Molyneux: "Demos are a horrible concept"

July 1, 2010 | 11:20

Tags: #bullfrog #demo #fable #fable-3 #molyneux #peter-molyneux

Companies: #demos #lionhead #microsoft

Game designer Peter Molyneux has claimed that game demos are a "horrible concept", and has also commented on plans to release upcoming RPG Fable III in an episodic format after the initial retail launch.

Reported by, Molyneux spoke at the GameHorizon conference in Gateshead, arguing that the episodic format supports a "freemium idea".

Molyyneux and his team took a similar approach with Fable II, as Microsoft sold the game in a series of downloadable episodes less than a year after its initial launch date, apparently generating $15m in doing so.

"It gets around this horrible concept of demos. Anyone out there who thinks a demo is a good idea is crazy," said Molyneux.

"It's never a good idea, because demos are usually done at the end of a game and they require an enormous amount of design talent to make a demo. The other thing is you're more likely to satisfy the curiosity of a user rather than entice them to play more," he said.

Instead of releasing a demo of the game, Molyneux prefers the idea of breaking the game into chapters and releasing the first one, around an hour long, for free, and then offering users the rest of the chapters at a small price. It’s this approach that will be used in part for Fable 3.

Check our Fable 2 review for more information on the series.

What do you think of Molyneux's comments? Is such an episodic approach something you would like to see more of, or do you feel that demos form an important part of the decision to buy a game? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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