Sony’s Degradable Game Demos- Are You Game?

The Appetizer

Sony patented a concept this year which enables users to play “degradable” versions of videogame demos.  In essence, the game demo would, after a certain point (ie- number of plays or hours playing) start to “downgrade” itself until it did not work anymore. The idea is that players will be encouraged to buy the full game because they will not to continue playing.  No plans have been announced regarding if Sony will officially implement this.

The Main Course

The Dessert

When I first read about the concept of the degradable game,  I thought it was an excellent concept– I actually was considering giving it 3-4 stars.  The idea of having a demo that let’s say is stored on your hard drive, and after awhile, it slowly begins deleting itself, ultimately making space for other games (that was my initial thought) seemed very convenient for everyone.  Then I got my XBox360 back recently and commenced to downloading demos.  After reading the article again before writing this, a simple question was posed in my mind– what if I do not want to get rid of the demo?  What if I have a few friends over, all who are potential consumers for the game, and after enjoying the demo so much, I decide to share the experience with them.  The problem is that the version of the game I have has been downgraded, so there is a good chance that those elements that made the game so cool may not be there anymore.  How will that fair to the unknowing consumers- will they still want to give it a chance for themselves?  In addition, being the owner of a degradable game, would I want to continue playing it after I started losing features.  More importantly, as a consumer, would I really be motivated to purchase a game after various features start disappearing, or will I get annoyed with it and say forget it– possibly deleting it myself and moving on to another game that does not degrade on me?  Ultimately, while initially interesting in concept, I do not think that it would be popular with an audience.  If anything, it may cause them to lose potential fans instead.

The Overall Meal

2 Stars!

The Doggybag

Do you think a degradable game would encourage or discourage consumers to purchase the full game?

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