From: West Yorkshire, England
Well, here's my 2p worth...
I am also in favour of demos for games. I could give any number of examples where demos have shown me a poor game and thankfully put me off spending my limited resources. The argument I've heard here about how some demos have not shown the potential customer the true nature of the game holds no water for me. If they have managed to produce a wonderful game, then surely the devs are capable of delivering a quality demo? Besides, if a game gets rave reviews on most or all sites (gamerankings gives a good overall picture) and the demo really sucks in terms of delivery and restrictions placed on it, then I'd still consider the purchase of the game itself.
Matrix would benefit from releasing a demo of their games, I'm certain. Take GGWAW for example. I will not be buying this game, despite the excellent reviews. I have read this game is somewhere between Axis & Allies and Hearts of Iron (see the wargamer.com review) in terms of complexity. Well, I liked HOI, but abhorred A&A so will keep my credit card in my wallet for this one. It's a risk I cannot financially afford to make. If I bought every game I liked the sound of without trying the demo first, I'd estimate that 30% of my outlay would be wasted. As I buy one or more games per month at an everage of £30 each, that adds up to a LOT of money!
So, I can't and won't speak for anyone else, but this gamer would be much happier to see demos released by Matrix. Even five or ten minutes play on a game like GGWAW or maybe 2 or 3 complete turns for a couple of the scenarios for some of the wargames would make a huge difference to me. I won't stop buying Matrix games just because there's no demo, BUT I will be much more cautious about the ones I do purchase.
Flames on a postcard to....