N+: Beyond The Postmortem
March 21, 2008 Page 2 of 5
That's what I was talking about. A month and a half is not too bad, compared to other stories I've heard, like three months and more.
RB: That's true. We actually dodged a bullet. The only reason why we weren't even more bumped is because we spent all kinds of money on the launch party, which was last week, because it was supposed to be coming out the week before. Also they're doing a postmortem [at GDC]... they are doing one of a game that isn't even out yet. [The game debuted on the Wednesday of GDC.]
NW: It's only by one day.
RB: The guy at Microsoft was like, "Because of those things, I was able to prevent you from being further bumped." It was like, "FYI, you could've been even more screwed!"
NW: This is where you really feel being small. You see this giant wave coming toward you and you can't do anything about it. You've got to move.
I'm curious to know what you thought about what Dylan Cuthbert from Q Games [PixelJunk Racers/Monsters] said, about not wanting to do demos any more - due to users who would not purchase the game anyway downloading the demo and generating negative buzz. I kind of disagreed with it.
RB: I thought that was really manipulative. I guess the whole thing is, yes, people complain -- annoying complain-y people. But you don't force someone to spend money so that even if they regret the decision, they're guilted or they don't want to admit it, so then that's why they don't say anything bad. I don't think that's good.
I think every game should have a demo. Who were we just talking to? Oh, flOw. I didn't know flOw didn't... we don't have a PlayStation 3 yet.
I don't understand, first of all, how every game on Live Arcade has a demo, and yet people are buying so many of them that are crap. You'd think that having a demo would be like no sales.
NW: I think there's two sides. You can have a good demo, and that'll really help you, or you can have a bad demo, and that will really hurt your sales. I think that's what he was talking about. It's hard to make a good demo. What makes a good demo? I don't know.
You can have a demo that's too fun, and they don't need to buy the full game. Or you can have a demo that doesn't give you a full...
RB: You don't get what the game is.
The thing that struck me I was hearing
was that it sounded like he wanted to put the retail model into the
downloads, where you don't get to try before you buy.
RB: No, I love the demo. I think the way it should work is that it forces the games to be good, because you can't just rely on marketing. Marketing will get people to download the demo, but it's not going to get people to pay for it. Then again, when you look at how many games are selling, like, who's buying Pinball FX?
NW: How many games have you bought on Xbox Live Arcade, seriously?
RB: Doom, Geometry Wars, Pac-Man, and one more.
NW: Same here. I can count them on one hand.
RB: There are only five or six good games.
MS: You bought Carcassonne, didn't you?
RB: No, Carcassonne was free.
There was one more that we bought. There are okay games, but like with
Alien Hominid, we have the Gamecube version. A lot of the games
that are worth getting on Live Arcade aren't the originals. Like
Pac-Man CE, it's awesome. And Geometry Wars is really good.
NW: To come back to the demo, I've tried a lot of games.
RB: We've tried every... there's like 90 games on PartnerNet, and not a lot of them...
MS: Very few of them we'd purchase.
NW: Yeah. The whole "try the demo and buy your game or not" is the perfect system to weed out games that are shit. The problem is, on Xbox Live Arcade, like retail space, they limit it so much. They should open it up and let people go, you know?
Nintendo has been suggesting that WiiWare is going to be very open.
RB: That's what they said to us, but then they wouldn't explain how that works.
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