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EA To Charge For Game Demos

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the gotta-stay-ahead-of-activision-as-the-most-evil-game-corp dept.

Businesses 313

Kohato brings word of a new Electronic Arts marketing strategy that aims to start monetizing game demos. According to industry analyst Michael Patcher after an EA investor visit, the publisher will start selling "premium downloadable content" prior to a game's release for $10-$15 that is essentially a longer-than-usual demo. Patcher said, "I think that the plan is to release PDLC at $15 that has 3-4 hours of gameplay, so [it has] a very high perceived value, then [EA will] take the feedback from the community (press and players) to tweak the follow-on full game that will be released at a normal packaged price point." He also made reference to a comment from EA's CEO John Riccitiello that "the line between packaged product sales and digital revenues would soon begin to blur."

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First Post!!!!!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576082)

First Post!!!!!!!!!

$15 dollars for 4 hours of gameplay? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576108)

Sounds better than $50 for 4 hours of gameplay. I'm looking at you, most games.

Re:$15 dollars for 4 hours of gameplay? (2, Insightful)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576622)

What happens if the DRM servers go down? I could spend 4 hours trying to activate the demo, by which the time has run out.

Re:$15 dollars for 4 hours of gameplay? (3, Informative)

Bugamn (1769722) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576808)

I think the article says that one would need 3 to 4 hours to finish the demo, not that it would be a time-bomb demo with a fuse of 3 to 4 hours.

It's the Polyphony Digital model! (3, Interesting)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576114)

Far, far ahead of their time.

Gran Turismo 4 and Gran Turismo 5 spawned "GT4: Prologue" and "GT5: Prologue" products which were cut-down versions of the eventual games to come out.

According to some definitions, "Torchlight" by Runic Games is the same thing.

The days of buying a game and feeling like you have the complete thing are coming to an end. It's nickle and dime time!

Re:It's the Polyphony Digital model! (2, Insightful)

mc moss (1163007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576336)

I wonder if you actually played GT5: Prologue. It had more content than some finished racing games put out by other companies.

Re:It's the Polyphony Digital model! (4, Informative)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576832)

Same with Torchlight. The only way it's a demo is that they're using the same engine and some of the same assets to build an MMO. The game itself is a complete (and incredibly fun) Diablo clone.

Re:It's the Polyphony Digital model! (5, Insightful)

Normal Dan (1053064) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576848)

Bah! I've got a marketing model that can blow both of these out of the water. I'm creating the most awesomest game in the whole wide world. It's name you ask? Well, that'll cost you $1.50. Would you like to hear more about it? That'll cost you $7.25. Wanna see the trailer?

Re:It's the Polyphony Digital model! (3, Funny)

phallstrom (69697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577106)

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Can I write you a check?

Re:It's the Polyphony Digital model! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576958)

The difference there is that Runic Games is comprised of 26 people, while EA has over 7000 employees. I think the often-stereotyped "small developer" [even if run by experienced, qualified individuals] can't very well compete with the giants in terms of financing/funding.

Ha! (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576126)

A high priced appetizer to milk fanboys of their money. It's a fantastic and evil idea but I don't like it.

Re:Ha! (2, Insightful)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576262)

Not just that - it's getting fanboys to pay to be beta testers.

EA has been off my list of companies to purchase from for years and years now. Shit like this does nothing to get them back on my list.

Ok (1)

hemlock00 (1499033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576134)

Good Luck, you'll need it.

Paid Beta Program? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576138)

Am I reading this wrong, or is EA essentially trying to establish a paid beta program?

Re:Paid Beta Program? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576208)

Not exactly, but the summary is misleading. It sounds more like they want to make shorter games, then charge less for it.

Which... isn't so bad. I suppose. But if the idea is that you pay $15 for a shorter version of the game, they had better take what you paid off of the full version.

Re:Paid Beta Program? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576276)

Pachter wrote, "The PDLC would be sold for $10 or $15 through Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, and would essentially be a very long game demo, along the lines of 2009’s Battlefield 1943."

