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More Than 2.7 Million Gamers Pay For Demo?

What’s up Platform Nation community?  Let’s start with a couple of questions…

Q1: Hands up if you were disgusted by the news last month when Crytek suggested that we should all pay for games demos? (article here)

Keep your hand up if you played Halo Reach in the last couple of weeks.

Q2: If you still have your hand in the air, ask yourself was that a demo of Halo Reach you spent your time playing?

Q3: Final question.  Do you remember the Halo 3 demo, it was good wasn’t it? No?  That’s right there wasn’t one and I’ll eat my words if we ever see a Halo Reach demo (or at least one called a demo and not a Beta).

I love Halo and this is by no means a Halo witch hunt of an article, I just had to use that example to make my point.  Figures were released earlier today (brought to you by GeminiAce)  in the New York Times stating that more than 2.7 million gamers tried out the Reach beta since it was unlocked on the 3rd May and ended on the 20th May.  Despite 2010 being a bumper year for games and arguably the best first five months of releases in a very long time, that’s a staggering number of players and testament to the fanbase that the Halo universe has built up but back to my main point.  Did we all just pay for a demo??  Something we were disgusted at the very thought of?

It all just looks a bit ominous for gamers and the ‘free’ demo. EA have already started to talk about project $10 and Ubisoft have hinted that they will implement something similar.  Add Crytek into the mix and you can see the trend appearing.  If these companies even start to believe that a fraction of those 2.7 million gamers bought Halo ODST to play the Halo Reach Demo (beta) they why would they not try something similar for their big releases?

Anyway that’s just food for thought but we really want to hear your feedback.

Did you buy ODST just for the pleasure of playing the demo beta?

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  • Wanyal

    I’m glad to say no. I bought ODST for ODST and really enjoyed it. The Reach beta just sweetened the deal 😛

  • False arguments completely.

    First, a beta and a demo are two completely seperate things. The purpose of a beta is to let the development team see what things need to be fixed. It was released 4 months before the game was and that was specifically so they could work on balancing the game. A demo is generally released within a month of the game being launched, either before or after, and it’s to show players what they could experience in the full game. There is a fundamental difference FYI.

    Second, I would be willing to argue that the extremely vast majority of the people that played Halo Reach also played ODST way beforehand. Or, if they didn’t that they will play ODST afterwords. Access to the Beta may have been a weighing point as to get it, but I would say a very finite portion of people specifically bought ODST to play the Halo Reach Beta and nothing else. I mean, if you’re that hardcore of a Halo fan, why would you not have ODST already?

    With all that said, and I’m being honest here, I think this article was written in a very sensationalistic manner.

    • Mark Withers. (MarkWithers)

      Good points DjDATZ but my angle is that i know many people who bought (or rebought) ODST in the couple of days before the beta went live. Those gaming figures are hard to ignore and as this may be the only chance gamers have to experience Reach without a demo then the beta was a multiplayer demo in everything but name IMHO. Who is to say others won’t follow suit and start to call early demos betas to boost sales of their other releases?

      Developers have been collecting demo stats for years, its the fashionable trend of releasing an early demo and calling it a beta that is concerning, especially when every week we hear about another big developer suggesting that free demos will become a thing of the past.

  • If I buy a full game and get access to a demo or beta down the road, I still have a full game in my hands. Everyone likes to say that Crackdown sold simply because it had the Halo 3 beta attached to it. Does that mean we payed for that beta? For some people, yes, but we still got a AAA title for our money.

    I do agree that EA’s Project $10 is troubling to say the least. If Bungie had required people to have a brand new copy of ODST to participate in the beta, I think we could definitely cry fowl. As it stands, there were plenty of opportunities to play via codes and used/rented copies of ODST, so I don’t think anybody got screwed.

    The beta helps them lock down the bugs and code, which I appreciate considering what happened with MW2. If I had to buy ODST to get access to it, then I’m ok with that. At least they didn’t make us buy Forza 3 or something.