Capcom dropped a Resident Evil Village demo onto the PlayStation store at the weekend, but it was only available for eight hours, starting from 5pm PST on April 17. This is, to put it simply, quite a weird thing to do. But while it’s odd for anyone on time zones in the American continent, it’s even more strange – or downright frustrating – for numerous other regions of the world. As such, plenty of people straight-up missed the opportunity to play it.
Creating a post about the situation on the PS5 subreddit, user psfrtps said “I mean why only 8 hours? At least give people 24 hours so people with different timezones, who works in that hours, who is busy in that hours, who is sleepimg (sic) that hours….etc can play the demo.”
Another demo is due this week – check out our Resident Evil Village demo times story to find out when you can play on PS5, Xbox Series X, and other platforms – but the situation is going to be the same once again. For people anywhere in the world east of Mumbai, the window of availability for the Resident Evil Village demo was late at night, stretching mostly through sleeping hours. New Zealand and Australia in particular got the short end of the stick, with the demo starting at 3am in the Wellington, NZ time zone.
“3am to 11am on a workday monday morning,” noted user Stoibs. “Yep, I missed it,” added user AppletonDisposal. “Was really looking forward to it, but I live in New Zealand and have a job.” Simply put, the hours and day the demo fell on just didn’t allow people from places in the Eastern Hemisphere much – if any – chance to play.
Regardless of territory, some fans had heard about the demo, but weren’t aware of the strict timings. User BlankStarBE said “I missed it, didn’t know there was an 8 hour window”. In a world where much of the buzz around games comes from social media chatter rather than just the official marketing line of the publisher, it’s not difficult to understand why some didn’t know about the demo’s limitations.
Some people discussing the demo in the thread criticised Capcom’s use of a ‘fear of missing out’ marketing strategy. “I really REALLY hate all games that pull these FOMO tactics,” said Ifoundyourtoad. “I work a job I don’t want gaming to be the same. Geez”
On top of that eight hour window, the Resident Evil Village demo is restricted to a 30 minute playthrough, too. This was also criticised among the comments. “It really is ridiculous, why force us to rush through it with a 30 minute limit as well?” asked DanFarrell98. “I really wanted to take my time to soak in the atmosphere and explore the setting but I was worried about missing out because I ran out of time. I ended up finishing with 8 minutes left because I had no idea where the end was.”
Across numerous other threads, the same kind of complaints can be found. Lots of people missed out on the Resident Evil Village demo, and will likely have to miss out again when the second demo on April 24 – set in the castle – does the same limited time window again.
Not everyone was so down on the situation, though, with a few pointing out that a demo – even one with such bizarre restrictions – is pretty rare these days. “So few games have a demo at all, so I don’t really feel the need to attack them over a timed demo,” said terrordactyl1971.
To make sure you’re prepared for the timing window of the next two demos, be sure to check out our guide to the 8 Hours in Village demo, which has dates and times for both the PlayStation exclusive demo and the multi-platform demo, too. And if you missed it, you can at least watch a playthrough of the full demo. And for all the latest on Resi, check out what was revealed at the recent Resident Evil Showcase, and our exclusive preview of the first five hours.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.