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So a free demo can cut your sales in half???

02-11-2013, 08:03 PM
#1
So a free demo can cut your sales in half???

Hey guys.

So, I was currently wrapping up the finishing touches on the demo for my upcoming game CastleAbra, when I stumbled across this video:

Jesse Schell - Full Keynote Speech.

His claim is that a demo will usually diminish whatever enthusiasm the customer had when he first learned about your game. He argues that if you give an interested customer no recourse but to buy your game, he will be more likely to do so.

He also shows a slide clearly showing how (on average) games with no demos will literally double the sales of games with demos.

So now I'm left wondering if I should even release (a completed) demo for our game.

I'd love to hear others opinions and experiences with demos and how they've affected sales.

I should mention that the plan for our game was to send out our press release along with a demo, and a new, snazzy trailer in the next week or so. Our game will be available on iOS for 3 dollars (I know, I know) and on PC for 10. I'd argue that a higher priced game should have a demo, but the games he referenced were Xbox live games which sell for a good chunk of change.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Also, if you have the chance, watch the whole video. He makes a lot of good observations on where this industry is headed.

Thanks!

Last edited by Wizardo; 02-11-2013 at 08:11 PM.
02-13-2013, 06:13 AM
#2
Demos certainly exposes your games to number of gamers. It helps to increase your sales and downloads. since anyone who play through the demo would be exposed to more marketing strategy.

02-14-2013, 03:30 AM
#3
If you already have a good exposure, the demo is only a way for the player to not buy your game.

2 cases:
- One famous game with lot of press:
every potential player know about it and want to buy it. Some of them try the demo. If the player finally didn't found the game good he won't buy it.
So a demo will only be an excuse to not buy the game (boring, too violent, not pretty, too hard etc..).

- One unknow game:
A player see that there is a new demo available, the screenshot looks cool.
He try it and may or may not buy it.

What AAA game usually do:
They wait a few weeks/months that all player intended to buy the game, buy it. After that they release a demo to try to get player not convinced to buy the game yet.


A demo is always better for the player. For the dev not always.

Last edited by Hercule; 02-14-2013 at 03:39 AM.
02-14-2013, 06:08 PM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hercule View Post
If you already have a good exposure, the demo is only a way for the player to not buy your game.

2 cases:
- One famous game with lot of press:
every potential player know about it and want to buy it. Some of them try the demo. If the player finally didn't found the game good he won't buy it.
So a demo will only be an excuse to not buy the game (boring, too violent, not pretty, too hard etc..).

- One unknow game:
A player see that there is a new demo available, the screenshot looks cool.
He try it and may or may not buy it.

What AAA game usually do:
They wait a few weeks/months that all player intended to buy the game, buy it. After that they release a demo to try to get player not convinced to buy the game yet.


A demo is always better for the player. For the dev not always.
I think you got it perfectly. Our game is unknown as you can get, so I can't see a demo hurting us. Especially since the demo rocks.
Thanks
02-14-2013, 08:59 PM
#5
All the demos I have ever liked, I have bought, so I can't believe all these negatives about it.
02-15-2013, 12:41 AM
#6
I for example have discovered a lot of awesome unknown games by playing their demos thinking they were full free games, but when i see that it's only a demo but it's a good game that makes you wanna play more, I totally buy it.
02-11-2013, 08:29 PM
#7
Demos kill bad games. They are amazing for spreading word-of-mouth for underappreciated gems.

It could hurt games somewhere in the middle but not by half.

Can you imagine a demo or lite version for borderlands legends? Now that game would have had its sales cut in half

Worst case scenario use it as a preview build for Gaming sites.
02-11-2013, 08:34 PM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joltrabbit View Post
Demos kill bad games. They are amazing for spreading word-of-mouth for underappreciated gems.

It could hurt games somewhere in the middle but not by half.

Can you imagine a demo or lite version for borderlands legends? Now that game would have had its sales cut in half

Worst case scenario use it as a preview build for Gaming sites.
Good advice. At least, I will send the demo to reviewers. Thanks.
02-11-2013, 08:45 PM
#9
To be clear. I'm confident that most people will love the demo, and a good portion of them will buy the game, but my partner made a good point.

Imagine there's two cool looking games you wanna buy. The first one has a demo which you try and love. Now that second, enticing game you're excited about has no demo, but it looks so cool. Which one do you buy? You're still curious about that second one after all.

That's the speakers point. That initial curiosity will sit with the consumer until they get their hands on the game. Paid or otherwise.

And speaking for myself, I know 99 percent of the games I've owned were bought without playing the demo.

It seems counter intuitive, but that speaker may be on to something.
02-11-2013, 10:33 PM
#10
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Scarlett Johansson's Hot Tub
Posts: 5,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizardo View Post
Imagine there's two cool looking games you wanna buy. The first one has a demo which you try and love. Now that second, enticing game you're excited about has no demo, but it looks so cool. Which one do you buy? You're still curious about that second one after all.
Couldn't you just buy both?

It's a more complicated matter though if, for whatever reason, you can only buy one. For me, I would buy the second game, especially if it looks good and the reviews are good. I wouldn't buy the first one as I would feel as if I've played the game before, and would prefer something new and different.

Just my opinion though, I'm sure others will differ...