How much would you pay to play a demo? If your answer was, “About half what the full game will actually cost” and you have an itch to check out Final Fantasy XV, then you’re in luck! Because that’s exactly what people are paying on eBay right this very minute.

I wish I was kidding, but you can check out the listings for yourself. And this isn’t just one or two crazy people trying to sell a demo code for ridiculous prices, it’s dozens of crazy people trying to sell a demo code for ridiculous prices. If you’re willing to part with between $25 and $45, then you can grab your very own copy of the Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae playable demo right this very minute. Or you could just buy Final Fantasy Type-0 HD for $60 and get that demo as an added bonus.

Actually, maybe I’m not being too fair on the people selling the codes. It’s a matter of supply and demand, so the “crazy” people are actually the ones willing to pay that kind of money for a sampling of a game that will take them just a couple of hours to complete.

Parallels could be drawn between these latest occurrences and the launch of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, but that’s not exactly a fair comparison in that customers were under the impression they were buying a full game when they plopped down around 40 bucks for Ground Zeroes. The “shame on you” finger should be pointed at Konami in that case, charging a high fee to dish out just a couple hours of content. Even though reviews stated that the game was extremely short, you can’t fault gamers for assuming that people were blowing things out of proportion and maybe, just maybe, their play style would drag a few extra hours out of the game. Ground Zeroes also offered some replay value in the form of extra missions, making the cost a little less difficult to stomach.

This time around, though, we’re talking about a flat-out demo. People are well aware of that fact, and yet they are willing to fork over half the price of a game in order to try it out early. If you ever find yourself asking why publishers try to squeeze every penny they can out of consumers via shady practices, it’s because they know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we’re frequently all too willing to play along.

I can’t say that I blame the sellers, either. They bought Type-0, which is a niche Final Fantasy title, so they probably have every intention of buying Final Fantasy XV whenever it launches. If given the option of playing an hour of a game I plan on eventually buying or being handed $30, I know which route I’d probably take.

Thanks, games industry! You’ve managed to surprise me yet again.

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