He added, "A full-blown packaged game would follow shortly after the release of the PDLC, bearing a full retail price. Mr. Earl believes that the release of the PDLC first limits the risk of completing and marketing the full packaged version, and serves as a low-cost marketing tool."

No, they're going to make a long demo, charge you for it, then charge you full price when the actual game comes out. Doesn't read like there's any discounts OR product-improvements planned as part of this program.

Re:Paid Beta Program? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576368)

No, you didn't RTFA.

[UPDATE: EA VP of corporate communications Jeff Brown told Gamasutra in an email that the publisher will continue to offer an array of pricing strategies to consumers. He wrote in full: ...

- None of the proposals call for charging consumers for traditionally free game demos."]

Re:Paid Beta Program? (5, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576842)

.... where they're redefining what a demo means. In my world - and everyone's world that I can think of - a demo is a short version of a full game that gives you an idea of controls, atmosphere, design and game type (with notable exception Brutal Legend, that completely failed to indicate its RTS nature). 4 hours of a game - let's say, RE5 - is about 1, maybe 2 levels in a full game. So I get to pay $10 for a game that completely fails to show me the full range of capabilities of a character, a satisfying story arc, and which might not even be finished??

Fuck you, EA. I'm not going to be suckered into paying for what sounds suspiciously like a beta program.

Re:Paid Beta Program? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576888)

Again, it says they're not getting rid of free demos.

Re:Paid Beta Program? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576992)

Then I question their strategy. $15 for me is a quality game where art and size are reduced when compared to a full game. I don't expect an indie studio to come out with Mass Effect style art, content and videos. But I do expect a full game like Castle Crashers - comprehensive story for RPGs or action game; a full set of maps, tracks and character abilities for racing, fighting or shooting games. If their PDLC wants to compete with indie games, it needs to offer that. But if it wants to also sell the full game, it can't be the full game - and then we're back to a regular demo with significant features or story portions missing.

They can say what they want to say, but it doesn't mean that it necessarily makes sense. In this case, they're trying to sell us a beef rib as being the same as a rabbit - it might cost and weigh the same, but it really isn't. No amount of tap-dancing will hide that.

Re:Paid Beta Program? (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576358)

If it's as simple as that, then it seems ok. I fear, however, that it will be more like they'll charge you $15 for the demo, then $60 for the full game, then an additional $40 for all the DLC-- and if you were to add all of it together, you'd get the same amount of content that would have been in a $50 game 10 years ago.

Maybe it's just paranoia, but I feel like the days of businesses being innovative to find a way to provide more to their customers is over. Now all the innovation is aimed at getting customers to pay more for less.

Re:Paid Beta Program? (2, Insightful)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576654)

Not paranoia, it's called "business model innovation." And if enough people wouldn't be willing to pay for it, EA wouldn't be doing it.

Fantastic (1)

coffii (76089) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576164)

They're gonna charge beta testers. There's a reason I don't buy from EA, vote with your wallet.

Re:Fantastic (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576334)

Its not a new concept, and it works.

In order to play the beta's of Blizzard games you pretty much had to pay your way into Blizzcon, or get very very lucky.

Re:Fantastic (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576556)

At least with blizzcon, it was an event, that you wouldn't of gotten because there is not "full version of blizzcon" coming out soon, While the idea in general might be the same, it's totally different in respect that blizzcon is a unique event that you can't repeat or sell off later.

Re:Fantastic (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576446)

Let's say there's this fun game, and I buy it when it's eventually released at full price. Did the fact that EA released a paid demo earlier take away from my enjoyment? Why should I not buy EA products just because they offer another product that I'm not interested in?

Shareware (4, Insightful)

dunezone (899268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576174)

the publisher will start selling "premium downloadable content" prior to a game's release for $10-$15 that is essentially a longer-than-usual demo

So were going back to shareware?

Re:Shareware (4, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576228)

How is this shareware? Shareware was giving away free trial versions of a software that you then had to pay to upgrade to the full version. This is selling people a beta version of a game to demo.

Re:Shareware (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576242)

So were going back to shareware?

