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How a game demo can harm a release

They were the staples of free gifts with gaming magazines for years and now, how many a game pirate will justify their reason for downloading a game before potentially buying it later on. Game demos have been around for a long time. However one man is suggesting that releasing a demo, or actually letting people try before they buy, can harm your sales.

It's not just a little dip either. Jesse Schell, CEO at Puzzle Clubhouse, showed data that clearly stated: if you release a trailer for a game without a demo, your sales will be double that of games that release with both.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us6OPbYtKBM&t=10m0s']

It seems surprising and perhaps counter-intuitive, but Schell argues that if a gamer has a chance to play a game and he doesn't like it or isn't particularly incensed, then they aren't going to buy it. That same person that hasn't played a demo, may well buy the game to try it out, regardless of the end result.

It's quite a ruthless way to look at the industry and one in which you could argue if everyone participated in, would result in a marketplace of jaded gamers that are no longer tempted by trailers and decide they won't buy as many games as too often they are tricked.

KitGuru Says: While companies – like Zynga, which Schell spent half of his speech lampooning – might be the kind of firm to push for maximum sales over maximum customer satisfaction, I think a lot of developers would be far keener that only those that love their game buy it, since that way it's far more likely to be fondly remembered and enjoyed instead of having a bunch of over-excited haters briefly playing something they would never have enjoyed in the first place.

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