Many PC gamers, including myself, had wondered why there wasn’t a demo of Prey released for the PC. While both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 did receive a demo, the PC gaming community was left behind. Apparently, this was due to two reasons as Ausgamers found out during an interview with Arkane Studios.
According to Raphael Colantonio, the Co-creative Director at Arkane Studios, this was due to both a resource issue and that PC gamers have access to Steam refunds. As you may or may not know, Steam offers refunds for any game as long as the title time played is under two hours.
“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. I also want to clarify that there’s no PC port. I keep on hearing ‘oh they’re going to screw up the PC port’ there is no PC port. We do the game on PC. It’s a PC game. It’s a different engine to Dishonored as well. So we might have our own sets of problems, but we are of course very careful because of what happened with Dishonored 2. So we wanted to make sure the PC version of Prey is good.”
Now, while I understand the refunds as being a potential reason, I also don’t agree. This Raphael’s argument only addresses the gamers who purchase the game on Steam. So for others get happen to pick up the game on other places such as CDkeys or Greenmangaming, are not in the same boat. Neither of those companies offer refunds for played games, which throws a wrench into those plans.
Another argument is that Microsoft has announced that they will allow for Xbox and Windows 10 game refunds in the future. One could argue that a developer/publisher could stop providing Xbox game demos since they also have access to refunds.
Since the PC didn’t receive a demo, many are fearful that perhaps the PC version would be littered with bugs and other game breaking issues. And while many gamers were on the defense with the 2016 release of DOOM, it was received exceptionally well. On the other hand, Arkane Studio’s previously released title, Dishonored 2, was released with issues, with many of them still persisting to this day.
“We have always developed our games on PC, we’re PC developers. The thing on PC though, sometimes it’s just the wrong timing. The drivers just came out at the same time as your game, or the hardware combinations out there are so numerous that we can’t test absolutely everything and sometimes that’s just what it is. Bad timing, bad luck. But we’ve worked on it a lot. I’m not saying there won’t be any problem at all, but I’m pretty confident right now.”
I still remain skeptic regarding the PC release of Prey, but hopefully. Arkane Studios has already stated that we won’t see a repeat of Dishonored 2 with the release of Prey. And if we do, at least we’ll be able to refund it, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.