News Article

Nintendo Says The Play Limit On Demos Is Set By The Publishers

Posted by Orla Madden

But why have a limit in the first place?

Similar to 3DS equivalents, Wii U demos come included with a play limit - meaning that after you've played a demo a certain number of times you can no longer access it, leaving it unavailable for further use. questioned Nintendo on why limits vary with each demo title, and why such a limit exists in the first place. A representative replied:

Each publisher has the opportunity to decide how long demos will stay on the eShop, and how many times consumers can play them before they expire.

Once the demo has passed its limit and you try to enter it again, you will be asked whether you would like to view the full game title over on the Nintendo eShop - if the full game of that demo is available, you have the option to purchase it. What's your view on the play limits? As usual, let us know.


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User Comments (86)



SkywardLink98 said:

Play limits are annoying for the consumer, but it allows developers to put out bigger demos without having to fear people will be content with the demo.



ShadJV said:

The only way I'd see play limits actually making sense is if the demo is the full game without the ability to save and a limit to the playtime per try. Which is also a bit ridiculous, so in the end, I think play limits is not a smart way to control demos. I mean, it's only a small piece of the game, let players try it as many times as they want, as long as the demo is just a taste I think more plays make the purchase more tempting, plus they can share it with more friends who don't yet have a Wii U.

I see what they're trying to do but demos have worked fine without play limits. To be honest, 30 plays is generous enough (I doubt I'd play a demo that many times), but the Adventure Time demo only has 5 tries and I'm really on the fence, if I run out of tries before I give into a purchase then it's unlikely they'll get my money...



Lan said:

I've never come even close to hitting the limit on any demos



Yosher said:

Demos are simply meant as demonstrations. And that's just what these demos do, give you demonstrations of the game. I've never reached the play limit of a demo so far anyway, personally, but I think it makes sense.



Gold_Ranger said:

I dont like the limits because they help me to either sell the 3DS XL and/or the game.
I work in a Department Store Electronics Department.



AltDotNerd said:

We, as consumers, shouldn't really have a say in a free demo. For one thing, it's free, second-of-ly, demos are made to get us interested in the game.

But when we play the demo over and over again, sometimes people lose interest in the game altogether and reconsider buying the full game.

The demo play limit is kind of like the "first taste is free" tactic (although 5 is too little). When the limit runs out, that gives people incentive to buy the whole game.



AltDotNerd said:

It's like eating the free samples at a store and complaining that they won't give you anymore. That means it's time to actually buy the product.



idork99 said:

Developers should only have two options: 30 play throughs or unlimited! Personally, the FIVE play through game limit is fine with me since I have the tendency to only play a demo 1-3 times before I make a decision of whether I like a game. Like @ShadJV said, if the limit is FIVE, then there's a small chance that one of your friends or family members (that is borrowing your 3DS because they still don't have one and want to try out the latest and greatest games) will miss an opportunity to play the demo. That's just a missed opportunity for a sale. And if they have to put a limit, I believe the 30 play throughs is more than generous.



TheDreamingHawk said:

It's just a demo. It's not like they all have only 3 uses or anything (Ace combat 3DS demo), but I still don't know why people still complain over this... Who's gonna play a demo more than thirty times?



Hokori said:

/me is still unsure if I like the game...
/me goes to play it for the 31st time.... WTF I can't? I'm mad



UnseatingKDawg said:

@AltDotNerd: Nice analogy. Couldn't put that together better myself.

As for my opinion, limits on a demo aren't bad, per say, but they should have a decent number of plays, like at least 10. 5 seems too little, but 30 seems too much.



Varia01 said:

That is just wrong! If there is a certain game you want to get so badly and you can't help but play the demo and then you will be utterly disappointed when it closes. This makes the opposite of sense! What if there is a online FPS demo and players try it out several times with friends but then it closes, and they don't have the money to buy it? How would they feel then? This is absolutely absurd!



Handy_Man said:

Limits are really dumb. Nintendo thinks it's a good idea, but then again, they think a lot of inpractical things are good ideas.



dustin_g said:

My kids are to little to understand the concept and always go in and out of games then ask why they cant play the demo any more, i think it is a bad idea, it is like a 1 level demo let it be free for many plays



Coldheat said:

When you’ve reached the play limit, what happens if you delete the Demo, download it again, and install it? Is the counter reset, or does the Wii U keep track of it?



Matti said:

I have no problems with the limits, since I never play any demo nearly that much.



AVahne said:

As long as there's enough content on the demo to persuade people to look into the full game.



