Xbox Game Pass may be resurrecting the lost art of the game demo.

Sarah Bond, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, said that Xbox are planning on encouraging developers to develop demos of their games for their Game Pass service and will offer financial incentives to developers who develop demos for their service.

Bond said "Xbox has seen fewer and fewer opportunities for developers to put games on event showfloors and present them directly to potential fans, and this could harm smaller developers struggling to be seen in an online space."

"So we said, you know what, what don't we take Game Pass and make it like the showfloor?," Bond continued.

"Why don't we make it possible for developers to take a piece, a level of their game, release it into Game Pass, generate excitement for what's coming, and also get that really valuable feedback as they're tuning and preparing their game for launch?"

Developers used to use game exhibitions like E3 and Gamescom to test their game with the public, but with these exhibitions moving online as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, this has left developers with fewer options to bring game demos to potential audiences.

Bond said that developers adding demos to Game Pass would be worth their while.

"As part of the scheme, we've set up the program and structured it so that the developers get financial compensation for the game - it actually benefits them financially - and also get the benefit of the great feedback as well."

While the scheme won't be beginning any time soon (industry sources point to a vague "within the year" for the scheme to be rolled out) the news is a positive development for gamers, as the video game demo has undergone a decline in the last decade or so.

It is not clear if developers will be offered a flat fee for their demos, or if they'll be paid based on performance on Game Pass, and questions remain about how curated its set of demos will be, and if being a part of the scheme guarantees developers a spot in the Game Pass line-up at launch.

Formerly a major part of a games development cycle, developers have forgone demos as a means of cutting costs or focusing resources as demos can be time and resource-intensive, especially at the lower end of game development.

Since launching in 2017, Game Pass has been a success for Microsoft, with the service hitting 25 million subscribers earlier this year.

PlayStation are revamping their PlayStation Plus service, and the high-end tier will allow players to download 2-hour trials of games.

As part of the process, any game costing €33 or more must have a demo attached, with the process also rolling out later this year.