Update Aug. 12, 3pm ET: Stadia confirms that the achievement-based trials are still locked to varying time limits.
What you need to know
- Google Stadia's Click to Play game trials allow Stadia players and those without an account to try out games under a specific time limit by clicking a link.
- Google is testing a new system that would give players access to the game during the trial until a certain achievement is unlocked.
- The company said it could test different methods on trial requirements depending on the genre of game.
Google is testing a different method for its Stadia Click to Play game trials where the demo would end after the player earned a certain achievement, instead of the current limited-time system.
According to Game Developer, the Stadia team started testing the new method earlier this week in A/B testing with trials for two games: Sniper Elite 4 and Control Ultimate Edition. The test will give 50 percent of players clicking on the free trial for either title unlimited time with the game until a specific achievement is unlocked, while the other 50 percent will only get to play for a limited time.
Under the new system, players would be able to try out Sniper Elite 4 on Stadia until the "Beginning of the End" achievement was unlocked, which developer Rebellion said would take roughly an hour. The new system would allow players to have unlimited access to the game up to the achievement and completing the demo, but would not be able to restart it to repeatedly play through it.
The current Stadia game trials, available to try without a Stadia account, have a time limit that end regardless of progress made. Some trials can last 30 minutes, while others allow 180 minutes. The achievement-based system would give the demos a more complete vertical slice of the game, rather than ending abruptly.
The Stadia team told Game Developer it could experiment with trial requirements in other genres, such as "trying an RPG and starting at Level 100 instead of Level 1 – or playing a turn-based strategy game with a full kingdom at your bidding instead of starting with just a small village."
Stadia had first introduced free trials for its games last year, and expanded it to allow anyone without a Stadia account to start playing by simply clicking a link earlier this year. The company has been slowly expanding upon Stadia features with the new Party Stream feature launched this week, allowing players to stream gameplay within their own party.
Stadia clarified to Game Developer that the achievement-based trials currently available under its Click to Play system have varying time limits. For example, Sniper Elite 4 has a 90-minute time limit. The story has been tweaked with this new information.
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Thomas Meyer fell in love with video games starting in the mid '90s with a NES, Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and Jack Nicklaus' Greatest 18 Holes of Major Championship Golf. He hasn't stopped and is not planning to anytime soon. Freelance for Android Central and Windows Central.