Void said:

I don't think I've hit a limit on a demo since I probably only try each one a few times, but that doesn't make the concept any less weird.



ultraraichu said:

Doesn't bug me. About 95% of my demos on my 3ds I use 1-2 play.The only demo that I played the most (4 uses) is The Denpamen and that only cause I can transfer my play data to the full version.

For the most part, I view demos as free sample foods in a store. If you like it you can buy the box/package but not gorge on the samples.

On a side note, anyone notice Theathythm FF is the only one to have unlimited uses. Now that's moxie



Haxonberik said:

Couldnt care less, if I was to actually play a demo 30 times, I should buy that game immediately anyway.



RupeeClock said:

Consider for a moment the demo version of Nintendogs, you get 10 uses and you get to play around with an interactive puppy and kitty for a limited time without any other stuff like going walkies or entering contests.

Arguably though that might be the only thing the player wants to do with the software, play with the Nintendog! They might find their fulfilment with the demo version but eventually would have to buy the whole game to continue enjoying it.



Hyperstar96 said:

There's no way I would ever play a demo 30 times to begin with, but why is the limit even there...?



Obywan said:

I don't mind the limit. I havent even run out of tries on any of the ones Ive downloaded to my 3DS. Not even the 5 limit ones.

They're demos after all.



Schprocket said:

@Haxonberik Like you, only somewhere between 5 and 10, unless it was one of those stupid staggered release things where the demo is all I have for six months because I'm in the "wrong" region and only then would 30 plays be borderline.

That said, a lot FPS games in the past typically limited the play to one map, whether online or offline, and if online multiplayer, limit the player cap and the game-type (TDM, CTF-only, etc) and respawn points. Play as many times as you like.



Grodus said:

It really depends on the game and demo. For instance, if it's one level, might as well make it unlimited. Of course though, games like nintendogs and animal crossing don't have levels, and have to use time limits. Then it's fine.



SanderEvers said:

A Demo is just that, a demo. To let you try a game (early) and decide if you want it - or not.

It's not, what many people think, a "beta" which are meant to test the game



iphys said:

So far I've never wanted to play a demo more than once. If they all had a one-time limit I wouldn't mind, although I guess it might make more sense to have a limit like 12 to make sure every potential user of a system could have a chance to try the demo.



sc100 said:

The only point of a demo is to lure people to buy the full game. If a person likes a demo enough to play it 30 times, not being able to play it anymore is another way to tempt that person to buy the full game as that's the only way he/she will be able to play it again.



r3dd3vil07 said:

Fine by me. I mean how many times can one person play a single demo? If you wanna play the demo more them buy the game.



ShadJV said:

Like I said, I don't mind a limit to 30 play times, I can't see myself hitting that cap. Which brings me back to saying setting a limit seems silly to me, but I'll contend as it's free I have no reason to complain, especially if I never will hit the cap. It was only the limit to 5 tries that sorta irked me, mainly because it seems like the type of game (and demo) that requires some time to get a feel if I want it. I probably won't consider buying something until after Christmas in case I get gift cards or eShop cards, but if I already tried it 5 times by then and can't give the demo one last try, I might pick to spend my money on another game. I don't want to hold off on trying it out but I also may need to "re-hype" myself before giving into a purchase. This is especially true if it is for a game that isn't out yet. Still, I'm not saying I am entitled to more tries. It's free. I just think that such a low limit can reduce the likelihood a demo will sell me on the game.

Also, I understand the analogy with free samples of food, but, if it's a successful demo, consumers will want more than what's in the demo. If the demo is big enough I could be satisfied with just the demo, there's probably too much content for a demo (though it makes play limits more practical).



Slapshot said:

You mean - a demo actually has an end? How about that - guess I've never played that far before.



tsm7 said:

I think it just has a psychological effect. No, I'm not going to play the demo more than 30 times. However, to suggest that I'm not going to buy a game I'm interested in because I can play the same 3 levels repeatedly is ridiculous. Being unnecessarily restricted makes one indignant. ---You can play 'M' rated games all you want and download them directly to your system...but only 4 hours a day.



CrazyOtto said:

I actually support the demo limit, if you like the game that much then get the full version.



BlatantlyHeroic said:

I think the limit is needed. I mean, seriously, how many times to you need to play it in order to find out if you want the game or not? 2-3 plays is enough, but they give you even more than that.



HeroOfCybertron said:

@ Kyloctopus I think I remember reading that the FF The Rhythm demo had unlimited uses when it first came out but then it was changed to 30.

