Baseball Games Forgo Demos This Year But for Very Different Reasons

Posted February 26th, 2013 at 4:15 pm


There will be no prerelease demos for MLB 2K13 and MLB 13: The Show. In the case of one, a lack of improvements and constrained development cycle would be to blame, while the other can rest on a stronger reputation negating the need in some eyes to release a demo. 

SCEA has a history of choosing to bypass prerelease demos and they seem to evaluate the varying circumstances year-to-year. MLB 10 and 12 went without a demo while MLB 09 (month early) and MLB 11 (two weeks early) provided one. MLB 13 then will make it three out of the last four years that SCEA has not put out a prerelease demo. For 2K Sports this is a departure from the norm. The last four MLB 2K games have featured a demo available to try a week prior to the game releasing. Yes…that even includes the disastrous MLB 2K9.

Perhaps more concerning is that not only will there be no opportunity to try the games before they release from the comfort of home, neither have produced any gameplay videos for consumers to evaluate. At least in the case of MLB 13: The Show the features and improvements have been well defined and again consumer confidence is high as a sense of trust has been established. MLB 2K13 is simply hoping to capture consumers who don’t realize almost nothing has been done besides a roster update and presumably the shift of the Astros to the AL. 2K won’t even discuss or show the game let alone let anyone try it.

In the case of MLB 13: The Show the series has an entrenched fan base and SCEA may see no potential for growth out of a demo. The most significant area of concern for The Show remains online play and any possible advancement there isn’t going to be on display in a demo. Veterans of the series likely have their purchase decision already made and baseball has limited reach to a more casual base that might be swayed by a game demo. 2K’s motivation is more easily defined…the more people know about MLB 2K13 the more they’ll realize the work done (or lack thereof) does not justify the $60 price tag.

One does have to wonder how baseball gets away with limited media every year. Every other major sport allows consumers a better opportunity to evaluate the improvements and additions that have been made through videos, blogs, demos, and various other avenues. Baseball does seem to be naturally hampered by gameplay that can’t change dramatically from iteration to iteration. The adjustments tend to be far more subtle – unless there is a change to fundamentals like the controls – making a slice of gameplay for a demo potentially not the best representation of the product. The concern could be that without the immediate sense of differentiation from the prior year consumers might be dissuaded from purchasing.

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  • lorch

    Pretty disappointed by how Sony doesnt put out demos for The Show. Even though I know the game will be quality its not a good look for them. EA and 2K Sports even with their good games put out demos because they are confident in them. Some year this will catch up to Sony who seems to want to hide that the game isnt changing much at all every year.

    • Keith.

      This whole post is ridiculous to anybody who’s a fan of baseball and has played The Show.

      • lorch

        Blind buyer huh? Well that’s your choice. But some people prefer to see it for themselves rather than put their trust in a corporation.

        • Keith.

          Hardly a blind buyer — SCEA’s been showing what they can do since 2006 or so.

          • pretty much. its not a blind buyer when you already know what to expect…and every year scea turns out a solid product. i know the game is nothing but a refined roster update with just one or 2 new features and a few revamped features. im fine with that because you know the gameplay as usual will be solid. if you want a completely different game every year the show will not give you that.

          • fantasyboi

            Right. The Show is making everything else around their solid gameplay better. Last year was solid and this year will be even better….small things like changing of the teams hats in the players profiles when they switch teams is the stuff that is HUGE to making a game better….I am and xbox guy but last year i bought the PS3 just for The Show and it was the best move I made.

          • Amen_Ra

            Excellent and accurate post

      • Amen_Ra

        KEith is a fanboy when it comes to the Show. Normally he is good with his comments but when it comes to The Show. He abandons reason for favoritism

    • of course the game hasnt changed much. they just continue to refine a already superior product. why fix what isnt broken?

    • Amen_Ra

      They don’t put out demos because they know their gameplay doesn’t change

  • no demos means no buy for me

    • Keith.

      If you need a demo for The Show, chances are you weren’t going to be buying anyways.

      • alot of people just lack the patience to wait a week or so to get a taste of the they piss and moan about not being able to play a 3-4 inning demo. pshhhh children

        • Keith.

