Yesterday, Google made its great entry into the world of streaming game. The search giant announced Stadia at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, showing a bold vision for a game future in which anyone could play any game on any screen, with all the processing work done in an external data center . It is not the first transmission service designed to affect the industry, but it is one of the most convincing. However, when it launches in 2019, an important question will be what games we can play in it. Google was quite light in those specific details for this presentation, but we do know three titles.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: There are no surprises here. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was the test case of Project Stream, and people have already played a remote version of this game in a web browser. Google used Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to show off the new technology during the presentation while a demonstrator switched from the phone to the TV, to the laptop and to the PC playing in the same game session.
Doom Eternal: this was meant to answer some of the people’s doubts about Stadia. Where Odyssey is a relatively tolerant title that can handle a bit of latency without interrupting the experience, Doom Eternal is configured to be a fast-twitch lighting contractor in which even a little bit of input delay could absolutely destroy a game session. The Doom Eternal announcement was the way Google said they were aware of these concerns and wanted to know about them.
The game can be played at the convention, but that’s not a big test, to be honest. If it’s going to work well anywhere, it will work well in downtown San Francisco with a solid connection that runs to the Moscone Center. The real test will be when this affects someone who lives in a rural area, away from a data center and with a slow connection.
Something about Q-Games: Maybe you can not say it’s confirmed if you really do not know what it is, but there was not much to work with in that presentation. Google confirmed that Dylan Cuthbert’s Q-Games would be building a game around the “state sharing” feature that will allow him to start playing a game instantly at the same time as a Youtube video or a live YouTube broadcast. There are many possibilities there, even for normal games, so the possibility of a complete game built around that mechanics is intriguing. Easy to see how it goes wrong, but intriguing.
And that’s the list: this was clearly the conceptual presentation, with more announcements to come. Google has confirmed that Stadia will have exclusive games, and has hired the AAA games industry, very Jade Raymond, to run a studio called Stadia Games and Entertainment.
Google tested some more titles with images before the presentation that seemed to correspond to AAA titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, Skyrim, Metal Gear Solid and what I suppose was the complete suite of EA sports titles. There was also something with bullets and a drone that could have been basically anything. However, a joke is not a confirmation, and none of the real names of those games appeared anywhere in that presentation.