The Outriders Demo Was a Master Stroke in Marketing

outriders review

When People Can Fly announced that Outriders would feature a demo (no, not a beta), that would carryover progress, and will be up even if the game launches, it didn’t really make sense in a way. But after playing it, now I understood why, and allow me to explain.

The Outriders demo had me grinding hours everyday for a less than 1% chance of getting a legendary item.

There. I said it. It’s not something to brag about given it’s not a very efficient way of spending one’s time since I was grinding a demo that capped me at level 7, and World Tier 5 which meant that the odds of an enemy dropping a legendary item was next to impossible (odds are like, less than 1% from what people online have been saying).

Releasing a good chunk of the game out in the wild to let gamers get a taste of the full experience (in a way) was a brilliant move by People Can Fly and publisher Square Enix — one that seems to have paid off in terms of engagement.

outriders pvp

While I already wrote about my thoughts on the demo, my time with the game didn’t end there. I played it for an hour two everyday just to farm a legendary weapon. Sure, I know that weapon will be under-leveled compared to the weapons and gear that I’ll obtain once I progress through the story once the game’s out, but for some reason or another, I couldn’t help it. It’s not just because I have friends to party with, either, as I found myself repeating the Terra Infirma captain, or Vanguard captain repeatedly even if I’m playing solo.

It became an obssession, to be honest, as I saw people in an Outriders Facebook group flaunt their legendary wares, I wanted one, too. This whole gameplay loop of me farming items since I wanted to be stronger played exactly into the power fantasy that games like Diablo, Destiny, etc., all dished out so well.

However, after days of grinding, I finally got one, though it was the type of weapon I used the least, which dampened my happiness somewhat. That said, I still wanted to get just one more legendary weapon, to (maybe) re-affirm to myself that I did the right thing wasting away hours repeating the same part of the demo over and over just to maybe get the weapon drop I wanted.

Even if we’re just a week away from the game’s April 1 launch, I still am fighting the urge from farming and pouring more time since I know playing the final version of the game, and getting to higher World Tiers would make earning legendaries a whole lot easier. I think this is a testament to how well People Can Fly has made the “grind” feel rewarding, which is easier said than done in most games.

Will the demo’s success mean that the game as a whole be successful too? Not really. but the fact that it changed my mind from not caring to being excited for the game means People Can Fly already accomplished their mission with the demo — which is to make people care about Outriders. Before the demo, I rarely heard about the game from friends, online, etc. Now though? I’ve seen Outriders Facebook groups pop up left and right, the subreddit getting a ton more subscribers to it; the Outriders Twitter getting literally more than triple the interaction it had before the demo was released, and People Can Fly released demo stats that weren’t shabby at all, either.

Hopefully, this is the start of studios and publishers giving gamers actual significant vertical slices of their games before launch. Of course, this could work the other way as well, with gamers being turned off by game’s demo, and thus not wanting to take a second look at it when it releases. But if you’re confident in your product — which People Can Fly seems to be — this shouldn’t be an issue.

Outriders Demo Update 1.07

There are a ton of stuff that the demo could have fallen victim to: repetitive gameplay, unsatisfying combat, technical issues, and whatnot. While the demo isn’t perfect, and it highlighted some of the game’s issues (cross-platform party chat, connectivity issues, etc.), it managed to drum up enough excitement from a lot of people¬† that dozens (if not hundreds) of players grinded for hours to score legendary weapons, Heck, some even cheated their way just to obtain these items, which means that people cared about the game, the grind, the weapons, and of course, the experience.

If you’re a shooter fan, or someone who plays (played) games like Destiny or The Division, you might want to take a look at the Outriders demo that’s available now on almost every gaming platform imaginable.

The Outriders demo did the trick and it made people stand up and take notice of the game; now it’s People Can Fly’s duty to knock it out of the park come launch.

Editor’s Note: Views expressed here are solely of the author’s and does not represent MP1st’s staff and its entirety.

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