The Significance of Stadia’s Free Trials

Stadia is often criticized for not doing enough to entice new players to the platform and grow the user base. This is usually followed by a chorus of “they need to bring more games that gamers want to play” or “where is the hardware upgrade?”, but the truth is that Stadia is constantly rolling out improvements to bring new players on board – like Stadia Free Trials!

As of last tuesday (June 14th) Stadia currently offered 26 free trials on the store front – and they just added 35 more for a total of 61! These are not to be confused with Free to play games or free demos, the latter of which are just a short version of a game.

The second to latest additions to the Stadia free trials

What are Free Trials?

The free trials on offer from Stadia are indeed 100% free – that is free with no catches – game trials on Stadia. Most things these days don’t do the word ‘free‘ any justice: Free for subscribers; Free for members; Free when you sign up. But these Stadia free trials are really free! 61 games you can play without even needing to sign up for Stadia. No credit card details or verification required. The only caveat is that it’s a one time use, and it’s a limited amount of time. Different games vary in the amount of time you can play. From 30 minutes to 2 hours.

How does this grow the platform?

Stadia is relatively new as a gaming platform and very new as a concept. It’s something the average person knows absolutely nothing about. Despite the number of different offerings out there, it isn’t unusual to hear somebody ask, “what is cloud gaming?” Therefore, marketing Stadia requires a fresh approach.

Unlike traditional console gaming, which will offer pretty much the same experience from one person to the next, each person’s experience with Stadia is likely to differ depending on broadband speeds, their local network, service provider etc. 

How do you get a non tangible product in to people’s hands? Trials!

Imagination time…

Let’s say you have never played on an XBox or Playstation before and nobody you know had either. So, there was no way for you to try one. 

What if you could sign up online and within a moment a representative from Microsoft or Sony were at your door with a console and 61 games for you to play. No deposit. No card details. No commitment. Giving you a chance to experience first hand what was on offer with absolutely no risk whatsoever.

Wow! Right?

Well, that is exactly what Stadia free trials are offering! A chance to try the service for yourself. No need to ask around for other people’s opinions. No need to argue over whether it is good or not. Just try it for yourself!

But, of course, the cynical among us wouldn’t touch it as long as Stadia are advertising it. It’s a stroke of genius then that these click to play games can be offered direct from the publishers and developers themselves!

Maybe you’re not curious about Stadia. Maybe you’re happy playing on PS4 or Xbox One. You’ve heard bad things about Stadia from a friend or a random guy on Twitter. You’re just waiting until a current gen console is more easily available. But, then, you see a tweet from Square Enix sharing a link to drop in to Outriders. You tap the link and within seconds you are playing the game. Right there on your phone screen. And… it’s… fantastic! Is this …Stadia? Huh. Maybe those things I’ve been hearing aren’t true. Let me check out Deliver Us The Moon. I heard Humankind was a good game; let me try that! I really enjoyed those couple of hours… maybe I’ll buy it… 

And, now you’re in! 

I would argue that this will grow the platform magnitudes more than any game like Fortnite or The Quarry ever would, and even an exclusive would only do so much for the platform in terms of growing the player base.

Even if a game is hyped to the max, the belief that Stadia isn’t good and that cloud gaming can’t compete with local hardware will remain. That will deter people from trying it, but free trials will inevitably put that narrative to rest. Trying is believing!

Doesn’t Everyone Do This?

Well, actually, this is something I don’t see any other service offering. Not even close to it!

XBox Gamepass Ultimate usually has an offer along the lines of 3 months for £1. This requires both time and money – granted not much money, but money nonetheless – and remembering to cancel the trial if you don’t like it.

GFN has a whole free tier never requiring a single payment. And, of course, there are multiple free to play games. But again this requires signing up to an account. Not just for Geforce Now but also for Steam and Epic if you haven’t already, claiming and adding those free games to your library and then linking that library to your GFN account. That experience is leagues apart from the click and play on offer from Stadia’s Free Trials. 

Beyond this, people who use GFN would argue that the true power of the service is only accessed through the 3080 tier costing £17.99 per month! The free tier (caps gameplay to hour sessions and is capped at 1080 – plus you have to queue to play popular games) doesn’t give a good indication to the quality of the paid tiers. There is no trial period to see if it is worth the investment. If you want to try it you have to cough up the cash. 

With all this said, it is my belief that Stadia offers the best entry for somebody getting into cloud gaming. For somebody brand new to the idea and with no ties to any other platform, it is a clear winner! 

Don’t overlook the power of these Stadia Free Trials! You can check out all 61 games with a free trial here if you have a Stadia account, or here if you don’t.



Pedder is a Dad of 3, a Tech Geek, a Video Maker, and a Casual streamer. Follow on Twitter: @Just_Pedder, YouTube: Pedder Games and Buy Pedder a Coffee

3 thoughts on “The Significance of Stadia’s Free Trials

  1. I am slowly making my way through the click to play. You don’t even have to login. Genius idea.

  2. I agree! I think this will help get people to try not just the games but the service as well!

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