Google announced new ways it will use its Stadia streaming technology to allow developers to access free demos for gamers without having to sign into a Google account.
This change should make it easier for developers to create games trials that users can access within a few clicks.
Stadia will allow you to browse these apps and free trials in the Stadia Store.
This is a smart pitch. Developers and players both get tangible benefits from these demos. They sound like they would suit all parties, provided that the connection used is stable enough to support Stadia.
Although the service offered free trial of games for several months, you had to create a Stadia account to sign in. However, being able to play a game without signing into Stadia is much more appealing and allows you to make quick decisions.
At the Google for Games Developer Summit the announcement was made. Google also stated that it makes it easier to port Unreal Engine or Unity games to Stadia-ready, with a lot of automation.
In 2022 Google will be implementing:
- Any Stadia game developer can offer a free, instant access trial of their game. It doesn’t require you to sign into a Stadia account. All it takes is a few clicks via YouTube, Google Search ads, and social media.
- People can browse the Stadia store to get free trials and outright free games. They can also purchase games without having to log in to Google accounts.
- Stadia rep Justin Rende writes that developers can port Unity and Unreal Engine games to Stadia easier, using tools such as DXVK to automatically convert DirectX APIs — “so developers do not have to modify any of their game renderer,” he said.
- AT&T and other white-label partners can sign up to use Google’s technology to offer demos and paid games. This B2B offering is now called “Immersive stream for Games”.
Stadia rep Justin Rende writes that developers can port Unity and Unreal Engine games to Stadia easier, using tools such as DXVK to automatically convert DirectX APIs — “so developers do not have to modify any of their game renderers at all.”
AT&T and other white-label partners can sign up to use Google’s technology to offer demos and paid games. This B2B offering is now called “Immersive stream for Games”.
It’s easy and free for developers to upload their games to Google’s cloud platform. They can then be viewed by anyone who is interested. Stadia allows gamers to search for games they might be interested in and to play them before you buy. There is no risk to you, and you can keep playing the game as long as your trial ends.
One thing you should not expect is that Google isn’t creating its own emulator to bring Windows gaming to Stadia. The presentation is more of a suggestion than anything. It also includes a tutorial about binary translation techniques. The company states that this is not a preview of a Stadia product or feature.
The big question is how much friction remains without this. Although I have never had to port games between platforms, I cannot comment on that. However, even the free trial for players doesn’t seem like an instantaneous experience. You’ll still need a Google account to log in. Justin Rende, a spokesperson for Stadia, said that the company is still “continuing experiments with the goal to remove friction where we can”. Not having to verify your Google account to access Stadia would be a significant step in comparison to the October Google early free trials. The more clicks you make, the better.
It’s difficult to beat free.
It’s not difficult to find free games these day — Epic Games Store gives them away every Friday and popular free-to-play titles such as Fortnite and Genshin Impact rule the world. It’s a different matter to find a cloud gaming computer that you can play these games on, if you don’t have a smartphone, tablet, or weak laptop. As a child, I would have given my life for it.
You can play Crayta and Destiny 2 online if you have an internet connection. Also, you can get a few big demos such as Rainbow Six: Extraction or Resident Evil Village on Stadia for free if your internet connection allows. It will also offer a free trial of Risk of Rain 2 and Google claims that AT&T will soon announce a new game.
I will be interested to see if Google’s changes encourage companies to bring more stuff to Stadia — and how it may tie into its once-secret vision of becoming the largest games platform in the world.