Gamers are demanding playable demos before pre-orders after string of buggy launches
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Featured Image Credit: @Levit0 via Twitter/Sony Interactive Entertainment, Bethesda Softworks
These days, it seems that barely any games manage to reach our screens in a practically flawless state on their actual release dates. Generally, at least one platform will have some issues that need quickly ironing out with hastily published post-launch patches before gamers can actually get the gameplay experience they were hoping for.
Just this year, we’ve seen multiple examples of this. The PC port of The Last of Us Part I was very rough around the edges - it quickly became Naughty Dog’s worst rated game, and it’s not hard to see why when you look at the screenshots of poor Joel with big blocky eyebrows and hair. Meanwhile, Arkane’s new FPS game, Redfall, was slated as “shockingly poor” by critics, with many pointing out its poor optimisation and bugs as evidence that it really shouldn’t have been released yet.
Take a look at the trailer for Redfall below.
Over on Reddit, many gamers believe that more developers should release playable demos for their games before people actually put in their pre-orders, in an attempt to flag issues earlier on and ultimately avoid disappointment.
“Considering the state in which most games are releasing these days, I think it's fair to ask studios to release a playable demo with at least 30 minutes of gameplay to showcase the graphics, performance and general mechanics if they're expecting pre-orders,” preppie22 suggested. “Asking for full price for a promise is incredibly shady in my opinion and we as gamers shouldn't encourage this. Playable demos representative of the finished product would at least give us some inkling as to the game's performance before we put down our money.”
Others agree: “It worked previously, it ought to work now. I remember getting game demos on CD with PC Gamer magazine and running them to see which game to actually buy,” Telephalsion wrote. “I think this is a good idea. I did this before I [preordered] Resident Evil 4 remake. Played the demo first and I really liked it. Same with Diablo 4,” added Soobrdit8.
Meanwhile though, others were less optimistic, and suggested that if all developers were required to publish demos, they might simply focus their efforts on that short section of the game rather than the full thing. There’s no perfect solution, but it’s undeniable that buying games on day one is rapidly becoming a far less enticing prospect than it once was.