Stadia, Google’s cloud gaming platform, was initially launched as a ‘beta’ version. A plethora of seemingly basic functionalities were missing, some for a lengthy period: the platform lacked achievements, a working TV app, and family game sharing, among other issues, for months after its launch. The shop didn’t even provide basic search capabilities until the spring of 2020. Many of these issues have been addressed, and Stadia is now better than ever. Let’s see what all Google Stadia has in store for the Gaming community.
Although the game catalog isn’t currently on pace with PlayStation or Xbox, it’s gone along since the service first launched with only a few dozen titles. Stadia is presently backed by several major publishers, including EA, which has released games including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Madden NFL, and FIFA. Square Enix published Outriders on Stadia and other platforms in the spring, followed by Marvel’s Avengers in the fall and many other games. Ubisoft has also added dozens of its games to Stadia, including some of its most well-known titles like Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed.
More than 250 games are now open on Stadia. Nobody wants to play Uno or The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem, yet big-ticket titles like Far Cry 6, Resident Evil Village, and Hitman 3 have all launched on Stadia the same day as other platforms in the previous year. During Cyberpunk 2077’s rough launch in late 2020, Stadia was one of the best ways to play the game. Chorus, Farming Simulator 22, and Little Nightmares II are among the more minor but essential games that have been delivered on schedule.
Through Stadia’s $10-per-month Pro tier, a surprising number of those titles are now available. To refresh your mind, Google adds a few new games to Pro every month, and once you claim one, you own it for as long as you’re a Pro member – even if you permit your subscription to lapse and come back later. Your monthly payments — as of writing, $260 including January — would have earned you access to over 100 games if you’d paid for Pro from the start. There aren’t always blockbusters, but there’s something incredible every month, with big-name games like Control, Jedi: Fallen Order, and Mafia III Remastered, joining a slew of intriguing, smaller indies like Celeste, Moonlighter, and the whole SteamWorld series.
So while it’s tough to argue that there aren’t any great titles to play on the platform, it still lacks some of the fundamentals of current gaming. Destiny 2 and PUBG are available on Stadia, but Battlefield and Call of Duty are not. Dead by Daylight is playable; however, Back 4 Blood is not. Grand Theft Auto V, Skyrim, Minecraft, Among Us, Fortnite, and Stardew Valley will not be available. A handful of mega-hit games that you might expect to see on other platforms are just unavailable on this platform.
The fact that Google has been hesitant or unwilling to amass a library of games for Stadia that allows it to compete with non-cloud competitors is concerning. It makes me wonder how the company views Stadia’s long-term prospects. Despite losing out on big-budget multiplatform games regularly, Nintendo has managed to stay relevant for decades, owing to the power of its distinct IPs. Stadia, on the other hand, lacks such exclusivities. It isn’t peculiar, except for a few tiny games like Gilt and Outcasters, because Google’s Stadia Games and Entertainment subsidiary was shut down early last year.
Google has also begun licensing the Stadia technology to other parties for use in their own cloud gaming companies, which some have interpreted as a hint that the company is moving toward a more behind-the-scenes strategy to securing a piece of the cloud gaming pie. It’s possible, and considering Stadia’s first-party games studio’s closure and Google’s penchant for canceling successful products; it’s easy to believe. As we know them now, Stadia may become extinct shortly.
If it bothers you, that is not unreasonable. Several people would acquire PlayStation 5 systems if they knew they would be phased out in the next few years, rendering PlayStation games obsolete. I don’t believe that is a significant issue. There is no initial price with Stadia unless you purchase a controller or a Chromecast combo. If you’re only buying the occasional game that piques your interest or playing with whatever comes up in your $10 Pro subscription, you won’t have much to lose if the service goes bankrupt.
Also Read: Top Favorite Stadia Games of 2022