Capcom’s handling of Resident Evil Village‘s pre-release demos has certainly been a learning experience.
Earlier this month, the developer confirmed via a special showcase that it would be rolling out not one, not two, but three distinctly different trials for the survival horror sequel, all with varying exclusivity periods and durations. Two of these, aptly named Village and Castle, have since concluded and were available only for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 owners, while the third and final, originally scheduled to be accessible for 24 hours, was to take place this weekend.
Fortunately for Xbox and PC gamers, this event is still intended to go ahead and now for a considerably larger window. Starting May 1st, a full 60-minute, multi-platform demo will be free to download for roughly a week, ending on May 9th, two days after full launch.
As for what prompted this change of heart, a post over on the official Resident Evil Twitter page describes the expanded availability as a direct result of fan feedback, which cited concerns over false scarcity and unfriendly consumer practices. As far as compromises go, then, this is a definite step in the right direction, though there will no doubt continue to be many voices decrying the increased prevalence of platform-locked demos.
Indeed, if recently leaked documentation is to be believed, a marketing agreement between Capcom and Sony stipulates that Resident Evil Village is prohibited from appearing on Xbox Game Pass for an indeterminate period. Will those concerted efforts to combat the popularity of Microsoft’s golden goose be enough to damage sales?
Only time will tell, but until then, be sure to let us know what you make of all this in the comments below!