The Stadia Connect is around the corner now so let us have a little fun and speculate on what will be in it on Monday. It is worth remembering that there will be two opportunities to hear Stadia news. The Stadia Connect first and afterward at Gamescom Night Live. Stadia have been confirmed in making an announcement or two there as well.
Before I start with what I expect to be there, I think it will be better to start to rule out several things I don’t expect to be there.
During the Reddit, AMA Andrey said when asked about a Steam partnership “Great question! My PR guy will kill me…we’re always evaluating our options to make Stadia a better place for the gamers :). ” You can read this in many ways. For myself, that was just answering the question in way to say they want Steam on the platform but there isn’t anything happening. Putting Steam on Stadia would be a massive and technical challenge. The biggest hurdle from a pure business perspective where would Google make their money? Another subscription? A charge to import the games? Do the publishers want that? What would the licensing agreements allow that? Steam coming to Stadia would be a brilliant thing to happen however there are too many questions at this stage for this to be a viable option.
The internet was ablaze with the news and rumors when Jade Raymond, Head of Stadia Games and Entertainment when she visited Hideo Kojima who’s studio is creating Death Stranding.
Thank you for having us! What a treat! I am so impressed!!! https://t.co/9G42KEJKPw
— Jade Raymond (@ibjade) July 25, 2019
Fueling this further was the news that Death Stranding has been removed from the PlayStation 4 exclusives page. Many people are putting 2 and 2 together and believe that Death Stranding is coming to Stadia. I am on the fence with the thoughts of Death Stranding coming to Stadia. If it was to come I wouldn’t expect it till next year after some exclusivity on Playstation. With that, I would not expect any news of Death Stranding coming to other platforms soon. I believe it will like the Rise of the Tomb Raider situation, at best for a cross-platform release. This means nods and grunts that it’s going cross-platform but nothing firm until the exclusivity period is over. It is also worth pointing out that Death Stranding is being made on the Decima engine which is a primary Playstation engine developed primarily by Guerrilla Games. Could the trip be about something else since Death Strandings release is coming up fast?
Stadia UI and features
This is what I am wanting Stadia to show off the most. We are 3 months away (ish) from the launch of Stadia and we don’t know about the UI and how the features like party chart are going to implement on Stadia. It seems however we won’t get any details about UI till nearer launch. During the AMA answering our question on when we will see the UI Andrey replied “You’ll see the UI in November, once we launch. For now, you have to trust me – it’s looking good. We have a great UX team and we’re putting a lot of love into it.” Also, Stadia’s Youtube video is live about the Connect with the description “Let’s do it again. On 8/19 at 10 AM PDT/7PM CEST, #StadiaConnect is back and bigger than ever. This time around, it’s all about the games! From revealing brand-new trailers to going behind-the-scenes with our partners, we can’t wait to show what Stadia has in store for you.” So it looks like it will be games and some studio tours. I wouldn’t completely rule out getting a glimpse or two of the UI but no walkthroughs.
What to expect?
The easy answer is games and let’s hope a lot of them. There are so many titles that they could be and so many I would want and because it is a new platform the world is their oyster. They get to shape Stadia from the start. This means we can see if it is a relatively open store or a more curated store. The games they will showcase will tell us. We have an idea on what studios and publishers are involved with Stadia from the last connect. So we can make educated guesses on what some titles could be so I will start with some of the more likely games to expect.
The first game I would like to mention is Red Dead Redemption 2. Rockstar where on the list of publishers and developers from the last Stadia Connect and RDR2 is there last game they have made so it is an obvious choice. There have been hints and rumors that Red Dead is in the works for Stadia. Also, there is at this point no PC port so could Stadia become the only way for PC gamers to play RDR2? I will go one further with the Rockstar games and I think there may be a GTA V port to Stadia as well. This game won’t die so adding a new platform that you can play anywhere might tempt them to bring the port to Stadia.
EA was also on the Stadia publisher list. In fact, they were on the list twice as EA and EA Sports. My feeling for EA is that they will try out the waters with Stadia and we will get two games announced in Fifa 20 and Madden 20. Two big titles from EA and two must-haves for a powerful console-like platform. There has been speculation that EA will bring EA Access to Stadia I don’t think it is likely this year. Next year I can see it but I don’t think there will be an EA / Origin Access type announcement at this Stadia Connect. I think there is a chance that the Jedi Fallen Order comes to Stadia. That would be a litmus test on how serious EA are to Stadia if it comes then all of EAs may come across.
I think there will be a couple more likely announcements. The first one I would like to mention is Monster Hunter World and its expansion Iceborne. Again Capcom is down as being involved with Stadia and this would be a big title to get. The next one is Civilization VI again like all the games in the likely 2k is on the publisher list. Civilization being brought to Stadia makes sense as it’s a big full PC title which you can bring anywhere with you. Like Football Manager you will be able to get the full-fat version of Civilization on the go. With over 4000 developers being involved I believe we will get an indie game sizzle reel featuring some big Indie games. I for one will be hoping for Slay the Spire with state sharing added!
These games are based on more hopes, dreams and gut instinct rather than facts out there. Earlier on I mentioned that Jade Raymond may have been visiting Kojima for a different reason could that reason be that Kojima’s next game is Stadia exclusive and/or Kojima Productions is coming under Stadia Games and Entertainment? Kojima has teased in this year that “There’s one big thing I have in mind related to streaming as well” when talking about cloud gaming. I believe that Kojima’s next game being Stadia exclusive is more likely than Death Stranding coming to Stadia. If this was to be announced I believe it will be on Gamescom Night Live where Stadia will be making announcements.
Recently YouTube and Fortnite signed a deal to link both accounts together. Getting Fortnite on Stadia would be a big win for Stadia considering it would be on everything but Stadia as they would not want to be the only platform it is not on. The only question regarding Fortnite for me is not if it’s coming to Stadia, I believe Epic would want it on Stadia, it’s how Stadia will implement Fortnite onto the platform. Only for Pro users? Open it up for everyone when Stadia base launches? That is Stadia’s biggest dilemma. By allowing only Pro Users can play Fortnite it will lower numbers of people playing on Stadia this would be counteracted by cross-platform multiplayer. However, the downside is you have put a free multiplayer game behind a paywall a bad a look. If Fortnite went F2P on Stadia it may end up for the company that too many people are playing and now enough money is being made. It is a business after all. That is the tightrope that Stadia will have to make for Fortnite and other F2P games.
A game which may have slipped under the radar is Disintegration. This is from the co-creator of Halo and the teaser trailer has said we will find out more at Gamescom. Can we expect an announcement of that coming to Stadia during Gamescom Opening Night Live? Or even a quick teaser at the Stadia Connect?
The last thing I think they will announce isn’t a game or service it is the launch date. The time is right for the launch date to be given to founders.
I think Gamescom both from the perspective of the Stadia Connect and Gamescom Opening Night live is shaping up to fascinating. What do you think and hope will be announced as coming to Stadia? Comment below.