In an unfortunate twist of fate, Firaxis has announced that the demo for Civilization V will not be available before the release of the actual retail game on September 21, 2010. This is contrary to a previous statement they made to the effect that the demo will be available before the game actually releases.
This is unfortunate, because the reason for a demo, at least in my mind, is to see if a person will like a game before buying it. While you can still do that, it diminishes the launch-day excitement when you have to download a demo first. I even know of a case where a friend of mine wants the game but doesn’t know if it will run amicably on his computer. When I told him about a pre-launch demo he was ecstatic, because it would give him a chance to see if it runs fine, with time left to pre-order if he wanted the extra bonuses.
Not anymore, apparently. This is disappointing. Here’s part of Firaxis’ statement on the matter:
“The question many of you are probably asking now is “didn’t you say it would be available before the release date?” The answer to that question is yes, I did. At the time of that announcement, we expected to be able to get the demo out before the 21st, but unfortunately we weren’t able to finalize it in the timeframe we had initially planned, and for that we’re very sorry.”
They also mention that, given the demo releases on the same day as the retail product, that you still have time to try it out and run out and buy it (or purchase online via Steam). Yet, they fail to mention that this negates the ability to pre-order. I don’t like this, but I will be buying the game regardless.