Xbox announces incentive for developers to build demos for Game Pass

A new Xbox program will encourage developers to create bespoke Xbox Game Pass demos, and receive financial compensation for it.
Xbox Game Pass demo incentive program

As part of Xbox’s 2022 Summer Game Fest news, the company announced it would be bringing game demos as a value-add to Xbox Game Pass subscription holders. But what’s more, Xbox made note of the the additional strain for developers to create bespoke demos – especially solo developer and small studios – and also announced it would be rolling out a financial incentive program for those who participate.

Called ‘Project Moorcroft’, the Xbox Game Pass demo program aims to serve players by providing them with curated, ‘vertical slice’ demos of yet-to-be released games.

But it also hopes to serve as a benefit to developers to build excitement for their upcoming titles, receive player feedback and analytics, as well as receive financial compensation to offset the additional labour required to build a self-contained Xbox Game Pass demo.

In a presentation viewed by GamesHub ahead of the Xbox and Bethesda showcase, Xbox leaders Matt Booty and Sarah Bond likened the program to bringing back a bit of the experience of playing game demos on the show floor of in-person games conventions like E3 or PAX.

They expressed the desire to replicate those experiences in a world where physical opportunities to play pre-release games were getting fewer and far between, thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This was particularly important for independent developers, they said, who didn’t have the resources to put on their own big digital showcase like some of the major publishers in order to build anticipation for their projects.

The Project Moorcroft Xbox Game Pass demo program will being ‘rolling out within the next year’, according to the company.

Microsoft also announced an expansion of its Xbox Cloud Gaming program, which allows people to access Xbox Game Pass titles through phones, tablets, and web browsers, to New Zealand and Argentina, as well as the rollout of an Xbox TV app for Samsung Smart TVs.

Be sure to check out all of our Summer Game Fest coverage to catch up on the game announcements you might’ve missed out on.

You can also view our wrap-ups for all the news from the Summer Game Fest kickoff showcase, the Devolver Digital showcase, the Xbox and Bethesda showcase, the 2022 PC Gaming Show, and the Capcom Showcase.

Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran