MLB 12: The Show Forgoes Pre-Release Demo

Posted February 27th, 2012 at 10:45 am

MLB 12: The Show will not be receiving a pre-release demo. That a major title such as The Show would pass on putting out a demo is surprising – and it appears that the company may have made a deal with Best Buy again, as was the case with MLB 10, as in-store units have been spotted in several locations. That leaves MLB 2K12 to have the demo space to itself. It’s a brilliant opportunity for 2K Sports that may or may not be capitalized on depending on whether consumers find it to be worthy of a purchase. 

Not providing a pre-release demo is akin to a movie that isn’t screened for critics. The decision makers feel that they are protecting their interests better by not exposing the product rather than putting it out there to be evaluated. Bad movies are often the ones kept from critics – similar reasoning wouldn’t apply to The Show but SCEA would have their own justification for doing so. It may be that they feel improvements wouldn’t be apparent to consumers in a few innings of gameplay and that it wouldn’t be representative of the product as a whole.

Despite that remember even NBA Elite 11 had a demo come out weeks before release and that killed the reboot – almost every game that wants serious purchase consideration has to put one out regardless of risk involved. The skepticism towards a product that passes on a demo is generally seen as being too great now to avoid. The Show is one of the few, if not the only sports title that would ever try to get around it and survive the PR hit in relatively clean fashion.

In the case of The Show it seems SCEA has so much pride in the product (bordering on arrogance) that they don’t deem it necessary – they expect consumers will buy the product without having the opportunity to try it at home first. That may be true of some, but certainly not everyone, regardless of how well established The Show is as a brand. It’s a questionable decision to make especially after sales fell off last year.

No other series would avoid criticism for not releasing a pre-release demo and The Show shouldn’t either. Its “competitor” – no matter how weak in MLB 2K12 – is putting one out. They aren’t likely to steal any sales but exposure wise 2K12 gets an advantage with those who aren’t clued in on the state of baseball gaming. That’s actually the crowd 2K Sports is playing to this year so they have to be especially pleased with these developments.

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