The launch of Stadia is only a week away, so it’s extremely surprising that we’re only learning about its launch titles now—after pre-orders have already happened. But given the list of games available maybe it makes sense that Google held off so long.
As launch lists go the Stadia one has me worried. When Stadia launches November 19 it will be with just 12 titles—almost all of which have already launched on other platforms. They include:
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
- Destiny 2: The Collection
- Just Dance 2020
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- SAMURAI SHODOWN
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
- Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
That’s a very good selection of games—with a couple being some of the best games made... when they came out months or even years ago. The problem with this list is it’s almost all older content.
The only exclusive on the list is GYLT, a cool looking puzzle game from indie developer Tequila Works.
GYLT definitely looks like a neat game, but it’s the only one in the line up that might persuade you to subscribe to Stadia if you already own a console or gaming PC.
Not that Stadia ever seemed to be relying on exclusives, in the first place. The whole appeal of the platform seems to be that it’s for people who haven’t invested in a console already, or who travel so much it isn’t feasible to bring their console with them. And there’s a lot of people like that! When it’s developer conference season and I’m zigzagging around the U.S. I’d love nothing more than a set up like Stadia, which lets me play AAA games from my phone or laptop.
The problem is what isn’t on the launch list but what is expected this year—namely a bunch of other games that are already out. Borderlands 3, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and Final Fantasy XV have all been available long enough on other platforms that it’s genuinely confusing that they’re not available at launch on Stadia. Doom Eternal, which I played on a Chromebook back at e3, doesn’t even how a promised 2019 launch date. That’s not good!
In a blog post today Google notes they’ll all launch on the platform by the end of 2019, but what does this mean for games launching in 2020 to Stadia, PS4, and Xbox One? Cyberpunk 2077 is a highly-anticipated game expected early next year, and I can see Stadia subscribers being deeply annoyed if they have to wait months after launch to play it. If Google is going to be launching games on Stadia months after the launch on other platforms its appeal starts to diminish a little. Sure you’ll be able to play the games without the need of a console, but will the wait be worth it?