Possibly in response to 5 of their games being heavily pirated in 2008, EA will try something new with Criterion's Burnout Paradise on the PC. The demo for the game, which will be released in February 2009, will be fully featured for a limited time.
The PC version will include the "Cagney Pack update, the Bikes Pack and the forthcoming Party Pack" and the trial version will be playable for the low, low cost of "free."
In a post on the official website, the program is detailed:
When the full game’s released in Feb ’09, we want all our PC players to be sure it runs perfectly on their system, before they commit to buying it. We also love the game and feel confident that if you try it, you’ll want to sign up for more!
This could definitely work out well for Criterion, but as with all fully-featured programs that are released with time limits, they could be opening themselves up for even more piracy. It's basically like saying, "we'll provide the download, you bring the crack." Either way, this is a much better solution than releasing no demo at all. I support EA and Criterion in this effort and hope it works out for them.
What do you prefer: a fully-featured demo that gets disabled after a certain amount of time or a feature-limited demo that can be played forever?