Will Work For Esports, Has Many Degrees

Norris laments the Outriders demo and asks if a preview of an unfinished game actually HURT its chances at big sales. A college esports listing makes the crew cringe. Also, Kali talks about old JRPGs after Bravely Default 2's release and Robbie Landis continues to talks Snyder Cut.

What Happened To Good Game Demos? – CPXP Daily

On today’s CheckpointXP Daily (which you can listen to just above this), we took a few minutes to discuss times when game demos actively made you not want to play the game.


Game demos that ruined the game for you

Can you recall the olden days? In a time before alpha tests and open betas. Before early access and preview weekends? A lot of gamers out there my age probably remember getting the demo disc of MediEvil for the PlayStation.

But today, we weren’t talking about great demos like that one. No, we were talking about the demos that were so bad you didn’t even bother playing the game. For me, it was a case of me not listening to my instincts.

When I got to be a beta tester for Final Fantasy XIV 1.0, every fiber of my being told me it was going to be a disaster. And still I bought it. And still I was horrifically disappointed.

I got suckered in again years later with Final Fantasy XV… noticing a pattern here? How about you? Have you ever played a demo so bad you gave up on the game? Let us know on our Twitter.

The modern era of software testing

Software development has changed a great deal over the last 20 years. Today, video games tend to skip the old-school demo disc and instead have beta versions of the game go out. They would argue that it’s a development tool, not a marketing tool, but I think that’s naïve at best and dishonest at worst.

A game in early access is effectively the same thing as a beta test at this point. It’s designed to give real users in the real world a chance to play the full game, or at least a portion of it and give their feedback. It has become a critical part of the testing phase.

But the main appeal is for players to start spreading the excitement for the game before it’s officially released. Early adopters can be given some simple cosmetic rewards, and developers can learn if their user experience is any good before they release games. Seems like a win-win.


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About The Author

Kali Scales Kali got into gaming from a young age when her mom bought her a GameBoy with The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. She’s been a lifelong gamer, particularly fond of the Final Fantasy, Mass Effect, and Star Wars franchises. Her interests extend outside gaming; she loves comics and is particularly passionate about movies. As a member of the LGBTQ+ family, she feels strongly about working with charitable causes and has hosted numerous charity streams. She serves as the Head of Content for the CheckpointXP brand, but also as a producer for the CheckpointXP Radio Show. She occasionally appears as a guest on CheckpointAFK.

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