Gaikai has launched an instant trial of 2K Games' upcoming title The Darkness II - marking a significant step towards CEO Dave Perry's goal of pre-release streamable demos for all major titles.
Gaikai allows gamers to stream demos of prominent PC titles through their web browser even if their PC or Mac would not be capable of running the game locally, doing all the difficult computations in the cloud.
However, the cloud gaming startup had previously only featured games some time after their initial release, activity which showcased the technology nicely and offered some value to retail partners but offered only limited potential for marketing.
This time, the free and instant-streaming demo of The Darkness II is available at embracethedarkness.com, retail sites and Eurogamer.net ahead of its international release on February 10. (It should be noted that GamesIndustry.biz is published by Eurogamer Network Ltd.)
For pre-release demos to work, the game's developer would have to collaborate with Gaikai prior to completing the game, suggesting that Gaikai is starting to convince publishers of the value of adding cloud gaming to their promotional campaigns and receiving support in response.
"Streaming The Darkness II demo through Gaikai gives 2K Games the unique opportunity to engage with their fans and potential customers with amazing content in a way that was impossible until recently," Robert Stevenson, SVP interactive entertainment, told GamesIndustry.biz.
"An instant, hands-on experience is by far the most powerful weapon in a publisher's marketing arsenal. At Gaikai, that's what we deliver."
Gaikai currently has partnerships with a number of publishers and retailers including EA, Capcom, Walmart and and TV manufacturer LG.
"The Darkness II is visually impressive and is driven by a compelling storyline, which brings out the best in Gaikai's cloud gaming service, instantly reaching a global audience of millions of gamers with no special modifications or changes to the game," added CEO David Perry.
Gaikai will hope to add more day-one releases to its portfolio as it continues to establish itself. Its main technological competitor in the cloud gaming space, OnLive, offers its services directly to gamers instead, hoping to build an Xbox Live-style subscription service where players log in to play new and old games.