No, shareware was free (as in beer) either limited demo or sometimes full-featured software with an evaluation or limited-time-use term (sometimes with some enforcement mechanism, sometimes not), which could be upgraded to full-and-unrestricted use by paying a fee.

So, pretty much like conventional free-demo software. Not much at all like "pay-for-a-demo, then pay-more-for-the-full-product" software that is proposed here.

Re:Shareware (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576252)

This is worse than shareware. Shareware was free until you wanted the whole thing.

Re:Shareware (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576422)

Someone forgot the time when you could BUY shareware in stores. Remember when the ONLY retail copy of Doom you could ever find was Episode 1?

Re:Shareware (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577046)

"Worse" ? I prefer the shareware model, actually, to typical retail-ware. :) Being able to try out a game - not just a demo but part of the real game - is great. Most demos are like that, but shareware - in my experience - tends to have longer "demos."

Sounds familiar (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576182)

Reminds me of Apple having people actually pay them for taking part in a beta test or for a SDK.

Re:Sounds familiar (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576838)

I don't remember that. Link?

Sorry you won't be getting my money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576186)

Who still is buying EA games? The last one I picked up was Battlefield 2. I've had enough of their shit and don't see any real reason to ever to go back to any of their products.

Really? (1)

Atraitus (1733190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576194)

Are they TRYING to put themselves out of business? This seems like a perfect way to ensure no one plays the demo and instead purchases the full game. Sure, it'll get them more sales, at first. Then people will realize that the games are crap anyway and stop purchasing from them.

Re:Really? (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576426)

Are they TRYING to put themselves out of business? This seems like a perfect way to ensure no one plays the demo and instead downloads a pirated copy of the full game.

Fixed that for you.

This will alienate potential customers and most likely increase the rate of piracy.

EA, you've missed the point (4, Insightful)

Werthless5 (1116649) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576204)

The point of a demo is to convince people to purchase your game. If you force people to also purchase the demo, then they'll likely not bother purchasing anything.

The only effect this can have is a decrease in revenue for EA followed by some long-winded rants about "piracy is decreasing our revenue" when in actuality it's EA releasing poor-quality games and making boneheaded decisions like this one that are causing them to lose revenue.

Re:EA, you've missed the point (1)

uselessengineer (1172275) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576306)

Where do i go to get the demo of the demo of the game?

Re:EA, you've missed the point (2, Funny)

Adaeniel (1315637) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576582)

Yo dawg, I heard you like demos. So we put a demo in your demo so you can game while you game.

Re:EA, you've missed the point (4, Insightful)

pauls2272 (580109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576376)

>The point of a demo is to convince people to purchase your game

But this isn't a Demo. They are already milking the back end by selling DLC "addons" to the base product that were probably developed in tandem with the base product. Now they want to sell PDLC "addons" to the product by releasing bits of it early. I'd bet the programmers/developers won't use much if any feedback from the PDLC people as they will be too busy trying to get the base product out the door as well as the DLC content that is to be sold immediately after the base product.

So, in some respects, it is ingenious. Prior to the DLC stuff, you had:

"Base product" if that sold well then a lot of time later "expansion to base product"

Now the business model is:

"PDLC content reaps in big bucks", "base product (which gets smaller and smaller)" ,"DLC content "addons" reaps in more bucks"

Next they will start charging you for character generation, Saves, multiplayer, etc...

Re:EA, you've missed the point (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576552)

Charging for saves... now that's diabolical.

Wait, isn't it Steam that's moving to a model where all your save games are stored on their servers? And they're touting it as a feature?

Re:EA, you've missed the point (1)

Firkragg14 (992271) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576614)

No the way it works is it syncs your saves into the steam cloud so you have your local copy then if you want to play on another computer you can just continue off your cloud save. Its pretty much the way steam saves your settings on certain games (like the half life series) but taken to a new level.

Re:EA, you've missed the point (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577056)

Wasn't Steam, it was Ubisoft: http://games.slashdot.org/story/10/02/27/163226/The-Awful-Anti-Pirate-System-That-Will-Probably-Work [slashdot.org]

No saving unless you're connected to their servers. And since you're using their bandwidth and disk space, you really ought to be paying for it....

