This is not a join now and cancel later thing, Stadia (Google’s streaming game system,) is now allowing you to play some games for a time for free with no subscription required.
Each game has its own trial time, after which you will need a subscription to the Stadia service if you want to continue playing it.
The games announced today are
Super Animal Royal – a 64-person battle royale. You can play for 60 minutes without an account, after which it claims it’s still free. This bit of the release doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. My guess is this is the one to get you to sign up for an account, even if it’s a free account.
World War Z: Aftermath – wander around, do tasks that are made difficult by having to discover how to do them while zombies are attacking, beat things… play for 60 minutes with no Stadia account needed after which you can continue your game with a Pro subscription or by purchasing the game outright and picking up where you left off.
Humankind – two hours to rewrite the entirety of human history and determine if paying $49.99 after is worth continuing the game for you.
I tried Stadia in its early days and abandoned, but these were also days when bandwidth was all being re-directed to handle Zoom meetings, the service was in its infancy, and it was not an experience that I was interested in paying for as it wasn’t even up to where my old consoles were.
Might give it a try again now that they’ve got some trials out.
Press release tends to indicate there are nine total titles with publisher-set free play limits for non-subscribers. While they don’t have a listing in the press release, looks like on Stadia they’re marked as “Pro / FREE” and these include City Legends, Grime, Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, MotoGP 21, Risk of Rain 2, The Jackbox Party Pack 8, SteamWorld Dig 2.
I count 10. Odd. Super Animal Royal seems to be the odd one on this number with no time listed.
That’s 14 hours of free play I can see. Honestly the first trial I like the idea behind. No cards, accounts, etc required supposedly. 14 hours of various games to see whether you like them, or like the service.