EA to create paid-for demos

Written by Joe Martin

March 23, 2010 // 11:44 a.m.

Tags: #demo #demos #dlc #drm #ea #ea-to-create-paid-for-demos #electronic-arts #pachter #pdlc

Electronic Arts is planning on rolling out a new system of paid-for demos that will be available before the full game, according to analyst Michael Pachter. EA has since confirmed it is considering similar strategies, but that it will not charge for demos specifically.

Pachter claims that his information came from Visceral Studios (they of Dante's Inferno) boss Nick Earl, who revealed that a new strategy of pre-release DLC was being planned.

"Mr. Earl revealed a strategy to release premium downloadable content (PDLC) as a product for sale prior to the release of a packaged product," Pachter said, according to Shacknews.

"The PDLC [premium downloadable content] 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. 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," he added.

EA has since issued a statement saying that it is "number of projects for delivering premium content to consumers before, during, and after the launch of a packaged-goods version of the game," according to Kotaku.

"None of the proposals...call for charging consumers for traditionally free game demos," the company clarified, though it's worth pointing out that Pachter did say the idea would call for longer and more feature-complete designs than a traditional demo.

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