          A lot of these guys don’t even have a PS3, and are just bitter that they’re missing out on a great sports game.

          • you just cant please some people. these are the same people that if they did release a demo they would pick it apart for not being a dramatic overhaul. people bring up the fact ea releases demos but if anyone has been paying attention ea has been turning out crap the entire ps3 era with the exception of the fifa franchise. i really doubt scea is hiding anything. of course they may be a few bugs a first that will be fixed by patches but its a video game. you arent always going to get perfection. however the show is about as close as it gets

        • Distorted

          Why is it so bad to want a demo before buying a game? If I had an option between buying a game w/o playing the demo or buying it w/ playing the demo, I’d choose the latter every day of the week. I’ve played many a game where a follow-up turned out to be much worse than the game prior to it. The Show has been great for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that this year it’ll automagically be GotY/Czar of Games/10 outta 10 material.

  • Keith.

    Don’t care at all about the lack of a demo, but I am REALLY glad to see The Show is going to be a Day 1 Digital release on PSN and available to download at 12:01 a.m. EST on March 5th. That program’s going to kill Gamestop.

    As for the lack of videos — pretty obvious that has to do with competition in the baseball videogame market, more than anything else. Why show your hand to your competition any earlier than you have to? Football, basketball, hockey and golf don’t have that problem. The better question to me is, where are the TW14 videos?

    • Dalibor

      I think if you want any sports game coverage that isn’t Baseball, Basketball or Madden, you’re on the wrong site. There have been a lot of Tiger Woods Content available directly at I find that Pasta doesn’t bother to cover much Golf, Hockey or Soccer but EA has been regularly updating their site with content. If you want Tiger Woods videos, just go there instead.

    • mcmax3000

      “That program’s going to kill Gamestop.”

      Not anytime soon, especially as retail console games keep getting bigger, and bigger. Between connection speeds, and bandwidth caps for a lot of people, downloading gigantic games just isn’t feasible for enough people that GameStop is in any immediate danger.

      I know I’ll be picking my copy of The Show up at GameStop, and not on PSN this year.

      “The better question to me is, where are the TW14 videos?”

      Given that it’s still a month away from release (and has been confirmed to be getting a pre-release demo very shortly), and the baseball games come out next week, I’d say asking for videos from The Show, and MLB 2K is the better question.

  • The Red One

    Sounds more like an opinion piece, than a factually written article. Have you reached out to either party for comment on your opinionated sports videogame blog? I know you have absolutely no insight to anything related to 2K’s dealings. That’s been painfully obvious for awhile now. Your articles are starting to get pretty speculative. It seems like the only leaks this site can survive on, still come solely from your EA sources. But who really wants to hear all the unexciting news about Tiger Woods 14 and its DLC courses, everyday, eh Pasta? I mean, just look at your eroding comment section. You’re right, the answer is NOBODY. Is anybody even listening to, or viewing that lame “Press Row Podcast” show thingy? Doesn’t seem like anybody wanted to know who you really were, Pasta. I really don’t think that you showing your face, helped the site in any way, but that’s just me. Your modding of comments hasn’t helped either. Looks like this site is pretty much dead until another crappy Madden NFL 14 release.

    • Keithsweat

      The fact that pasta let this comment on his post shows he gives no fucks about you so gtfo.

      • Dalibor

        To be fair, I don’t believe he (Pasta) really reads the comments before “approving” them. I think that unless the person writes something racist or homophobic, he will post it (I suspect he does a CTRL+F and tries to weed out foul language). The purpose of the comments is for the readers to interact with each other, which it does clearly, and Pasta rarely responds unless the person actually addresses him directly (and when he’s not busy writing one of his two daily articles).

        But in this guy’s defense, I think he’s kind of right about the popularity of sports games coverage. Pasta and OS are both struggling for interesting articles; OS is littered with Press Releases and speculation articles and their original content isn’t really well written or engaging (due to the fact that their staff are not full-time, paid journalists or media people). Just look at sites like IGN and GameSpot, they got rid of their Sports pepole because the genre doesn’t traffic. Those sites don’t even bother to preview sports titles (including major titles like FIFA and Madden), sticking to major news stories and reviews.

