Image Source: Stadia, via YouTube
Google Stadia hasn’t exactly been the game-changer that it promised to be during its extravagant promotion run.
So much of what people were excited for turned out to be misunderstandings, and the features that people wanted the most still aren’t a part of the service. On top of this, the launch title selection was meagre at best: comprised of games that most gamers who would have wanted to play them would have done so already.
Instead of targeting the non-gaming audience with an incredibly accessible platform, such as by being the ‘Netflix of gaming,’ Stadia targeted gamers with an online store akin to what’s available on consoles.
With the service struggling as a whole, the one aspect that people might have been able to point to as a potential reason to use Stadia was its sole exclusive title, Gylt.
The indie game from Tequila Works may not be a platform-seller, per se, but it gave those who bought into ‘the future of gaming’ a new and deservedly exclusive experience.
Now, all those who forked out the $30 for the only novel game available with the $130 launch starter kit will be kicking themselves.
Gylt and Metro Exodus to be free in February for Stadia users
Just two-and-a-half months after making its debut on a brand new platform, Gylt will be free. The price tag of $30 was already fairly steep for an indie game that received middling reviews at best, but now anyone who did show faith in the platform and its sole exclusive now see that they perhaps shouldn’t have invested more money.
When Stadia put Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition and Farming Simulator 19: Platinum Edition up for free in January, they did offer a way for players to get a refund. As Gylt is going to be free so close to launch, it would make sense if Stadia offered a way for people to get a refund, but without an announcement at the time of writing, it seems unlikely.
As everyone on the platform right now is on the free three months of Stadia Pro, making Gylt available to them all could give some hope for future exclusives being made available to subscribers for free and soon after launch. Adding the excellent Metro Exodus will also give players a reason to continue to use Stadia.
The three free months of Stadia Pro are quickly coming to an end though, and as the community has shown, the platform is not in a good place.
Stadia needs something big
The novelty of streaming video games appears to be wearing thin, with the slow updates, lack of promised features, and library that is as expensive as it is lacking in new or even recent titles failing to impress.
It has been well-reported that Stadia has undersold and is in desperate need of its Base Plan (which is free but lacking the features that Pro subscribers may eventually get) to bring in players. However, given how existing and invested players are responding, it doesn’t look likely to gain many more users.
On Reddit, user Gizoogle outlined many key elements of the Stadia platform that are still missing. It was also explained that, at the time, there hadn’t been a new game for 40 days despite the platform launching 69 days prior.
The list of outstanding issues mostly included a lack of communication, such as there not being any mention of family sharing, the Stadia Base Plan, iOS compatibility, non-Pixel Android compatibility, or any of the acclaimed incoming 120 games. The Community Manager did respond to the user’s post, saying that there aren’t any updates yet but that the feedback has been heard.
There’s simply not a great deal going for Stadia right now, and they need some big-name, new games to launch on the platform. It also needs must-have exclusives to convince their target audience, gamers, to get on board.
Having the highly-anticipated titles of Marvel’s Avengers and Cyberpunk 2077 delay their releases doesn’t help the platform. Amidst the meagre selection, the very broken Ghost Recon: Breakpoint and gambling-riddled NBA 2K20 stand out and don’t advertise the platform in the best light among the gaming community – which slated both titles at launch.
Renewal time is coming up for Stadia Pro users, and based on the performance of the platform, Stadia looks set to lose a fair few players unless major, concrete announcements and updates are made soon.