Yesterday Google released a statement that their video game streaming subscription service Stadia will see an additional 120 games added to its selection. We’ve received our Founder’s Edition unit and will be soon revealing our first impressions over the course of this rather slow roll-out and the usage experience in an internet-restricted remote area. Meanwhile, those who are keeping an eye on Stadia for its free option debuting this year or paid users alike are wondering when Stadia will get more games. Among this imperfect audience sentiment Google is looking to assure prospective customers that their offerings will be dramatically different in 2020.
Among the 120 games heading to the Stadia platform this year only a few have been confirmed; Cyberpunk 2077, Doom Eternal, and Watch Dogs Legion. Some games which help make up this list of 120 titles for 2020 will likely be older releases heading to Stadia thanks to much effort and optimization on the Vulkan and Linux architecture. As a side-effect, Linux gamers will likely see an increase in their available libraries as well.
The ten exclusives referred to in this announcement will likely be primarily to timed exclusives launches. Some months for any major AAA title to only be released on Stadia will cost Google a lot of money, and how 2020 plays out following this announcement will reveal their commitment level to the platform for better or worse.
Many eternally hopeful gamers are looking to see if Google will surprise us with a major announcement during their next Stadia Connect livestream presentation. Some have even proposed that Google could be prepared to invest in the development games in exchange for timed exclusivity in a similar way to how Apple funded titles on the Apple Arcade platform, particularly iOS, to encourage developers to make fully featured titles with no mictro-transactions as well as being ad-free.
Games announced for Stadia as of 2 months post-launch:
Free Games for Stadia Pro / Founder’s Edition:
Google is likely about to release a major update on Stadia Connect some time this month or February the latest which will hopefully explain the current timelines on desperately needed features such as iOS and Android support for all suitable devices (not just Pixel), more game releases (Call of Duty Modern Warfare w/ PS4, Xbox, PC Cross-play is among the top requests online right now), and updates on uPlay+ coming to Stadia as well. Free-to-play games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and other popular multiplayer titles such as Rocket League are also expected to make an appearance on the Stadia storefront.
Being a new player to the video games industry, it appears Google has underestimated the gaming public at every turn. With Sony being so emboldened to skip E3 and host the rumored upcoming PlayStation 5 Reveal Event some time around this very Stadia Connect, Google’s novelty time with being the only video games streaming service is about to run out. xCloud and PlayStation Now will prove to be fierce competitors built on top of warehouses filled with racks and racks of gaming-optimized Microsoft Azure servers.
The true game-changer for Stadia will come in 2020 when YouTube one day dons the “Play Now” button and instantly offers up major eSports titles, indie titles, promotional titles, or even exclusive titles for free / free trial. The opportunity for rentals, subscription services like EA Access and uPlay to compete with Xbox Game Pass / xCloud, PlayStation Plus / PSNow, and of course the Switch and Steam present their own competition in a way.
However, being able to generate sign-ups with one click using the Google account that’s already signed in watching that very same game on YouTube will be irresistible and we will start to see Stadia’s features and playerbase swell up like never before. In order to get there first, Google needs to put some serious financial backing into these recent promises with a lineup of games that is more inciting than previous offerings. Stay Tuned for more on Stadia at RGN.