I find it odd that Nintendo says publishers set the play limit on demos because before the eshop I had never heard demos that could only be played a certain amount of times, the PSN never had demos that could only be played a fixed number of times I remember one that was only available for about a month then a couple of weeks later the full demo came out.

The only times I remember playing demos over and over again where when the game wasn't out yet or when I didn't have enough money to buy the full game at the moment.



theblackdragon said:

to be honest, the only demo I've played more than once has been the Style Savvy fashion-show demo, and i bought the game after my third 'play' because I enjoyed it so much. I don't mind the play-limit set for demos at all; if you want to play it more or feel it's that worthy of showing off to others, buy the game.



Knuckles said:

@DrDaisy No, you can't. The only way to do that is to wipe your 3DS clean of all your memory, and re-download. Not worth it.



LztheQuack said:

Hey, why not solve the situation than complain like most internet users love to do? If you wanna play the game so much, pay for it! NO MORE DEMO LIMITS



Cranky said:

Play limits are totally fine, and I'm happy that the publishers get to set the limits, its not like you would have to play a demo more than 10 times to make a decision anyway. I remember when the Tony Hawk 2 demo included the level editor, that was the best demo ever



XFsWorld said:

The only game demo I used up was Resident Evil: Revelations, until I got the full version.



Wonder_Ideal said:

I've rarely played a demo more than once or twice. One of the few exceptions was Rhythm Thief, and my brother ended getting it so now I can play it anytime I want.



SKTTR said:

Some demos are kind of worth something, like the WiiWare demos of "World of Goo" and "Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord", because they actually don't represent the full game but their own "demo world" with their own story. Therefore the play limit is stupid for collectors of good demos. I wish they'd find another way. What's the problem not to make 'em like the WiiWare demos again?!



Trikeboy said:

I can understand limits from the developer side. I must say that I still play some demos today. I still play the Arkham Asylum demo even though I have the game. I love that demo.



Tasuki said:

Nope I dont mind the limits, in fact I never really use the all the times I can play a demo. I think really the only demo I played more than once was RE:R and that was cause I wanted a good feel of the game before I bought it.



DarkNinja9 said:

i find it stupid the fact that they even have a limit i mean its a demo after all not the whole game so we might only play it once or twice thats it but its annoying to just see you have 30 tries like wtf



edcomics said:

How many times do you really need to play a demo before deciding whether or not to buy the full game? How many times do you really need to play a game, for that matter? Some 3DS demos give you 30 plays. I rarely play a game that many times. Other demos offer 10 plays. Sounds reasonable to me. After all, these are supposed to be samples — not free minigames. Granted, if you're satisfied with the demo experience and don't want to buy the full game, that may suggest the game isn't worth buying. Either way, I think Nintendo or third party companies should have the right to do this kind of thing. Limiting a demo to ONE play might be a bit extreme, but sometimes one play is enough.



Furealz said:

Im sorry, but whoever uses a demo for more than 5 uses is very very cheap :S. Though Rayman on the other hand....



CapnKael said:

I think they're fine. I only play a demo a handful of times, just to get a feel for the game, and then i delete it.



Kohaku said:

Playing a demo 30 times is enough.
I once tried a demo on the PS3 some years ago and there was i time limit of one hour.



Geonjaha said:

I've never met a play limit but if you have then you've already decided by that time whether or not you're going to buy the game. Demo's are meant to let people see whether or not they like the game, and Nintendo obviously didn't want them to simply become small free games that could be played forever.



KAHN said:

demos need a play limit. you shouldn't have to play a demo 300 times to decide whether or not you want the game. also, with some games, the demo is pretty much what the rest of the game will be, so getting a demo is like buying the game for free. putting a play limit is alright with me.



Dreadjaws said:

Well, I absolutely disagree with the limit. I mean, yeah, the usual excuse is that people will rarely, if ever, need 30 times. And that's true, but it's not the problem. The problem is that they're restricting players for no valid reason. It doesn't matter if it doesn't really affect us, it's shows disrespect for us.

It's the same that online activation DRM in PC games. People will say "It's only a couple of seconds, it doesn't really affect you", but they're also missing the point. It's not about the time, it's about the reason.



Banker-Style said:

When you think about it 30 tries is plenty enough.The only demo I nearly used was Theatrhythm and the New Style Boutique.
I end up deciding whether I want a game after my second or third try on a demo.



Araknie said:

I never play a demo, they always are not what the full game will be, for me.




Limits are fine, especially for free demonstration software! In any case, XBLA arcade games have done this for a while! For example, Counter Strike gives you 45 mins to play before you have to purchase the game!

