Try before you buy. It's a simple concept, and it's been a key element in marketing games this console generation -- at least on platforms that aren't WiiWare. But Nintendo did give demos a chance once upon a time ago
and Gaijin Games' Bit.Trip Beat
was one of five titles consumers could try free of cost. According to Gaijin Games, it helped.
Alex Neuse, CEO of Gaijin Games, told Joystiq that when the "demo was active," his company "started to see sales more on par with our projections." We've heard the same WiiWare story over and over again from developers and publishers: Nintendo doesn't promote; many Wii consoles aren't hooked up to the internet; nobody is buying these games. It's interesting that something as small as a playable demo could affect sales in such a positive manner.
"I think this is because Bit.Trip Beat
is the type of game that people really have to play to understand," Neuse said in regards to the success of his demo. He went on to say that "a screenshot just doesn't do it justice" and that he's "sad to see that the demo program has ended."
We are, too -- WiiWare developers work very hard to create games and support the platform. It's gotta be frustrating when there's no reciprocation.