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Gaikai realises streaming goals with Darkness 2 demo

"An instant, hands-on experience is by far the most powerful weapon in a publisher's marketing arsenal"

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.

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Latest comments (5)

Ok, so I tried to give this a go...

1/ On the embracethedarkness site, I couldn't find any mention of the Gaikai demo (only downloading the PC demo).

2/ On Eurogamer.net, started the streaming/running process, then got:

"Your connection appears to have slowed. Please quit other connected applications or services and try again. "

This is running no other applications or windows, and on the highest speed ADSL-2 connection I can get here. Oh well

This is the reason I have issues with running games in the cloud :P
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William Brown Aspiring Level Designer 4 years ago
@Michael I found the stream of the demo on the embracethedarkness website and can fully understand why you may not have found it either. If you follow the "Download the Demo" link you will find below the three platform demo download links that there is a button "Stream the demo now for free" which will poppup a lightbox (presumably the same box you found on the Eurogamer.net site).

Edit: Will report my findings from my 50Mbit connection.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by William Brown on 8th February 2012 8:53pm

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Sam Brown Programmer, Cool Games Ltd.4 years ago
@Michael: I got exactly the same thing from the Eurogamer link yesterday, but I retried immediately and ran the game with no problems. Control lag was pretty horrible though, I couldn't get through the first part being dragged through the restaurant.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sam Brown on 8th February 2012 10:49pm

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Show all comments (5)
Tried three times, same message every time. I guess 10-15Mbps just isn't fast enough... :P
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Dustin Sparks Interactive Developer / Gaming Blogger 4 years ago
I tried it here at work and I was genuinely impressed by how fast it was. Granted the internet connection we have is tremendous. In the past I have tried other services like OnLive - I tried a few demos and the best perfomance I got of any of them was the Homefront demo, which ended up being laggy enough to get me to quit playing entirely after only a few minutes. I am an instant fan of Gaikai after this demo, but of course I completely understand that it will work well with only the best of internet connections.
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