Game preservation is not just about finding rare games. It is also finding game demos, which are even harder to come by at times because of how unusually some demos are distributed, especially during the 80's to the mid 2000's. Old school demo discs, saved data, and more are lost every day, forever losing a bit of the history behind the development of any given game.
Thankfully, the field of preserving game demos is one that game historians often look for when finding pieces of obscure software. One such example is a file of PlayStation 2 demos recently found on a hard drive, giving is a taste of something both rare and unique to gaming culture. The demos included 4 we hadn't had preserved, and a newer version of Superman 64's demo for PlayStation 1, which had previously been preserved in 2018. The quartet of newly preserved PS2 demos are uploaded for anyone to see, and play, for themselves.
The most recognizable title posted from these demos would be Red Dead Revolver, the first of Rockstar's Red Dead series, originally released in 2004. Though the game is pretty mediocre, the history of Red Dead Revolver's development is in of itself unique. Originally being a Capcom production to be a modern follow-up to their western arcade game Gun.Smoke before running into problems with the project, and all but abandoning it in 2002 when Rockstar Games would acquire the development house, Angel Studio, who was working on the title.
The demo is a snapshot of Red Dead Revolver before release, which was in an unplayable state in late 2002 before it would be released in 2004, making that small timeframe of development under RockSsar a very mysterious part of Red Dead's history.
Another title, named Pillage, was a tactical game being developed by Rage Games. Rage ran into major difficulties in 2003, forcing the studio to close down, leaving Pillage near completion without a publisher. Their new developer, Zed Two, would later change the name of Pillage to Future Tactics: The Uprising, and with the help of publishers Crave Entertainment and JoWood Productions, release the game for the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube in 2004.
The other two games, known as Snood and The Benefactor, were never released for the PlayStation 2.