Weekend tech reading: Crytek foresees 'the end of free game demos'

By on April 18, 2010, 11:29 AM
Crytek foresees 'the end of free game demos' The CEO of indie studio Crytek has defended EA’s divisive 'premium downloadable content' strategy, while also predicting the extinction of free game demos. In an interview with Develop, Crytek’s co-founder Cevat Yerli said he wasn’t sure that a demo of Crysis 2 was going to be released. He also said demos are "a luxury" that becomes "prohibitively expensive" for game studios to make. Develop - also see Julio's rant

An open letter to Apple regarding the company's approach to conversation with its peers and its community Dear Apple: We miss you. Once upon a time, back before you got real popular, you used to take part in the public square. You may have been less forthcoming than most, but at least your employees would speak at industry events, have unscripted conversations with journalists, and engage in the world a bit here and there. Searchblog

Spam suspect uses Google Docs; FBI happy FBI agents targeting alleged criminal spammers last year obtained a trove of incriminating documents from a suspect’s Google Docs account, in what appears to be the first publicly acknowledged search warrant benefiting from a suspect’s reliance on cloud computing. Wired

World robot population reaches 8.6 million I arrived at the 8.6 million estimate based on data from the latest edition of World Robotics, a great numbers-filled report prepared annually by good folks at the International Federation of Robotics, or IFR. The report came out late last year -- I finally had time to take a look at it -- and refers to the robot market up to the end of 2008. IEEE Spectrum

Web coupons know lots about you, and they tell For decades, shoppers have taken advantage of coupons. Now, the coupons are taking advantage of the shoppers. A new breed of coupon, printed from the Internet or sent to mobile phones, is packed with information about the customer who uses it. The NY Times




User Comments: 32

Got something to say? Post a comment
gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well, if you don't put out a demo, then how will people know what actual game play is like, since recently games at release have a spotty game record. Add the recent trend in DRM which creates a retail game has less functionality than a pirated version, then you might have a problem. Its typical, just when games start seeing a profit, you start getting ridiculous DRMs and other restrictions.

And Crytek, yeah, you might get some credit for stunning visuals, but at the same time, what's the point of releasing a game that still can't be run on max settings years after its release? Its like releasing a car with a top speed of 400 mph. Neat, but nobody can realistically drive that fast. I'm sure other developers are capable of releasing games that nobody can run, but that defeats the point of commercial game sales.

MikeFE said:

Crytek foresees 'the end of free game demos'. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Okay, so there are some games I'd buy without even thinking about (Bioshock, Oblivion); then there are some games I'd buy after reading some reviews (S.T.A.L.K.E.R). But often I'd like to get a bit of taste of the game before spending money. Demos are great for that. No demos for me will mean I'll not buy some games I might have bought if I'd have gotten a taste. For others it just will mean piracy. So, it's a stupid move.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Cevat Yerli is sadly mistaken and in the wrong here. Free demonstrations (demos) are a necessity for marketing a product nowadays not a luxury for the consumer. Every industry does it from test driving cars over the weekend, trying on clothing at outlets to sampling food. Even films do it with trailers and teasers so I'm unsure why he said they don't. Consumers need to have a way to test a product before investing in it to see if it works for them. Especially in an industry where refunds don't exist. Yerli complains about piracy often too but then comes out with this rhetoric not realizing it can contribute to piracy itself. Gamers want to test gameplay and see how it works on their system, not providing this option is a poor decision to say the least.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think "prohibitively expensive" is bullshit. The advertising budget for the game is probably a lot more than it'd cost to create the demo. The demo will also be a fraction of the game budget.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Yerli is so embarrasingly mistaken. When they ran a very small shop and developed the original Far Cry, Crytek released a single player demo that got everyone hooked and had them gain momentum out of nothing. In spite of other blockbuster releases that came before and after Far Cry, they were able to land a very popular title and make the most of it... thanks to that demo.

Now that they are backed up by EA and get all the free publicity they need, they no longer see the demo as financially viable? Unlike ten years ago, game companies now have the chance to control the environment where they distribute a demo, both in consoles and the PC, they just have to make it fun enough to tease their potential target base of users and go from there.

It also seems like game developers come in and out with the film industry comparisons only when they find it suitable: "A free demo is a luxury we have in the game industry that we don't have in other industries such as film. Because we've had this free luxury for so long, now there are plans to change this people are complaining about it."

Films don't need "demos" but they have to spend millions in marketing promotions, trailers, they have actors speaking to the press all the time to build momentum among many, many other things that cost time and money. So much for Yerli's comparison.

Once again, saying that a game demo is a luxury and then adding that they have a "genuine interest here to give gamers something more" is an oxymoron and a petty excuse to follow EA's lead.

BlindObject said:

If I have to pay for a demo I'll just wait till the reviews are out. And if it's a single player game (with no online play) I'll just torrent it or something. paying for demos is like paying for food samples at supermarkets.

tengeta tengeta said:

I forsee EA becoming such a joke the collapse faster than the companies they bought out.

