Game Demos/Betas - Should We Have More/Less?

Should We Have More/Less Game Demos and/or Betas?

  • More

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Less

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Fine As Is

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • Don't Care

    Votes: 2 66.7%

  • Total voters


Well-Known Member
Jan 26, 2012
United States

So lately after reading through a few threads I've started thinking about game demos and how lately, it seems like a lot of big hit games are being rushed and coming out with bugs and other problems. Then, I started thinking about betas and how some devs are open to taking that feedback to make changes/fix things, as well as people's various views on piracy*.

On Game Demos

Personally, I think we need more of these. One of the things that I do prefer is the ability to try before buying. Similarly to going to a friends house and playing a new game they just got, you got to try it. OR while at a store, just trying out the games they have there. I think playing a demo is THE best way we can determine whether or not a game is worth spending $60 on. It gives us a sense of what the game is, how it plays, and, more importantly out of everything, if its FUN. However, I think there aren't enough out there to help people WANT the game, leading people to have to take word of mouth/read articles/watch youtube videos(usually lets players). None of this is bad persay, it's just you can SEE it, you can READ it, you can HEAR it, but does any of that really matter if you can't PLAY it?

On Betas

In terms of betas, I put these separate because betas are demos, but typically of a game that's still in development. This generally allows for consumers to tell devs "Hey this works, This sucks, Change this, Could you add this?" Now, USUALLY, devs are hard-pressed for time so they can't squeeze every little thing into what they are working on, but the ones who take the time to release betas and take the input from fans are some pretty cool peeps imo. Betas are, what I think, the gateway from dev to gamer and back, and this allows devs to polish their games to the best of their abilities, and work towards something that fans really want.

On Piracy

*First off, This isn't a discussion on the views on piracy, there are plenty threads for that.
Going back to the try before buy idea, I know that some people pirate BECAUSE they want to demo the games. On that front, having more demos/betas can definitely appeal to these customers because these are the ones who actually are willing to spend money, but don't buy into all the marketing ploys and typical tricks yet there isn't any way to get a hands-on other than by doing that. Imagine not having to go through the hassle of searching for games, downloading (with virus risks in some cases), modifying the files on your console/on the game to work on pc, and waiting until the game has been dumped AND playable BEFORE even being able to get to try it, instead just hitting download demo and waiting.

So, basically,
-Games get hyped as all get out, but hype =/= gameplay.
-Having your own hands-on experience on a game will easily help you determine whether or not it's worth it, instead of wasting time and money on something
-Betas are a great way for devs to connect with players, and I think their should be more
-Personally, I think that, especially for those big block busters, there should be a demo accompanied with it.
-No one likes getting ripped on a game, having to return things, and wasting time and money.
-Your Own Opinion Matters Most

This is just my personal opinion, but, what do you think?

Should there be more demos/betas? Less? Fine as is?


Dec 23, 2009
(EDIT: after Sakitoshi's thread, I do have to mention: when I say 'beta', I mean 'a beta that's open to the public'.)

I see you have good intentions, but this thread mixes up two different things (demos and betas are vastly different), which'll only make things confusing. I voted 'less', but this goes only toward the betas. On game demos, I think that is fine as it is.

As to my reasoning...

Are game demos really still needed this day and age? If I want to, I can watch all the gameplay, opinions, hands-on, reviews, previews and what have you from just about anyone*. If you can't make up your mind if a game will be fine for you, then you must be blind.
There is also something I call demo-syndrome. Something we probably all have noticed when playing a full game: the first episodes are awesome...and then things start to drag on. There have even been a few games where I actually thought something in the lines of "hmm...I guess we've passed the part the demo showed".
Add to that the fact that producing and releasing demos puts a cost on development time, and you'll see that it's actually a negative thing. Especially since I'd like to see any indication that more demos would result in less piracy.

