A few days ago I was reading one of Gamemoir‘s Question of the Day that as the question, “In an age of alphas, betas, and early access has the humble demo seen its day?“ They raised an interesting question, with growing trend of Closed and Open Betas, Steam’s Early Access even the release of Technical Alphas the gaming world has seem to forget the option for releasing a demo of a full game, but I think that is because the limitations the gaming companies had in the past.
Currently we live in an age with constant and relativity high-speed internet connect to almost every part of our lives. With that not only can we send out tweets on our smart phones but every video game player, or anyone else who consumes any different bit of media, has the ability to broadcast their thoughts and opinions about that product for everyone to see and read about the game before going to the store. I talked about this before, where thanks in part to many different YouTubers I was able to see how the first few levels of Shovel Knight plays and handles in their videos while I hear the host’s provides commentary about their opinions and thoughts on the game on a whole, which was exactly what the idea of Demos were suppose to do, give you a brief taste of the level designs, controls, and the game on a whole before committing the full price purchase of the game.
With faster and more stable internet connection molding of this and the previous gaming generation, we have also seen gaming companies use the ability to use the internet to reach a more of their player base at the speed that could never be done before. This is something we see as with the big push for opening sourcing their Closed and Open Beta testers to the public which does help the finished game in the long run while also getting a free taste of what the game could be instead of the game developers building an entire game and then taking a financial hit of carving up a section of the completed game, burning it onto disks, and paying for the cost of shipping it out to local gaming stores like in the old days. While the idea of opening up the entire internet to test you game was a great idea at the beginning the open beta trend has also been used to advertise the game and get players to play a segment of the game, turned into a marketing tool to advertise the game as a way to get more people talking about the game with the hope to raise more money from preorders before the game is finished.
With a more connective internet and the ability for people to hear and read testimonials about any game and even have the option to play early builds of the game it does look like having demos of games added to your personal gaming library does seem like a dying fad. But from a different perspective the idea of demos are still alive and well in Best Buys, Walmarts and Gamestops when you see a demo version of a device on sale in the game aisle that you can easily pick up and play a demo version of the latest game releases right there and then, and if you go on Steam there are always one or two full games free to download and play as much as you can for during Saturday and Sunday from their Free Weekend promotional event.
Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays