• Matthew Fischbach

Relive The Glory Days Of Demos With Steam’s Next Fest

Hundreds of free-to-play demos coming to Steam this October

Demo disks, remember when those were a thing, right?


Well, just imagine being given a disk that held 2 hours of gameplay for each of the next 20+ up and coming games of the year… that you got to keep forever. Oh, and these things came free with pretty much whichever gaming magazine took your fancy.

Alas, gone are the days of demo disks, but demos themselves aren’t dead yet; if anything, their comeback has only just begun.

For anyone who missed the boat, in June this year, Steam unveiled their rebranded Steam Game Festival; Next Fest, a week-long celebration that unleashed 700+ free-to-play demos to the public.

Needless to say, it was so successful it’s already coming back four months later.

From October 1st - 7th, we’ll once again have the opportunity to play the latest demos from every gaming company under the sun; Triple AAA companies, indie devs, that one person working in their basement, their games will all be free to try for that week.

And not only that, players can chat with game devs, provide feedback, watch live streams, and generally test the waters on anything that interests them.

Only games that haven’t appeared in a previous Next Fest can be promoted, so in theory, everything we see will be entirely new, and all available demos will be for games in the coming soon category (that means no half-baked early access games).

Quality is the order of the day with only devs holding accounts in good standing being able to participate.

While it’s sad we'll only have the demos for a week rather than forever, all presented games are expected to be released between October 7th 2021 and May 21st 2022, meaning you might not have to wait long to pick up the ones you like, especially with the new Steam Deck dropping in December. And with a Halloween Steam sale as likely to happen as the sun setting each day, you’ll probably be able to get some at a discount (assuming you can wait a few weeks).

So put October 1st, 10am PDT (5pm GMT) in your calendar and try not to let any potential hype get the better of you.

And for any devs that missed the memo, the deadline for entry is August 15th, 11:59 PDT so get submitting.