A study has been published that claims that releasing a demo for a game actually hurts its sales. They claim that trailers are the best way to push a game and point to the most successful games not having demos.
They even rigged up a fancy graph to try and prove their point.
We, however, don't believe this for a minute.
Here we see that sales are clearly higher for games that only released trailers, but let's think about this for a minute.
Two of the highest selling games last year were Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4, both of which this group claims had no demo. However, both of these games had multiplayer betas. Those could basically be considered "exclusive demos".
BioShock had a demo and went on to sell a whole mess of copies. It appears that good games sell well. A lot of bad games get demos and that could very well hurt their sales because gamers get to try them and realize that they are bad. Without a demo, they might be tricked into buying something that looks good, but actually sucks.
These researchers should re-focus their study to only deal with bad games.
MTV Multiplayer: Study: Publishers Shouldn’t Release Demos, Just Trailers