2K Sports and SCEA Remain Mum on Baseball Demo Plans

Posted February 23rd, 2012 at 9:15 am

The second to last week to offer a pre-release demo for MLB 2K12 and MLB 12: The Show on the 360 and PS3 have now passed. That leaves just one final opportunity, Tuesday the 28th, to get a demo out before the games hit stores. A lack of a pre-release demo would be an undeniably terrible sign for MLB 2K12 and a discouraging one even for MLB 12: The Show. There are various reasons why companies would choose to defer on providing a demo but all of them would be due to a feeling that doing so protects their interests better than the prospective benefits of having a demo in the wild. 

In what likely represents the last year for the MLB 2K series it’s been evident that 2K Sports isn’t putting in full effort with MLB 2K12. Not springing for a demo would show not just a complete lack of confidence in the game but an avoidance in promoting it to baseball fans who need it to be proven to them that the game has been taken to a respectable level. That iffy support has already been demonstrated to an extent with propping up the $1 million contest, using someone like Kate Upton to push the product, and bundling NBA 2K12 in a combo pack. 2K obviously doesn’t believe they are going to be able to sell the game to those who take baseball seriously so they are trying to reel in some of the casuals instead.

As it pertains to The Show no demo was put out for MLB 10 and, in a fashion that could be similar to what is going on now, the company ignored the topic. In that case a deal was struck with Best Buy for exclusivity of the demo in-store and for obvious reasons they did all they could to avoid discussing its absence. For MLB 12 though it would be sending a message that SCEA believes consumers may not widely be able to recognize the improvements through a demo. That isn’t a far fetched scenario considering the time that was siphoned off to work on the Vita version. With the enhancements being more subtle in nature for the series it’s a consideration but a new pitching system and broadcast presentation would seem ideal to show off through a demo. Unlike 2K at least SCEA is willing to put out gameplay videos.

2K could potentially decide skip a demo because they don’t feel it would do anything to sell the game and their reputation can’t really get worse while SCEA may consider it because they have already established credibility and the upside of a demo therefore is smaller. All of this wondering could be for naught if they put out their demos next week. It’s just curious that neither company seems willing to confirm not just a demo date but that one is actually coming at all. If they were heading for release next week there would be no reason not to say so by now – while the justification for keeping quiet would be to avoid backlash that would come by stating otherwise.

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