Sony confirmed at a recent event that The Order: 1886 won’t have any demo before its launch, planned for Feb. 20th. This is just the last title that the gamers are not allowed to try before its day one, and it looks predictable that more will follow.
This phenomenon should concern you as it concerns me, and that’s why. While it is understandable that, for some games, publishers and developers don’t want to spoil anything of their stories, I think consumers should have the chance to play at least for half an hour, a game they somehow doubt would suit their desires. It happens very often that gamers are not satisfied with what they buy and this mainly depends on the vanishing of the demo’s.
Once upon a time, we used to have trial versions of the games we wanted to buy: sometimes we liked them enough to invest on the complete game, sometimes we were disgusted with what we tried and left the game on the shelves. But that was what the game truly deserved, not what an industry heavily focused on marketing wanted us to believe. What if you could have given a try to Watch Dogs before spending $70?
Nowadays, demo releases are increasingly rare and we have no references but our past experiences. One publisher who is trying to improve the demo system is Electronic Arts, with services such as EA Access. EA Access is a good way, in my opinion, to offer premium contents, that includes not only early demo’s but also six-hour long trials and a free game per month, at an affordable price.
It’s a win-win for the producer of the contents and for gamers, that can at least have a taste of the titles they are interested in, before buying them for $70. It would be great if other publishers could follow the same path.