Re:EA, you've missed the point (1)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576636)

It is, when you consider the fact that you can go over to your friends place, log into STEAM there, and get plopped in the game right where you left off at home.

I think the major players who see this as a good thing are LAN centers.

Re:EA, you've missed the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576876)

You're referring to Steam Cloud. It's a backup and synchronization service. Your local save games and profiles are uploaded to their server when you leave the game. When you start again, steam checks if you have the most recent files and downloads them if you don't. As a result, you can pick up from where you left off at a different computer or even completely uninstall the game, install it later, and act like nothing happened.

Personally, I don't need it, but unless it becomes the only way to store your saves, it's a good thing.

Re:EA, you've missed the point (1)

Brian Boitano (514508) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576392)

Looks like the original demo will still be available, the one you have to buy is just bigger/longer.

Re:EA, you've missed the point (1)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576424)

I think that USED to be the point of the demo, then somewhere along the line demos were converted to beta versions.

The demo of the demo? (4, Funny)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576488)

Don't worry, EA has already thought this out.

Now you can download the demo of the demo. Just $4.99!

The ad for the demo of the demo. Just $1.99!

The teaser for the ad for the demo of the demo. Just $0.99!

Post fan posts discussing a potential new teaser for the ad for the demo of the demo. Just $0.10 a post!

You know you want it.

Re:EA, you've missed the point (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576506)

The point of a demo is to convince people to purchase your game. If you force people to also purchase the demo, then they'll likely not bother purchasing anything.

While I get your point, that doesn't always have to be true. One of the biggest things that holds me back from purchasing games is uncertainty of whether or not I'll like them. And the 20-30 min demos most games get often aren't enough to assuage those fears. For example, if I've got a 50/50 chance of liking/not liking a $60 game, and I can get enough gameplay for $10 to essentially assure me of whether or not I'll like the full game, that's a net gain to me.

Granted, rentals are still a better value proposition. However, the problem with rentals is that 9 times out of 10 they don't have the game that I want to play available when I want to play it.

The Title is Not Accurate (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576212)

"[EA will] take the feedback from the community (press and players) to tweak the follow-on full game that will be released at a normal packaged price point."

It sounds to me like EA will start charging for beta releases.

EA as a comedian (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576222)

I'm no hardcore gamer but to me the value of a demo has always been to decide whether or not I want to spend money. Am I showing my age or something? Because what is called monetising in the summary I call money grubbing. If EA are counting on this I think they'll likely implode. If they're not, well done on one of the best jokes I've heard in a long time. Bonus points if you can convince your developers that coding is a game, and get them to pay you for working 18 hour days 7 days a week.

Re:EA as a comedian (3, Interesting)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576298)

Wait until the next Mass Effect or Dragon Age comes along. Release the 'demo' 2 weeks before the full game... Make sure the buyers of the demo can transfer their character to the full game and you just pleased a whole lot of people who really really really want to be the first to play the game. But: I don't get it either and yet I buy every darn car-pack for Forca 3 that comes out.

Re:EA as a comedian (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577050)

Because what is called monetising in the summary I call money grubbing.

Sure the mans painting sell for a lot, but calling the founder of French impressionist painting 'money grubbing', especially since he's been dead for some time, seems rather harsh.

Just great (1)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576238)

Why let demos out to spice things up? Let's just have people pay to try!

Loadcrap of idiots. Anyhow, demos are getting more and more useless, which is probably why EA is doing this -- they'll win more than they'll lose. Game critics and arcade boxes already let people try out games -- and those will (most certainly) always be free.

Yet, they won't see a penny of me -- those bastards!

Re:Just great (1)

chronosan (1109639) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576548)

Arcades still exist? Must find quarters!

Four words: (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576240)

Good luck with that!

Dammit, EA (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576256)

You guys were doing so good...really making a turn around. You were starting to release big games without DRM (Dragon Age), You were showing that aquiring a company no longer meant dictating every facet of development (again, Dragon Age is a good example), you were gaining some great IP (Dead Space)...and then you go and do this shit.

