Prepare yourselves, a new challenger has joined the fray.
Google, this new player in the arena of video games is unlike any other beast before it. While other video game platform providers (the term "maker" now outdated) held things close to their chests, Google does not take sides. It is a company that has its tentacles everywhere, with an image so sanitized, it's scary. It is a maker that executes its own progeny in a manner that is devoid of emotion. And in this spirit of the machine, of the heartless, of the non-human, Google is launching the largest game platform ever made, that will be hosted on the largest cluster of gaming hardware to have ever existed. This machine made living will power your most ambitious gaming projects, with a power never known before.
Yet with such power, there is one major flaw in the idea of Stadia: the target audience.
Yes, the target audience is defined by the platform holder and, by definition, the games it attracts in order to attract said audience. And thus, behold the launch lineup of Stadia (courtesy of THE VERGE):
STADIA CONFIRMED GAMES LIST (UPDATED OCTOBER 2019)
- Bandai Namco - Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
- Bethesda: Doom Eternal (delayed till March), Doom 2016, Rage 2, The Elder Scrolls Online, Wolfenstein: Youngblood
- Bungie: Destiny 2
- Capcom: TBD
- CD Projekt Red: Cyberpunk 2077
- Coatsink: Get Packed (Stadia exclusive)
- Codemasters: GRID
- Deep Silver: Metro Exodus
- DotEmu: Windjammers 2
- Drool: Thumper
- Electronic Arts: TBD
- Giants Software: Farming Simulator 19
- Gwen Frey: Kine
- Larian Studios: Baldur’s Gate 3
- nWay Games: Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
- Robot Entertainment: Orcs Must Die 3!
- Rockstar Games: Red Dead Redemption 2
- Sega: Football Manager 2020
- SNK: Samurai Shodown
- Square Enix: Final Fantasy XV, Marvel’s Avengers, Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Superhot Team: Superhot Mind Control Delete
- 2K Games: NBA 2K20, Borderlands 3
- Tequila Works: Gylt (Stadia exclusive)
- Warner Bros.: Mortal Kombat 11
- THQ: Darksiders Genesis, Destroy All Humans
- Ubisoft: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Gods and Monsters, Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Trials Rising, The Crew 2, Watch Dogs Legion
Let us dissect this list.
To point out the claringly obvious, there are nearly no exclusives (Get What?), and those that are being brought forth are generic and concepts we've seen already (hello Clarice, hello little nightmares, ouuuu). Well my dear friends, the Stadia is a platform for those who love 3rd party games. But wait, these are not just any 3rd party games. Let's look more closely. These are almost all American 3rd party games. And they can all be found on the other systems. But let's keep going. The games here fit into a select set of genres:
- Large-scale RPGs
- 3rd-person adventure
- Simulators (football, driving and farming for now)
- Lame indie games
Next, the games in great majority fit a certain type of art and taste:
- Serious (simulations)
There are some rarities, little worms that made their way out of the earth, out of the mold.
- Just Dance
- the aformentioned exclusives
Google Stadia is begging you for your interest, but you have none to give. It is pulling at your shirt, clawing at your door, and you just want nothing to do with it, but it's still there.
The games, zombie by zombie, are crawling at you. Gritty, dark, creepy, violent and bloodhungry, all resembling one another, all following the templates that make them popular but also very stale... until the moment light is shone on Google. That moment it will realize that nobody wants those games as a standalone library, but as an accompaniment to greater games, that moment Google stadia will rise from its sarcophagus.
And that day will come, fellow citizen of the connected digital world. And when that day will come, beware the technological giant flexing its creative muscle to offer you experiences that will blow your mind...