A space battle unfolds in Prey

Bethesda and Arkane Studios pulled a surprise move with Prey, offering a rather lengthy demo for the console versions of the game. For the PC crowd feeling left out in the cold, however, the developer explains there's a good reason they decided not to offer a free taste on that particular platform.

The folks over at AusGamers recently had a chat with Raphael Colantonio, co-creative director at Arkane Studios. They wasted no time getting to the issue of a missing PC demo for Prey, especially since there was one available on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One leading up to the game's launch. According to Colantonio, it was simply a matter of choosing where their resources would best be spent. Also, there's already basically a demo for fans who buy the game on Steam.

It's just a resource assignment thing. We couldn't do a demo on both the console and on the PC, we had to choose. And besides, PC has Steam. Steam players can just return the game [prior to playing] 2 hours so it's like a demo already.

According to Raphael Colantonio, the team simply didn't have time to make a demo for Prey across all platforms. That usually brings up questions such as, "come on, how hard is it to make a demo," to which most developers will tell you, "you'd be surprised," especially when they're still trying to wrap up work on the game proper. As for making a demo for one platform and not the other, it's not as simple as cutting and pasting code; not by a long shot. So to Colantonio's point, the team didn't have time for all of that extra work and decided to commit to console demos exclusively.

To be fair, they aren't wrong about Steam, either. Thanks to their no-questions-asked return policy, anyone who plays less than two hours of Prey and decides they aren't having fun can simply push a couple of buttons and get their money back. Considering the console demo for Prey was only about the first hour of the game, that means the PC crowd has twice as long to make their purchasing decision. Sure, the console crowd had the demo for a full week before the game launched but, if you like Prey on the PC, you can just keep right on playing; no time lost.

We'd be interested in hearing what our readers think about Arkane's take on creating demos. Do you think they have a sound argument or would you have preferred they took a few extra weeks to get a PC demo ready ahead of launch? You can let us know in the comments below.

As for me, I got into about the first two hours of Prey last night and can't wait to head back for more. While I'm playing on console, I didn't touch the demo. In other words, I think the PC crowd will be fine in this particular instance. Prey packs a lot of interesting things into those first two hours, so that Steam trial period should be more than enough to decide if you're picking up what it's putting down.

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