Google will update its Stadia cloud streaming platform throughout 2022 to improve discoverability and make it easier for devs to port games.
In short, the company intends to make the storefront more accessible by enabling access without the need for a Stadia account, introduce "Low Change Porting" to expedite bringing games to Stadia, and implement "Click to Play Trials" that offer free trials of full games with no Stadia account requirements.
By making the Stadia storefront freely accessible, would-be shoppers will be able to access and search the entire marketplace, which currently features over 200 games.
Click to Play Trials, meanwhile, will grant developers the ability to offer a free trial of their game that players can access instantly. Google noted that developers won't need to do any extra work to take advantage of the feature, beyond deciding how long the trial should last and whether in-game progression should carry over.
For those of you with an eye for metrics, Google said that initial testing showed Click to Play Trials created a 35 percent increase in click-through rates (compared to traditional Buy or Claim messages) and a 70 percent increase in player engagement (compared to those converting through regular ads).
Breaking down its Low Change Porting initiative, Google said new technical tools and functionalities will help developers bring games over to Stadia with lower overall engineering costs and time to launch.
Google explained the benefits include libraries that auto-translate DirectX, improved Unity and Unreal support, and cloud-native playtest and QA workflows. Low Change Porting is currently in testing with over 10 partners including Paradox and Team 17, and will be officially rolled out later this year.
Google is attempting to reinvigorate Stadia after pivoting away from first-party development in February last year. At the time, the Stadia VP and GM Phil Harrison said the company was "committed to the future of cloud gaming" and would seek to create the "best possible platform for gamers and technology for our partners."