Eddo22 said:

Game companies are just shooting themselves in the foot with crap like this. I surely hope they (and not us) pay for it.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm not a big demo player. I rely more on reviews and developer's past successes than anything else. I can count on one finger in the last year I've downloaded and played a demo. But glad I did on that one. That was Aliens vs. Predators and what a piece of crap that turned out to be.

But that's just me - I don't think Yerli makes a lot of sense in his arguments and they'll lose more in game sales then they'll save in demo development costs for those who do routinely download and play demos before buying. And what the hell is a "premium" demo compared to any other demo release? Sounds like double-talk to me.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

In reference to the FBI searching through a user's google docs, it is clear that the government has grown way too big, and has way too much power. I'm no attorney, but I believe this violates the fourth and fourteenth amendments.

Guest said:

You want to buy a car, you go to a car yard, you test drive a few cars, you buy the one you are happy with. If you can't test drive PC games via demos (regardless of review ratings), how can you know what you are purchasing is a complete waste of time or not?

No demos = More piracy

We want to test the product before we buy it.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Films don't need "demos" but they have to spend millions in marketing promotions, trailers, they have actors speaking to the press all the time to build momentum among many, many other things that cost time and money. So much for Yerli's comparison.

Jos, I regard film trailers as equivalent of free demos. So Yerli is either stupendously out of touch with the reality, or simply over estimating game industry's ability to lure gamers to new game titles.

Guest said:

This will only encourage people to download pirated games!!

This is the worst idea ever!!

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Wendig0 said:

In reference to the FBI searching through a user's google docs, it is clear that the government has grown way too big, and has way too much power. I'm no attorney, but I believe this violates the fourth and fourteenth amendments.

I'm assuming you skimmed over the article Wendig0 as the FBI did not violate the suspects Fourth Amendment right as they did obtain a search warrant.

"Assuming the warrant is valid and satisfied the Fourth Amendment ... the government's conduct in this case certainly satisfied one of our biggest concerns," says EFF staff attorney Kevin Bankston. "We think a warrant should be required to access cloud data."

And I'm not exactly sure what violates the Fourteenth Amendment here as I don't see him having lost any rights.

But I will say that cloud computing in general from my understanding is a gray area regarding the law that seriously needs to be addressed asap same as email. Here is an interesting CNET article on the subject that you might enjoy. People just need to learn that anything you do online isn't anonymous or private unless you know what you're doing. Encryption is your best defense and appears to be more legally secure too.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

But I will say that cloud computing in general from my understanding is a gray area regarding the law that seriously needs to be addressed asap same as email. Here is an interesting CNET article on the subject that you might enjoy. People just need to learn that anything you do online isn't anonymous or private unless you know what you're doing. Encryption is your best defense and appears to be more legally secure too.

One of the major reasons I wouldn't bother using anything cloud(y)

I would like to know how many people would trust total strangers with their cash?

Using the same metaphor, I don't think you can trust anyone else with your data in digital age.

DJ83 said:

I would agree, this will only encourage pirates, one of the reasons I like demos is they give me the ability to see if my computer can play the game at a decent speed, taking away the demo will lead me to be even more conservative with my game purchases.

On another rant, I hate the fact that ashes cricket 2009 takes forever to load, and as codemasters have made most of their money, they are in no rush to fix the problem. They state on their forum that they will be releasing a patch, but I have been waiting for a long time for this.

Silence said:

This is insane if they are charging for DEMO so we should have several rihts also.Firstly a right to get all our money back if game has bugs.Secondly we should get our money back if game requirements on box doesn't meet true requirements for example Crysis,Gothic3 and so on(game should run on minimum 30fps to enjoy)

LightHeart said:

Game prices keep going up to the point where it's now an investment for people. That is most people can't buy every game they want they have to pick and choose games. If you take away the demo, you are taking away a large audience, since they will pick and choose something they can demo. Who is going to spend $50 on a game they have never seen?

Guest said:

"And Crytek, yeah, you might get some credit for stunning visuals, but at the same time, what's the point of releasing a game that still can't be run on max settings years after its release? Its like releasing a car with a top speed of 400 mph. Neat, but nobody can realistically drive that fast. I'm sure other developers are capable of releasing games that nobody can run, but that defeats the point of commercial game sales. "

Stupid comment of the year!

Why have cars that go fast? Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborgini, give it up. Why have a car that goes fast if I can't keep it on the road in my neighborhood.

Maybe you should've stayed with the C64....

NeoFlux said:

"No, we won't release game demo because people will see what shitty game it is and will not buy it"

Now THAT is "a luxury" some developers can't afford...

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

@ Crytek: I'm not buying your game until i see a demo of it! i already replied to this on PSLS .. so i repeat here ... STOP making these statements!