I was trying, EA. I really was. But this is making it very hard for me. If you take the money paid for these extended demos off the price of the full game, then ok...I'm behind you 100%. BUT. If it's just "pay for demo, pay full price for the full game"? I'm sorry EA...but I would be forced to abandon you.

WHY CAN'T I QUIT YOU???

they want a service model (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576264)

good luck with that EA. Unless you are going to provide the kind of continuous content and value of an MMO (and charging for demo's does not), I am a good many others will not buy. Oh and if it has draconian DRM and you treat Customers like Criminals people are going to make decisions based on that too and not buy.

Hello, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue! (4, Interesting)

psoriac (81188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576266)

Looks like EA saw how successful Sony's GT-5 Prologue was and decided that this is a viable business model for eagerly anticipated AAA titles.

If the demo purchase price could be applied as a credit on the final release I would have no problem with this, but somehow I think the chances of this being the case are pretty close to 0%.

Re:Hello, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue! (3, Interesting)

Rivalz (1431453) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576680)

Um no.... GT-5 was not successful here is why. When I bought my ps3 years ago it was for one purpose. GT-5. I played the demo's of gt-5 and prologue and now they will not have any of my money. Their system works in reverse. Now when they come out with the next gen game this fanboy who would have bought it just on the name alone will not.

No One Gives A Shit Loser (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577076)

Go back to your piece of shit RRoDbox faggot.

Re:Hello, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue! (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576776)

After the joke of a PSP game, im quite happy with just keeping my GT5 prologue and saying screw the final release. Prologue works well enough with my steering wheel and i dont buy GT games to rally race or F1 and i certainly dont need 700 cars. The insane delays dont help either. The fact that i already have a steering wheel from the PS3 system is the only thing stopping me switching to Forza and the MS wheel.

Slippery slope to the MMO 'pay to play' model... (4, Interesting)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576284)

first it was some small cosmetic DLC (anybody remembers the huge hoopla about the 'horse armor' in Oblivion?) and lately it's starting to become a 'pay if you want the full experience' with 0-day DLC, with assets sometimes already present on the game media.

It's pretty obvious that the games industry is envying the MMO business model where customers pay as long as they play (and wish they had done so a lot earlier) and this 'paid beta access' program seems just like another step in that direction.

Nowadays not being internet connected on your gaming PC is pretty much unheard of (and with more and more games with net-based DRM impossible), the only people who would regularly play disconnected would probably be laptop users, but I guess they are not big enough of a market to stop this kind of monetization.

Exit demo left (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576292)

Big game publishers are dying to generate a constant revenue stream as opposed to the famine for two years of development then feast for 1/2 - 1 year.

I don't enjoy gaming anymore. My 20+ year hobby is dying right in front of my eyes. This story doesn't help.

Well, this would be a great idea . . . (1)

laxlavishsoft.com (1325941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576310)

*IF* the purchase price went toward the full game. If I purchased a $10-15 "demo" I would probably feel cheated by purchasing the retail version at full cost otherwise.

They already do it, pretty much (4, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576318)

Consider Battlefield: Bad Company 2. A beta was available on Steam more than a month before game release, but you could only access it by pre-purchasing the game. There is a small step from that to splitting the cost between beta content, and full game content.

Re:They already do it, pretty much (1)

TypoNAM (695420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576910)

Not to mention when the retail version of the game BFBC2 came out it felt like I paid for an alpha version since none of the issues brought up during the beta were fixed. It took DICE nearly an entire month later to get the game up to feeling beta quality. So, I pretty much feel like I paid $64 (PC, gamestop $50 + $14 shipping and 'handling') to beta test a game and eventually get a fully working copy of it after a month long of weekly patches to get it up to this point. The patch released last week finally fixed all my crash to desktop experiences. Such as for example, switching servers would usually get caught in a repeated loading... screen and then just crashed to desktop, or when trying to use their server browser with filter feature usually caused it after checking a few servers' information for game play setup.

