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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