playable demos coming soon

playable demos coming soon

Ahead of its Showcase with Bethesda scheduled for this Sunday evening, Xbox has unveiled its roadmap for the coming months. And among the main lines mentioned, the Moorcroft project or the possibility of developers offering demos of their future games thanks to the Xbox Game Pass.

Source: Xbox

Attract more and more players by reinforcing the experience it offers by all means. This has been the leitmotif of Xbox for a few years and the enthronement of its three C theory (community, content, console – or cloud now, one would be tempted to say). Playing Xbox games by all means seems to have become more than ever the raison d’être of Microsoft’s gaming industry. You still have titles to offer.

Part of the answer has taken the form of acquisitions in abundance in recent years, between small and medium studios through the giants (Bethesda and ZeniMax) while waiting for the arrival of the giants (Activision Blizzard King). The Xbox Game Studios family has grown as big as Zola’s Rougon-Macquart family. And it is clear that it is not a question of stopping on such a good path, even without the need to sign new purchases. Because there is a reservoir that the firm can trust and that it has been pampering for years, it is that of independent promoters.

Project Moorcroft, the demonstration showfloor

Not to be outdone by its twenty much better – and logically – valued home studios, Xbox had a brilliant idea: the Moorcroft project. Behind this name worthy of a theorist (but which is actually more of a reference to the city of Wyoming) hides a very simple idea, to offer a demonstration space made available to developers to present their upcoming games to players.

SummerGameDemo2021v8
Summer Game Fest Demonstration Event in 2021 // Source: Xbox

We were inspired by what we experienced during the E3 or PAX shows, meeting developers and small studios to discover their games and see their enthusiasm for sharing them.“explains Sarah Bond, vice president responsible for the ecosystem and the experience of the game’s creators.These events have become uncommon in recent years and do not necessarily have the resources or opportunities to reach a large audience. We thought the Xbox Game Pass could be their showfloor (main stage of the shows, editor’s note) to present their titles.»

Therefore, this Moorcroft project will offer developers who so desire a space to offer demonstrations of their future title to users of the Xbox Game Pass. “This will allow them to generate excitement and curiosity before the release while receiving feedback from the players.adds Sarah Bond. “It will be very rewarding for them“.

In the last two Summer Game Fest events, Xbox offered dozens and dozens of game demos to try out for free on their consoles, but through a space on its home page, with titles to download individually. This time, only members of the subscription service will have access to it.

A financial and outstanding boost

If for gamers, this will be the opportunity to preview portions of games and be interested in titles that could pass under the radar, even within the Game Pass, for developers, the interest also it is important. “It’s important that everything we do and offer is beneficial to both gamers and developers.Sarah Bond insists.Creating a demo is an extra job for them, we are aware of that. Therefore, the program offers financial compensation for those who will have to design playable portions and also get great returns.»

Ecosystem Microsoft Xbox Vice President Sarah Bond
Sarah Bond, vice president of Xbox in charge of the ecosystem, during What’s Next in June 2022 // Source: Xbox

Efforts far from being in vain. And to make it all very attractive, the US manufacturer adds that developers will also be able to feed their experience with numbers. They will be able to see the performance of their demos in order to better readjust the game before its release … which will probably be done later in the Game Pass. A win-win project for everyone.

Compete with Stadia and GeForce Now

By better framing the demos available within the same space, Microsoft also offers an added attraction to its offering of games on consoles and computers. Until now, except occasionally, demo versions were rather hidden in the store and at the whim of the few developers. Xbox wants to make it a must-have item encourage game creators to use their platform.

Unlike in GeForce Now, which has an accessible space from all supported media to cloud gaming service, and Google Stadia offers between 30 and 120 minutes to test certain completed games for free and without download, Xbox should ask its developers to simply offer a few levels on consoles and / or PCs. But it is very possible, knowing the appetite of the company for the cloud and the head of the ecosystem that has made it a focal point of its strategy, that the demonstrations are also available in cloud games in all parentheses.

Haven Xbox Summer Game Fest demo event
The French game Haven, discovered during the Xbox Game Fest demonstrations on Xbox and later had little success // Source: Xbox

If freelancers and small studios are the first targets, larger publishers could be tempted to take advantage of the program to get people talking about them upstream and take advantage of the tens of millions of potential Game Pass subscribers to make – get an idea of ​​the reserved. reception. Answer at the end of the year.


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