Back in the Era of Video Game Demos – What Triggered Their Revival?

Video game demos are having somewhat of a resurgence after they all but disappeared from the gaming scene shortly after 2013 when it was discovered that demos of games had a negative effect on the sales of games.

Video game development studios/publishers first introduced free demos of their games in the mid-1990s. They were usually distributed on free CDs attached to certain notable video game magazines, or players could download and install demo files of games online from various websites.

Here is a closer look at what might have triggered their revival in recent years.

What is the purpose of video game demos, and why are they making a comeback?

A video game demo is essentially a trial version of a video game that players can try for free. Most demos allow players to reach a certain point in the game or play for a certain amount of time.

Video game demos are an excellent way for players to try games to see if they like them before investing their hard-earned money.

Video games have always been relatively expensive, so demos can come in handy and save people from spending money on games they might not like.

Without demos, there would be no way of knowing what the game is like before buying it. The only information players can gather about games without playing the demo first generally comes from previews, reviews, and player feedback, which can sometimes be biased or dishonest.

Although video game demos fell out of favour with players over a decade ago, they seem to be making a comeback.

Video games today are far more complex and immersive than ever, and to make these games more accessible to all types of gamers, today’s most notable video game development studios and publishers have started offering free video game demos again.

Similarly, many iGaming operators currently offering the ‘welcome bonus 100%’ for all new players have made most of their computer-generated games available in the free-play demo mode.

However, you must be at least 18 to play games at an iGaming site, even if you only want to practice playing their games in the free-play demo mode.

Why have video game demos become popular in the modern digital age?

Since the rise of the online digital marketplace, players can register with online video game stores to play their favourite games and no longer need the physical versions.

They can now choose from various paid subscription plans to gain access to certain games, and depending on which plan they pay for will determine how much gaming content they will have access to or how long they can play those games before their subscription runs out.

Most of these sites now have demo versions of their games that are free to download or stream for a certain amount of time or until they reach a certain point in the game. The most popular online video game stores today with plenty of demos for you to try are the following:

  • Steam
  • Epic Games Store
  • PlayStation Network
  • Blizzard
  • Xbox

Others include Origin, Microsoft Store, Humble Bundle, Uplay, Green Man Gaming, GameStop, Nintendo eShop, Fanatical, GameFly, and GOG (Good Old Games), to name a few.

There is now a more comprehensive selection of video game demos than ever, and some of the main factors that have helped with their resurgence are faster internet speeds, more efficient web browsers, better desktop computer and mobile technology, and cloud gaming/computing.

Other things that have also helped bring back video game demos are impressive live-streaming capabilities and much better-quality games.

Market-leading game developers have created more immersive worlds, engaging storylines with more likeable characters, superior graphics and hyper-realistic 3D-rendered animations, and authentic sound effects with powerful accompanying background audio, making playing today’s demos even more stimulating. Players can get a taste of what today’s cutting-edge video games offer simply by playing extended trial versions in the demo mode, which wouldn’t have been possible if demos were relegated to the history books.

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