From: Portsmouth RI
Many of our games have had demos - our "demo policy" has been "appropriate demos". In general complex wargames are not very condusive to being shown off in a demo so they have been inappropriate 'demo material'. Its not "our" policy, but a discussion we have with each developer when we move a game forward. Most agree with our take on it, and if they really want to make a demo we don't prohibit it.
And we do try things and see if "things change".
In the past we have seen no correlation between a demo and sales, and in some cases a NEGATIVE correlation. So until we see a strong correlation between a demo and product sales we will continue to be skeptical of their value in a business sense.
If you want to see more demos in the future, then release of the demo has to cause a spike in sales.
If more sales do not result, then we have no reason to expend the resources to make a demo, if no return on that can be expected.
In this case, since we are trying to reach out to a broader community, a demo was deemed worthwhile, but it remains to be seen if that indeed is the case.
I also want to clarify the purpose of the demo. A demo is not a Beta - it not made so you can find bugs in the entire game, neither should it cripple aspects of the game important to understanding how the game works.
Most imprtantly it should give players a feel for how the game plays, without "giving away the game away" with a full year of the 41 scenario, it gives a good feel for that with amply opportunites as the Axis to attack, and as the Allies to play spoiler. You can get 'one set' of tech improvements in play, and you can build and field "basic units" though not some of the more powerful ones - though they are all included in the scenario. The Aliies don;t realy get a chance to turn the tables, but hopefully, having gotten to see how it works, that "leave them wanting more" will be what creates the sale.
It should also give palyers a warm fuzzy the whole game will work on their system (still an issue with M$ and their architecture).
I think this demo acheives those goals, and we have to see if pays off!