My only real complaint about the game right now is the latency issues and the false ping listed in the server browser. Because they used ICMP to ping servers in the browser (hence why they require admin rights in order for ping to show up, they cheated. ICMP app usage requires Raw sockets, therefore admin rights) it would show anywhere from 40ms to 80ms (typical ping range I only join on) and then get ingame and everybody has a ping of 250ms to 500ms. But for example in games such as Call of Duty 4 or Team Fortress 2 I nearly always have a ping of 60ms to 110ms (worst case). So something fishy going on there.

Re:They already do it, pretty much (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577066)

Not to mention when the retail version of the game BFBC2 came out it felt like I paid for an alpha version since none of the issues brought up during the beta were fixed.

Well, they did fix some balance issues, for sure (explosive damage to objectives in Rush, bullet damage for ARs and LMGs). But as for bugs, I've found that the release version was actually more buggy than the beta, with a slew of brand new bugs in functionality that worked just fine in the beta; and the only beta bug that I actually saw fixed was that server browser sort & filtering actually worked.

That, and, of course, the whole botched launch with logon servers down, server browser not working, "premium unlocks" for preorders and veterans not unlocking, etc.

The patch released last week finally fixed all my crash to desktop experiences.

Heh, try entering some text in chat when map switch occurs (so that you're still editing at that moment).

My only real complaint about the game right now is the latency issues and the false ping listed in the server browser. Because they used ICMP to ping servers in the browser (hence why they require admin rights in order for ping to show up, they cheated. ICMP app usage requires Raw sockets, therefore admin rights) it would show anywhere from 40ms to 80ms (typical ping range I only join on) and then get ingame and everybody has a ping of 250ms to 500ms ... So something fishy going on there.

Hey, be glad your server browser actually shows pings, because mine still doesn't.

Then also, I think that in-game ping stats are way off, too. Just yesterday I've been playing with a ping of 300+, without any observable lagging, jerky movement etc. It's not just subjective, either, because I've managed to get 3 Ace pins in a row, and consistently topped the player list on both kills and K/D ratio while playing - which is nigh impossible if the ping was really 300.

At the same time, before that, I've played on servers where in-game ping was reported as 100-120, and it was visibly lagging - as in, you aim at someone and shoot, then half a second later he is teleported to a different position, and meanwhile you find yourself dead.

The mugs will t to pay for that part twice I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576346)

Do I get a discount when I buy the full version since it'll have hours of gameplay that I already paid for?

This is gettings silly, they're gonna milk the market dry at this rate.

The wii sold like popcorn for a reason guys. Take a lesson.

Hahahahahahahahahahhahaha (gasp....) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576360)

Maybe they should try micropayments to look at screen captures...

Oh, that pig is not going to dance. (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576366)

You may put lipstick on a pig, teach her how to dance. But the bottom line she's still a pig. EA's bungling things in a bad way by nickle and diming the masses for software that is not stable, not final. They are going to lose out on that badly.

Re:Oh, that pig is not going to dance. (2, Insightful)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576660)

It hadn't hurt Microsoft and they charge full price for their betas.

Re:Oh, that pig is not going to dance. (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577062)

If full price == $0, yes...

Call Me Old Fashioned!!! (2, Interesting)

xQuarkDS9x (646166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576386)

I have been a gamer since I was a teenager in the late 80's, and I'm very much used to downloading demo's for free, for the rare times I actually DID download game demo's but instead read tons of reviews and what have you until I got a game. I would not pay money for demo software, because then if it is a crappy game or something I did not like, I would be complaining I wasted a good $15 bucks on a crappy demo, when I could have went and bought lunch somewhere instead! :D

I see this as another money making ploy by Electronic Art's and for the fanboys to throw away money at demo's.

So they're charging people to be beta testers? (3, Funny)

BaronHethorSamedi (970820) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576402)

Patcher said, "I think that the plan is to release PDLC at $15 that has 3-4 hours of gameplay, so [it has] a very high perceived value, then [EA will] take the feedback from the community (press and players) to tweak the follow-on full game that will be released at a normal packaged price point."

So essentially, I pay $15 for the "privilege" of being a beta tester? I get to play (part of) a prerelease version of the game, so I can tell them what needs to be fixed before it ships?

That last bit is especially rich, coming from a bloke named "Patcher."

