Gaikai aims to rescue devs from demo purgatory

Gaikai aims to rescue devs from demo purgatory

By Rob Crossley

June 11th 2010 at 2:37PM

Studios may soon be freed from the demands of building customised demo builds

Gaikai can help game demos become more of a viable option for development studios, says the co-founder of the cloud gaming company.

Though ‘game demo’ is a positive term for consumers, those having to develop free trial versions of their own games tend to not look on the process with the same enthusiasm.

Studios such as Crytek says that the strain of building standalone demos is not sustainable, yet cloud gaming service Gaikai may offer some breathing space.

“Our policy is that a Gaikai demo will be the full game that has [an early] cut-off point,” said Andrew Gault, co-founder of the firm.

His theory is that little additional work is needed to release game demos if what’s offered is, for example, the first two levels of a game.

Gault says that eliminating the need to customise a demo from the ‘best bits’ of a full game will ensure developers have a less congested schedule.

“For the developer, coming up with specific demo builds can be a real hassle – it’s usually the last few weeks a studio hits crunch and the publisher comes along and says ‘oh, buy the way guys, we need a demo!’

“That’s putting a strain on developers, and we want to change that,” he said.

“So with Gaikai, the full game is offered with a cut-off point. That will save a lot of hassle.”

Gaikai offers near-immediate access to demos from the click of a banner advert displayed on various websites.

Users who click on the adverts will be able to start playing game demos within minutes (possibly within one), as the data is streamed from inestimably high-spec servers.

The technology has already won two rounds of funding from a wide range of interested investors, and the Gaikai team wants to eventually offer the chance to play full games using the same system.

The full interview with Andrew Gault can be found here.