So... about content delivery of MMOs (and other downloadable games)

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Andromansis

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Senior Member

05-24-2010

So I'll admit it, I decided to sit down and try the Star Trek Online demo.
I'll admit it, the gameplay elements of the game were rather fun.
But MMO trials and "demos" just don't use their brain when delivering the game itself.

The demo gives you access to one mission past the tutorial. This, in total, is about 25 minutes of gameplay. It was a fun 25 minutes, sure... But it was a 9 gigabyte download.

With less than 5 questions and some hooks for DXDIAG... they could have intelligently decided which version of the textures to give me, which would have saved close to 2.5 gigs of bandwidth...
and beyond the Sol System, the Tutorial System, and the SS Azura system... you don't need any other maps. This would have saved another 2 gigabytes.
then there is all of ships you'll never see in the demo.
You get to see Borg, Starfleet, a couple trade vessels, and one other race that I forget. Not including the races you won't see would have shaved off another 800 megabytes.
Did I mention voice overs and sound effects that you'll never hear in the demo? oh lawdy... thats another 1.2 gigabytes.
I'm certain there is other stuff they could have trimmed out as well. But you get the picture.

Basically they could have showcased all of the game elements as flash games for less money than they're spending on distributing the demo, and possibly have gotten a bigger audience as well. Lets face it... a 10 GB download, while it may seem small to some of us, is a rather steep investment of time for the standard layman, not to mention people might not have hard drive space or even the resources to run the game.

Basically, between the marketting, the actual download of the client, and a few other factors, they're up to about $3.50 per person that tries the demo, with maybe a 15% conversion rate. If they would have gone with the flash game thing, it would have been roughly $0.20 per person with roughly the same conversion rate.

Anyway... thats my rant. Thanks for reading and have a nice day.