Game demos may be dying, and this is why
The developers of the indie title Revenge of the Titans have an interesting blog post up today discussing the continuing death of the consumer demo in the games business.
Once upon a time most games had a demo, even came on a disc packaged with a magazine, but these days it's much more rare, especially in the PC side of the industry. It's an interesting look into the ways that marketing has shifted over the past five years in the gaming industry, especially for indies who can't afford commercials and huge advertisement buys.
Puppy Games compares the marketing strategies of today to the old strategies of 2003 for a very interesting look at how technology has changed everything about game development, not just the games.
It's even more interesting to think about why games marketing might be shifting from demos to videos. It's hard to imagine in 2013, but back in 2003 it wasn't all that easy to find videos. And it was all but impossible for them to gain significant traction, the tools to spread the word simply didn't exist, or weren't used by the majority of gamers.
Remember downloading game videos on a dial up connection? Or even an old broadband connection? It was hardly convenient, and it wasn't worth the viewers time to wait on a download before seeing if the game was worth it. A demo, on the other hand, offered people a much bigger reward on their time investment.