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Locking demos behind paywalls

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Revision as of 17:48, 21 February 2022 by DeadPixel (talk | contribs) (added Category:Greedy practices using HotCat)
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Demos are meant for trying before buying, not buying the same thing twice!

A demo game is a freely-distributed piece of an upcoming game. They are typically released by game's publisher to help consumers and gamers get a feel of the game before deciding whether to buy the full version and/or keep it. Unfortunately though, some greedy publishers began locking demos behind a digital pre-order or any sort of paywall, usually to maximize their profit margins.

Why This Practice Sucks

  1. The whole point of a demo is to help the gamer deciding whethever to buy a game or a not, this just defeats the purpose. This is basically a misnomer.
    • And even with that, shouldn't they just bundle it with a gaming magazine like they did years ago? There's no need to make more money through unnecessary means.
    • Also, instead of calling it a demo, how about calling it a sneak peek? Demos should be free for everyone, since it's short for demonstration. Early sneak peek sounds more appropriate, since you have to pay for it.
  2. Activision did that with Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2, people who pre-ordered the game gained exclusive access to the demo, while those who didn't got the short end of the stick, so to speak. If they get away with this, others will be soon to follow, resulting in more and more game demos being locked behind paywalls, resulting in milking even more money.
  3. That would increase the cost of the full game superfluously, potentially making them overpriced.
  4. In this concept, you would pay for a few sample levels of a game, you would then go out and buy the game, which would include those same levels, and you get to pay twice for those levels, draining your wallet. Even worse if the demo has microtransactions and/or loot boxes, basically clearly showing greed on company's side.
  5. What if you pre-ordered a game with a demo exclusive to pre-orders then you play the demo and you don't like it? You already spent the money that you don't like it. Even worse if the company does not allow refunds.


Unsurprisingly, gamers did not forgive this approach (look at the comment section), as they rightfully called out Activision for this greedy practice.


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