What is Flower? That is the question many potential consumers — outside of the blog loop — may ask themselves before deciding to purchase the game. A demo seems like an easy fix. Not so fast, though. Kellee Santiago, president and co-founder of thatgamecompany, believes that a demo for Flower isn’t necessary.
In a recent reader response on the PlayStation blog, Santiago made her argument: “… I think the prices of downloadable games are so small that they kind of make demos unnecessary.” She then pointed out, “statistically they make a LOT less money when part of it is given away for free.”
Earlier last year, MTV Multiplayer broke down an EEDAR study about downloadable games sales. One of its findings substantiated Santiago’s thoughts. PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade games with demos undersell games that only have a trailer.
I contacted Santiago for further explanation on her comment. “As I said in the post, though, when it comes down to it – why did I buy Ico for $30 without a demo? Why did I buy Left 4 Dead for $50 without one?” she said. “Because I saw trailers, read some previews, and that was enough. “
Her comparison made me think. I didn’t bother with the L4D or Ico demos either. I saw trailers and made up my mind. “Why do I need more than that for something that is $8-$12?” she added. “A burrito from La Salsa costs about $8. Even if the game totally sucks, I’m not out that much cash.”