Another Week on Stadia - Stadia Games and Entertainment winds down, Terraria cancelled (?), FIFA, and more

Another Week on Stadia is overdue by two days, I’m sorry. This past week has been a total roller coaster on Stadia. Read on to find out exactly what has, and hasn’t, happened this week.

Stadia Games and Entertainment winds down

Focusing on Stadia’s future as a platform, and winding down SG&E on February 1st, Phil Harrison, Vice President General Manager of Google Stadia, announced the following: 

We launched Stadia with the goal of making your favorite games instantly available wherever you want to play them. With the recent successful launch of Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia, gameplay on all types of devices, including iOS, growing our slate of YouTube integrations, and our global expansions, it’s clear that Stadia’s technology has been proven and works at scale. Having games streamed to any screen is the future of this industry, and we’ll continue to invest in Stadia and its underlying platform to provide the best cloud gaming experience for our partners and the gaming community. This has been the vision of Stadia since the beginning.

In 2021, we’re expanding our efforts to help game developers and publishers take advantage of our platform technology and deliver games directly to their players. We see an important opportunity to work with partners seeking a gaming solution all built on Stadia’s advanced technical infrastructure and platform tools. We believe this is the best path to building Stadia into a long-term, sustainable business that helps grow the industry.

Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially. Given our focus on building on the proven technology of Stadia as well as deepening our business partnerships, we’ve decided that we will not be investing further in bringing exclusive content from our internal development team SG&E, beyond any near-term planned games. With the increased focus on using our technology platform for industry partners, Jade Raymond has decided to leave Google to pursue other opportunities. We greatly appreciate Jade's contribution to Stadia and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors. Over the coming months, most of the SG&E team will be moving on to new roles. We’re committed to working with this talented team to find new roles and support them. 

What does this mean if you're a current or future Stadia gamer? You can continue playing all your games on Stadia and Stadia Pro, and we’ll continue to bring new titles from third parties to the platform. We’re committed to the future of cloud gaming, and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward. Our goal remains focused on creating the best possible platform for gamers and technology for our partners, bringing these experiences to life for people everywhere.

cim’s thoughts

I was curious about what Stadia Games and Entertainment could have been.

I’m not even going to attempt to guess what this means for Stadia going forward. Actually, I will since everyone else and their dog is throwing guesses out of their behinds. It's honestly pathetic, but here I go too. Like a clown.

For me, it's this simple: Google currently doesn’t see developing games under and within Stadia itself as being worth the cost. With how things have been blowing around the corners over at Amazon and especially their game studio recently, it's not difficult to understand the reasoning and pure business decision from Stadia. No matter how much Amazon begs to differ. I'm terribly sorry it's gaming journalists who have written both of these references, but it's the best I could find.

It's strange that I most likely won't see a truly Stadia exclusive game that utilizes more than basic possibilities from this platform in the foreseeable future. It's also slightly annoying, because exclusive content and great game characters are part of what has made a lot of the current video game industry behemoths into behemoths. 

Kratos, Super Mario, Link, Drake, Crash, Banjo, Samus, Master Chief. Those don't happen overnight. It takes a lot of time, and usually a ton of money. Then again, maybe this isn't what Stadia is about. Is it wrong? Maybe. Part of the trouble is that without spending money in-house and on first-party exclusive development, these games and mascots won't happen. Does Stadia need exclusive content and a mascot? I’m unsure. The exclusive content and mascot route is arguably outdated, if it has the same impact now that it did when Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft broke into the industry is debatable. If Xbox got Master Chief today - would it do the same for their brand? I have no idea. All I know is that the gaming market is more crowded today, and even tougher to get into than when the iconic exclusive intellectual properties and mascots entered the scene.

