Microsoft has today unveiled what it's calling "Project Moorcroft", which is a game demos service that is specifically for Xbox Game Pass members. It was leaked earlier this week in a report by journalist Tom Henderson.
The company says it will be rolling out this service within the next year, and the idea is to "bring the fun and discovery of playing new, curated demos of upcoming games to our Xbox Game Pass members."
"The program will begin rolling out within the next year, beginning with a focus on providing independent developers from around the world more opportunities to build excitement for their games."
Details are otherwise limited on Project Moorcroft for now, but we do know that participating developers will be compensated for getting involved, and will also have access to data to show how their demos are performing.
Look out for more details on Project Moorcroft at some point over the next 12 months!
Liking the sound of this? Let us know down in the comments section below.
Game Pass demos is pointless.
All games should have a trial period.
Thought it was dumb when Sony did it, still think its dumb now.
Monetizing demos is absurd. At least MS is passing some of the money to developers, so there might be more than 2 games on the program, but still: dumb program.
@SplooshDmg I doubt they are copying PS on this, this is not the kind of thing you do overnight. For them to be announcing this so close to PS+ means they also been working on something similar for a long time now.
Mind you, the PS+ tiers giving access to demos also has been a rumor for a long time now, so it is possible they started this project as preemptive reaction to early rumors.
Still: dumb feature. Demos should not be monetized and should simply be accessible for everyone.
On the positive side, XBox refund policy is so good that technically every game already has a demo. They should just add an in-xbox refund request UI instead of having to go to a website to request them.
What happened to free demos? We should go back to the times with free demos, which far to few games do anymore. I also said it on the ps plus topics on other sites that putting demos behind a paywall is a scummy move.
I’ve gotten good use out of the trial weekends and their summer demo fests. If a demo interests me I check it out and wait for release. Brings me back to the demo days on discs.
@SplooshDmg Hell, try to get to cancel a preorder from some of the other guys!
People complaining about demos being locked behind a paywall are completely missing the point. These aren’t existing demos which are being locked off, when was the last time you saw a game with a proper demo?
The whole point of this is to push devs towards actually making demos again (I’m guessing Microsoft give them some sort of incentive for doing it).
I’d absolutely agree that demos should be free to everybody, but devs clearly don’t think the same way which is why demos have been dead for about a decade at least. Paywalled demos are better than no demos 🤷♂️
Surely it would have been better to have demos for "potential" upcoming Game Pass games, so that the community could give MS some idea as to the quality and demand for select titles?
So what does this actually mean for gamepass?…less full games on the service? Less day 1 third party releases? How do we spin this positively?…maybe by telling ourselves we get to try more games…and that can only be a good thing, right? But then on the flip side the reality is we’re now in a generation where we’re literally paying for demos…and thanking them for this? How did we get to this point? And where does this road end?… maybe we’ll end up with different gamepass tiers…ultimate gets the full games, gamepass standard just gets demos. Price increases for both no doubt.
There’s definitely a point to this, that’s for sure.
Paid demos… why? I mean on the dev side it’s not “forced”. The one good thing but still…
I agree they will have been working on it for a while, but they likely are well aware of several of PS plan's in advance, especially when developers and publishers are involved like here with demos. That's not saying MS copied Sony here, or vice versa, but it's also not conclusive that they didn't purely due to timing of announcements either.
Paid for demos!? If the game is going to be on GP I don't care about a demo as I'll play the full game when it comes out. If they're not going to be on GP whey would you want to pay for a service to try them out?
If you're going to make demos then have them up there free for everyone to play.
Yes, no doubt a reactionary move cobbled together in the last few days, to counter Sony's "revolutionary idea" of putting demos behind paywall subscriptions... 🙄.
@Sol4ris I didn't say it was a good thing, any demo behind a paid wall is just poor service.
Not a fan of this, locking game demos behind subscriptions is quite a ***** move.
