Peter Molyneux has given an interview with Edge Online wherein he talks about the decision to re-release Fable II as an episodic download, with the first 45-minute “episode” available for free:
Now, I hate demos. I think demos are the death knell of experiences. Over the years I’ve done demos and they’ve either completely ruined the game, given too much to the player, or they’ve confused people, so I said that we should give away the very first 45 minutes of the game, completely free, and just before you get to Bowerstone up comes this message saying, ‘If you want to continue playing press this button, but if you want to buy the rest of the game, press this’. So people that are interested but don’t want to commit to the full purchase can play more, and people that are into it can buy all of it, and they don’t lose experience or gold they’ve collected.
So, uh, Pete. How is that not a demo? Maybe you and I are using definitions of demo from different sides of the Atlantic or something, but last I checked, a game demo was a brief taste of the entire game that allows you to try it out and see if you want to buy the whole thing. I’ll grant that you may have streamlined the process a bit (letting people buy the product from within the demo? slick!), but what you’re describing here? A 45-minute experience that ends with a tease to get you to buy more of the game? That’s a demo, buddy.
45 minutes. Come on, man. I can get longer “episodes” of Mad Men.