Demos were a central part of the gaming scene in the 90s and early 00s, allowing you to play through the early stages of upcoming games and whet your appetite for the full release later in the year. The problem was that they were expensive to make and distracted developers from finishing the game. Over the past 15 years, demos have largely faded, with alpha and beta testing for multiplayer games taking their place, and single-player game developers opting for trailers and a massive marketing effort to build hype for launch day. .
Microsoft wants to change all that.
The tech giant has revealed an upcoming Xbox Game Pass update codenamed Project Moorcroft. It will allow developers to release demos of their games to all Xbox Game Pass subscribers and build anticipation for a title ahead of release.
Anticipating that developers may not be able to invest the time and money to make a demo alongside the actual game, Microsoft says it will compensate the game’s creators. He hopes this will encourage developers to join the scheme, especially since, in addition to the money they could earn, developers will have access to data on how their games are performing.
This new Xbox Game Pass feature is targeting indie developers and Microsoft says it’s a curated selection, so it looks like it could be a great space on your sub to check out new weird and wonderful games on a regular basis.
Microsoft doesn’t have a set release date for the Project Moorcroft update, other than saying it will release this year. Presumably we’ll hear more about the show, and maybe even learn about some of the first indie games that will release demos through it, at Microsoft’s press conference this weekend. Here it is how to watch the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase.
While Xbox Game Pass has been great for letting us try games after launch, PS Plus will do the same when Sony launches its redesigned subscription service later this month, with a well-designed introductory demo for a game ahead of launch. . offers something different. Having the chance to see a game reveal and immediately play a taster is something I miss from the 90s. I’m glad Microsoft is trying to bring it back.