I am really enjoying the platform and technology for what it is. Edging at the top in cloud gaming, which truthfully still is very niche (and part of the larger problematic picture). Stadia is a great platform built on incredible technology, but is that enough? That's actually up to you. For now I'll stay curious as to what the future might hold for Stadia past the announcement. Does dropping their internal Stadia game development team mean that Stadia is now more opportune to grab more publishers and developers? Or will those publishers and developers shy away since Google themselves aren’t developing their own games?

Stadia might know, I certainly don't. So Stadia, keep being. Grab a wide variety of popular upcoming games, keep advertising what makes Stadia a great place to play, keep expanding into more countries, keep pushing for cross platform features, keep pushing the industry.

Kitty’s thoughts

From the Kitty prediction (with a 99% percent rate to succeed, source: my mind): We will see, cloud-native games and more, as promised at a way later date now. It will probably take 5 years or longer to see a revival of SG&E. This won’t be the end of the studio at all, just a long hiatus.

We will have a phoenix revival, keep hoping guys!

Dao’s thoughts

From my perspective, there’s no real way to tell what’s going to happen unless you were part of the group that decided to make the decision and why. All I know is that this move may possibly (hopefully) open up the way for Stadia’s original vision and that’s to “Make games available anywhere for everyone”. Time will tell, until then I’m going to enjoy Stadia like I have for the past year :) 

This Week on Stadia: Epistory hits the Stadia store and Farming Simulator 19 Free Play Days arrive

New games on Stadia! Epistory – Typing Chronicles, use the power of words to defeat enemies, solve puzzles, and explore a brilliantly creative RPG adventure. This is a game you’ll definitely want to play with your keyboard - but it does actually also work using a controller.

A small reminder on Stadia Pro games for February: Get Journey to the Savage Planet: Employee of the Month Edition, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, and Enter the Gungeon today and keep them as long as you stay a Stadia Pro member. 

Discounts and sales for Stadia and Stadia Pro members.

Source: This Week on Stadia: Epistory hits the Stadia store and Farming Simulator 19 Free Play Days arrive

FIFA on Stadia, March 17th

EA has announced that FIFA 21, a seemingly popular game, is launching on Stadia, March the 17th. Have fun football (soccer) people!

Source: Electronic Arts Inc. - The World’s Game -- Electronic Arts Announces Multiplatform EA SPORTS FIFA Global Expansion

Yakuza Judgment on Stadia, April 23rd

Join detective Yagami as he claws through Kamurocho’s criminal underground in an attempt to unravel the truth.

cim: I’ve never played a Yakuza game. Yep, I said it! Maybe now’s a good time, and on Stadia (but, of course)?

Source: SEGA on Twitter: "Remastered for next-gen consoles, acclaimed action thriller Judgment is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, & Stadia on April 23rd, 2021

Skyclimbers, comes to Stadia in 2022 (ish)

According to the official Skyclimber’s Twitter account, the game has now been announced for Stadia (among other platforms, see source below). Yay for Stadia!

So far there is only pre-alpha footage and one story teaser available, which gives off vague, but really cool, information about the game world, theme and premise. From what we know so far, Skyclimbers is a game made up of several genres and can kind of be portrayed as a Multiplayer City Building Action RPG with monster-taming elements. If that doesn’t get you excited, I’m not sure what will!

Luckily, our buddies from Stadia Source recently had the opportunity to interview Paratope’s Co-Founder Justin Bocchino, where he gives us more insight into both Skyclimbers, and the studio’s approach for the release on Stadia.

Check out Skyclimber’s Kickstarter project and help fund the game. 

Source: https://twitter.com/playskyclimbers/status/1355857319515590657

Blue Fire, rated for Stadia by ESRB

Embark on an extraordinary journey through the desolated kingdom of Penumbra and discover the hidden secrets of this long-forgotten land. Explore mystical temples, encounter survivors and take on strange quests to collect valuable items. Along your adventure, slash your way through daunting adversaries, roam across mysterious and abandoned regions, leap through deadly traps and ultimately master the art of movement. 

cim: This one looks like it’s going to be a gem in the rough! A true indie poised for the strike! I’m liking the combat, movement, enemies, aesthetics - the whole thing.

