Google has a pretty sweet deal for any PC users eager to try its new, experimental Project Stream, a video game streaming platform built by the search giant’s cloud computing division. If you play just one hour of Ubisoft’s recently released Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, you’ll get a free copy of the game for PC / Mac through the publisher’s Uplay platform, via Eurogamer. (The game retails for around $20 on Uplay right now, but it costs around $35 on console.) The promotion is restricted to US users, and you have until January 15th to clock your hour of play time to claim the free title. You can try it here.
Project Stream, first announced in the beginning of October, is an effort for Google to test the waters of game streaming. The only available title on Stream right now is Odyssey, mainly to test the viability of Google’s platform with a big fall launch game. Odyssey is a high-fidelity product that can only be played on a PC with a moderately powerful graphics card, and alternatively, it requires the latest PlayStation or Xbox hardware to play on console.
Of course, Google is not alone in its efforts to build a game streaming platform. Both Microsoft and Sony are building out similar services. Sony’s PlayStation Now service already offers game streaming with a growing library of titles, while Microsoft recently took the wraps off its platform, to be called xCloud, that will reportedly run on a pair of next-gen consoles slated for 2020. Meanwhile, a number of other companies, like the French startup Blade and chip maker Nvidia, have existing game streaming services that are slowly but surely getting better.
That Google wants in on the market is an interesting development. But right now, the company won’t say whether Project Stream will transform into a consumer product. There is the potential that Google is experimenting to see if its cloud computing infrastructure could support such a service from a third-party company, or if Google could offer the backend to a game streaming platform built by someone else. Right now, the company clearly needs more testers, and it’s giving away a game barely two months old in exchange for some valuable data.
Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly said Google is giving away a free copy of Assassin’s Creed Origins. That is incorrect; the company is giving away a free copy of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, a game set in Greece instead of in Egypt.