I'd much rather have a limit on how many times I get to play it than how MUCH time I get to play it for!



Whopper744 said:

I think the limits wouldn't be such a big deal of Xbox and PS would do them as well, but as far as I know, it's only Nintendo systems, which I think doesn't help make them look any better. I mean it's really not THAT big of a deal, but it's just seems like another oddity



EnemyCanine said:

Setting a limit is fine but it does seem counter productive from a marketing stand point. I'm not sure anyone thought it through before saying "Once it expires, they will go buy our game!".
Case in point, my kids kept playing the Sonic and Mario Olympic Games demo and repeatedly asked for it for a month. Once the demo expired on them, they completely forgot about it. Now it's Christmas time and it's not even on their radar anymore. If it was still playable, they would probably have had it on their list. Also, my kids love showing demos to all of their friends when they come over if they think the game is cool. They do that with the Xbox all the time, but there is no way they are sharing the Rayman Legends demo since they have limited playthroughs to last them until the game is released.
So I think a better analogy is to say, check out our commercial ... but you can only view it 30 times even if you wanted to see it more.



jarreboum said:

"Each publisher has the opportunity to decide how long demos will stay on the eShop, and how many times consumers can play them before they expire." This is missing the last part: "they just can't go over the 30 limit imposed by Nintendo." Sometimes I wished videogame "journalists" were more incisive in their questions. They didn't even address the "why there were limits at all" question. This is not journalism, this is PR statement reporting.

Limiting the use of a demo is insulting. 10 plays demo? So I use a few of them and decide I don't want the game. Then I want to show it to my relatives who's hesitant about geting a 3DS. Bam, they can't try anymore.

I'm a grown-up now but I remember my early days on PC in the 90s. I was not rich and unable to buy all these wonderful games and ended up milking the demos to no end. With limited demo I did not end up buying the games, I just stopped playing.

Tl;dr limiting demo time doesn't make a new customer, it makes a stopping player.



Marioman64 said:

if one had a spare 3ds (like me cuz i got an xl) one could download the demo, use up its tries, reset the 3ds to factory settings, and repeat.

so it's unfair to people who don't have a spare 3ds



Sun said:

It's a great idea as long as it encourage publishers to release more demos. We need many more of these, it would be great to have one demo per game.



WindWakerLink said:

I see these demos "limits" as "Mario/video game lives" and because of that... I just download them with out playing them. (Chuckles) Right now on my 3DS, I have ALL the demos release so far, yet I have not played a SINGLE ONE! XD I know that's silly but it scares me to lose my demos after the "lives" reach zero. (Chuckles) I also see this as the "TM usage rules" for the 1st four generations of the Pokemon games. [Red/Gold/Ruby/Diamond] Once you use it, you can't use it again unless you buy it again if possible....XD



WindWakerLink said:

I can't remember if PS3 demos have limits. But if it doesn't, then I can see why people would complain about these limits too...



HappyHappy said:

It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Demo or not you should be able to play the game as many times as you want.



DerpSandwich said:

I want to say it's stupid, but on the other hand... If you're playing the demo that many times, just buy the darn game. And I felt like I played through the RE: Revelations demo about a million times and I only used up have of my plays. Not a big deal.



bonesy91 said:

I still have yet to use up any of my 3ds demo limits same with wii U... I don't see the joy of playing the same demo more than 5 or 6 times, so it doesn't bother me.



NGamerZero said:

I don't understand why people keep talking about the limits of the demos. It's inconvenient, but they are just demos...



Henmii said:

As far as I know, every game on Xbox360/PS3, whether it is a download or retail title has a demo! They are always available and they are always playable! And that's how it should be!!



ElMastero said:

I have yet to play a single demo on PSN with a limit. And that's how it should be. These limits are idiotic. I download a ton of stuff off PSN (demos, games, costumes, patches, etc.) but I think I'm just gonna stay out of the eshop altogether. Not only because of the limits but also because of the consoles miniscule hard drive. I'll stick to just watching reviews on youtube to get a sense of whether a game is any good and if it is, I'll buy the physical copy from an actual store.



Vallu said:

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy had 30 play times limit and it's the only one that I got to 6. Then the real game finally arrived. I think the limit is weird and useless but it really doesn't matter becauce I usually play a demo for 1 or 2 times before I delete it.



Linkypoo said:

Obviously, I already KNOW I like the game. That's what YouTube is for. I play demos to play a small piece of the game. For example, everyone knows Ocarina of Time is the best game of all time, and I would play it as much as I can until I get the money to get the game in full. Anyway, they SHOULD have an OoT3D demo.

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