Xbox Live head David Edery is pressing game developers to put more work into their demos if they want to see higher sales.
The worldwide game portfolio manager for the Microsoft service said in a recent blog posting, "It's surprising how many developers don't think about their game's trial experience until the very last minute of the development process."
Edery was candid about the impact and importance of properly preparing a slice of the game experience as a means of enticing gamers: "A downloadable game's trial is everything. It doesn't matter if you licensed the three greatest IP of all time and fused them into the holy trinity of game design itself. ... If the trial stinks, most people won't bother to lift the curtain on the full experience," he said.
He said companies would be best served by ending their game demos on an intriguing story line note that whets the appetite.
He also panned the "upsell" message following most game demos that promise more of the same in a generic way.
"When ending the trial, that upsell screen is [potentially] the last thing your customer will see. Every other trial is promising 'more levels,' 'more characters,' blah, blah. Why is your game different?" he asked.