ID@Xbox brings back Game Demo Fest

ID@Xbox Summer Demo Fest 2023
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • The ID@Xbox program helps independent game developers and publishers with bringing their indie games to the Xbox platform.
  • An ID@Xbox showcase in partnership with IGN was announced for July 11.
  • The Game Demo Fest will also kick off on July 11 and will last for one week.
  • Gamers can try out 40 different games, some of which are still very early in development, for free.

Summer is in full swing and the heatwaves are ramping up. If you plan on hiding in your house to avoid the cruel sun this month you might be looking for something new to play. Thankfully, fans of indies and interesting new gaming experiences have something to look forward to as ID@Xbox has announced the return of the Summer Demo Fest event on July 11

Microsoft's ID@Xbox program helps independent game developers and smaller indie publishers with the process of bringing their game to the Xbox platform. Originally launched in 2013, ID@Xbox has had a hand in bringing more than 3,000 games to Xbox and paid out more than $4 billion to indie developers. Among the most popular way ID@Xbox draws attention to these unique and niche games is through its Summer and Winter Demo Fest events where players can download free demos of upcoming titles and play them for a limited time.

This year the Summer Demo Fest is being paired with an ID@Xbox Showcase that will be live on IGN on July 11. More than 40 of the upcoming titles from that showcase will then be spotlighted on the Xbox Dashboard where users can download and play them for free for one week. 

These demos may differ, however, from the type of gameplay demos most players are used to as they are more akin to "show floor demos" that one would typically see on the floor at E3, PAX, or another game showcase event. While demos are usually added to Xbox once a game is completed, the demos for games shown during the Demo Fest events are typically very early in their development cycles and players should not expect these to be fully representative of the final game product. 

While many of the games will still be in early development there will also be demos for titles that are closer to release. Among these titles are the anticipated action souls-like Lies of P, classic turn-based RPG Sea of Stars, and The Wandering Village where players can build a symbiotic relationship and a city on the back of a giant creature as it wanders through an apocalyptic wasteland. All three of these titles are also confirmed to be coming to Xbox Game Pass with The Wandering Village launching on July 20, Sea of Stars on August 29, and Lies of P slated for a September 19 release.

A full list of demos will be released following the ID@Xbox Showcase on July 11. While you wait, check out our list of 22 indies from Not-E3 showcases that we are looking forward to.

Cole Martin

Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.