Back up a second, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576440)

"I think that the plan is to release PDLC at $15 that has 3-4 hours of gameplay, so [it has] a very high perceived value"

3 to 4 hours of gameplay at a rate of $15 is percieved as high value?
To whom?
I'm assuming EA, because that's a very poor value to me.

Sounds like a plan (3, Interesting)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576536)

Hey, if it means that I get more interesting games because they're more profitable to make, cool. I'd pay good money for, say, a sneak preview of the next Elder Scrolls V game (or even an official version of Morroblivion complete with quests). Just please don't make it an online game; that would ruin it.

Monetizing ... advertisements? (1)

ryan.onsrc (1321531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576554)

Does it make sense to charge for a test-drive?
How about eating samples at a grocery store?
Or collect a fee for reading an advertisement?

Intuitively, this is patently absurd. But, even at a conceptual level the notion of "monetizing an advertisement" is utterly brain-dead. Now I am going to give these goons at EA the benefit of the doubt and say that they have at least a few pairs of properly functioning neurons firing (every so often). That must mean that they don't actually consider their demos to be advertisements. They are products in and of themselves! Much as it makes sense for someone to live off grocery store samples, commute to work via daily test-drives and avoid sensory deprivation by staring at bill-boards every so often. ... hmm, nevermind.

Stupid EA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576608)

Damn, now we will have to start pirating demos... I don't see how EA thinks this will work out in their favor, dumbass businessmen.

So they are selling the beta versions... (2, Insightful)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576610)

So they are selling the beta versions and then upping the price after you tell them how to fix it. Ok just like Microsoft's operating system strategy but with MS you don't get the cheap version first.

I'm not disappointed (-1, Flamebait)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576648)

I clicked on this story to read the populist uprising by the entitled gaming masses, and you people did not disappoint me in the least. Please, continue explaining to big budget game developers how you, as a community, deserve the fruits of their (incredibly difficult) labor for no fee at all just because you do.

Nothing amuses me more.

MGS 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576710)

Does it count as paying for a game demo if you buy a game you don't really want just to get the packed in Metal Gear Solid 2 demo?

Wonder why people use torrents? (1)

pkarlos_76 (751116) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576732)

Over my dead body I'll pay for a Demo!!!!!!!!!!! And they wonder why people use torrents............

Re:Wonder why people use torrents? (1)

Bugamn (1769722) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576880)

I wonder why people use so many exclamation marks and dots in a sentence.

Re:Wonder why people use torrents? (1)

pkarlos_76 (751116) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576942)

I wonder why people use so many exclamation marks and dots in a sentence.

Someone likes to try to imply more emphasis without using a foul language? Could that be a good reason?

Or... maybe not. (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576752)

EA: We Will Not Charge For "Traditionally Free Game Demos" [kotaku.com] claims something entirely different and less "OMG the people in EA have been eating LEAD!"

Not that I don't think a vast majority of the people at EA don't enjoy a good paint chip now and then, I haven't been under a rock you know. I just don't think this particular article is about the consequences of such.

It'll work (2, Interesting)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576800)

This is a stupid idea, but not the way you think. It's stupid for us, but not for EA.

This will work for EA for the same reason why they can sell DLC which is probably developed at the same time as the game, or considered "cut" content released in the DLC. It will work because impulse gamers DON'T CARE, and will willingly pay money for this shit. We are going down the nickel and dime road of gaming because of apathy and ignorance from the vast majority of consumers who don't know any better and can't be bothered to educate themselves.

Shit, I still see people who think the DRM in Assassin's Creed 2 or CNC 4 is fine because their internet connection is "rock solid". Yeah, great. Unfortunately it doesn't mean you will still be able to play the game, particularly if EA themselves [on.net] can't keep their shit working.

Honestly it's getting to the point where I'm going to take one of there options:
(1) Stick with old, quality games until I get burnt out on them
(2) Stick with open-source games which don't do this DRM shit, and only purchase commercial games from independent developers who won't risk this kind of behavior
(3) Find a new hobby. Probably the most healthy option anyway.

