Square Enix’s Demo Releases Are Attracting New Audiences

Video game demos offer us a glimpse of the full experience, and it seems Square Enix has taken hold of that advantage.

The Rundown: 

Whenever I look at the PS store, I see major titles stacked high, with nothing more than a trailer and a few ‘Acclaimed reviews’ on the buy page. So what do I do? Watch the reviews on YouTube of course, but in the era of evolving marketing techniques, Square Enix has brought back an archaic way to look at their new games.

In the current economical stance of the gaming world, buying a brand-new 70-dollar game isn’t that cost-effective unless you know what you’re getting. If you do not research extensively but are still willing to fork over a good amount of cash, buying games without knowing what they offer is a bad idea all around.

But, what if you could play a small version of the game before buying it? That’s what demos are for.

At this point, subscriptions like the Gamepass or the Ps Plus are worth more than any individual title. Considering the cost, it is easier to buy an entire catalog for some time rather than one singular title permanently. But Square Enix has taken a more traditional approach, and it is safe to say that it is working.

A demo is a small experience that captures what the game intends to do in a small, but sufficient bottle. This bottle is then given to players to let them experience what the game offers. If the players are enticed enough, they can purchase the entire gallon.

Now Square Enix is not the first nor the last people to implement demos such as this. Resident Evil 8 gave players an insight into the game with its playable demo which launched a few months before the release of RE 8, and the demo was absolutely astonishing.

Let us take the example of a new game from Square Enix, The DioField Chronicles. Before publishing this article, I had absolutely no interest in this title whatsoever, but after seeing that it had a free demo available, I decided to go forward with fate and test the game out, and I am glad I did.

Before trying out the demo for the title, I had absolutely no clue what it was about, only that it was free, but after playing it, it is safe to say that I will buy it as soon as it comes out.

There has been a stir that Star Ocean: The Divine Force will also get a demo. Just thinking about another game I get to experience for free and before release, is astonishing even in this complicated system of gaming. But does this system suit every game?

Well short answer, yes, long answer, also yes. Just by telling the community that you as a studio decided to put the game out as a demo shows that the team truly believes that the game is polished enough that it can be played weeks before release. This is something major publishers won’t dare do.

At long last, we come to the conclusion that yes, watching a few YouTube videos may be the same as this, but if given the option, giving full control of that experience to an unassuming player, might pay off big time, even if it is a risky gamble.

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Ahmed Shayan


Moving from genre to genre, Shayan is always looking for the next immersive title that he can sink his teeth into. Whenever he is free, he can be found exploring the infinite universe in No Man's Sky or camping on a corner in Valorant.