Yeah, this definitely sounds pointless, and kind of gross. That's what GP already is. It's literally a rental service. It's just a me-too feature copying Sony's already terrible idea of a feature. I said there that nobody should pay money for free demos and I'll say it here, even though rjejr isn't here to point to how Nintendo/Capcom is now locking demos behind paid services, too....
Why wouldn't demos designed to advertise a game.....be......free? For everyone? So that they can try it and buy the game. Like it was for 40 years? Why would anyone pay money to play a free marketing demo? It's like charging people for the free keychain at a tradeshow booth.
At least it sounds like it's a unique demo "new, curated demos" rather than just a timed demo of the main game....maybe it makes slightly more sense as unique content.
No, it's still a horrible idea that must crash and burn.
There's a name for paying money to play demos of games: It's called E3.
@DrFluffyNips I don't think the phrase "Would you like to buy a free sample?" should ever be uttered. Maybe that's just me.
@NEStalgia Nah I’d agree, that doesn’t make sense at all. It’s not as if people are signing up to GP for demos though, so that comparison doesn’t really work.
Nobody pays for GP for the daft little “perks” like free weapon charms in Apex or Halo. They’re just extras being included with the service, they’re not being used to convince people to sign up.
Again, it’s not like the choice is between paywalled demos and public demos. Public demos don’t exist any more, game devs have made that the norm, so it’s either paywalled demos or no demos.
On Push I compared it to buying a Costco membership just to get the free samples.
I'd go for no demos over paying for interactive commercials. That's not a demo, it's a second revenue stream. I've actually seen tons of demos on Switch games, both from Nintendo and 3rd party. Strange that of all places Nintendo would be the more accessible one.
BUT, Capcom did recently do a demo for MH only behind the NSO paywall. And Nintendo's doing it for Strikers, though it's really an online-only demo so it would be paywalled either way.
Should be available to ALL!! The purpose of a Demo is to 'promote' a sale by giving a 'small' sample of the product. Why would I choose to play a 'small' section of a Game when I have access to hundreds of complete/full games - all of which I can download and 'demo' to see if I wish to keep playing or even purchase. Some of those I can 'demo' instantly thanks to cloud streaming to decide if I want to 'download' to play..
Its more important to offer Demo's to those who 'only' spend money on their Games. Its those you need to convince that your game is worth buying over all the other choices they have to spend their money on.
Game Pass owners have a lot of Full/Complete games accessible all the time and none of which requires any financial commitment. Given the choice of playing a Game through to completion at no cost or a small sample (especially if that is on Game Pass as a complete game - I don't need a demo of FH5 when I can 'demo/try' the whole game anyway), I'm going to pick a game I know I can 'finish' every time.
Demo's may cost money to make, but the purpose is more to increase sales. Therefore they would be most beneficial to those that have to buy all their games. I know its an 'extra' perk for Game Pass, but really should be offered to everyone...
Pretty hypocritical of certain people to boo Sony for locking demos behind a subscription & then cheer when Microsoft does it lol personally I think demos should be free as their an advertisement for a product they want you to purchase
I don't think it's a scummy move. Microsoft/Sony are paying Devs to make demo's for games that wouldn't usually have demo's. And they're doing it for their loyal supporters. So I don't see why they would pay for something just to give it out to everyone that don't support them. There will still be game demos available for everyone tho, like there is now. I'm assuming it's only for game companies that don't usually make game demos and that they'd have the option to choose whether they want it for everyone or just gamepass/ps+ members.
Everyone is missing the point. As someone else said, game demos have been dying for at least a decade, I looked on the Xbox store recently and there's hardly any demos at all for games made in the last year or two, and the total number of demos is pathetic.
This move from Microsoft and Sony is to incentivise game developers to make demos again. Game demos cost money to make, and with the cost of game development increasing all the time a lot of developers simply don't bother anymore.
This would be demos of games that will probably end up not being on Game Pass, that would be my guess.
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