Demo with DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576806)

A payed demo with DRM, muhahahaha

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576882)

So we now have to pay the biggest game company in the world to be an extremely valuable resource of thousands of QA testers with the largest variety of hardware. Something seems wrong here...

Emphasis!!!! (1)

pkarlos_76 (751116) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576916)

Sometimes to provide extra emphasis without using foul language? Could that be a good reason?

Unsurprised (1)

Sir_Wulfrick (1773320) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576962)

I wish I could say I'm amazed / outraged by this. As it is I'm barely surprised. As others have commented the pay-per-play revenue model seems to be the chosen policy towards which certain publishers appear to be incrementally heading. When I say 'certain publishers', EA and Ubisoft - I'm looking at you. Now we could argue endlessly about the merits of the "piracy is destroying the industry" argument that most such publishers put forwards as the sole defence of their actions, however I have the following observations: 1) This is the upper boundary of the sophistication of the publisher's argument. It isn't a sophisticated dialectic. 2) Most reasonably intelligent gamers are more than able to clearly see through this argument and identify the PPP model as a barely concealed attempt at revenue maximisation. 3) Does everyone remember a few years ago when the average price of a PC game increased from £30 to £35? It hurt a bit, but most players (and thus customers) ultimately accepted it because they were still being treated with a modicum of respect by the publishers. No attempt was made to masquerade the price increase as anything else. 4) My personal view is that the efforts to which developers go to create the games that we love requires renumeration. Games do and should cost money. OK, I think the price for games is a little too high, but I do not and will not pirate games. However 5) I think that what disgusts most players is being treated like thieves by publishing houses who's cynical view appears to be that their customers are insuficiently intelligent to recognise when they're being fleeced by an unsophisticated but greedy revenue model and are simmultaneously subject to arbitrary and draconian restrictions on the use of software that they legitimately purchased. I'd like to single out Stardock as an exemplary publisher. No DRM, not even disk checks. Which is why I've happily and enthusiastically purchased ALL the DLC for Sins of a Solar Empire. Isn't this exactly how we want developers / publishers to behave? They should be enthusiastically supported...

So tired (1)

inkrypted (1579407) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576964)

I am so tired of hearing from gaming companies about how the next generation will be cheaper and more stable. Blah they just keep looking for an excuse to rape my wallet. Remember how CD and DVD technology were supposed to make games cheaper? Anything to make a buck. I now have to pay them for the privilege of what sounds like game testing something you used to get paid for or at least some perks.

Why not... (1)

Zoidbot (1194453) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576990)

I mean Microsoft have sucessfully sold broken consoles to games for the latest 4 years, and they even queued by to pay to buy replacement broken consoles.

Consumers are idiots, gamers in particular, so why no cash in?

I'm all for this (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577002)

The more customers they drive to pirate their software, the better as far as I'm concerned. Then we'll see them in front of congress wining how the evil bit torrent is steeling their monies!

Who cares? (1)

Scatterplot (1031778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577004)

So if there is a short demo that costs zero dollars, and a long demo that costs 15 dollars, and a full game that costs 60 dollars... where do the consumers get screwed exactly? Everyone acts like they're being forced to buy the $15 version. Similarly, Apple has an iPhone, an iPad, and a desktop. Some people want more, some want less. I personally won't buy many $15 mini-games but who knows, some might. It's similar to the ZOMG reactions people have about on-the-disc DLC. It's not like you're FORCED to pay more for the full game; it's up to you to decide what a "full" game means. To me, Bioshock 2 is a full game as-bought. The DLC they can charge extra for, I don't care- it's not like they're taking away something by having ANOTHER option to buy. If a car company develops two cars at about the same time, nobody would be pissed if they bought one car and found out later that oh noez the 4WD version was developed at the same time and then claim they want both cars.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577040)

This is only slightly less disgusting than Ubisoft's DRM scheme.

Good luck! (4, Insightful)

Godji (957148) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577048)

I believe I speak for many gamers when I say that I wouldn't play most of their finished games for free, so good luck trying to sell me a demo.

That's not a demo... (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577100)

...not a demo at all. That's paying to be a beta tester.

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