Source: Blue Fire - ESRB

Hundred Days on Stadia, May 13th

Hundred Days, a winemaking RTS game, is coming to Stadia on May 13th. 

In Hundred Days you will have complete control of a new winery, you will have to choose which vines to grow and how to grow them and when to harvest, you will have to follow the entire winemaking process and make the choices that best suit the type of wine you want to produce or that market requires. You will also have to sell the wine produced to allow your company to expand.

As in reality, every choice made, from the vineyard to the sales, will be able to influence the wine produced both in quantity and quality. A quality wine will increase the reputation of your company worldwide, it may have come at a higher price and will allow you to grow better and faster.

Source: https://twitter.com/brokenarmsgames/status/1357041168694018049

Terraria, rated for Stadia PEGI, and then cancelled (according to the game's co-creator)

This ultimate classic gem of a game is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year in May!

While you may think: "A 10 year old game? What's all the fuss about?", let's check some key metrics:

  • 2nd best rated game on Steam (all time) with 668,093 (97.9%) positive reviews
  • 3x Steam Award nominee
  • 30.3 million units sold (as of April 2020)
  • Available across 12+ (that is many) platforms

Remember that a game showing up as rated on PEGI can end up on the platform several days, weeks or months from now - but no matter when it’s going to be released, Terraria is apparently on a quest to be available on all the platforms eventually, Stadia included (read more below).

SirLANcelot: It seems like Terraria’s co-creator is on a new quest, acting like a little baby. The co-creator’s personal Google account has allegedly been taken down due to “unknown reasons” according to the co-creator himself. But according to more trustworthy and less-involved sources, he got a strike on his YouTube channel and didn’t act on it. Your loss, buddy. Should have acted on that strike. After that the co-founder publicly yelled at Google and YouTube on Terraria’s official Twitter account, a few weeks later he went on to yell even more about how he’s never going to support any Google platform anymore. So I guess the game will be removed from the Google Play Store too, or is that not the same? Because money?

The co-founder has said that the Stadia version is now cancelled. Which, after this news, is in my opinion a good thing! Because we’ve now all seen that this guy likes to use his personal feuds to screw over potential customers! Which is ironic, because he blames Google for exactly that, not valuing customers. This does save me from spending money though, because it’ll be a cold day in hell before I spend money on a game made by an entitled developer.

Sources: Search | Pegi Public Site, Steam250, GamesIndustry.biz, Wikipedia, Gamepedia

Stadia version 3.2 APK teardown

Gem brings us a bunch of… gems! He’s at it again with his infamous teardown, in which he was able to find the following:

Project Hailstorm:

  • "Let Project Hailstorm by Stadia take your gaming experience to the next level."

Easter egg/April’s fool:

  • "Stadia has harnessed the latest in Amplitude Modulation transmission technology to deliver the ultimate gaming experience."

Additional referral icons along with the following lines:

  • "You're getting a referral reward from your friend"
  • "Get 1 month & give 2 months of Stadia Pro"

July Redeem:

  • "Sorry, this code can only be redeemed during the month of July."

Captures:

  • "Learn how to take captures."

Voice Chat Android:

  • "Voice chat volume (Game)"
  • "Voice chat volume (Party)"

Source: Stadia APK 3.2 Teardown | Discovery

Crayta gets Crowd Play, February 10th

The team behind Crayta recently shared a short instructional video in which they show how you, the streamer, can let your viewers join your current game session with the help of Stadia’s Crowd Play feature.

It will be interesting to see how this new feature will be used in concoction with Crayta to bring us even more interesting custom maps and game modes. Specifically tailored to Crowd Play.

Source: Stadia Changelog: Crayta gets Crowd Play next week

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Anything you’d like us to focus on in Another Week on Stadia? Comment down below, join our Discord, or send us a direct message on Twitter.

See you next Sunday for another Another Week on Stadia!

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