        Heck, even a person like Press Row’s Rich Grishom, who “represents” GamesRadar is not a full-time employee with FutureUS, he’s a freelancer who doesn’t review all their sports titles. Kind of mis-leading if you really think about it.

        Along those lines, I feel bad for Samit Sarkar at Polygon. He writes some good pieces that only get a fraction of the comments and views other articles get. I doubt they’ll lay him off but I could see his “sports reporter” title being changed and only doing reviews and the most serious of sports coverage. While Polygon doesn’t have freelance reviewers, I could see them pushing towards that and only using him in that capacity.

        If you really want sports games coverage, you’re going to have to rely more on the publishers and developers to get that news. EA and 2K and anyone else are going to produce and release their own content via their own sites, Facebook and Twitter to get the word across. Which I kind of like since they’ll be able to invest resources on content that sites like PP and OS can’t afford.

      • The Red One

        Wow. I’ll do you one better. The fact that pasta let YOUR comment on his post shows he can’t handle his own defense. He claimed that he started to mod the comments section because of the same type of personal attack that you just leveled against me. My comment was directed entirely at Pastapadre. But here you are telling me to get the fuck out. And your ignorant comment was approved and posted in no time at all. Wow.

  • what does the show have to gain by releasing a demo? you already know they will turn out a quality product. releasing a demo is a waste of money and bad business.

    • Vinnete

      Who is “you”? Suggesting that *everyone* knows *all* about The Show is pretty ridiculous.

  • gregg

    You forgot the big reason for Sony with how they handle The Show. Arrogance.

    • They have 0 competition so might as well plus people on Xbox wished they had it instead of the crap 2K puts out.

  • TR9

    Demo is important. With how games are releasing lately (Look at Aliens:Colonial Marines) theres no way Im going to buy any game without 1) Reviews out and/or 2) Chance to play it.

  • cratten

    The Show fanboys are so sensitive, they get rattled even when an article doesn’t say anything negative about the game but just at the thought even that it might be suggested that it doesnt do everything perfect.

    • Keith.

      I’m proud to be a Show fanboy. It’s just too bad we don’t have an NFL game that’s half as good, so I could be a fanboy of it, too.

  • DrJones

    Actually all the Best Buys I’ve been in the last 2 days have MLB 2k13 on a full demo while The Show has just a 40 second loop of a video that does more to highlight the movie 42. Having said that, 2k13 looks just disgusting. The Show video looks almost identical to last year but that is 100% good by me…The Show as usual will be a day 1 buy for PS3 and Vita, demo or not.

  • BJ

    I don’t care about a demo for The Show 13 but a couple of full gameplay videos would be nice at least just to hear the new commentary and see if the crowd is more lively. I think it’s a little cocky of them not to put out ANYTHING. What about people that are new to the series and may want to see a little gameplay? SCEA better be careful, they could be turning some people off with the lack of media for the game.

  • the same articles every year, come on. the show is on PS3 and is exclusive and very good. 2K is on xbox 360 and PS3, its not as good as the show, but its still baseball if you need it on 360. Demo/No Demo its freakin’ baseball, 3 outs, 9 innings, pitch strikes you win.

  • Dalibor

    Yeah, I agree with a few of the other comments in this feed. Have you actually contacted either Sony or 2K for a direct response? In the case of The Show, considering they have said just how big the game will be (and will more than likely required 10GB of free space for the mandatory install), releasing a demo is not feasible for server space.

    The real questions should be, have reviewers been sent review-able copies of the game with it launching in less than 7 days? Last year, Sony only sent out Debug copies of The Show while the Vita version was practically day-and-date, while 2K only got the game to reviewers the Friday prior.

    This is what I really want to know, do gaming sites like IGN, GameSpot, GamesRadar and Polygon have their hands on the final copies of the games? That’s a story worth writing about.

  • vice

    2 things the show needs to improve on are roster updates and player progression in franchise mode, these are both vary poor which is a big downside for me because my favorite part of all sports games is franchise mode, the shows gameplay is vary solid tho and much better than 2k