Shareware is back!! What games would you like to see use this model?



  • If you were a gamer in the 90s, you most likely experienced a lot of games that introduced the first couple of levels and then put up a paywall. It was called shareware because people would share this games via floppy disks and later CDs. I remember games like Wolfenstein, Jazz Jackrabbit, Raptor, Wacky Wheels and many others using this model. The most famous one was Doom and Bethesda just brought the model back by announcing a limited time offer to play the first level of Doom for free.

    Youtube Video

    They were essentially the early demos of the 90s with a literal paywall at the end of the game, which told you where to send a cheque or money, so that they would send you the game in return.

    What games of today would you like to see adopt this model? Is EA Access trials a current-gen version of this?



  • Honestly? All games. First level, first ten minutes, get some demos out.

    If they had done this alongside the Doom beta people would have been more confident in buying Doom.



  • @Hoken That would actually be a great feature to add onto subscriptions like Playstation Plus and Xbox Live. I can't speak for PSPlus but I know Xbox One already does this with free-play weekends like they recently had with Rocket League I think. Definitely more of this would be awesome :)



  • @marcel That was a big selling point in the first run of paid Xbox Live I seem to remember. Not many demos out now.

    Would want to see small demos for stuff like Witcher 3 so people can try it, buying a 50 hour plus game when you're unsure about it makes it a hard sell.



  • I have to agree with those saying "all games". Demos were awesome back in the day for a variety of reasons (checking to see if your rig can run the game and how well, hard financial times, just messing around, etc.), and I was pretty bummed about how a lot of developers in this generation have decided that they aren't worth it. I haven't gotten around to playing the new DOOM demo yet, but I have been so excited to play that game since it was announced and am glad that I'll get a chance to do so sooner rather than later. In particular, my computer isn't very good, so I'm excited to see both how it runs on my PC as well as how nice the controls feel on the PS4 and then weigh my options before making my purchasing decision.

    I support anything that helps the consumer make more healthy purchasing decisions. No one likes to buy a game and realize that they regret spending money on it, or that they can't really play it because of things out of their control. There are Steam refunds and such, sure, but it's kind of an excessive amount of hassle when most people just want to try the game out and see if it clicks with them. I also believe that it helps curb piracy, as a lot of people are known to pirate games simply to see if they like them before buying. Although some people want to believe otherwise, $60 is a lot of money, and the buyer should have some way to assure the quality of what they're buying before they do so. Considering that games are such a subjective experience as compared to other mediums, I think it's perfectly fair for people to feel that reviews simply aren't enough to make an informed decision.



  • @tomoko Yeah, I agree. In the age of digital downloads there is really no reason to release at least a time limited demo of a game ... especially on consoles.

    Well, besides potential legal issues between developer/publisher/console manufacturer because somebody on the developer/publisher side might sometime feel that the console manufacturer is just "giving away" their content for free.



  • Shareware isn't back at all. What they did was bring the "demo" back. Giving us the first level for only a week is simply a way to get even more people to buy the game who are on the edge.


  • admin

    It's less of a big deal nowadays with Steam refunds. I use to want one so I could see if a game would run at all on my PC, but now I can just return it if it doesn't work.



  • @ObbyDent Yeah, I guess I was over exaggerating ;) I haven't picked up Doom just yet (still enjoying Overwatch too much) but this will give me a quick taste and then I can buy it later in the summer. Still a great move. I love when they say during a conference "... and it's available now ... go download it". Just like they did with Fallout Shelter last year :)

    @UltimateBrent On PC that's true but I would love to have that on consoles as well. Live Arcade games on the 360 had that and I believe some of the indie games on Xbox still have time-limited demos. I also enjoy the trials on EA Access. So just more of that would help try out games I might want but am unsure about. I can even see a model like Hitman where you buy like the first level or so for 5-10 USD and then buy more if you like it ;)



  • @ObbyDent
    Seriously, I dont get what makes it shareware. I also don't understand why they can't have this last any longer than 1 week. They made the effort to make it, why does it have to be a limited run? I'm out o the country and won't get back before it's the offer over. Not complaining, but it doesnt make sense to me. People will forget or find out too late and miss out.

    I understand developing a demo takes time and resources away from the development of the main game, but they introduced me to so many great games and I wish they were offered more. Demo discs for psx and Dreamcast were my all time favorite. I loved being able to try Intelligent Qube, Power Stone, Sonic Adventure, jet Moto 2, parappa the rapper. The Shadow of the Colossus demo was pretty epic too.



  • @matt I expect it is DRM based and you are essentially just downloading a majority of the game with just a software limit on the first level.

    But yeah, it's not really "shareware", although I do like that they brought back that word just to show how they got started :)