Xbox Game Pass subscribers will soon be able to play samples of forthcoming titles as part of Project Moorcroft, which is owned by Microsoft. This is the first time we’ve heard of the existence of this initiative at Xbox. As of yet, no games have been named. The Xbox team stated that Project Moorcroft will be released “within the next year.” It will first target independent creators, with the goal of providing them with “additional possibilities to acquire data about, and raise interest for, their games.”
Developers will also be “paid” for these demonstrations, and they will be able to observe how their demos do on Xbox Game Pass. That final line appears to be an attempt by Microsoft to avoid accusations that Xbox Game Pass does not generate revenue for anybody, including developers. (However, it remains a fantastic product for Xbox and PC players, letting them save money depending on how they use the service.)
While Microsoft is the first to openly disclose intentions to include demonstrations to its game subscription service, it is far from alone. According to a rumor published in late April, Sony has imposed two-hour trials for all forthcoming games costing more than $34 in order to reinforce its expanded and updated PlayStation Plus service. However, unlike Microsoft, Sony is apparently not giving “any extra incentives,” implying that developers would not be rewarded for the demos.
“When we provide creators multiple alternatives for how they choose to monetize, we also give them more creative flexibility.” And we believe we have a crucial role to play in that, so the more we push innovation, the cooler and more inventive games will emerge from leveraging that innovation,” Xbox’s corporate vice president for game developer experience and ecosystem Sarah Bond said in a prepared statement.