@ World robot population reaches 8.6 million - WOW, Skynet is near ....

cheers!

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"And Crytek, yeah, you might get some credit for stunning visuals, but at the same time, what's the point of releasing a game that still can't be run on max settings years after its release? Its like releasing a car with a top speed of 400 mph. Neat, but nobody can realistically drive that fast. I'm sure other developers are capable of releasing games that nobody can run, but that defeats the point of commercial game sales. "

Stupid comment of the year!

Why have cars that go fast? Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborgini, give it up. Why have a car that goes fast if I can't keep it on the road in my neighborhood.

Maybe you should've stayed with the C64....

You may be able to go as fast as 400 mph in a car; but issue is you need a straight road, which is very very long ........ hmm and I frankly don't know any.

May be there is some in US or Australia; I know there is a railway track which is absolutely straight for hundreds of miles in aussie.

Oh by the way, coming back to topic, I totally agree with your comment about Crytek

Renrew Renrew said:

More spit- in- your- face- screw- you- if- you- don't- like- it drivel from Corporate bleaters. Ubisoft and EA should merge. They can then go down in a blaze of marketing ignorance together.

Guest said:

No game demo? I typically don't buy a game without trying it first. I haven't purchased a game that I didn't try first in atleast 5 years.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sounds like Yerli has sipped the EA kool-aid and is now a Stepford Developer. Or possibly he was replaced by a pod person, we may never know for sure... Either way, he's so far beyond touch with consumers it is laughable. Demos exist to draw people in and give them a taste, get them hooked, and then wait for the money to hit the table. It's rampant on consoles - don't demos account for a huge chunk of the download bandwidth on the Sony network? Don't most of those console games magazines come with a demo disc full of crack-tacular gaming goodies?

Honestly, it sounds like some accountant in the pits of hell (aka EA) who has no idea what the company is even about, has decided that cutting demos out will increase the bonuses to the company leaders, so they have decided that IT SHALL BE! Customers be damned. We're just inconveniences to them anyhow.

Zilliak said:

Without demo's. I will honestly not buy the game.The only reason i bought crysis was because of the demo, same with all the command and conquer games if i like the demo ill buy the game. Without the demo dont expect a purchase from me. So go ahead crytek dont make a demo.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

sorry passing by again, some lessons to Crytek:

- do some research before stating anything

- stop & learn to think before any statement

- we are the customers, we are always right, without us you are nothing.

i've bought some games i never heard of just after playing a demo (elefunk / echochrome / crash commando / infamous .. oh no if i continue will be another long post!)

a lot of people do same.

if i stayed with games i knew & saw only videos ... wouldn't know the fun in playing some tower defense games, some weird but original puzzle games.

i accept time limited demos, because they still give us an insight & from the heaps of demos i tried, a lot did expire & giving me that sensation of missing a game so much i went buying it.

so if you think you know everything, just go & don't do a demo, even if you make millions of sales, it would always mean you could have done better.

cheers!

MrAnderson said:

You know, I don't mind paying a little for a demo if it is truly costing them time and resources to produce them. Fine.

Nevertheless, I think for those who buy a sample that will predeterminately (in most cases) go no where should get a discount on the final game or some other insentive that will balance things out a bit more for both developer and consumer.

The fact of the matter is that demos are sometimes the only way for us to know if a game is going to be any good. There are platform discrepencies, (I'm sorry to say) you cannot count on the game jounalists completely anymore because of that evolusion happening now. It is one think to see a bad movie an loose almost 20 bucks some places, it is another thing to drop 60 bucks on something even more interactive and it is not what you wanted at all.

Otherwise we are forced to rent the game in the process, may not purchase it at all because we beat it during the rental process. Or maybe games kiosks need to be functioning in the stores so people can sample the content. We can do it for books, even sometimes movies, so games should not be different considering the cost difference.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

Nevertheless, I think for those who buy a sample that will predeterminately (in most cases) go no where should get a discount on the final game or some other insentive that will balance things out a bit more for both developer and consumer.

i said that on some other sites before & someone pointed out that it would be difficult for anyone to prove having played a demo & that games are sold almost everywhere, but still it's a nice idea ... let say, that with each demo you can have a discount code or a special limited addon, some DLCs, then maybe OK.

yet if they did demos that are completely out of the game but showcase it, let say an exclusive small out of big game context story, something exclusive to the demo & not found in a game.

else just do some free demos like others do & let us decide by ourself.

cheers!

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

"Crytek foresees 'the end of free game demos..." And I forsee the end of people giving a crap about demos lol.

JudaZ said:

ok....so dont give out demos....but dont complain when I share the game online for free then either.

I try, i like, i buy, or delete, hate, and destroy.

jgvmx said:

well, if they don't give a free demo, people will search for a "free full-demo", in other words, a pirate copy. not a very bright idea imho.

for me demos are very useful not only to see how the game plays but to know if my computer can handle it without hassles.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.