Why do publishers hate demos but love betas and PS4 camera in Games Inbox

Games Inbox: Why do publishers hate demos but love betas?
Would Garden Warfare 2 have got a demo if it wasn’t online?

The morning Inbox recommends Rainbow Six Siege at less than full price, as one reader considers the strange career of John Romero.

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Beta, yes; demo, no

Enjoyed playing Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 recently, very nice big beta, which after the Star Wars: Battlefront one shows EA are getting quite good at this sort of thing. I’d play the original so was already interested in the sequel, but if demos are now a thing of the past I think betas are almost as useful – at least for multiplayer games.

But it does make me wonder why publishers are okay with one but not the other. They’re essentially the same thing but apparently one leads to less game sales but the other doesn’t? Presumably they have access to all the stats and aren’t just doing this on a whim, but it seems odd.

As I understand it the way it works is that people whole play a demo consider that they’ve already played the game to a degree and de-prioritise buying it (or are simply turned of it in general). So how is that any different to a beta? I guess with a beta you don’t get to keep it and play it whenever you want, but that’s not mentioned as a factor with demos.

Late bird catches the worm

I did the sensible thing with Rainbow Six Siege and waited until the January sales to get it. I figured that a) the bugs would be worked out by then and b) I’d be able to get it much cheaper. And hey presto, both things worked out exactly (well, technically I don’t know if it had many bugs at launch, but it certainly hasn’t now).

And boy am I glad, and I mean that in both senses. On the one hand it’s a lot of fun and the most I’ve enjoyed a first person shooter in a long time. On the other hand there’s really only one proper game mode and I would’ve been majorly cheesed of if I’d paid £40-odd for it in December.

But all I did was wait a few weeks and all problems are solved. I doubt I’ll be playing it long, but I’m not surprised to see it creeping up the charts thanks to being cheaper. It’s a good game but not one that should be sold at full price. And if you shop sensibly it isn’t.

Hero to zero

Now that you come to mention it John Romero must’ve had the weirdest career in gaming. One of the first ‘rockstar’ game developers when I was growing up, then he leaves id Software and basically disappears. I’m kind of shocked he’s even still in the games industry, especially because I’ve never even heard of any of the games he’s made since.

I don’t know what he’s working on now but that new Doom map was actually really good. But considering he’s not working for a major company or anything I’m assume the new game is probably fairly retro.

I get the impression he’s probably fairly difficult to work with in real life but it’s a shame he hasn’t been snapped up by a major developer. I’d like to see what his old school mind could do with modern graphics. I bet it wouldn’t be a Call Of Duty clone!

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Pull the trigger

Just an advanced warning for everyone but Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is coming to PC next February. There doesn’t seem to be a specific release date yet but for those that don’t have a PS Vita (which I’m going to assume is most people) it’s an absolute must have.

Don’t be put off by the weird name and the anime art, as this is actually a really well written graphic adventure. It’s kind of like a darker version of Ace Attorney, with a similar trial system and lots of entertaining characters.

As was mentioned recently it’s good to see Japanese developer supporting the PC more and more and hopefully it will help to get more of that country’s games into people’s hands. With the 3DS and PS Vita being dominant over there it’s good to know you can still catch up on great games via Steam.

Dropping support

I’ve noticed the price drop on the PlayStation 4 camera on both Amazon and Argos and was considering buying one.

I was wondering what were the thoughts of the readers who own the camera whether it’s a worthy buy or not and what games support it. Are you aware of any future games that will be released that will be using the cameras functions?

GC: We’re struggling to think of any games that support it, beyond The Playroom.

More to come

I couldn’t agree more with Galvanized Gamer’s Reader’s Feature on Xenoblade Chronicles X, he may be delighted to know that 70 hours in I’ve just completed Chapter 7, and still learning new things and exploring the expansive land of Mira. I’m surprised Galvanised Gamer had the discipline/time to put the game down and write a feature, when as I say, 70 hours in and I struggled to find time to read his feature!

Great Reader’s Feature on a game that I’m surprised hasn’t been mentioned more on these pages, or perhaps Xenoblade fans are just too busy saving humanity to leave a comment!

What made me smile the most reading through GG’s Reader’s Feature was knowing how he has so much more to discover, as the feeling of barely scratching the surface of the tip of the iceberg is still with me.

In fact, what you’re yet to discover would’ve amplified your feature ten-fold!
Bad Edit (gamertag)/Bitdead (NN ID)

Guru network

For those who used to watch Game Guru on the former Sky channel Game Network those who remember this show maybe interested to know that Guru Larry has an official YouTube channel where he still covers discussions and news on gaming. This can be found over here and for anyone who is not aware can check out his channel and enjoy some of his content.

He does have guests that appear on his videos which are popular in the gaming community, which is just one reason to check him out.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Olly olly!

Hi GC, hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine was OK thanks for asking.

On Saturday I finished playing Oxenfree on my Xbox One, (it’s also available for the PC) and I thought I would forward my recommendation as I thought it was a great game. Briefly, it’s about a group of five teenagers exploring an abandoned island looking for a good time, when they accidentally unleash a ghostly presence and then all kinds of crazy stuff starts to happen. I would say it’s a coming of age supernatural walking simulator adventure story! That’s a genre right?

The game has a constant flow of well written and natural sounding dialogue as you walk around, complete with dialogue choices that you’d find in a Telltale game, although these choices are often just one word to keep the conversation flowing, and you even get the option to interrupt your friends mid-sentence, which tickled me.

The main character gets a radio transmitter which you use to ‘tune’ into the ghosts. This is when the majority of the creepy things start to happen. I won’t spoil any of it here of course.

The game looks gorgeous, and has an excellent alien ‘80s esque soundtrack which reminded me a lot of Donnie Darko. I don’t think the game will be for everybody. There is some padding towards the end, and the characters do talk a lot, but I think it’s a great start to 2016. Are you planning on reviewing it?

With this, The Witness, Unravel, and Firewatch out within the next few weeks, the world of digital downloadable games certainly seems more interesting than most retail games to me.
Jonny H

GC: We are planning a review, perhaps even by tomorrow. But thanks for the recommendation and do please keep them coming. It’s very easy for us to miss interesting indie games, particularly at busier times of the year.

Inbox also-rans

It’s been mentioned in the past, but just a heads up that Video Game Nation started its fourth series this weekend. It’s well worth a watch, it’s on Saturday 10:30 channel 46 (Challenge) and as far as I’m aware the only gaming programme on Freeview.
Animated Jak

Played VR games years back and thought my head was going to explode. Even if they have improved on it don’t you think an add-on that costs more than the console it’s running on is a bit rich?

This week’s Hot Topic

The Oculus Rift VR headset has an officially announced price tag of £500, and it’s assumed that Vive will be at least as much and PlayStation VR probably at least £300. So for this weekend’s Inbox we’re asking the obvious question of will you be buying one?

How excited are you by virtual reality in general and have you tried it? If you own a prototype Oculus Rift what do you think of it and the games you’ve played so far?

How popular do you think VR is going to be and which of the competing systems do you think will be most successful? Which VR games are you most looking forward to and which existing franchises do you think would work best with VR?

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