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

By Matthew · 32 replies
Apr 18, 2010
  1. 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

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  2. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    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.
  3. MikeFE

    MikeFE TS Rookie

    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.
  4. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    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.
  5. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,384   +172

    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.
  6. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,676   +991

    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.
  7. BlindObject

    BlindObject TS Rookie Posts: 412

    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.
  8. tengeta

    tengeta TS Enthusiast Posts: 612

    I forsee EA becoming such a joke the collapse faster than the companies they bought out.
  9. Eddo22

    Eddo22 TS Booster Posts: 166   +8

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

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,718   +860

    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.
  11. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    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.
  12. 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.
  13. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    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.
  14. This will only encourage people to download pirated games!!

    This is the worst idea ever!!
  15. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    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.

    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.
  16. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    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.
  17. DJ83

    DJ83 TS Enthusiast Posts: 33

    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.
  18. Silence

    Silence TS Rookie

    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)
  19. LightHeart

    LightHeart TS Rookie Posts: 155

    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?
  20. "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....
  21. NeoFlux

    NeoFlux TS Booster Posts: 104   +14

    "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...
  22. Richy2k9

    Richy2k9 TS Enthusiast Posts: 515

    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 ....

  23. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    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 ;)
  24. Renrew

    Renrew TS Enthusiast Posts: 253   +19

    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.
  25. 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.
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