Giving players a chance to try before they buy is a noble gesture, but it may not be a wise. According to research presented by game designer Jesse Schell at the Gamelab conference in Barcelona today, a demo can cut into a game's sales by more than 50 per cent, CVG reports.
The data, gathered by analytics firm EEDAR, shows the average sales for an Xbox 360 game promoted only by a trailer to be 525,000 over six months. Add a demo to the mix and the average drops to 250,000. Even keeping in mind that these figures include blockbuster titles with no need for a demo and games that added demos after the first six months, the number is still pretty substantial.
Makes sense, if you think about it. How many times have you purchased a game blind that you wouldn't have purchased at all if you knew what you were getting into?