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News video games 20 April 2021, 21:32

author: Michal Ciezadlik

„We Need More Game Demos!” - Gamers Respond to Garvin's Recent Argument

Demo versions of games on consoles are not something common these days. Especially in the case of PS5, where in the entire PS Store we can find only 3 titles offering free demos. In a discussion on forums we can hear voices that owners of Sony's new console want more demos.

Recently, the Internet almost went haywire after the words of John Garvin, the creative director of Days Gone. The developer referred to the cancelation of the sequel to his 2019 work, claiming that the game did not receive enough support from players at launch, because they preferred to wait until sales or purchase it via PS Plus. And so we reach the heart of the conflict: the game didn't get a sequel because it didn't score well enough at launch, and the players didn't want to buy a cat in a bag.

If only there was something that would make it possible to present the game's content for free... Such as, for example, demo versions? It turns out that some PS5 owners are very much in favor of increasing the number of demos available on their console, as discussed in a recent popular post on Reddit, by user Representative-Yam65:

"After the brouhaha with Days Gone director John Garvin yesterday about a sequel (where he says in obviously frustrated terms that if you like a game you should pay full price and support it) I think it's time to bring back demos.

As a gamer from the 80's and 90's, I loved getting demos for new games. It gives you a chance to try the gameplay, see how it plays, feels and sounds and make a judgement about if you'd like to buy it or not. This is still done, but not nearly as often as I'd like (take a look at the demo section of the PS Store. There is pitifully little). Recently I played the demos for Resident Evil VIII and Immortals: Fenyx Rising and decided they are both good fits for me. Problem solved!

I realize it's harder to craft a demo for an open world game. You can't just engage with all it's systems and story arcs in the middle of the game, and the beginning often is packed with cutscenes and not much gameplay. But it can be done (see aforementioned games) with a little effort. Of course the developer runs the risk of turning off potential buyers if they DON'T like the game, but they can always craft the best possible demo to entice players.

I have no problem taking my chances on a game if I think it's worth it. Just give us a sampling of the gameplay to help us make that judgement. $/€ 60-80 isn't chump change.

In the case of Days Gone, even a demo AFTER its release would have been helpful since it got mediocre reviews. I think many people would have found it better than it got credit for."

At the moment there are a total of 3 PS5 demos available on the PS Store, (via Resident Evil: Village, Immortals Fenyx Rising and Outriders . Just finding information about available demos is not easy, for example, PS Store requires us to manually search for them. Looking at the success of the last of the three, one can ask themselves whether Days Gone would have achieved a better result if a demo was available before the launch. Of course, this is not the only factor that affects sales, but a well-made demo could certainly reassure players who cannot decide whether to buy. However, there are two sides to every coin - such a move could well discourage a purchase:

"Imagine if Cyberpunk2077 had demos. Their sales on console would be super goddamn low," SB3 notes.

At this point, we might recall last year's rumor, dating back to before the launch of Sony's new console, which claimed that on PS5 we'd be able to try out any game for free before buying it. Unfortunately, as the reality showed the demo versions for all games can put between the fairy tales. There's nothing left for us to do but hope that demos will come back into favor yet again and that it will be in the interests of both developers and, most importantly, gamers.

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