More Thoughts From Me #105: The Importance of Demos
Recently, I read a tweet by SMG Studio, the developer of Death Squared, about their demo on the Nintendo Switch eShop for the game. They talked about the demo but also asked for feedback on it and the possibility of demos from other indie developers. They said that indies wanted to know if people wanted more demos on the eShop. Right away, I knew I wanted to talk about this. I believe that demos are very important.
Square Enix recently brought out a demo of Dragon Quest Builders for the Nintendo Switch. I wrote about it here. I really loved that demo and knew I wanted to play the game more. I did think the game was interesting before the demo and I like Dragon Quest a lot but I wasn’t 100% sold till I played the demo.
Demos are important because they let players get hands on time with a game, for free. If you like what you see, you’ll buy the game. Yes, there is a risk that someone will play your demo and not like what they play. I have played some demos of some games that I didn’t like. That said, I love demos because they often let you play games that you may never have thought you’d want to play. I have tried out games that I just had no interest in at all because of a free demo.
Now, of course, a demo doesn’t always mean you’ll buy a game. I don’t always buy a game because of a demo, however a demo does help a lot. Demos help get your game out there. If theres a demo, people will play it. Some will like it, some won’t, but often people will talk about a demo. Demos help with word of mouth. I think indie companies can especially gain by releasing a demo. If you believe in your game a lot and think its great, a demo can really help show people that. Videos and pictures only get you so far.
I’m glad that we seem to be moving away (for the most part) from demos that limit how many times you can play them. The count limit was a big thing on the 3DS and Wii U, but not so much on the Nintendo Switch (aside from the Pokken demo). I can kind of understand count limits but honestly, with most demos I’ll only play them a few times anyway. Count limits just seem cheap and limiting.
Why limit how many times a player can try out a demo? Its especially frustrating when its just a tiny demo and the number of times is limited. Its only a very small part of the game. If the player likes it, they will buy the full game.
I’m excited to see what demo shows up next for the Nintendo Switch. I have been trying out indie and third party demos. I played the Pokken demo. I’m always intersted in trying out new games. We all should be that way. You just never know what your next favorite game will be.
So what demos have you tried out on the Nintendo Switch? What about other Nintendo and non-Nintendo systems? Please share your thoughts on your favorite demos!
Next week: I’ll take a look at Legend of Legacy, an rpg for the 3DS. I’ve been playing it lately and I’ll let you know what I think of it!
More Thoughts From Me is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed here are mine and mine alone. I wish LA Noire had a demo for the Switch.