Google Stadia Launch Free Games

By Ben Hamill - October 24 2020

Google Stadia Launch Free Games

Google is luring people into cloud gaming by enticing them with a series of free-to-play Stadia game demos. Games such as Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle and Humankind, launched earlier this week on Stadia, will be available to play for free for a limited time. More games are expected to be launched soon, one of which has been confirmed as the demo version of Immortals Fenyx Rising, and another, due for launch on November 17, as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, by Respawn.

Worth noting is that users don’t need a Stadia Pro subscription to access the free-to-play demo titles launching on the cloud-based games streaming platform. Accessing said games is as easy as clicking a link on Stadia’s landing page and following a couple of simple instructions in order to create a user account. Google doesn’t even require a method of payment for the opening of a Stadia account. In other words, no signing up for “free” with unexpected payments debited from credit cards at a later stage.

All games are streamed from Google’s Stadia cloud servers, with links to be found on the Stadia storefront’s landing page as well as on the YouTube trailers of the games themselves.

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Real Show And Tell

What Google obviously hopes to do by offering games to people for free, even if only for a limited period of time, is to try and enlarge Stadia’s presently limited (small) user base. Since the games on offer are actually and truly 100 per cent free to play, the goal is obviously to introduce the concept of cloud gaming to new users in a non-threatening and obligation-free kind of way.

Offering three free game demos a week might not set the gaming stage on fire, but it’s at the same time not difficult to see the logic behind Google’s “business model”. If anything, it’s a model that highlights all the main attractions of cloud-streaming.

Google Did – Sony Didn’t

Google taking advantage of the use of free demos remains interesting given free-to-play game demos were one of the key selling highlights of one of the very first cloud gaming services, namely Gaikai.

The only reason Gaikai ended up steering clear of free-to-play game demos offered for a limited period of time is that Sony, the company that ultimately ended up buying Gaikai, never pursued the issue any further. Instead, Sony opted to incorporate Gaikai’s tech into the PlayStation Now model – and discarding just about every other selling point previously punted as priority.

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