To say that Google Stadia’s maiden voyage into the world of gaming has been a tumultuous one is a bit of an understatement. Google’s seminal cloud gaming platform has been met with about as much (if not more) criticism as it has praise. There have been highs such as the content creator’s community coming together to do two events dubbed Stadia Super Saturday. We also the Spring Connect where it was announced that EA was finally bringing their games over to the platform. Also we had lows such as when we didn’t hear anything from the team during the Holiday 2019 season, through mid January.
There was the launch which saw people that pre-ordered Stadia as Founders get their activation codes after those that pre-ordered closer to the launch. That issue was quickly rectified, but it left a sour taste in some customer’s mouths. I personally got my code on the 21st of November, two days after the launch. I did however, get my controller at 8 am on launch day. So for two days it was a paperweight. But once i got my code, I was off and running, and have not looked back.
On some promises Google over delivered on such as the one free game per month perk for having a Pro subscription. On others they under delivered for a myriad of reasons. Google did say that most features would not be available at launch, and would instead begin rolling out in 2020. So far, that has been the case, although the pace of said rollout left a lot to be desired. That isn’t the point of this article. This was just to say that there’s been good and bad dealing with the platform. They got the main thing down: The tech works. Simple as that. As we find ourselves going into the Fall/Winter gaming season; this is looking to be the best month ever for Stadia. So if you’ll bear with me, I want to go over my reasons why I think so. Hopefully, you’ll see what I am seeing.
Pro Games for September
Stadia is kicking off the month with a solid lineup of games to claim as a Pro subscriber. Nevermind that this is to date the most games that they have ever listed to claim, six if you’re keeping score (More of that over delivering I mentioned earlier), the amazing thing is the variety of games we’re getting (Side note: Please pray for my backlog. It is growing by the month). There’s action games like Metro: Last Light, a stealth action game in Hitman, a retro style 4 player game in Gunsport, a 64 player battle royale game in Super Bomberman R Online (A timed exclusive, by the way), a family friendly game for all ages in Embr, and also Hello Neighbor which is a fun game as well.
Marvel’s Avengers launches on September 1st
If that wasn’t enough for a first day,we also have the much anticipated game from SquareEnix Marvel’s Avengers launch on the platform the same day!
As noted on the Square Enix website, there’s an EYNTK (Everything You Need To Know) page for day one of the game’s launch. Originally scheduled to appear in the Stadia Store in May, the game was delayed to September 4th. As I pointed out in my last article; it will now be available to play on the first day of the month. In this game you get to play as an Avenger, and complete missions in single and multi-player scenarios. It has just come out of its beta phase, and is set to launch on September 4th for the general public, and on the first for pre-orders, PC and Stadia.
More games and much anticipated features go live
Aside from the Pro games, and Avengers; another game with a massive following is coming to the platform in Dead By Daylight.
Not only is this hugely popular game coming to Stadia; it’s also bringing with it two highly anticipated features that have been on player’s radars since day one. That is Crowd Play, and Crowd Choice. Stadia recently enlisted some YouTube channels to demo Crowd Play to the public. YouTube integration seems to be ready for prime time. Crowd Play allows you to jump into a queue on YouTube, and play alongside the streamer. You are prompted to click a “Play Now” button when it is your turn. This will either open your Stadia instance in a new tab, and take you into the game; or it prompts you to create your account, and then play. (Note: Super Bomberman will have this feature too. Not sure if it’ll be available day one though.)
(Side note: You have to be logged into the YouTube account that is on the same Gmail account as your Stadia account. Failure to do this will result in you getting prompted to create an account for the YouTube account that you’re using currently)
Crowd Choice allows the viewers of your stream to make decisions that will affect the game for the player. Baldur’s Gate 3 will have this as well. (More on that later) In this game, viewers will be able to choose whether the streamer will be the killer, or the victim. This is a massive feature, and once I can’t wait to see play out in some live streams. This game is looking like a mid month release.
Baldur’s Gate III Early Access
After a blistering month, Stadia ends the month with a bang with early access for Larian Studios’ highly anticipated game Baldur’s Gate III. Crowd Choice was initially slates to debut in August. It was changed to release on Steam and Stadia on September 30th. This game is going to be prodigious for the platform, as this is something that is unprecedented for Stadia. Yes there are other early access games such as Embr, and One Hand Clapping currently available. Those games pale in comparison to BG3 in terms size, scale and scope. Crowd Choice is going to play a vital role in the game. Viewers of the stream will have options more often in the game to make choices for the player. This is an ambitious gamble that Larian and Google are taking on. One that will, in my opinion will show how viable Stadia is to the market, and gamers in general.
No matter which way you slice it, September is looking like it’ll be one to remember for Stadia. I for one am looking forward to it. I will be here to give you my thoughts and opinions on how it all shakes out.