This article has intrigued me enough to start a discussion about it. I'm bored, so take it with a grain of salt.
In my opinion, I think it depends on the game. Most demos are just advertisements that tell you to buy the game, rather than give you a real piece of the game to thoroughly enjoy and crave more of. There are less-common demos where you can import your save data from it to the real game if you buy it, which seems more effective than the standard way that demos are structured. Furthermore, tiny games with demos will likely hurt its chances more than a huge game with a demo would, as they more-or-less show how small the game is.
Take the Etrian Odyssey IV demo, for example. You can play the first few dungeons of the game, level your party up to lv10, do sidequests, and even fight bosses. To top it off, you can import your data to the real game when you buy it. By that point, the player has a feeling that they're legitimately throwing away good save data if they don't get the game now. And the demo doesn't shove a "PRESS X TO BUY THE FULL GAME" message in your face every 5 minutes. Messages like that create feelings of annoyance, which I don't think of conductive to the player's desire to buy it. This type of demo is exactly what makes a person want to buy a game.
I think the most important thing is to answer as few of the player's questions as possible. If there's no mystery to the game after the player has finished a demo, the player may lose interest. Yet, many demos just flat-out tell you everything you need to know about it, that the devs couldn't fit into the eShop/PSN game information tab, and kill that mystery factor. If a demo makes you feel like you've gotten a taste of what the entire game is going to be like, then of course you'll be less likely to buy it. Wanting that taste is what motivates buyers to begin with.
Seems to me like it's the ineffective standards of normal demos that makes them hurt sales. But confusing articles like this bunch all game demos up into one group, and make them all seem bad.
I have to train, to protect what's precious to me.
In regards to the article, I don't own an XBOX 360.
Also, a demo can save you from buying a crap game.
I don't think this research will deter developers from releasing demos in the future.
I would say playing a demo has saved me from making a bad purchasing decision.
Check out my images from Tomodachi Collection and Animal Crossing at: http://www.3dporch.com/users/esoteric30
That's nice for us consumers, but there's no benefit in that for developers.
Official Abaddon on the Shin Megami Tensei IV board.
Can't really disagree with the article seeing my game story...
Demos that convinced me to get some games I was somewhat interested: Theathrythm Final Fantasy, Fire Emblem Awakening, Resident Evil Revelations.
Demos that convinced me to NOT get some games I was somewhat interested: Kingdom Hearts, Project X Zone, Denpa Men, Crush 3D, Rayman Origins, Monster Hunter 3, Rythm Thief, MGS 3D (too bad I still got this one, as a gift).
I am not mentioning demos like Naruto, Pokemon or Brain Age since honestly, I was not interested in them to begin with, just got the demos as novelties.
As for Etrian Oddysey, that demo is by far the best value in the free eshop section, no to mention the music, artstyle and graphics are awesome, for that I am glad I tried it...is just that games that hard and that long are not really my priority right now...playing the game up till level 10 was more than enough to satisfy me.
It can be either good or bad for sales, since it gives the consumer the opportunity to see how the game basically plays and he/she may or may not like it.
Personally, I know I wouldn't have bought Catherine if not for the demo, and it also saved me from buying the borefest that is Soul Sacrifice.
"It's a tradition unique to JRPG fanbases to discuss the virginity of characters." - SetsunaFSeiiei
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