...and that's something I would like to stay the way it is. The beta thing is a pretty nasty thing, up to the point where I feel it's becoming a threat to the entire industry.
On steam, "early access" has gone from a "yeeey, we've get to see the game NAAAOOW!!! :D" to "why the hell does everything crashhhh??? :(". There are plenty of games that never make it out of beta, or have no clear goals of delivering or improving things. There are seldom milestones that are promised (outside kickstarter, perhaps), and more often than not, developers drop things directly after a 'full release'.
I'm all for independent beta testing, but taking a beta public is like an incentive to create hate groups. I've actually quit giving feedback on the next UT, a game series I absolutely love and adore. The reason? Everyone contradicts everyone else. Devs are often blamed for 'not listening to their fans' and doing their own thing, but the truth is that listening to their fans (and I admit I'm one of 'em) is a disaster that's directly counterproductive to any idea of innovation one may have ever had. It's also counterproductive to get something done, for that matter.

Not sure what the piracy-thing is doing in this thread, but ey...I'll make it quick: piracy doesn't count. There will always be people who want to pirate it no matter what. They'll never compromise or agree to anything. So just ignore them. Any attempt at compromising anything in their favor will be, in the end, against the actual customers. So: no. Please let's not discuss piracy when it comes to either demos or betas.

*If it's an AAA-game, that is. If it isn't, the cost is always lower, so the risk of spending too much money wrongfully is also lower. Which means it balances itself out


GBAtemp Official Lolimaster
May 8, 2012
behind a keyboard or a gamepad
I think Taleweaver gave a good idea of the issues of open betas and demos and I agree for the most part.

While demos and open betas can be a great deal for gamers who want things and want them now even if is only a taste, the developers get the short end of the stick having to do extra work or getting confused by misleading players that only want things easy for them(10yo: why is the "Dark Flame Master Sword +1" so hard to get?? I had to grind for 10 entire minutes. fix that developer!!!. developer: but that is the most powerful weapon in the game it's supposed to be hard to get.).
The keyword I've been using is open since closed betas then to be more organized and really focused on improving the game. but you are mistaking betas for in-development demos while that isn't the intention at all.

Now my opinion of demos, I remember back in the day that demos where completely apart form the main game, the stages where all made up specifically to showcase the game mechanics without spoiling anything about the game story and all that, that kind of demo is what Taleweaver was mostly referring to. but there where other kind of "demos", the called shareware that are like the episodic games of now days, first chapter free, buy the rest, but I can't say those are really demos as those games are specifically made that way so isn't an extra effort for the developers. There are other kind of demos that consist of the full game but cut up to certain point, some are so blatant that the thing you just downloaded IS REALLY the full game but all the rest of the game is hidden behind a full version key, I particularly don't think this is to much of a problem for the developers as is only a fraction of the game put together in a standalone package(or not).
Anyway in those "effortless" examples there is a cost associated, be it to have a space in the cloud of someone else to show your demo(Steam, PSN, eShop, GoG and such) or for physical distribution(rarely used now days) or even if you have your own servers your ISP could charge extra for the bandwidth. that's unavoidable and need to be taken in consideration, that money should go to polish the game or show it?

Continuing talking about demos I can also say that some demos are made to show the good part of a game. I'm thinking of the demos of the Monster Hunter games here, said demos let you try every class in the game, pretty complete right?? not at all. one of the main things I found I was making playing the full game was grinding and farming, what does the demo show?? only the part where you fight monsters that is only a fraction of the overall experience, the fun part that's it. is like if Nintendo made a demo of a Legend of Zelda game consisting of only a boss fight, sure you fight some bosses and sure enough is fun, but what you do 99% of the time is explore.

Piracy is out of question, some of us use it as a trial, some others don't but that is completely independent. pirates gonna pirate, haters gonna hate and developers gonna complain anyway.

Trailers: I'm not very fond of trailers as they always show something to leave you in awe, a gameplay show off is way better and should be enough to decide is you'll like a title or not, in this day and age almost every game is a rehash of an old formula so you can quickly compare this game with that other you liked and give a verdict if good or bad. of course there are some things you just can't judge from a video and the most important is the controls, there is lag in the controls or your character move right away in the way you want?? and all that, helpfully you can read about it from other people online eliminating your doubts(of course there can be conflicting opinions, but most of them will agree in one point or another).

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