interesting.
Aren’t game demos supposed to act as teasers?
Well, they are but as it goes, you can’t please everyone. So, to build up the hype and keep it at a certain level, studios choose to go for other routes.
Apart from the resources required to develop a demo, studios don’t gain anything after its release. Compared to a teaser trailer, it is a money dump.
Studios don’t get any monetary gains from it. Whereas they can still earn by releasing various trailers on YouTube.
But, isn’t it better to give players what they want?
It is. However, a studio is ultimately a business and it must act as a business. Otherwise, they will lose money which no studio wants.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Where can I get a demo for FIFA games?
You can find demos for FIFA games on various platforms. These demos are also available for download on EA’s main website. STEAM and Origin store are two popular platforms that provide FIFA game demos.
Does F1 have a game demo?
EA has a tradition of releasing a free demo for the players several months in advance. It includes pair of two F1 teams with their respective drivers. Moreover, it also features two playable tracks with two different game modes.
What’s the difference between a demo and a Beta release?
A game demo has limited gameplay and accessibility to many features of the game. On the other hand, a Beta release includes the entirety of the game. However, the game isn’t polished and has multiple bugs that are fixed after the Beta release.
Wrapping Things Up…
This brings us to the end of our post related to Free Game Demos. We hope this information proves to be beneficial for you.
Game demos are an effective way to spread the word about upcoming titles. However, in recent years, many studios have chosen other marketing strategies to promote their new games.
Which game demo did you find to be the best? Do let us in the comments below.